There are several elephants in the room: China’s ongoing Covid crisis and the war in Ukraine are not discussed. But J. Stephen Morrison, a global health expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says the Group of Seven commitments reflect strengthening ties between allies against Russia in the Ukraine War.
Those commitments will pave the way for the World Bank to set up a new global pandemic response fund, he said. The fund will be similar to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, established two decades ago.
“It is the G7 that is at the core of the HIV response, and in a way this is bringing that garage group together,” Mr. Morrison said. Referring to Congress’ lack of funding, he said, “Overall, not a bad outcome under the circumstances.”
Before the summit began, Mr. Biden ordered the flags to be flown down half a foot at the White House and all public buildings and military installations until Monday to commemorate the nation’s death toll.
As of Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 995,000 deaths from coronavirus in the United States; one New York Times Database put the number over 997,000. But with heads of state, leaders of charities and pharmaceutical executives attending the virtual gathering, Mr. Biden is ready to mark the coming moment.
Globally, the World Health Organization said nearly 15 million more people died in the first two years of the pandemic than would be expected in normal times. That estimate far beyond Official Covid death tolls reported by countries.
Despite the bleak predictions, summit participants reported some progress. Samantha Power, manager of the US Agency for International Development, told attendees that in Ghana, the proportion of those eligible to be fully immunized had doubled between December and April and is now 25.4%. Uganda has also seen a dramatic increase in vaccinations.