G-20 leaders pledge access to COVID-19 vaccine worldwide

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Leaders of the Group of 20 (G-20) nations pledged Sunday that they would work to ensure that “all people” had access to an eventual vaccine for COVID-19 amid concerns that a vaccine could become inaccessible to the world’s poorest people.

In the communique Sunday, the world leaders who assembled for the virtual summit pledged to “spare no effort to ensure their affordable and equitable access for all people, consistent with members’ commitments to incentivize innovation.”

Ensuring that as many people as possible received a vaccine in a timely fashion was a recognized shared goal, according to the statement.

“We commit to addressing the remaining global financing needs, welcome the efforts made by the multilateral development banks to strengthen the financial support for countries’ access to COVID-19 tools, in line with existing multilateral efforts, and encourage them to do more,” it read. “We recognize the role of extensive immunization as a global public good.”

The statement comes at the end of the virtual Riyadh summit, held this weekend as numerous nations including the U.S. continue to face sharply rising rates of new COVID-19 infections.

Despite the U.S. passing more than 250,000 deaths and 12 million total confirmed cases this month, President Trump touted the country’s efforts to control the virus’s spread during remarks early Saturday.

“President Trump highlighted how the United States marshaled every resource at its disposal to respond to the crisis, as well as the unprecedented economic recovery of the United States on a foundation of tax and regulatory cuts, energy independence, and fair trade deals,” White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.

The president has repeatedly said that the U.S. military will be involved with distribution of a vaccine.  President-elect Joe Biden has warned that Trump’s refusal to concede the 2020 election and allow a White House transition to begin could hamstring the U.S. response.

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