U.S. to Partner With 50 Countries to Prevent Future Pandemics

(HealthDay News) — The Biden Administration announced Tuesday that it will work with 50 nations worldwide to try to prevent global pandemics such as COVID-19, which brought the world to a standstill four years ago.

“Today, I am proud to announce that my Administration is releasing a new Global Health Security Strategy — outlining actions the United States will take over the next five years to prevent, detect and effectively respond to biological threats, wherever they emerge,” President Joe Biden said in a statement posted by the White House.

As part of the initiative, the United States will offer support and expertise to nations, largely in Africa and Asia, aimed at boosting the preparedness, detection and response to emerging outbreaks.

The U.S. State Department, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will each take part.

The new effort expands what the administration calls its “global health security partnerships” from 19 countries to 50, the White House said in a fact sheet on the new strategy.

“In a health emergency, countries need to be able to quickly access financing to fortify their health systems, procure medical countermeasures and launch an effective response,” the fact sheet said.

As the world’s biggest investor in health security, the United States will collaborate with countries and key organizations “to identify and strengthen solutions to enhance access to financing for pandemic preparedness and response,” the statement said.

CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen noted that her agency is at the ready.

“Global health security is national security, and CDC is proud to contribute its expertise, investments and rapid response to protect the health and safety of the American people and the world,” Cohen said in an agency news release on the initiative. “CDC’s decades of global health investments, training and scientific diplomacy strengthen global capacity in labs, data, emergency response and the public health workforce.”

As reported by the Associated Press, the White House initiative may help close a major gap in international pandemic preparedness. Attempts to have all 194 member states of the World Health Organization sign on to a pandemic treaty have stalled.

More information

Find out more about global pandemic preparedness at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: White House, news release, April 16, 2024; Associated Press

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