Aug 2, 2021 - World

White House hosting first-of-its-kind global summit on COVID-19

President Biden is seen waving a mask last week.

President Biden waves a mask during remarks last week about the nation's COVID-19 vaccination effort. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The Biden administration is planning a first-of-its-kind, global leader-level summit focused on ending the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing for future pandemics, sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: The summit is meant to rally the international community to step up its pledges for vaccine distribution and public health resources as the Delta variant surges. It will be held virtually during next month's U.N. General Assembly.

The details: The sources tell Axios the administration is working in coordination with NGOs to plan the meeting.

  • Biden will participate alongside other national leaders, international, philanthropic and non-governmental organizations.
  • This year's UNGA will begin on Sept. 14, and the first day of the high-level General Debate will be held the following week.

The backdrop: Countries across the globe — including the United States — are enacting new pandemic restrictions to mitigate the effects of the highly contagious Delta variant.

  • Biden promised on the campaign trail that the United States would be a global leader in the fight against COVID-19 under his leadership.
  • His administration committed to donating 500 million vaccine doses globally, while the G7 members have pledged to donate an additional 1 billion doses.

Go deeper: The administration's own handling of the Delta surge, however, has left Americans confused and frustrated.

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