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French President Emmanuel Macron at a field hospital in eastern France. Photo: Mathieu Cugnot/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron said Wednesday he's gotten the agreement of President Trump and the leaders of two other United Nations Security Council permanent members to back a UN call for a global ceasefire so the world can overcome the coronavirus.

Why it matters: It would be a rare sign of global unity in the current climate, after Trump announced he's halting U.S. funding to UN subsidiary the World Health Organization for 60 to 90 days over its "very China-centric" handing of the pandemic — prompting criticism from UN chief António Guterres.

  • Macron told Radio France Internationale that China's President Xi Jinping had also agreed to back the ceasefire call, along with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
  • "I think President Putin will certainly agree too," Macron said, adding he would speak to him in the "next few hours." "[Once] he does, we’ll be able to hold this videoconference and relay this call in a solemn, forceful and efficient way."

Driving the news: Guterres called for a global ceasefire on March 23, saying health systems had collapsed in war-ravaged countries, with the few health professionals remaining targeted and leaving those displaced "doubly vulnerable."

What they're saying: A White House readout of Trump's call with Macron on Tuesday stated that they "discussed efforts to defeat the coronavirus pandemic and reopen world economies." "The two leaders also discussed the upcoming teleconference with G7 Leaders, as well as critical regional and bilateral issues," it added.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from the White House.

Go deeper

Cold December as safety nets expire

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Safety nets are likely to be yanked from underneath millions of vulnerable Americans in December, as the coronavirus surges.

Why it matters: Those most at risk are depending on one or more relief programs that are set to expire, right as the economic recovery becomes more fragile than it's been in months.

14 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

17 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.