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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Eight world leaders called on the international community in a Washington Post op-ed Wednesday to ensure that people across the globe have equal access to a future vaccine for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Global demand for a successful vaccine is expected to skyrocket, which could send nations racing to obtain a supply while international organizations scramble to secure equitable access for all countries.

Authors:

  • Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada
  • Sahle-Work Zewde, president of Ethiopia
  • Moon Jae-in, president of the Republic of Korea
  • Jacinda Ardern, prime minister of New Zealand
  • Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa (also chairperson of the African Union)
  • Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón, prime minister of Spain
  • Stefan Lofven, prime minister of Sweden
  • Elyes Fakhfakh, prime minister of the Republic of Tunisia

What they're saying: "While global cooperation in terms of resources, expertise and experiences is paramount for developing a vaccine, manufacturing and distributing it while leaving no one behind will truly put global cooperation to the test," the world leaders wrote.

  • "Therefore, we must urgently ensure that vaccines will be distributed according to a set of transparent, equitable and scientifically sound principles. Where you live should not determine whether you live, and global solidarity is central to saving lives and protecting the economy."

The big picture: The authors argue that developing and distributing a vaccine will be "a cornerstone of strengthening multilateralism for the future."

  • Some experts fear that nationalism and pre-contracted vaccine production may derail such efforts and damage international cooperation.

Go deeper: Moderna's vaccine spurred immune system response to coronavirus

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated Oct 22, 2020 - World

France becomes 2nd Western European country to top 1M coronavirus cases

French President Emmanuel Macron at the Seine Saint Denis prefecture headquarters in Paris, on Tuesday. Photo: Ludovic Marin/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

France has become the second country in Western Europe to surpass 1 million COVID-19 cases, Johns Hopkins University data shows

The big picture: France had reported 1,000,369 cases and 34,075 deaths from the coronavirus by Thursday morning, per JHU. French President Emmanuel Macron declared a state of health emergency and imposed a curfew on virus hot spots earlier this month. Spain on Wednesday became the first Western European nation to top 1 million cases.

Trump claims COVID "will go away," Biden calls his response disqualifying

President Trump repeated baseless claims at the final presidential debate that the coronavirus "will go away" and that the U.S. is "rounding the turn," while Joe Biden argued that any president that has allowed 220,000 Americans to die on his watch should not be re-elected.

Why it matters: The U.S. is now averaging about 59,000 new coronavirus infections a day, and added another 73,000 cases on Thursday, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The country recorded 1,038 deaths due to the virus Thursday, the highest since late September.

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