The WHO along with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, developed a plan called the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (Covax), which is meant to hasten the development and testing of a vaccine and work toward distributing it equally.
Last month, the WHO said that over 170 countries were in talks to participate in Covax, but The Washington Post has reported that the US will not be joining the initiative.
Meanwhile, Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, said in a statement on Tuesday, “Under President Trump’s leadership, vaccine and therapeutic research, development, and trials have advanced at unprecedented speed to deliver groundbreaking, effective medicines driven by data and safety and not held back by government red tape.
“The United States will continue to engage our international partners to ensure we defeat this virus, but we will not be constrained by multilateral organizations influenced by the corrupt World Health Organization and China.”
Health experts argue that the US’ refusal to partake in Covax would mean that it is betting on the effectiveness of its own vaccine development and at the same time encouraging other countries to do the same, which could potentially result in hoarding of the vaccine and higher prices for doses.
The Trump administration is currently focusing on its own plan called Operation Warp Speed to develop a vaccine and manufacture 300m doses by January 2021.