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EU Hosts Coronavirus Telethon, Raises $8.1 Billion To Finance Vaccine Without US

Eu hosted a teleconference for world leaders and philanthropists seeking donations for the research, development of a possible vaccine to treat COVID-19.

EU

The European Union on May 4 hosted a teleconference for world leaders and philanthropists seeking donations for the research, development, manufacturing, and distribution of a possible vaccine for the treatment of Coronavirus. The online conference was hosted by Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Commission, who said a vaccine was the best chance of beating the outbreak. According to reports, world leaders and organisations have pledged $8.1 billion for the development of a vaccine. 

Read: UN Chief: Our Response To COVID-19 Must Respect Rights And Dignity Of Older People

US gives the event a miss

The online donor conference was attended by leaders of France, Germany, Britain, Italy, Spain, Norway, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Canada, South Africa, and dozens of other countries. While the United States decided to give a miss to the event, China on the other hand, where the virus is believed to have originated, sent only its ambassador to the European Union. The conference was also attended by the United Nations, the World Health Organisation (WHO), and philanthropic bodies, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other research institutes.

Read: Singapore Reports 573 New Coronavirus Cases, Total Infections Reaches 18,778: Health Ministry

As per reports, European Union diplomats confirmed that the United States, which has the most number of Coronavirus cases, did not attend the event. The United States did not give any specific reason for not participating in the conference but experts indicate an uncoordinated competition to develop a vaccine could be a reason behind its absence. 

Read: UK PM Johnson: Coronavirus Vaccine Hunt Is 'most Urgent Shared Endeavour'

Coronavirus outbreak

The European Union has nearly half the world's COVID-19 casualties taking its toll to over 1,40,000 on Monday. According to data by worldometer, the Coronavirus outbreak has claimed more than 2,50,000 lives so far and has infected over 3.62 million people globally. The United States is the worst affected country with over 69,000 deaths and 1.2 million confirmed infections. The virus that reportedly originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, spread across continents in less two months forcing the WHO to declare it a global pandemic on March 11. 

Read: 'We Don't Know How It Will End': Hunger Stalks Amid Coronavirus Crisis In America

(Image Credit: AP)
 

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