7.4 billion euros raised for a vaccine

The singer Madonna, Bill and Melinda Gates, princes, a king, presidents and heads of state participated on Monday in a global telethon organized in Brussels to fund research and development of a vaccine against new coronavirus and which made it possible to collect 7.4 billion euros in contributions (approximately 11, 3 billion Canadian).

The United States was the big absent from this three-hour online marathon, with Russia and India.

” We did it. We have obtained 7.4 billion euros, “European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced with a smile after the call for funds. Madonna was the last donor, with a million dollars.

The target was 7.5 billion euros. It should be reached in the coming days, because Turkey, the Principality of Monaco and the European Investment Bank have not specified the amount of their contributions.

China is committed to 45, 6 million euros. South Africa, representing the continent, has pledged 1.1 billion and Latin America has made promises, without quantifying them, through the voice of the representative of Mexico.

We must develop a vaccine, produce it and deploy it in all corners of the world. And we must make it available at affordable prices.

– Ursula von der Leyen

The European Commission had kicked off this marathon by promising a billion euros, followed by France and Germany, this which made it possible to pass the 2 billion mark, with contributions from 500 and 525 million euros respectively.

A vaccine is “our best collective chance of defeating the virus,” said Ursula von der Leyen.

“We must develop a vaccine, produce it and deploy it in all corners of the world. And we must make it available at affordable prices, “argued the German official.

But this initiative was thwarted by the choice of the United States to go it alone. President Donald Trump is in open conflict with the World Health Organization and shows his desire to see the United States get a vaccine for the end of the year.

“Every man for himself is a major error”, lamented the French President, Emmanuel Macron. “We must cooperate and not compete with each other,” added King Abdullah II of Jordan.

The absence of the US government, which downplayed a conference “among many others on Monday,” has raised regrets.

“The European Union has responded positively to a request for global action. The United States refused. They are the ones who isolate themselves, “deplored a European official. “But we are working very closely with very powerful American entities, such as the foundation of Bill and Melinda Gates,” he said. The Gates Foundation is committed to 125 million euros.