USAID Administrator Samantha Power at the Global Pandemic Preparedness Summit

Speeches Shim

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

ADMINISTRATOR POWER: Hello everyone. On behalf of the United States, I want to thank you for the opportunity to speak at the Global Pandemic Preparedness Summit—and thank the United Kingdom and CEPI for hosting this crucial event.

And I mean that—crucial. At times, it can be hard to convince people that what happens overseas matters to all of us.

But if ever there were a time when nearly every person on earth saw just how interconnected our fates were as human beings, no matter where we lived, now is that time.

For the past two years, COVID-19 has battered our economies, upended our lives, and stolen so many away from us. And it showed us that if we fail to prepare for pandemics, then pandemics will produce failures across our societies.

Though we have much to celebrate in terms of pandemic preparedness thanks to CEPI and leaders like you… though we have successfully beaten back epidemics like Ebola before they erupted around the world—something I saw firsthand as UN Ambassador—we also know that new threats will continue to arise, and that we have much, much more work left to do, together.

In his State of the Union address last week, President Biden spoke about how the United States would be able to deploy new vaccines within 100 days of detecting a new COVID-19 variant.

But we refuse to stop there. We strongly share CEPI’s aspiration to produce a new, highly effective vaccine to treat any emerging, infectious disease within 100 days—and we applaud the Coalition’s work to rally the world behind this goal.

That's why we're pleased to announce today that the United States, through USAID, intends to invest $150 million over three years, to support CEPI’s work—our largest financial investment in the Coalition to date, and we look forward to working with Congress to secure support for this critical investment.

Once the President’s Budget Request is released we will also share additional information about how we can help advance CEPI’s and our shared goals.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will join CEPI to convene a forum to accelerate the development of next generation coronavirus vaccines that are broadly protective against future variants—work that will not just protect us, but strengthen global preparedness for future emerging biological threats.

We’re laser-focused on the work that we continue to do with our global partners to tackle COVID-19, to date having sent nearly half a billion vaccine doses to 112 countries.

But our eyes, like yours, are also on the horizon—on the epidemic or pandemic that has yet to come. While we continue our current efforts to end this pandemic, we are not losing sight of our long-term preparedness goals.

Thank you so much.

Last updated: November 07, 2022

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