Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenOvernight Defense & National Security — Washington gathers for Colin Powell’s funeral Lawmakers call on Biden administration to take further steps against spyware groups Blinken, foreign ministers to hold virtual meeting on COVID-19 response, vaccine equity MORE announced Friday that he would be convening a virtual meeting with foreign ministers on the COVID-19 response and vaccine equity next week.
“Foreign Ministers must play a central role to bring this pandemic to an end and prepare for the future. Together with my counterparts and leaders from regional and international organizations, we will assess the current state of the global response to COVID-19, the virus’s impact, and the threat of future pandemics,” Blinken said in a statement.
The secretary of state also noted that they would discuss vaccine equity efforts and coordinated collaboration between countries on current and future health preparedness and response.
“Governments must summon the political will to work together and with leading institutions and leaders across key sectors to keep the focus on both ending the pandemic and building back better global health security capacity and architecture so that we can collectively prevent, detect, and respond to emerging infectious disease threats,” Blinken said.
The COVID-19 ministerial, set to be held virtually, will happen next Wednesday morning. It was not immediately clear which countries would be attending the event.
Earlier this week, the United States passed the grim milestone of 750,000 COVID-19 deaths despite widespread vaccine availability.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that the U.S. has had more than 46 million COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.
Roughly 67 percent of the U.S. population is at least partially vaccinated while 58 percent is fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.
Early last month, the global COVID-19 death toll surpassed 5 million, indicating the grave affects the pandemic has had internationally, especially in countries that have yet to do many vaccinations of their populations.