A fundraising event convened by the European Union and billed as a show of global solidarity in the fight against Covid-19 instead showed just how political this public health crisis has become.
The Coronavirus Global Response Pledging Conference—launched today and featuring representatives from 43 countries, as well as major nonprofit and scientific groups—collected pledges worth €7.4 billion ($8.2 billion) to “accelerate the development, production and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics.” The Commission says they will continue raising money in the near future.
“Today we can truly say the world is united against the coronavirus, and the world will win,” said Ursula Von Der Leyen, president of the European Commission.
Even before it launched, however, the fundraising drive was controversial. First, EU officials allowed countries to pledge money that they had already spent on Covid-19 relief since Jan. 30, as opposed to counting only new funds as