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CARE responds to 2nd Global COVID-19 Summit: 'Match our leadership in words with leadership in action'

(Washington, D.C., May 12, 2022) –Today, as the United States reached 1 million American deaths from COVID-19, global leaders came together for the second Global COVID-19 Summit to commit to defeating the pandemic. CARE calls on U.S. Congress to appropriate at least $5 billion for global COVID response as soon as possible, so that we can get shots in arms and deliver tests and treatments to communities at the last mile.

The following quote can be attributed to Ritu Sharma, CARE Vice President of US Programs and Policy:

“Today the U.S. reached a milestone we all hoped we would never see: 1 million American deaths from COVID. Every loss is truly a tragedy and a reminder that more work remains to be done to end this pandemic here at home and in communities around the world. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: no one is safe until everyone is safe from COVID.

This morning’s second Global COVID-19 Summit, co-hosted by United States, Belize, Germany, Indonesia, and Senegal, was an impressive showing of global support from countries around the world, multilateral institutions, philanthropists, the private sector, and civil society organizations who are all continuing to commit to this fight against the current pandemic and do what we can to prevent the next one. Billions of dollars and millions of doses were committed for donation today. But now in the third year of this pandemic, we know that speeches and commitments must be followed by immediate action, investments, and accountability.

We can end the worst impacts of this pandemic by investing more in health workers and health systems. It is fitting that today, May 12, is International Nurses’ Day, and that yesterday the White House announced its new Global Health Workforce Initiative. By paying, training, and protecting health workers – 70% of whom are women and half of whom are unpaid or underpaid – we support the very workforce that delivers vaccines, tests, and treatments for COVID, as well as who delivers all kinds of essential health care year-round.

CARE has seen this first-hand as we supported almost 70 countries in their COVID response. By making investments in stronger health systems, we ensure that countries and communities are able to respond quickly and effectively to this pandemic, to ongoing health changes, and to prevent the next pandemic before it has a chance to spread.

Congress must appropriate at least $5 billion for global COVID response as soon as possible, so that we can get shots in arms and deliver tests and treatments to communities at the last mile. It is simply irresponsible, short-sighted, and counter to our own recovery to not make the global investments necessary for COVID response. We must match our leadership in words with leadership in action, and join the strong commitments made by the international community today at the Global COVID Summit. With now 1 million US deaths from COVID and growing numbers of cases worldwide, it’s time we end this pandemic once and for all.”