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WHO Announces Broad Collaborative Effort to Tackle COVID-19

FILE - Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, left, welcomes U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Feb. 24, 2020.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Friday announced a collaborative effort with world leaders and private industry to ensure equitable distribution of any viable vaccines or treatments for COVID-19.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus joined U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres via teleconference from Geneva, along with European Union leaders, to announce the project that is aimed at ensuring all countries get the latest tools to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Calling it “the fight of our lives,” Guterres said treatments and vaccines for the virus should belong to the whole world, not to individual countries or regions. He added the treatments must be “affordable, safe, effective, [and] easily administered.”

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and representatives from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were among the participants in Friday’s teleconference.

No representatives from the United States took part in the announcement.