'A global challenge': PM Trudeau commits $850 million to global fight against COVID-19

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Nov 16, 2018
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OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that Canada is contributing $850 million to the global fight against COVID-19, a commitment he made Monday morning during a virtual global summit focused on raising funds for research and development of vaccines and treatments for the deadly respiratory virus.

He called the funding “a beginning,” and vowed “more to come” as the international community collaborates on tackling the novel coronavirus that’s rapidly spread across the world.

“In the fight against COVID-19, our first focus will always be here at home, but this is a global challenge. To keep Canadians safe and restart our economy, we need to defeat this virus not just within our borders, but wherever it is found. That’s how we’ll beat COVID-19 for good,” Trudeau said, speaking about this pledge during his address to Canadians outside Rideau Cottage.

“The more we co-operate, the more likely that we find a cure, and find it quickly. And that’s something we all want to see,” said the prime minister.

Joining the fundraising event, the prime minister highlighted that, to-date, the federal government has committed funding to various domestic research efforts that will contribute their findings to the global effort.

This has included funding to Canadian life sciences companies and to the World Health Organization’s treatment trials, as well as creating “strategies to tackle misinformation, stigma, and fear,” according to a government statement.

The goal of the event was to raise 7.5 billion euros — $8 billion dollars — to cover what the European Union says is the “global funding shortfall” in preparedness. As of when Trudeau added in Canada’s contribution, nations around the globe had committed 3.5 billion euros. By the end of the livestream 5.1 billion euros had been pledged. The funding will be provided to several global health organizations.
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“It is almost like a race, but a race where you want everyone to be able to cross the finish line at once. And so we know here in Canada that as long as COVID is raging out of control in another country, Canadians will not be safe,” said Health Minister Patty Hajdu during the ministerial update on COVID-19 efforts in Ottawa.

“When a storm comes, people tend to want to hunker down with their friends, with their families and wait till it blows over, but we cannot isolate ourselves, we cannot hope that everyone else does well while we take care of ourselves, we need to take care of ourselves and take care of the rest of the world as well. Take care of ourselves by taking care of the rest of the world. This is truly a moment for global leadership,” Trudeau said.

 
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