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US Should Promise $5 Billion To Fight COVID Globally, Former World Leaders Say

Despite the recent surge in cases globally, the United States' most recent proposal to fund the fight against COVID-19 includes little money for international aid.

Pedestrians, some wearing face masks, cross State Street in the Loop as the weather warms up on April 11, 2022.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Former world leaders are calling on the United States to commit $5 billion to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report.

The move comes as Biden — who is set to appear Wednesday in Chicago — prepares for a summit with current world leaders later this week. A group of former leaders said they are making the appeal in a bid to pressure Biden during the summit, according to The New York Times.

COVID-19 cases remain high in the United States and globally as variants of the highly contagious Omicron version of the virus have spread.

Despite the recent surge in cases globally, the United States’ most recent proposal to fund the fight against COVID-19 includes little money for international aid. That’s worried officials around the world, who have said money is needed for vaccinations and other measures that can protect people and limit the virus’s spread.

“I want America to recognize that the disease is not over anywhere until it’s over everywhere,” Gordon Brown, a former British prime minister, told the Times on Monday. “We must not sleepwalk into the next variant.”

Brown and other former leaders and influential figures — including Mary Robinson of Ireland, Helen clark of New Zealand and economist Joseph Stiglitz — called for the $5 billion in funding in a letter to Biden, according to the Times.

Officials locally and nationally have said they’re concerned people are growing weary of life in the pandemic and are disregarding precautions despite the fact that the virus still grips the planet.

Vaccinations:

• In Illinois, about 8.2 million people — or 64.77 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data.

• Across the state, 13,180 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 22,044,363 vaccine doses of the 26,889,345 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.8 million Chicagoans — or 69 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated, and 77.2 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot.

Everyone 5 and older is eligible to get vaccinated in Chicago.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and do not require insurance. Anyone can call the city’s coronavirus hotline at 312-746-4835 to get more information on how and where to get vaccinated in their community.

The numbers:

• Since Friday, nine Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19.

• At least 33,669 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 4,297 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 14,427 cases since Friday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 3,183,742.

• The state is reporting an average of 283 confirmed cases per day per 100,000 people. That average was at 240 on Friday.

• As of Sunday night, 85 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 22 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, one death was reported since Friday. There have been at least 7,384 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of less than one death per day, up from last week.

• Chicago has had 2,659 confirmed cases reported since Friday. It’s had a total of 590,714 confirmed cases. An average of 788 confirmed cases are being reported per day, up 17 percent from a week ago.

• Testing in Chicago is up 2 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 4.4 percent, up from 3.8 percent a week ago.

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