Over 20 World Leaders Call For Pandemic Cooperation Treaty

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Official signatures from the U.S. and China were absent from a letter calling for future pandemic planning published in newspapers around the world. Meanwhile, worries deepen that the WHO’s report on the coronavirus’ source is inconclusive.

Covid-19: World Leaders Unite To Call For Pandemic Treaty, Saying: ‘No One Is Safe Until We Are All Safe’ 

Global leaders have called for a new treaty to help the world prepare for future pandemics, in a warning against rising vaccine nationalism. More than 20 national leaders, including France’s Emmanuel Macron, Britain’s Boris Johnson and Germany’s Angela Merkel, wrote a piece published in several media outlets on Tuesday warning that it is a question of “not if, but when” the next health crisis strikes. (Rahim, 3/30)

Global Pandemic Treaty: World Leaders Call For More Cooperation

Global leaders have published a letter calling for a pandemic treaty to improve cooperation and transparency in the case of future outbreaks, but China and the U.S. were not among the signatories. In the joint letter, published Tuesday in newspapers around the world, the leaders argued that the Covid-19 crisis had posed the “greatest challenge for the global community since the late 1940s.” (Ellyatt, 3/30)

Pandemic Treaty Could Be Advanced By May WHO Assembly: WHO’s Tedros

A proposed international treaty on pandemics could be advanced at the World Health Organization’s annual ministerial assembly in May, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday. The WHO chief said the treaty would help to tackle gaps exposed by COVID-19, strengthen implementation of international health regulations and also provide a framework cooperation in areas such as pandemic prevention and response. (3/30)

Also, WHO’s report on the origins of covid-19 will be released today —

Where Did Pandemic Originate? WHO Report Out Tuesday Points To Wildlife Farms 

The highly anticipated World Health Organization report on the origins of the coronavirus that sparked a global pandemic is due out Tuesday. NPR has obtained an early copy. According to the report, data suggests that the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan was not the original source of the outbreak. In addition, the report noted that “introduction through a laboratory incident” — a leak from the lab in Wuhan — “was considered to be an extremely unlikely pathway.” (Doucleff and Lohmeyer, 3/29)

Long-Awaited WHO-China Report Inconclusive On Coronavirus Origins 

A report from a team of scientists assembled by the World Health Organization and China leaves unresolved the question of where the coronavirus originated, but calls the possibility that it leaked from a laboratory “extremely unlikely,” according to a copy obtained by Axios. The process of investigating the origins of the virus has been fraught with geopolitical tensions, and the report set to be released on Tuesday will likely create more questions than it answers. (Owens and Basu, 3/29)

The Wall Street Journal:
WHO Report Into Covid-19 Origins Leaves Key Questions Unanswered

A World Health Organization-led team investigating the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic said in a report that data examined during a recent mission to China was insufficient to answer the critical questions of when, where and how the virus began spreading. The long-awaited report, which has yet to be made public but was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal on Monday, calls for closer examination of Chinese hospital records and blood samples from before the first known cases in December 2019, as well as more extensive testing of farms that supplied wild animals to a market linked to many early cases. (Hinshaw, McKay and Page, 3/29)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.

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