A Choice Can Be Made
Becerra and Tedros remain optimistic that Congress will act to fund global COVID-19 efforts.
“I know how difficult sometimes it can be to pass critical legislation, but we can make a choice. We can – as I heard one member of Congress say yesterday – crush COVID and finish the job that we seemed to be getting close to doing,” Becerra said. “Or we can let it surge back.”
“And I think everyone understands what it means if COVID surges back or some new variant comes around.”
In response to a journalist’s question, Tedros agreed that vaccination numbers remain low in many regions. As an example, 83% of people in Africa still are not vaccinated, he said.
“We’re on the 1-yard line, ready to score the touchdown,” Becerra said. “Let’s just crush COVID and pull the team off the field.”
Asked how he would respond if Congress does not restore the funding, Becerra said, “Failure is not an option. I don’t think anyone wants to go back to lockdowns and watching their loved ones pass, and not being able to be with them when they’re in their greatest need.”
“We can’t go back to that.”