President Donald Trump's brand of "America First" isolationism was on full display Monday as the U.S. declined to participate in a international pledge drive which raised more than $8 billion during its kick-event to create a global fund to develop and deploy diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
"It is a pity the U.S. is not a part of it," Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, whose country pledged $1 billion to the effort, told Reuters. "When you are in a crisis, you manage it and you do it jointly with others."
As Reuters reported, the pledging conference was the initiative of the European Union, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., Saudi Arabia, Norway, and Spain and featured representatives of nations, civil society groups, and private financial interests.
Reuters broke down the numbers:
The 8-billion-dollar goal was in line with expectations but is only an initial figure. Von der Leyen has said more money will be needed over time.
The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, a U.N.-backed body focusing on health crises, estimates that of the...see more