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U.S. mysteriously absent from major international virus vaccine summit

U.S. mysteriously absent from major international virus vaccine summit

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If you needed any more proof that the administration of Donald Trump is now more closely aligned with Russia than with our traditional European allies, just take a look at the effort to raise 7.5 billion Euros (a little over $8 Billion) for research to find a vaccine against the COVID-19 virus.

According to the Associated Press, a consortium of world leaders, organizations, and banks took part in a video conference summit hosted by the European Union today and raised the bulk of the funding they sought.

Conspicuously absent from participation in the joint research effort were both the United States and Russia, who have apparently decided that global cooperation is for socialist sissies.

A Trump administration official, speaking on conditions of anonymity to preserve their position since they weren’t authorized to discuss the issue publicly told the AP that “the United States is in the process of providing $2.4 billion in global health, humanitarian, and economic assistance towards the COVID-19 response, and we continue to ensure that the substantial U.S. funding and scientific efforts on this front remain an essential and coordinated part of this worldwide effort against COVID-19.”

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None of that money, however, will go towards the World Health Organization which Donald Trump has repeatedly condemned as “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”

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Trump’s accusations against the WHO are typical of the president who routinely tries to shift blame for his own failings by attributing the exact same behavior that he is being accused of on others.

Despite having fallen slightly short of their fundraising goal, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was happy with the initial pledges made.

“In the space of just a few hours we have collectively pledged 7.4 billion euros for vaccines, diagnostics and treatments,” von der Leyen said. “All this money will help kick-start unprecedented global cooperation.”

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that this initial round of funding would amount to a mere “down-payment” on the amount needed to develop a vaccine and innoculate the global population.

“To reach everyone, everywhere, we likely need five times that amount,” Guterres said.

With the health of the entire worldwide population at stake, as well as the interconnected global economy, French President Emmanuel Macron said that “a race against time is underway,” as he donated 500 million euros on behalf of France.

“The race to discover the vaccine to defeat this virus is not a competition between countries, but the most urgent shared endeavor of our lifetimes,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who knows all to well how important defeating the virus is after contracting a case of it that put him under hospitalization for a few days last month.

Macron is confident that the U.S. will eventually join the initiative, stressing that he personally discussed the issue with President Donald Trump.

Macron said that while the U.S. currently “is on the sidelines,” its lack of participation — conveniently aligned with Russia’s stance — won’t compromise or slow down the EU-led project that also included contributions from Japan and Israel.

Perhaps Macron is making a sly reference to the upcoming presidential elections and the likelihood that the next administration will make enormous efforts to rebuild the bridges that Trump burns with America’s allies while ranting like a paranoid elderly lunatic about how the neighboring countries are stealing all our hard-earned money.

America’s suffering citizens can only count the days until that hopeful moment arrives.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.

Original reporting by Lorne Cook at The Associated Press.

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