WHO chief thanks Biden for membership U-turn, US joining ACT Accelerator, COVAX

World Health organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday thanked new US President Joe Biden for honouring his pledge to U-turn on its membership status and join the orgzation's vaccine access initiatives.

This is a good day for the World Health Orgzation, and a good day for global health. The global role of the United States is very, very crucial, Ghebreyesus said at the 148th session of the Executive Board.

Ghebreyesus spoke minutes after US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci delivered his statements as head of the US delegation. "Thank you, President Biden, for honouring your pledge to maintain the membership of the United States in WHO, and thank you for your commitment to join the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator and COVAX," Ghebreyesus added.

The Director-General added that he was pleased the US was staying the the "family of nations" that is the WHO. Immediately upon taking office, Biden issued a flurry of executive orders reversing some key policies of former President Donald Trump, including the controversial move to exit the WHO.

In another news report, before two days, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus denounced the "me-first" attitude of wealthy nations and also blasted vaccine manufacturers for chasing regulatory approval in rich countries rather than submitting their data to the WHO to green-light vaccine use globally. He said the promise of worldwide equitable access to vaccines against the coronavirus pandemic was now at serious risk, in a speech in Geneva opening a WHO executive board meeting.

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