The Latest: UK's Johnson urges push to vaccinate the world

Thursday, June 10, 2021 | The Associated Press


In this May 26, 2021, file photo, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly Prime Ministers' Questions session in parliament in London. Helping countries recover from the coronavirus pandemic will be at the top of the agenda for the Group of Seven summit when Johnson welcomes President Joe Biden and the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada to the cliff-ringed Carbis Bay beach resort in southwestern England on Friday, June 11. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

PLYMOUTH, England (AP) — The Latest on the Group of Seven nations meeting being held in England and the meetings between British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Joe Biden.

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LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the nations of the world must set aside the “beggar my neighbor” attitude that led to squabbling over medicines and treatments for COVID-19.

Johnson said Thursday that Group of Seven leaders meeting this weekend in Carbis Bay, southwest England, will commit to vaccinating the world by the end of 2022.

The British leader wrote in The Times of London that it was time for wealthy countries should “shoulder their responsibilities and to vaccinate the world.”

But he faces criticism because the U.K. has yet to send any doses abroad and has cut its international aid budget, citing the economic blow of the pandemic.

Johnson said Thursday that Britain would donate “millions” of doses from surplus stocks -- though he didn’t say when.

Johnson also noted that the British government helped fund the development at Oxford University of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which accounts for 1 in 3 vaccine doses around the world.

President Joe Biden is announcing Thursday that the U.S. will buy 500 million more doses of the Pfizer vaccine to share with poorer countries over the next year.

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BRUSSELS — Top European Union officials are joining calls to investigate the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, ramping up the pressure on China to be more open about the virus, ahead of the Group of Seven summit.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Thursday that “we have to know where it did come from in order to draw the right lessons and to develop the right tools to make sure that this will never happen again.”

Von der Leyen says “the investigators need complete access to whatever is necessary to really find the source of this pandemic.” She said Europe had responded reasonably well to the heavy economic impact of virus restrictions because it had drawn the right lessons from the 2008 financial crisis.

European Council President Charles Michel says “the world has the right to know exactly what happened.”

Last month, President Joe Biden ordered U.S. intelligence officials to “redouble” their efforts to investigate the origins of the coronavirus, including any possibility the trail might lead to a Chinese laboratory.

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