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Biden to address global Covid-19 summit on Thursday

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Biden to address global Covid-19 summit on Thursday

President Joe Biden, pictured here at the White House, on May 4, will deliver remarks and participate in a global Covid-19 summit convened by his administration.

President Joe Biden will deliver remarks and participate in a global Covid-19 summit convened by his administration on Thursday, two senior administration officials told CNN.

The summit is aimed at urging other wealthy countries to ramp up their coronavirus relief efforts aimed at poorer countries, but it comes as the Biden administration is struggling to secure additional funding from Congress to bolster its own coronavirus relief efforts at home and abroad.

Ahead of the summit, Biden called on upper-middle and high-income countries to donate $2 billion in coronavirus treatments, like the Paxlovid pill, and $1 billion in oxygen supplies to poorer countries, according to a source familiar with the call to action.

Thursday's summit will be the second global Covid-19 summit the White House has hosted, following a first one last September.

Biden called on world leaders to collectively commit to vaccinating 70% of the world's population against Covid-19 within a year. Secretary of State Antony Blinken acknowledged in February that the world was not yet on pace to meet the goal.

At least 218 countries and territories have administered more than 11 billion doses of a Covid-19 vaccine since the first Covid-19 case was reported in China in late 2019.

As the President prepares to rally the global community once again to address Covid-19, administration officials have issued grim warnings about what could happen to the country if more pandemic-related funding is not approved by Congress.

US Covid-19 cases are currently rising, and the administration says the US could potentially see 100 million Covid-19 infections this fall and winter, with officials publicly stressing the need for more funding from Congress to prepare the nation.

The projection of 100 million potential infections is an estimate based on a range of outside models that are being closely tracked by the administration and would include both the fall and winter, a senior administration official told CNN. Officials say this estimate is based on an underlying assumption of no additional resources or extra mitigation measures being taken, including new Covid-19 funding from Congress, or dramatic new variants.

The administration has been sounding the alarm for weeks that additional funding is needed to continue the federal Covid-19 response, even as it seeks a return to "normal" with many pandemic-era restrictions lifting.

The Biden administration requested $22.5 billion in supplemental Covid-19 relief funding in March as part of a massive government funding package, but it was stripped from the bill. Negotiators agreed on a scaled-back $10 billion package, but Congress left Washington in April without passing that bipartisan bill amid a disagreement over the Title 42 immigration policy -- a pandemic-era rule that allowed migrants to be returned immediately to their home countries citing a public health emergency.

Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House Covid-19 response coordinator, told ABC's "Good Morning America" last Friday that "the consequences here are quite catastrophic if we do not get funding" that has stalled for the US Covid-19 response.

"I mean, my goodness, we're not going to have vaccines for the American people. We're going to run out of treatments for the American people. We're not going to have diagnostic testing," he added.

This story has been updated with additional reporting.


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CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Naomi Thomas contributed to this report.

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