The latest on the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccines

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Melissa Mahtani, Fernando Alfonso III and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 9:48 PM ET, Wed September 22, 2021
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8:53 a.m. ET, September 22, 2021

Biden will host a global virtual Covid-19 summit today

The Covid-19 pandemic was a central focus of President Biden's speech yesterday before the United Nations General Assembly.

Biden argued that the global community's response to pressing challenges like the climate crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic will "reverberate for generations yet to come."

"Indeed, today many of our greatest concerns cannot be solved or even addressed through the force of arms. Bombs and bullets cannot defend against Covid-19 or its future variants. To fight this pandemic, we need a collective act of science and political will. We need to get shots in arms as fast as possible and expand access to oxygen, tests, treatments to save lives around the world," he told world leaders.

Biden touted the US shipping more than 160 million Covid-19 doses to countries around the world and putting more than $15 billion toward the global pandemic response

"Planes carrying vaccines from the United States have already landed in 100 countries, bringing people all over the world a little dose of hope as one American nurse termed it to me. A dose of hope, direct from the American people, and importantly, no strings attached," the President said.

Biden said that he'd be announcing additional commitments at a US-hosted virtual global Covid-19 summit today as the country "seeks to advance" the fight against Covid-19 and "hold ourselves accountable around specific targets on three key challenges."

Biden listed those challenges as:

  1. Saving lives now
  2. Vaccinating the world
  3. Building back better

CNN's Kate Sullivan, Maegan Vazquez and Kevin Liptak contributed reporting to this post.