Vice President Kamala Harris will urge global leaders in a virtual speech at the United Nations on Monday to begin preparing now for the next pandemic.
“At the same time that the world works to get through this pandemic, we also know that we must prepare for the next,” Harris will say, according to excerpts of the speech obtained by the Associated Press.
Harris, in her second virtual speech to the global body since becoming vice president, will outline how the Biden administration believes other countries should focus their attention, the news agency reported, citing excerpts of the speech.
Those initiatives include increasing capacity for personal protective equipment, vaccines and test kit manufacturing, improving accessibility to health care, and investing in science, health workers and the well-being of women.
She will say that although the world learned a lot over the past year responding to the COVID-19 crisis, this is not a time to rest easy.
“We have been reminded that the status quo is not nearly good enough, and that innovation is indeed the path forward,” Harris will say.
President Biden is also expected to talk about how his administration has responded to the pandemic when he addresses Congress on Wednesday evening.
Harris addressed a UN Commission on the Status of Women in March.