Trudeau takes part in COVID-19 virtual pledging conference led by EU

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OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has taken part in an international pledging conference sponsored by the European Union to raise more than $11 billion for long-term COVID-19 vaccine research.

Trudeau highlighted that Canada has already promised $850 million towards the international effort to fight the spread of the pandemic.

He says today’s event was “only the beginning” in the effort to find, manufacture and distribute a vaccine to fight the pandemic when asked why Canada didn’t offer new money today.

Trudeau also spoke with Bill and Melinda Gates last week about the need to support today’s event and to promote co-operation in developing and distributing a vaccine to everyone, not just to rich countries.

The Gates Foundation is one of the leading international players in the search for a vaccine.

Last week, one of its senior executives said events such as today’s simply marked the start of the raising of a down payment for an effort that could cost upwards of $20 billion.