EU spearheads $8 billion virus fundraiser

Brussels (AFP) – Celebrities, world leaders and philanthropists pledged some 7.4 billion euros ($8.1 billion) on Monday for research into coronavirus vaccines, treatments and testing during an EU-led videoconference that was snubbed by the United States.European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, who hosted the conference, said a vaccine was the best chance of beating the COVID-19 disease, which has so far killed nearly a quarter of a million people around the world — 140,000 of them in Europe.Major European powers, along with Japan and Canada, made the biggest pledges but the lack of US …

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