The leaders of Israel, Austria and Denmark hold a joint press conference in Jerusalem announcing plans for joint research and development on pandemic-beating drugs, as well as joint investment on vaccine production.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen says the three countries “have been working very closely together” since the start of the pandemic.
The countries share a vision for the future that “timely access to vaccines will be critical for our societies in the years to come… We cannot allow us to be caught off guard once again. We have new mutations, maybe new pandemics and maybe new health crises will endanger our societies again.”
She says Denmark and Austria are “very inspired by Israel’s ability to roll out the vaccines” for the coronavirus so efficiently.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz hails Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who he says was one of the first to identify the great danger of the pandemic in early 2020 and was “maybe the main reason why we reacted quite early in Austria.”
Israel is also now “the first country in the world that shows that it is possible to defeat the virus,” he says. “The world is looking to Israel with admiration.”
Now, “we have to prepare… for the next stages of the pandemic.”
Kurz says vaccine production is a complex process, and as part of the partnership on production each country will focus on specific elements of the process.
Netanyahu says that “together we’re starting here something that I think will galvanize the imagination of the world.”
And he adds, “other countries have already called me and they’ve said ‘We want to be part of this effort.'”