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G-20 summit to focus on COVID-19 as Eastern Europe faces a new surge

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Europe:

What is happening with COVID in Europe?

Well, primarily the east of Europe is a worrying situation. Russia has substantially more than a thousand deaths every day. And Bulgaria, Romania, difficulty for the Baltic states at the moment are surging infection rates. Vaccination rates must improve. It's primarily a problem, of course, in Russia, where people don't have trust in the vaccine and trust in the records.

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The world’s worst COVID outbreak (for now)

Right now, only one region of the world is reporting an increase in new daily COVID cases. Here's a hint: it's one of the places where vaccines are, for the most part, easiest to get.

It's Europe. According to the World Health Organization, the region last week notched a 7 percent uptick in new daily infections, the third week in a row that infections rose there.

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The Graphic Truth: No trust, no jab in EU

After a very rocky start, the EU stepped up its COVID vaccination game in the spring, and by the end of summer had vaccinated more people per capita than the US. Close to 80 percent of EU residents are now fully vaccinated, yet inoculation levels have either plateaued or remain low where people don't trust the government, the vaccine — or both. This is leading to a third wave of the pandemic mainly in Eastern Europe, and as a result Europe is the only continent where COVID cases are now rising. We compare how much people in the EU trust their government with their willingness to get vaccinated.

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