Sunday, June 20

Biden Introduces US Vax Donations and Urges World Leaders to Join

The american president Joe biden urged world leaders to join him in sharing coronavirus vaccines with troubled nations around the world after he promised the United States would donate 500 million doses to help accelerate the end of the pandemic and strengthen the strategic position of the world’s richest democracies.
Speaking in England before a summit of the Group of seven World leaders, Mr. Biden announced the United States’ commitment to share vaccines, in addition to the 80 million doses already promised by the end of the month.

He argued that it was in the interest of both the United States and the world to make vaccination widely and rapidly available everywhere.

President Joe Biden speaks about his administration’s global COVID-19 vaccination efforts ahead of the G-7 summit in St Ives, England. (AP)

“We are going to help lift the world out of this pandemic by working together with our global partners,” Biden said.

He added that tomorrow the G-7 nations would join the United States in describing their vaccine donation commitments.

British Prime Minister Boris johnson wrote in the London Times newspaper that it was time for rich countries to “shoulder their responsibilities” and “vaccinate the world.”

His country has yet to send any doses abroad or announce a robust plan to share vaccines. Johnson indicated that Britain had millions of doses in surplus stock.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are greeted and walk with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Johnson, before the G-7 summit. (AP)
French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed the US commitment and said Europe should do the same.

“I think the European Union needs to have at least the same level of ambition as the United States” and be able to make a similar announcement, he told a news conference.

Biden said the United States was sharing its doses “without conditions” or “pressure for favors.”

“We are doing this to save lives, to end this pandemic, and that’s it,” he said.

Biden had faced mounting pressure to outline his global vaccine exchange plan, especially as supply inequalities around the world have become more pronounced and demand for injections in the US has fallen precipitously. in the last weeks.

G7 biden

Joe Biden lands in England on his first trip abroad since the elections

“In times of trouble, Americans reach out to offer help,” Biden said, adding that the American doses would “overwhelm” the global vaccination campaign.

“Our values ​​require us to do everything we can to vaccinate the world against COVID-19.”

President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson chat while examining copies of the Atlantic Charter, during a bilateral meeting ahead of the G-7 summit, Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Carbis Bay, England. copy of original 1941 statement signed by FDR and Winston Churchill. (AP)
The United States’ commitment is to buy and donate 500 million Pfizer doses for distribution through the COVAX global alliance to 92 low-income countries and the African Union, bringing the first consistent supply of mRNA vaccine to the countries that need it most.

The price of the 500 million doses was not disclosed, but it is now established that the US will be the largest donor of COVAX vaccines, in addition to its largest individual donor with a commitment of $ 4 billion ($ 5, 1 billion).

White House officials hope the fast-track distribution program may be the latest example of an issue Biden plans to attack frequently during his week in Europe: that Western democracies, and not rising authoritarian states, can deliver the best. for the world.

White House officials said the 500 million vaccines will ship beginning in August, with the goal of distributing 200 million by the end of the year.

The remaining 300 million doses would ship in the first half of 2022.

After leading the world in new cases and deaths for much of the past year, the rapid vaccination program in the US now positions it among the leaders in global recovery.

In this July 29, 2020 photo, Silva Cossa, the caretaker, ties ribbons to the fence to represent a South African who died of COVID-19, at St James Presbyterian Church in Bedford Gardens, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Silva Cossa, a caretaker, ties ribbons to the fence to represent a South African who died of COVID-19, at St James Presbyterian Church in Bedford Gardens, Johannesburg. (AP Photo / Themba Hadebe)

Nearly 64 percent of adults in the US have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and the average number of new positive cases and deaths in the US is lower now than at any time since the early days of the pandemic.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development projected last week that the U.S. economy would grow at a rate of 6.9 percent this year, making it one of the few nations for which forecasts are more optimistic now than before the pandemic.

US officials hope the summit will conclude with a statement showing the commitment of the G-7 countries and the nations invited to participate to do more to help vaccinate the world and support public health globally.

Global public health groups have aimed to use the G-7 meetings to pressure wealthier democracies to do more to share vaccines with the world.

Biden’s plans received immediate praise.

Healthcare workers wait in line to receive a dose of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. (AP)

Tom Hart, acting CEO of The ONE Campaign, a nonprofit that seeks to end poverty, said Biden’s announcement was “the kind of bold leadership that is needed to end this global pandemic.”

“We urge other G-7 countries to follow the example of the United States and donate more doses to COVAX,” he added.

“If ever there was a time for global ambition and action to end the pandemic, it is now.”

Others have asked the United States to do even more.

“Charity is not going to win the war against coronavirus,” said Niko Lusiani, Oxfam America’s director of vaccines.

“At the current rate of vaccination, it would take 57 years for low-income countries to reach the same level of protection as those of the G-7 countries. That is not only morally wrong, but counterproductive given the risk posed by coronavirus mutations. . “

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