President Biden’s expected announcement Thursday night that the United States plans to donate 500 million doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine globally will be part of his efforts to reaffirm US leadership on the world stage, officials said. responsible.
Biden is scheduled to speak at 1:15 p.m. ET from St. Ives, Cornwall, UK.
Officials touted the move on Thursday, suggesting it is part of a larger effort for democracies around the world to lead the way for recovery from a pandemic.
“This will clearly be the largest purchase and donation of Covid-19 vaccines by a single country by far, and it is an unprecedented response,” a senior administration official told reporters on Thursday at a conference telephone.
“We want to do everything possible to prevent more tragic losses across the world,” the official said, adding that it is “in our national interest to end this pandemic everywhere”.
“Covid-19 knows no borders, and as long as this virus is in our world, Americans are in danger,” the official said, stressing that the virus “also threatens economic opportunities”.
But the move is also meant to encourage other U.S. allies to step up their efforts.
“We are also using this announcement today to leverage and mobilize broader commitments from democracies around the world, the G7 and partner countries,” said a separate senior official, previewing a “multilateral announcement related to the G7 Covid “.
At the G7 summit this weekend, the official said, leaders will announce a “collective effort by the world’s democracies to beat Covid-19 once and for all.”
The donation comes as Biden has repeatedly said the world is at an inflection point over whether democracy can trump autocracy.
“It’s the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do, and it’s tangible proof that it will be the democracies of the world who will ultimately deliver when it comes to defeating the Covid-19 pandemic “, said the official.
Here are the key things to know about donating vaccines:
- Officials said doses of Pfizer will start shipping in August and 200 million doses will be delivered by the end of this year.
- The remaining 300 million doses will be delivered in the first half of 2022.
- They will be made in the United States, officials said, “employing thousands of workers” in states like Michigan, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
- The cost will be around $ 1.5 billion, which will come from funds previously allocated under the US relief plan adopted earlier this year.
- There will be no condition for the nations that will receive the doses.
“The United States is not looking for favors in exchange for these doses, we are not making demands that countries get these doses, we are not imposing conditions, political, economic or otherwise. We are going to be guided by science and public health experts to allocate them where they can make the most difference, ”said the second senior official.