In a briefing on the US strategy to combat the spread of the coronavirus abroad, President Joe Biden stressed that the volume of US donations exceeds total donations to low- and middle-income countries around the world.
“We need to vaccinate America and help vaccinate the world,” Biden noted. “This is the only way we can beat this disease.”
The announcement came after a renewed increase in infections in the United States caused by the more contagious delta type of coronavirus. Last week, several US public health officials suggested that people who have already been vaccinated against Covid-19 should wear a mask again in some enclosed spaces.
The White House announced in a statement Tuesday that the United States will begin shipping 500 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which it has offered to the world’s 100 poorest countries by June 2022, in late August.
The US government has promised to deliver more than 80 million doses of the vaccine to foreign countries by the end of June, but has only been able to meet a fraction of that due to logistical and organizational problems in the host countries. The pace of delivery accelerated significantly in July.
Meanwhile, President Biden on Tuesday called on many Republican governors not to block the implementation of measures aimed at stopping the spread of the delta variant. At a White House press event, Joe Biden criticized Florida Governors Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott, as well as other senior officials, for taking action to prevent the re-enforcement of the mask-wearing obligation. Variable delta virus is spreading rapidly in Florida and Texas, as well as in other parts of the country where the proportion of the unvaccinated population is high.
President Biden has previously expressed support for New York City leadership’s work to make restaurant meals or use of gyms vaccinated, as well as steps by companies restricting vaccination to return to office work. According to the Associated Press, at least seven Republican-led member states, albeit to varying degrees, restrict such provisions.
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