Washington, April 21:
The United States is deeply focused on expanding global vaccination, manufacturing, and delivery — all of which will be critical to ending the Covid-19 pandemic, the State Department has said.
“President (Joe) Biden, Secretary (of State Tony) Blinken, they are deeply focused on the issue of expanding global vaccination, manufacturing, and delivery – all of which will be critical to ending the pandemic,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters during his daily news conference.
Responding to a question, he said, Blinken has consistently made the point that as long as the virus is out of control and uncontained anywhere around the world — whether in the US or elsewhere — it continues to pose a threat to American people.
“First and foremost, our priority is ensuring the distribution of a safe and effective vaccine to millions of Americans, to all Americans who are able to take advantage of it. But we also know that we need to continue to demonstrate that leadership when it comes to countries beyond our borders, and that’s precisely what we’ve done,” he said.
The United States, he said, has re-engaged the WHO; it has committed USD 2 billion to COVAX, and another USD 2 billion over time; it has spoken to its partners Canada and Mexico.
“We have spoken to the arrangement we have with the Quad and the increased production capacity that that will bring about,” Price said.
“It is not only in our interest to ensure that the American people are vaccinated, the other point I would make is that the rest of the world also has an interest in seeing to it that the American people are vaccinated and that the virus is brought under control here,” he said.
The US, he said, has suffered tremendously.
“We have more deaths than any other country around the world, more than 5,50,000 at this point, tens of millions of cases. So again, as long as the virus is uncontrolled anywhere, it is a threat to people everywhere. That is true in the United States; that is true in countries around the world, and it’s precisely why we’re taking this approach,” Price said.