The administration says it will donate 25 million vaccines immediately; 19 million, or 75 percent, will go to COVAX, the U.N.-led effort to vaccinate the world. Of that, six million will go to Central and South America, seven million to Asia, and five million to Africa.
The other six million being allocated today will be donated bilaterally to hard-hit areas such as India, the West Bank and Gaza, and allies and partners, such as Canada, Mexico, Egypt, and Iraq.
Echoing the world’s scientists, the president said today, as long as this pandemic is raging anywhere in the world, the American people will still be vulnerable. By the end of June, the U.S. promises to donate 80 million doses.
To talk about this announcement and the administration’s policy on sharing vaccines, I’m joined by Gayle Smith, the State Department’s coordinator for global COVID response and health security.
Gayle Smith, welcome to the “NewsHour.”
The administration has had dozens of requests all over the world for vaccines. Why are you making this announcement now?