President Biden’s anticipated announcement Thursday night that the United States plans to donate 500 million doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine globally will be part of its efforts to reassert U.S. leadership on the world stage, officials said. .
Biden will deliver his submissions at 1:15 pm ET from St. Ives, Cornwall, UK.
Officials touted the move on Thursday, suggesting it is part of a broader effort for world democracies to pave the way for recovery from the pandemic.
“This will clearly be the largest single country purchase and donation of Covid-19 vaccines by far, and it is an unprecedented response,” a senior administration official told reporters at a news conference Thursday.
“We want to do everything possible to prevent more tragic losses around 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 at risk,” the official said, stressing that the virus “also threatens economic opportunities”.
But the move is also meant to encourage other US allies to come forward.
“We are also using this announcement today to leverage and mobilize broader commitments from world democracies, the G7 and partner countries,” a senior separate official said, anticipating a “multilateral announcement related to the G7 Covid.”
At this weekend’s G7 summit, the official said, leaders will announce a “collective effort by world democracies to defeat Covid-19 once and for all.”
The donation comes when Biden has repeatedly stated that the world is at a tipping point in determining whether democracy can prevail over autocracy.
“This is the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do, and it is tangible proof that the world’s democracies will deliver when it comes to defeating the Covid-19 pandemic,” the official said.
Here are the key things to know about vaccine donation:
- Officials said Pfizer doses will begin shipping in August and 200 million doses will be delivered by the end of this year.
- The remaining 300 million doses will be administered in the first half of 2022.
- They will be manufactured in the United States, officials said, “employing thousands of workers” in states like Michigan, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
- The cost will be approximately $ 1.5 billion, which will come from funds previously allocated in the American Rescue Plan aid package approved earlier this year.
- There will be no conditions for the nations receiving the doses.
“The United States is not seeking favors in exchange for these doses, we are not asking countries to obtain these doses, we are not imposing conditions, political, economic or otherwise. We will be guided by public health and science experts to house them where they can make a difference, “said the second senior official.