The world has to come together to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end everywhere. And for that to happen, the United States must lead, said Secretary of State Antony Blinken:
“There is no country on earth that can do what we can do, both in terms of developing breakthrough vaccines and bringing governments, businesses, and international institutions together to organize the massive, sustained public health effort it’ll take to fully end the pandemic.
“By helping bring to a close one of the deadliest pandemics in human history, we can show the world once again what American leadership and American ingenuity can do,” said Secretary Blinken. The U.S. has already taken some important steps, he said:
“Congress recently provided more than $11 billion for America’s global COVID-19 response, which we’ll use in several ways, including to save lives by supporting broad and equitable vaccine access; providing aid to mitigate secondary impacts of COVID, like hunger; and helping countries boost their pandemic preparedness.”
As the world’s largest donor to global health by far, the U.S. has made a $2 billion donation to the COVAX program, which will supply safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines to low-income and middle-income countries. The U.S. has pledged another $2 billion as other countries fulfill their own pledges.
Already, the U.S. has loaned vaccines to its closest neighbors, Mexico and Canada. And the U.S. will work with global partners on manufacturing and supplies to ensure there will be enough vaccine for everyone, everywhere.
Finally, the U.S. will do what is necessary to be prepared to tackle future pandemics, declared Secretary Blinken:
“That will require countries to commit to transparency, information sharing, access for international experts in real time. We’ll need a sustainable approach to financing, surge capacity, and accountability, so all countries can act quickly to stem the next outbreak. And we’ll keep pushing for a complete and transparent investigation into the origins of this epidemic, to learn what happened – so it doesn’t happen again.”
To help accomplish all these goals, Secretary Blinken named Gayle Smith as coordinator for the global COVID-19 response and health security.
“This is a pivotal moment – a time for us to think big and act boldly,” declared Secretary Blinken. “And the United States will rise to the challenge.”