News

Joe Biden Gonna Vaccinate THE WORLD

About time, too!

The Biden administration announced Thursday it will purchase 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, to share with 92 countries around the world through the World Health Organization's COVAX initiative — the international effort to get vaccines to low- and lower-middle-income countries that Donald Trump couldn't be bothered to join. The White House announcement noted this would be the "largest-ever purchase and donation of vaccines by a single country and a commitment by the American people to help protect people around the world" from the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden also called on other wealthy nations to do their part, too, which is one of those "American leadership" things that disappeared from the world for four years.

The administration plans to get at least 200 million doses shipped out by the end of 2021, with the rest of the 500 million shots being delivered by June of next year. The 500 million dose commitment comes on top of an initial plan to donate 80 million doses, announced earlier this year. Biden announced the initiative after meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson before this weekend's G-7 summit in Cornwall, Britain-Land:

Pfizer is selling the 500 million doses to the US at a "not-for-profit" price, and in his announcement, Biden emphasized that the vaccines would be distributed to other countries with "no strings attached," which means he's going to send out the vaccines without even pressuring Ukraine to dig up dirt on his son Hunter.

CNBC reported Wednesday that the US is also negotiating with Moderna to get additional doses of its vaccine to distribute through COVAX.

The announcement, timed to come just before the summit, is expected to goose other well-off nations to take similar action. Even with billions of vaccine doses, it's going to take at least through 2022 to get vaccines distributed across the world.

Biden has also said he favors waiving intellectual property restrictions so that pharma companies in the rest of the world can produce their own vaccines, although that's still waiting on an international agreement; French President Emmanuel Macron said this week he favors IP waivers as well, so there's one more thing for the G-7 to talk about, non? Germany and the UK have so far opposed any such waivers, while Japan and Canada seem to be on the fence.

One very big reason for the developed world to haul ass on getting vaccines to the rest of the world is that controlling the spread of the virus will reduce the chance that new variations will evolve and bite us. Next time your awful wingnut neighbor complains that Biden's being played for a fool and giving handouts to the world, maybe remind them that US America has a perfectly selfish interest in preventing some possible mutation from coming back here.

Then let your dog poo in their roses late at night.

[White House / Reuters / MSNBC / Politico]

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