Biden crafting message of a united west to challenge Russia and China

President Joe Biden speaks about his administration’s global Covid-19 vaccination efforts ahead of the G-7 summit on Thursday in St. Ives, England. Patrick Semansky/AP

In what he called a “major step that will supercharge the global fight” against the Covid-19 pandemic, President Biden announced that the United States will purchase 500 million doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to donate to nearly 100 nations that are “in dire need” around the world.

The vaccines will start to be shipped in August, with 200 million doses to be delivered this year, the President said while speaking in St. Ives, England. Three hundred million will be delivered in the first half of 2022, Biden said.

“We’re doing this to save lives, to end this pandemic, that’s it. Period,” he said.

Biden highlighted the United States’ vaccination progress, saying the program has “saved tens of thousands of lives.” 

“It’s allowed millions, millions of Americans to get back to living their lives. And from the beginning of my presidency, we’ve been clear-eyed that we need to attack this virus globally as well. This is about our responsibility,” Biden said.

“In this moment, our values call on us to do everything that we can to vaccinate the world against Covid-19. It’s also in America’s self-interest. As long as the virus rages elsewhere, there’s a risk of new mutations that could threaten our people,” he said.

Biden said the G7 nations would be announcing “the full scope” of their commitment tomorrow and he noted that the US vaccine donation is not “the end of our efforts to fight Covid-19 or vaccinate the world.”

“We have to turn manufactured doses into shots in arms to protect people and communities,” he said. “That’s why the United States is already providing hundreds of millions in funding to support last-minute vaccination efforts, including new funding from Congress as part of the American Rescue Plan. And working with programs in Latin America, Asia and Africa. We’re going to keep manufacturing doses. Donating doses. Getting jabs, as they say here in the UK, in arms.”