GOP senators applaud Biden for global vaccine donation plans
A pair of Republican senators applauded President Biden on Thursday after he announced that the U.S. will donate 500 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to countries worldwide.
Biden, speaking ahead of a meeting of Group of Seven (G-7) leaders in the United Kingdom, announced that the U.S. will purchase and distribute 500 million vaccine doses internationally to “supercharge” the global fight against COVID-19.
“We’re taking a major step that will supercharge the global fight against this pandemic,” Biden said, adding that the U.S. will be the “arsenal of vaccines” just as it was the “arsenal of democracy” during World War II.
GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Ben Sasse (Neb.) praised Biden’s announcement in separate statements, calling it a “good investment” and “the right move.”
“I support the effort of the Biden Administration to donate vaccines to at-risk populations throughout the world and hope other countries will follow America’s lead. I believe this to be a good investment by the American taxpayer,” Graham said in a statement.
Sasse offered similar praise for the move, commending Biden’s announcement before pivoting to the Chinese Communist Party.
“Health diplomacy is a smart investment and buying these vaccines is the right move. America should have an aggressive strategy to vaccinate a billion people around the world this year. America should administer these vaccines directly in order to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s strategy of using the pandemic to gain the upper hand — they’ve conditioned their garbage vaccines on breaking ties with America’s ally Taiwan,” Sasse continued in a statement.
“America is different and we should show it. We should move quickly to share these life-saving shots with friends in Asia and across the developing world with a simple message: Uncle Sam, not Chairman Xi, cares about your health,” he added.
The first vaccines, according to the White House, will begin shipping in August, with 200 million doses available this year and the remaining 300 million doses coming next year.
The vaccines will be sent to 92 lower-income countries.
Biden’s announcement comes amid a push by lawmakers on Capitol Hill calling on the White House to take action to help vaccinate the world against COVID-19.
More than 40 House Democrats penned a letter to the president last week urging him to “do more” to help vaccinate countries abroad.
Additionally, Sasse last month penned an op-ed calling on Biden to help vaccine more than 1 billion people globally.
The G-7 countries are also facing pressure to pay for COVID-19 vaccinations worldwide ahead of their summit set to kick off on Friday.