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Obama calls on governments to 'do their part' in increasing global vaccine supply

Obama calls on governments to 'do their part' in increasing global vaccine supply
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Former President Obama during a livestream event on global poverty Tuesday said that governments across the globe “still need to do their part” to address the shortage of coronavirus vaccines in low-income countries. 

The remarks came during “An Evening with CARE,” celebrating the 75th anniversary of the international emergency relief agency founded in response to the humanitarian crises facing Europeans in the aftermath of World War II. 

The event, hosted by Whoopi GoldbergWhoopi GoldbergMeghan McCain, Joy Behar argue over GOP support for Gaetz Obama calls on governments to 'do their part' in increasing global vaccine supply Celebs cheer guilty verdict for Derek Chauvin MORE, also featured remarks from former Presidents Carter, Clinton and George W. Bush, as well as President BidenJoe BidenMellman: Trump voters cling to 2020 tale FDA authorizes another batch of J&J vaccine Cotton warns of China collecting athletes' DNA at 2022 Olympics MORE

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Obama in his remarks commended CARE for continuing to provide aid packages to countries experiencing extreme poverty, which has worsened amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

“An estimated 120 million more people are living in extreme poverty as a result of the pandemic, and that number is expected to rise,” Obama said. 

He added, “At the same time CARE is also focused on another major source of inequality: access to vaccines.”

“Right now, CARE and other organizations are preparing front-line health care workers in places like Haiti and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to vaccinate their populations,” Obama continued. “But governments around the world still need to do their part to increase supply and make sure we can vaccinate as many people against COVID-19 as quickly as possible.” 

Obama’s remarks come as the United States and other countries have faced calls from the European Union and others to increase their vaccine exports to other countries that have struggled to distribute enough shots to their populations amid new waves of COVID-19 cases. 

The Biden administration has said it would share 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca shot to other countries, and Biden last week vocalized support for waiving international patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines. 

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However, the patent waiver, which proponents say will allow lower-income countries to more easily develop vaccines on their own, could take months to implement, and others have instead called on Biden and additional global leaders to take more immediate action in increasing global vaccine access. 

In his own remarks in Tuesday’s CARE event, Biden commended the organization for sending out more than 6 million care packages filled with food and other supplies since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“This is a truly remarkable moment coming from a truly remarkable organization,” Biden said. “But let’s remember, the job isn’t over.” 

“Tonight, I ask you to lend a hand; send a care package,” he added. “Do what we can to eliminate human suffering. Keep sending those messages of CARE.”