President Joe Biden said Wednesday that extra COVID-19 vaccines will go to foreign countries during an event with executives from Johnson & Johnson and Merck.
“If we have a surplus, we’re gonna share it with the rest of the world,” Biden said. “We’ve already decided we’re going to work with the outfit COVAX. We’ve committed $4 billion dollars to help get the funding for more vaccines around the world.”
“This is not something that can be stopped by a fence no matter how high you build a fence or a wall. So we’re not gonna be safe until the world is safe and so we’re start off making sure Americans are taken care of first,” Biden said. “But we’re then gonna try to help the rest of the world.”
Biden said he and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador were “going to talk about” supplying Mexico with coronavirus vaccines, according to a transcript of remarks from Biden and the Mexican president on March 1. The administration said vaccinating the American people is the first priority after Mexico requested the U.S. to share vaccines, Reuters reported.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on March 1 that Biden had no immediate plans to share vaccines with Mexico.
“No, the president has made clear that he is focused on ensuring that vaccines are accessible to every American. That is our focus,” Psaki said. “The next step is economic recovery, and that is in ensuring that our neighbors Mexico and Canada have similarly managed the pandemic so that we can open borders, open our borders and build back better.”
The administration is mainly looking to make sure each American gets the coronavirus vaccine, according to Psaki.
“And once we accomplish that objective, we’re happy to discuss further steps beyond that,” Psaki said.
Biden announced Wednesday that the country agreed to buy 100 million more doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The vaccines are in addition to the 100 million the company pledged to supply the government by summer 2021.
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