The Corner

The Utterly Embarrassing Failure to Quickly Send Extra U.S. Vaccine Doses Overseas

President Joe Biden speaks during the Democratic National Committee’s “Back on Track” drive-in car rally to celebrate the president’s 100th day in office at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, Ga., April 29, 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

Nearly 30 days after Biden promised to ship extra doses of vaccine overseas ‘this month,’ the administration still hasn’t sent a single dose anywhere.

Sign in here to read more.

President Biden, speaking at the White House, May 4:

We’ve already committed to work to send 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to other countries, starting this month and into June.  That means of all the vaccines we’ve produced for the United States at that time, we’ll have given about 10 percent to the rest of the world.  It’s a significant humanitarian commitment, in addition to our funding of COVAX.

Reuters, earlier today:

The United States will announce in the next two weeks how it plans to distribute 80 million COVID-19 vaccine doses it has pledged globally, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday.

“Sometime in the next week to two weeks – we will be announcing the process by which we will distribute those vaccines, what the criteria are, how we will do it,” Blinken said during his first trip as secretary of state to Latin America, which is fighting to contain COVID-19.

That’s right, “nations around the globe are still waiting — with growing impatience — to learn where the vaccines will go and how they will be distributed.” Thirty days after Biden’s promise, the administration has yet to ship a single dose.

When the president says that the United States will be sending vaccines starting this month, should it take six weeks to decide how it’s going to ship the vaccines? To put it in a vernacular the president would find familiar, pick a hard-hit country and load up the planes, man! The Indians look like they’re in really rough shape, and they’ve generally been nice to us, let’s help them out! Since Biden made his announcement on May 4, more than 108,000 Indian citizens have died from COVID-19! What is everybody waiting for? Kidney stones move faster than this!

Brazil’s in rough shape, we could help them! They just had more than 77,000 cases diagnosed yesterday. Hell, throw a dart at a map and you’ll probably hit a country that could use the extra unused doses. Stop debating who to help first and just start helping somebody.

Don’t tell me that the U.S. government can’t get boxes of vaccines – even doses that need to be kept refrigerated – to another continent quickly. We’re the country of the Berlin Airlift! The Pentagon boasts that it can mobilize a brigade and get boots on the ground anywhere in the world in 18 hours! When an earthquake struck Japan in 2011, the U.S. Seventh Fleet was operating 19 ships, 140 aircraft, and more than 18,000 personnel in support of the disaster response within six days! Within three weeks, the U.S. Air Force’s Pacific Air Forces had performed 444 sorties, carrying close to 6 million pounds of cargo!