Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order today that will give Americans priority in the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine. The order comes as the FDA appears ready to approve the Pfizer vaccine for distribution to the general public, perhaps by the weekend.
EXCLUSIVE: President @realDonaldTrump is expected to sign an executive order Tuesday that will ensure all Americans have access to the #coronavirus #vaccine before the U.S. government begins aiding nations around the world, Fox News has learned.https://t.co/q1jKnNPWXM
— Brooke Singman (@BrookeSingman) December 7, 2020
Anyone who sees anything wrong with this is too woke for me. The U.S. should be eager to help the rest of the world — right after we take care of our own people. This is not “vaccine nationalism” — a term being thrown around by the UN and other international bodies that all have their hands out. It is that rarest of commodities — common sense — that prioritizes Americans in the vaccination program.
That’s just too much for some on the left.
That reality is what lies behind a 180-plus nation initiative to speed the development, production and distribution of a vaccine to defeat this deadly global disease. This COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or COVAX, is supported by all of America’s traditional allies, as well as China (though not Russia), and includes almost all of the developing world, which will have subsidized access to any vaccines. It’s a global response to a global emergency. Trump refused to join this important effort.
Biden needs to make clear he opposes the vaccine nationalism practiced by his predecessor. He has already committed to return to the World Health Organization, from which Trump withdrew, on his first day in office. He should also announce that the United States will join the COVAX initiative. Nothing will say more clearly that America is rejoining the world than committing to work with others to eradicate this disease around the globe.
A “global response” that’s being funded by a handful of countries. If it’s “global,” why doesn’t everyone contribute equal amounts? Those who are so eager to give away American tax dollars so that the rest of the world will like us are the real danger, not the kind of nationalism that posits the notion that since the vaccine was developed in America with American tax dollars by an American company, Americans should be first in line.
The first part of the order will instruct Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Alex Azar to prioritize American citizens over foreign nations to receive the coronavirus vaccine.
The second part of the order will give HHS, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other executive departments guidelines on how to negotiate with foreign countries for the vaccine’s international distribution, an official told reporters Monday night.
It’s not like we’re stiff-arming the rest of the world and preventing them from getting the vaccine. The U.S. has always understood that any vaccine from America would be shared with the world.
“The priority is to make sure we distribute these vaccines to Americans before we start shipping them around the world to get international access,” a Trump administration official reportedly told Fox News. The United States could start distributing the vaccine to foreign nations in “late spring, early summer” after the United States vaccinates “those who have a desire to be vaccinated,” the official added.
Any hint of nationalism has to be fought by the left. And if that means Americans die while some in other nations live, well, that’s the price we have to pay to be liked in the world.