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Americans Are Sick and Tired of Other Countries Taking Advantage of Us

AP Photo/Brittainy Newman

The Senate is near a deal to pass $10 billion in new COVID assistance, including money for testing and for a second booster shot for every American.

But Democrats are balking because there’s no money for “global vaccine assistance.” This apparently matters to a lot of Democrats and may upend the deal for additional COVID aid in the House. “I just cannot support another round of Covid funding that just completely eviscerates our ability to be, as Joe Biden put it, the arsenal of vaccines for the world,” Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) told Politico.

The United States has already donated 1.1 billion doses of COVID vaccine to the poorer nations of the world. According to the Kaiser Vaccine Tracker, about half of those doses have already been delivered.

The world has pledged to donate $11 billion to poorer countries for vaccines — $4 billion of that from the United States. According to Kaiser:

By share of contributions, the U.S. ranks at the top, accounting for 36% of funding ($4.0 billion) and 41% of pledged doses (857.5 million) (see Figures 1 and 2).1

The U.S. share is greater than its share of global GDP (24%), and significantly above the next largest donor, Germany (at 11% of financial contributions and 8% of doses).

It’s ludicrous to suggest that the U.S. isn’t doing enough or should do more when no other rich nation even comes close to matching what the United States is doing.

Politico:

The sum — the result of days of negotiations between senior senators of both parties — would leave out a major ask from the White House. It does not include $5 billion in global vaccine efforts, drawing sharp complaints from many Democrats about the nation’s preparedness to fight the pandemic abroad. Lawmakers are now talking about a figure closer to $1 billion in vaccine aid.

“In general, the two parties see where we are on Covid and spending and offsets, very differently,” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.). “I appreciate that Sen. Romney came out and said he wants some way to increase the international [funding]. Because to have zero international would be a huge mistake in the middle of a global humanitarian crisis.”

Why should other nations pay their fair share when they have Democrats in Congress running interference for them to be deadbeats? When other nations step up and give until it hurts, then we can consider additional international vaccine funding.

As always, a large part of the debate is over which mirrors and what kind of smoke should be used to hide the actual expenditure.

The full price tag would be covered by reneging other funding, including more than $2 billion in unused aid for venues like zoos and theaters that were closed because of Covid, said Sen. Blunt.

Most of the bill’s funds would be rerouted from money included in the $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package President Joe Biden signed into law a year ago. Romney said “we’ve reached an agreement in principle on all the spending and all of the offsets.”

House Democrats have already nixed a deal because the Senate wanted to take unused and unspent funds from the $450 billion Congress gave the states during the pandemic. Apparently, many states have yet to figure out how to blow their entire allowance and want daddy to give them more time to decide.

Republicans have been demanding an accounting for what’s been spent and how much is left in COVID relief. Democrats keep putting them off because if it were known how much in pandemic funds are left over, they wouldn’t be asking for $10 billion or more in COVID assistance.

The emergency has passed. It’s time to take a breath and try to govern more normally. Perhaps if we had a president who looked out for America’s interests by encouraging the world to join us by equally sharing the burden of vaccinating poor people, there’d be less pushback from Americans sick and tired of allowing the rest of the rich, industrialized West to walk all over us.

 

 

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