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President Joe Biden announced that he hoped America would continue spearheading international COVID-19 relief projects, saying it was a “moral obligation” to “vaccinate the rest of the world.”
At a Thursday press conference, Biden announced a series of new policies to be implemented that would hopefully curb pandemic-related infections within the United States. New policies included an expansion of testing sites, a mandate for at-home testing to be made free of charge for all, and adjustments to the nation’s already tightened travel restrictions.
But toward the end of his speech, the president focused globally, emphasizing that because infections continue to come from “elsewhere,” the U.S. will have to “go to where it came from.”
“As we’ve seen with COVID-19 and the delta variant, and now with omicron variant, all that emerged elsewhere. It all came from somewhere else. In order to beat this pandemic, we need to go to where it came from in the rest of the world. We also need to vaccinate the rest of the world.”
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“America has – in my view – continues to lead in that effort,” Biden boasted. “We ship for free more vaccines around the world than all other countries of the world combined.”
Biden went on to claim that overseas vaccination efforts will not affect U.S. citizens, saying that people in the U.S. take precedence over infections abroad.
“Let me be clear, not a single vaccine dose America ever sends to the rest of the world will ever come at the expense of any American. I’ll always make sure that our people are protected first. But vaccinating the rest of the world is not just a moral tool – a moral obligation we have – in my view. It’s how we protect Americans.”
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Biden also noted that the U.S. is currently supplying vaccine doses to “countries […] that aren’t particularly friendly to us.”
On July 9, the U.S. gave 3.3 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses to Afghanistan, according to the State Department.