With over 40% of the country fully vaccinated, America is at a crossroads regarding its vaccine policy.
It’s a widely accepted fact that the pandemic has to be brought under control globally to be defeated. To achieve this, a concerted effort is needed from the rich and developed nations.
Countries like China and Russia have already donated millions of vaccine doses to less-developed nations around the world. So far, America has lagged in its vaccine diplomacy, but recent initiatives and announcements show that we are catching up fast. A TIPP Poll conducted in late May probed the topic of vaccine diplomacy.
When asked, “How should the U.S. counter this influence?” and given the option to choose as many as they liked, the respondents gave a resounding answer.
A whopping majority, 85%, wants America to actively counter the influence and ground gained by countries like China and Russia. The split-up reads –
- 31% - Directly donate vaccines to countries
- 25% - Donate medical supplies such as respirators, PPE kits, Oxygen tanks, etc.
- 22% - Donate more to the United Nations COVAX (vaccines for all) initiative
- 19% - Allow other countries patent rights to produce their own vaccines
- 26% - All of the above
- 15% - None of the above
According to our TIPP Poll conducted in late May, over four in ten are satisfied with the administration’s efforts to help other countries in their vaccination efforts.
To the question, “Russia and China have been supplying vaccines to many third-world countries. Do you believe the United States is doing enough or not doing enough to counter this influence?”
The response was
- 42% - doing enough
- 32% - not doing enough
- 26% - unsure
Recently, the World Health Organisation warned of a “two-track pandemic” - where rich nations successfully vaccinate their citizens to achieve herd immunity and open up their economies, even as the developing countries continue to grapple with infection surges and high transmission rates.
In recent weeks, America has stepped up to its role as a world leader to ensure vaccine availability in all parts of the world. Besides ensuring that some of the poorest nations will have access to the vaccines, these initiatives will also help push back China’s vaccine diplomacy overtures.
Support For Vaccine Diplomacy
Thoughts on how best to help other countries with the Covid-19 vaccine differ.
Though the percentage varies across political parties, all chose directly donating vaccines to impoverished countries as their first option. Giving patents to other countries to produce vaccines found the least favor, 22%, with the Democrats. The Republicans gave little support to donating to the COVAX, 15%.
Based on political ideologies, Conservatives (31%), Moderates (34%), and Liberals (32%) opted for directly donating to the countries. Only 19% of Conservatives supported contributing to COVAX, while only 17% of Moderates favored allowing other countries patents to produce the vaccines.
The momentum of the rate of vaccinations has fallen drastically in most states, now that almost half of Americans have received at least one shot of the vaccine.
According to a recent TIPP Poll for Investor's Business Daily, 16% of Americans are refusing to get vaccinated, with another 10% putting off getting the shot despite the widespread availability of vaccines across the country.
In a first, the U.S. shared one million of such doses, initially meant for domestic use, with South Korea.
America sent four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to its neighbors Mexico and Canada. To control the surge of new infections in Taiwan, America has pledged 750,000 doses to the island.
It is believed that about 30 percent of the 80 million doses of vaccines promised to the COVAX initiative will go to countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa. Around 19 million of those doses, again distributed through COVAX, will soon reach Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and Pacific island nations.
In a significant boost to the WHO’s COVAX initiative, the President is all set to announce a donation of 500 million doses to the program. This tranche is expected to benefit 92 low-income countries and the African Union.
Along with the other Quad members, United States has come together to deliver one billion doses in the Indo-Pacific region. With these pledges, America will soon put a dent in China’s efforts to further its hegemonic agenda with the most vulnerable nations.
While these numbers seem like a lot, the fact remains that billions of doses are needed to vaccinate people around the globe. Many countries have little or no infrastructure and scarce means to carry out vaccination drives on their own. And for us to move past the pandemic, a majority of the world population must be vaccinated.
- The visit to Baghdad by a delegation of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the Kurdish nationalist party founded by the late President Jalal Talabani, reflected a tendency by the PUK to openly ally itself with parties and militias loyal to Iran.
- This is a new development as Kurdish parties and groups used to keep their alliances within the Kurdish fold so as to preserve the appearance of unity inside the Iraqi parliament.
- The same sources said that Iran, the historical ally of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, welcomes any support for its loyal political bloc.
- However, an Iraqi MP has described the prospective alliances between Shia and Kurdish parties as akin to “opening a new chapter with a friend who tends to practice blackmail against a particular side that is not confident it has full legitimacy.”
- The repression of hundreds of thousands of China's Uyghur Muslim minority amounts to "crimes against humanity," a report published by human rights group Amnesty International said.
- All of the more than 50 former detainees that Amnesty interviewed said they had been detained for conduct such as possessing a religious-themed picture or communicating with someone abroad.
- Many detainees described first being taken for questioning in police stations where they were attached to steel chairs with leg irons and handcuffs.
- They said beatings, sleep deprivation, and overcrowding were common, and in "extraordinarily regimented" internment camps, they had no privacy or autonomy and risked harsh punishments.
- The US government accuses China of waging "genocide" in Xinjiang. Britain has declined to use that designation but joined the United States and Germany last month in calling on Beijing to end repression of the Uyghur minority.
- The arrests come amid a greater call to take on financial crimes nationwide.
- The bust spanned 23 different major provinces and cities and rounded up more than 170 “criminal gangs,” the Ministry said.
- These arrests are happening amid Chinese authorities fighting to rein in crypto nationwide.
- This, the fifth leg of what local authorities dubbed “Operation Card Broken,” is meant to crack down on fraudsters peddling phone cards and credit cards across international borders.
- Back in late 2020, Chinese President Xi Jinping pushed law enforcement to take a tougher stance on telco fraud after more than 30,000 people were caught committing these sorts of scams in the first half of the year.
- Per the Ministry’s statement, the people caught up in the latest crackdown weren’t only the telco fraudsters themselves, but also folks who offered bitcoin-laundering services to these criminal enterprises.
- The coffee chain said it was seeing "temporary supply shortages" for items such as oat milk.
- Other than oat milk, Starbucks would not confirm which other ingredients were affected.
- But an internal memo, seen by Business Insider, suggests that 25 different products are on a "temporary hold," including hazelnut syrup, chai tea bags, and green iced tea.
- Earlier this week, it announced that customers in the U.S. would be allowed to start using reusable cups again to get a discount on their drinks in company-owned cafes.
- The Seattle-based firm is among several companies in the U.S., facing supply chain issues and a shortage of workers in recent weeks.
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