President Joe Biden on Monday borrowed from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s rhetoric as commander-in-chief during World War II, as his administration announced its plans to ship 20 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses to other countries.
“Just as in World War II America was the arsenal of democracy, in the battle against [the] COVID-19 pandemic, our nation is going to be the arsenal of vaccines for the rest of the world,” Biden said in a brief speech at the White House.
The 20 million doses will be from vaccines authorized for use in the U.S., meaning the shots from Pfizer
or Johnson & Johnson
and they are in addition to a U.S. plan to provide other countries with 60 million doses of AstraZeneca’s
“This will put 80 million doses out into the world by the end of June,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters ahead of Biden’s speech.
The Biden administration’s latest move comes after the U.S. has drawn some flak for being slow in sharing, particularly as domestic vaccine supplies have begun to outpace demand. Almost half of the American population is partially vaccinated against COVID, while outside of the U.S. there are continued concerns about hot spots, which now include India, Brazil and Taiwan.
“This will be more vaccines than any country has actually shared to date, five times more than any other country,” Biden said during his speech.
“More than Russia, China — which have donated 15 million doses. Now there’s a lot of talk about Russia and China influencing the world with vaccines. We want to lead the world with our values. With this demonstration of our innovation and ingenuity and the fundamental decency of the American people.”
Biden, whose administration has sought out comparisons to FDR, also touted some milestones in the U.S. response to COVID. He said cases are now down in all 50 states for the first time since the pandemic began, and by Tuesday 60% of all American adults will have received at least one vaccine shot.
In addition, the president during his speech touted his administration’s plans to deliver Child Tax Credit payouts starting on July 15. That aid comes from March’s $1.9 trillion stimulus law.
were losing ground Monday, feeling further pressure following the worst week for the main gauges in nearly three months amid fears of rising inflation as the country bounces back from the pandemic.