US President Joe Biden used the statement after his first face-to-face meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to present the United States as “the vaccine arsenal” for the world.
The donation of 500 million doses of Pfizer’s immunizing agent to nearly 100 of the poorest countries highlighted Biden’s strategy during this visit to Europe: to present the American liberal-democratic system as a preferable alternative to the model. Chinese bossy.
Until the end of May, it was China that appeared to be the “barn” of vaccines in the world, with the largest number of doses exported. More than 263 million doses, or 35% of its production, went from Chinese factories to other countries, while the United States supplied only 3 million, or less than 1% of its production.
With the distribution now free – and, as Biden was keen to point out, “without compromise” – the American president is changing the game of so-called “vaccine diplomacy”.
“Just as America was an arsenal for the defense of democracy during World War II, it will now be an arsenal of vaccines for the world,” the president said, listing several items below that would show the United States in ahead of China. “This is the largest single country’s donation of an mRNA vaccine, which is extremely effective against Covid,” he said.
Chinese vaccines now widely used in the world’s poorest countries, such as those developed by Sinovac and Sinopharm, use simpler production technology based on inactivated (dead) Sars-Cov-2. However, it is not correct to compare the efficacy between immunizers, as clinical trials were conducted with different parameters.
Biden also said ending the worldwide pandemic served US interests as it reduced the risk of more deadly or more contagious variants emerging, enabled faster economic growth, and avoided political instability caused by the health crisis. .
Following the strategy of showing American democracy as a successful system, he also cited the 6.9% growth projected for this year, the creation of 2 million jobs in four months, the vaccination of 64% of the country’s adults with at least one dose and the reopening of businesses and activities.
There is little room left to talk about his bilateral meeting with Boris or his joint projects with the other leaders of the G7, a forum of major industrialized nations which is holding a summit this weekend. The US president said that, “under the leadership of the United Kingdom”, the group would present its common plan to fight the pandemic on Friday.
In a brief comment after the meeting with Biden, Boris said the meeting was “a breath of fresh air”, in which the United States reaffirmed its intention to collaborate on issues such as defense and l ‘environment. The American president wants to take advantage of his first international trip to ostensibly reconnect with his European allies, who have been shaken by the attacks of former President Donald Trump.
In the chapter on collaborations, the two leaders agreed to a new “Atlantic Charter” – referring to the joint statement made by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941, setting out their goals of after war.
The original Atlantic Charter included historic agreements to promote democracy and free trade, and was a precursor to multilateral organizations such as the UN (United Nations) and NATO. The 21st century version must focus efforts on post-pandemic reconstruction, environmental protection, and tackling global threats against liberal democracies, including cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns.
The two countries have also pledged to reopen travel between the UK and the US as soon as possible, limited to more than 400 days. The measure is expected to benefit around 10 million people who traveled between the two countries a year before the pandemic.
Biden and Boris did not grant an interview after the meeting, but from it before the landing of the American leader, it was clear that the impact of Brexit on the peace between the Republic of Ireland and the Northern Ireland would be on the agenda.
According to the British Times newspaper, the United States made a formal protest – known as a diplomatic move – telling British Brexit Minister David Frost that the British government was escalating tensions by failing to honor its withdrawal agreement. the EU.
A fundamental part of the commitment signed between the former Single Market partners, the Northern Ireland Protocol aimed to avoid a hard border – with checks, sanitary controls and customs surveillance – between the two parts of the island of Ireland.
But since Ireland is part of the EU and Northern Ireland is no longer part of it, British goods should be checked before entering the island when crossing the Irish Sea, which, according to Boris, is impossible.
Ahead of the meeting between the two leaders, UK Trade Minister Greg Hands said the UK was “absolutely in agreement” to preserve the peace process. “But for that, a more pragmatic approach from the European Union is needed in terms of interpreting the protocol,” he said.
Also in the morning, European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen said the EU is ready to be flexible, but will not give up what was signed by Boris in the Withdrawal Agreement. : “There will be no borders in Ireland and the UK will be treated as a third country. Goods entering the EU will be checked, because we have to protect the common market ”.
In addition to the dark clouds hanging over UK divorce, farm weather has spoiled the UK Prime Minister’s fresh air. Cloudy and rainy, the weather prevented Boris and Biden from visiting Monte de São Miguel, a peninsula on the English south coast that turns into an island at high tide.
The castle that dominates the landscape would be the setting for the bilateral meeting, while the leaders’ wives, Jill Biden and Carrie Symonds, would tour the wharf, village and gardens. The meeting ultimately took place in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, which will also host the G7 summit from Friday to Sunday.