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tv   Secretary of State Blinken on COVID-19 Pandemic  CSPAN  April 6, 2021 4:48am-5:05am EDT

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take you to a live event with secretary of state antony blinken. sec. blinken: since the united states recorded its first covid death, more than 550,000 americans have died in the pandemic. more than 30 million americans have been infected. millions of americans lost loved ones, often without having the chance to say goodbye. no one has been immune to the virus. it has hit people of color especially hard, devastating
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communities and deepening our countries racial and economic divides. covid-19's massive health and death tolls have been matched by its economic and social consequence. restaurants, bars, movie theaters, closed. many, permanently. millions of kids stay home from school, losing precious classroom time and millions of women dropped out of the workforce to care for children or aging parents. for all of these reasons, stopping covid-19 is the biden/harris administrations's number one priority. otherwise, the coronavirus will keep circulating in our communities, threatening people's lives and livelihoods, holding our economy back. we cannot fully recover, much less build a better future the american people deserve until the pandemic is over.
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from day one, the administration has led a full-court press to get as many americans vaccinated as possible. president biden the set a goal of 100 days. we hit that goal by day 58. now, we are racing toward our new goal of 200 million shots in one hundred days. the administration's opening quickly to open new vaccination sites across the country so 90% of americans will be living within five miles of one by april 19. that is two weeks from today. although while, we have been producing vaccine at a rapid clip. by the end of may, we will have enough vaccine supply for all adults in america. so far, news about the efficacy of the vaccines has been very reassuring. the american people can take hope and pride in the fact we are making strong progress against the virus at home will stop it is a credit to our health workers, our scientists, our government.
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still, we are not at the finish line yet. we cannot afford to ease up. this is the time for americans to keep wearing masks, social distancing, and to get vaccinated when it is your turn. do it for yourselves, your families, your neighbors and the people you might never meet, but whose lives you might save through your actions. there is another major element to stopping covid and that is what we are here to talk about today. this pandemic won't end at home until it ends worldwide. i want to spend a minute on this because it is critical to understand. even if we vaccinate all 332 million people in the united states tomorrow, we would still not be fully safe from the virus. not while it is still replicating around the world and turning into new variants that
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could easily come here and spread across our communities again. not if we want to fully open our economy or start traveling again. plus, if other countries and economies are not rebounding because they are still afflicted with covid, that will hurt our recovery, too. the world has to come together to bring the covid pandemic to an end everywhere and, for that to happen, united states must act and we must lead. there is no country on earth that can do what we can do, both in terms of developing breakthrough vaccines and bringing governments, businesses, and international institutions together to organize massive, sustained public health efforts that it will take to end the fan -- and the pandemic. this will be an unprecedented global operation involving logistics, financing, supply chain management, manufacturing, and coordinating with committee health workers who handle the
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vital last mile of health care delivery. all of that will take intensive diplomacy. the world has never done anything quite like this before. this is a moment that calls for american leadership. now, the biden/harris administration's main focus has been to vaccinate americans to slow and stop covid here at home. we at the state apartment have been focused on vaccinating our workforce in the united states and embassies and consulates around the world. that has been the right call. we serve the american people first and foremost. plus, we can't forget the united states has had the highest number of covid cases of any country in the world by a significant margin. so stopping the spread here has been urgently needed for our people and for the world. we have a duty to other countries to get the virus under control here in the united states.
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but soon, the united states will need to step up our work and rise to the occasion worldwide because only by stopping covid globally will americans be safe for the long-term. we want to rise to the occasion for the world by helping bring to a close one of the deadliest pandemics in human history. we can show the world once again what american leadership and american ingenuity can do. let's make that the story of the end of covid 19. we've already taken some important steps. on day one of the administration, we rejoined the world health organization. by being at the table, we can push for reforms so we can prevent and rapidly respond to the next biological threat. congress recently provided more than $11 billion for america's global covid response which we will use in several ways, including to save lives by supporting broad and equitable
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vaccine access, providing aid to mitigate secondary aspects of covid like hunger and helping other countries boost vaccine preparedness. i know this is built on a long tradition of american leadership . the united states is the world's largest donor to global health by far, including international efforts like the global fund and world health organization and our own programs like pep farm which has helped bring world to the cusp of the first aids free generation. we made a billion-dollar donation to the covax program that will supply vaccines to low and middle income companies and we pledged and another -- we pledged another $2 billion and have loaned vaccines to our closest neighbors, canada and mexico. we will work with global partners on manufacturing and supplies to be sure there will be enough vaccine for everyone, everywhere. as we get more confident in our
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vaccine supply here at home, we are exploring options to share more with other countries going forward. we believe we will be in a position to do much more on this front. many countries are asking for the united states to do more. some come with growing desperation because of the growing scale of their covid emergencies. we hear you and i promise we are moving as fast as possible. we will be guided every step by core values. we will not trade shots in arms for political favors. this is about saving lives. we will treat our partner countries with respect. we won't overpromise and under deliver. we will maintain high standards for the vaccine that we help to bring to others, only distributing those proven to be safe and effective. we will insist on an approach
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built by equity. covid has come down hard on vulnerable and marginalized people. we can't allow our covid response to end up making racial and gender inequality worse. we will embrace partnership, sharing the burden and combining strength. the collaboration we formed a few weeks ago with india, japan and australia is a good example. together, we are increasing the roles manufacturing capacity so we can get more shots out the door and into people's arms as fast as possible. one of the reasons we work through multilateral collaborations were possible is because they share and defend the same values. for example, the covax initiative is designed exclusively to ensure low and middle income companies -- middle income countries can get vaccines because it's only through -- [inaudible] finally we will address the
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current emergency by taking the long view. we can't just end this pandemic. we must leave our country and the world better prepared for the next one. we will work with partners to reform and strengthening -- strengthen institutions to safeguard institutions and that will require information sharing and access to international experts in real-time. we will need a sustainable approach and accountability so all countries can act quickly to stem the next outbreak and we will keep pushing for a complete and transparent investigation into the origins of this epidemic to learn what happened so it does not happen again. all told, this work is a key piece of president biden's build back better agenda. we have to make sure we can better detect, prevent, prepare for and respond to future pandemics and other biological threats, otherwise, we will be
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badly letting ourselves and future generations down. this is a pivotal moment. the time for us to think big and act boldly. united states will rise to the challenge. i'm here today with a remarkable leader who will help us do just that. gayle smith was the administrator of usaid for president obama and served on the national security council for both president obama and president clinton, where we first got to know each other and work together. she has deep experience responding to public health threats, helping to lead the bola response and having worked for years on the global fight against malaria come at tuberculosis, hiv-aids. she is joining us from her most recent role as president and ceo of the one campaign which fights poverty and prevent disease primarily in africa. she is tested, highly respected and she will hit the ground
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running. i can say from having worked with gail that no one will work harder, faster, or more effectively to get us to the finish line. i am grateful she has agreed to serve as the coordinator for global covid response. gail smith, the floor is yours. thank you for doing this. the floor -- dale: thank you, mr. secretary. it's a pleasure to be able to work with you again and call you mr. secretary. i would like to thank my friends with the one campaign for making this possible and i look forward to working with the men and women of the department and across the federal government, including because i know what you can do. i want to thank in particular some really smart scientists,
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president biden, and the staff and volunteers at howard university where tomorrow i will get my second dose of the covid vaccine. that vaccine is good for the body but it's also good for the mind and soul because it inspires the future. our job is to shape that future. i have fought some viruses in the past and i've learned two lessons. the first is if the virus is moving faster than we are, it is winning. the second is with unity of purpose, science, vigilance and leadership, we can outpace any virus. america has done it before. 18 years ago, a republican president launched a bold initiative to take on the hiv-aids epidemic. a democratic president went on to expand that mission and scope. in 2014, the obama-biden administration was a strong some
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port -- with the strong support of congress to feed the world's first to bowl epidemic. our challenges now are too. first, to shorten the lifespan of a borderless pandemic destroying lives and livelihoods all across the world. the second is to ensure we can prevent, detect and respond to those future global health risks we know are coming. american leadership is desperately needed and i'm extremely confident we can rise to the occasion. i am honored to be here and thank you very, very much.
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