The Biden administration says it's now prioritizing US delivery of Covid vaccines to conflict zones around the world, in a policy that perhaps too few are seeing the irony of...
Proper mask etiquette but terrible trigger discipline pic.twitter.com/aTfgq9oQqe— zerohedge (@zerohedge) October 14, 2021
On Wednesday a senior White House official said, "The Biden administration is set to announce today that it has brokered a deal to get more doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine into conflict zones around the world," according to Axios.
The initiative is being framed as part of efforts to "save lives" amid the global pandemic, though it begs the question of whether the "priority" should actually be to diplomatically push to end the particular conflicts in question. In places like Syria or Venezuela, for example, far-reaching US sanctions have actually made it extremely difficult for people to access Covid vaccines as well as vital medicines in general.
The program will have Johnson & Johnson at the forefront, working to distribute its Covid-19 vaccine through NGOs on the ground in war-torn regions, for example in Iraq, Yemen, or disputed regions like Nagorno-Karabakh.
Axios outlines some of the early details of the new program which will fast-track delivery of vaccines into the conflict-prone regions as follows:
- ...in many humanitarian settings and conflict zones, there's no government entity to administer the doses and accept that liability.
- The U.S., J&J, and the global COVAX initiative built a "novel legal approach" in which J&J agreed to waive the legal liability it normally requires from a country for donated doses.
- J&J is essentially saying, "we're going to let an NGO give them to people who are most vulnerable because the situation demands it," the official said. They said they expect it could be a model for donations from other vaccine makers.
Below: map of conflict zones and geopolitical hotspots around the world...
You will find more infographics at Statista
Early in the pandemic, UN Secretary-General António Guterres made a global appeal for a ceasefire in all conflicts, citing the "common enemy" of the pandemic: "Our world faces a common enemy: COVID-19. The virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith. It attacks all, relentlessly. Meanwhile, armed conflict rages on around the world," according to March 2020 statements.