I want to draw attention to and thank you for provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that have not been widely reported. In comprehensive legislation there is a provision of $ 10.8 billion to tackle the impact of Covid-19 abroad. This provision will provide life-saving overseas health and humanitarian assistance to poor countries struggling with the effects of the pandemic.
Some may be tempted to think, “Don’t we need to take care of our own people first? Are we responsible for the health of people in other countries? “Of course, every step needs to be taken to make the Covid-19 vaccine available here for those who need it and are looking for it, as well as provide assistance to families and communities affected by the pandemic. But if we are too narrow in our view, it can hurt us.
We all know that Covid-19 entered our country from other countries. New virus mutations have also come from other countries, including Brazil, South Africa and the UK. It is impossible to end a pandemic by simply tackling it in the US as if we could build a wall around our country to prevent it. I recently heard someone say that a virus outbreak is everywhere.
It was recently reported in the New York Times that 90% of the 400 million vaccines shipped to date have been sent to wealthy and middle-income countries. So, sharing resources with those in need seems orderly. The recent decision by the United States to send four million doses of vaccine to Canada and Mexico, our two closest neighbors and major trading partners, is a sign of a hopeful international partnership.