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Blinken says US won't trade Covid shots for political favors

April 5, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 23.9%. 1 min read.

Newly confirmed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a welcome ceremony at the State Department in Washington,DC on January 27, 2021. (Photo by CARLOS BARRIA / POOL / AFP) (Photo by CARLOS BARRIA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Secretary of State Tony Blinken said that the US would not "trade shots in arms for political favors" when outlining the State Department's plans to share supplies of Covid-19 vaccines with other countries, though he offered little detail on what that outreach would look like.

Washington (CNN)Secretary of State Tony Blinken said that the US would not "trade shots in arms for political favors" when outlining the State Department's plans to share supplies of Covid-19 vaccines with other countries, though he offered little detail on what that outreach would look like.

Blinken made the announcement and unveiled a new Covid coordinator, Gayle Smith, as the US has come under increasing criticism for its failure to share unused vaccines with other countries, even as Russia and China have aggressively pursued vaccine diplomacy with nations around the world.

"As we get more confident in our vaccine supply here at home, we are exploring options to share more with other countries going forward," Blinken said.

"Even if we vaccinate all 332 million people in United States tomorrow, we would still not be fully safe from the virus," the top US diplomat said in remarks at the State Department.

Blinken also introduced Smith, the head of the ONE Campaign and former head of the US Agency for International Development, who will become the State Department coordinator for international efforts to fight the Covid pandemic.

Noting her experience leading the US response to the Ebola crisis in 2014, and working on the global fight against malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV AIDS, Blinken said Smith is "tested.

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