Covid came from China, best vaccines come from US: Republican senator

·2-min read

Washington, Jun 9 (PTI) As America dispatches Covid vaccines and medical supplies as aid to countries such as India, an influential Republican senator said the coronavirus 'came' from China, while the best vaccines come from the United States.

President Joe Biden had announced that the US will allocate 75 per cent, nearly 1.9 crore of the first tranche of 2.5 crore doses, of unused COVID-19 vaccines from its stockpile through the UN-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing programme to several countries.

'The coronavirus is not over. It is better in the United States, but it's not better in South America. It's not better in sub-Saharan Africa. It's better but not good in India. And the facts are the facts. I don't mean this to be a political statement. The virus came from China. The best vaccines came from the United States,' Senator John Kennedy said.

The United States has an opportunity right now to demonstrate to the world what American leadership looks like, he said.

'We have an opportunity right now to do the right thing to help save lives, to do the smart thing in terms of our national security, and to check the rise of the Communist Party in China, not the people of China. The people of China are good people, but the members of the Communist Party of China are pirates,' Kennedy said.

'Now, we know that many countries like the United States have the ability to manufacture and to store and to distribute the vaccine. But a lot of countries don't. And it's dangerous. Not only is it immoral, us not addressing this problem, it's dangerous for the United States, as the virus mutates,' the senator said.

Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who on Tuesday testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee during a Congressional hearing on the 2022 Budget Request for the state department, said that President Biden has instructed now to push out 80 million vaccines between now and early July.

'Once that is done, that will be by a factor of five, more than any other country has shared around the world. We're going to build on that and we have access vaccines beyond July, we will be contributing those. We are working very hard to significantly increase production around the world so that we can do that,' he said.

This is a critical moment for the US and for its global leadership, Blinken said.

'We have major tests, including stopping COVID-19, rising to the challenge of the climate crisis, supporting a global economic recovery that delivers for American workers and families,' said the secretary of state. PTI LKJ ANB ANB