Biden refuses to share vaccines with Mexico, will focus on vaccinating Americans first

President Biden is scheduled to meet with the President of Mexico on Monday to discuss migration and the coronavirus pandemic amongst other topics. Ahead of the meeting, White House Press Secretary Psaki indicated that Mr. Biden will be denying Mexico’s request that the US share part of its vaccine supply.

When asked if the President would consider sharing part of the vaccine supply with Mexico, Psaki bluntly said, “No. The President has made clear that he is focused on ensuring that vaccines are accessible to every American. That is our focus.”

Press Secretary Jen Psaki takes questions from reporters during a press briefing Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Chandler West) 
Press Secretary Jen Psaki takes questions from reporters during a press briefing Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Chandler West)

Mexican President López Obrador had indicated that he would be requesting a share of the US vaccine supply during his meeting with Biden, saying in his daily briefing Monday, “We want a response to a petition we have already made, and if President Biden considers it, he can give us a response on vaccines during the conversation.”

Press Secretary Psaki said Monday, “The next step is economic recovery, and that is ensuring that our neighbors, Mexico and Canada, have similarly managed the pandemic so that we can open our borders and build back better.”

While the White House has indicated that assisting the United States’ neighboring countries with their vaccination efforts will be a likely possibly further down the road, the Biden administration remains firmly committed to making sure every American gets vaccinated as its top priority.

“But our focus, his focus, the administration’s focus is on ensuring that every American is vaccinated. And once we accomplish that objective, we’re happy to discuss further steps beyond that,” Psaki reaffirmed.

Mexico has reportedly vaccinated less than 2% of its population while over 15% of Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Noah Pitcher is a global politics correspondent for Today News Africa covering the U.S. government, United Nations, African Union, and other actors involved in international developments, political controversies, and humanitarian issues.

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