Trump to sign coronavirus vaccine executive order prioritizing Americans over foreign nations

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Updated: March 7, 2021

U.S. President Donald John Trump plans to sign an executive order on Tuesday that will ensure Americans have access to the coronavirus vaccine before it is sent to nations around the world, Fox News first reported on Monday.

Fox News cited senior administration officials as saying that Trump will reemphasize to the American people that the “priority has been an American First approach,” during a vaccine summit at the White House on Tuesday.

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“The priority is to make sure we distribute these vaccines to Americans before we start shipping them around the world to get international access,” an official told Fox News.

The official predicted that international assistance could come “late spring, early summer,” after they “achieve vaccinating those who have a desire to be vaccinated.”

The network quoted the official as saying that executive order is “clear and is directing that we prioritize access to the American people before working with partners and allies to provide access to the vaccine.”

The official added that the order will identify “who will be working with the international aspect of this, the framework, guides and tools, for when we have an excess supply to meet those demands.”

The executive order will come just days before the Food and Drug Administration meets on Thursday regarding Pfizer and BioNtech application for emergency use authorization of their coronavirus vaccine. Both companies filed for an emergency use of their vaccine three weeks ago. The FDA also plans to meet on December 17 to discuss Moderna’s vaccine.

Fox News cited a White House source close to the Coronavirus Task Force as saying last week that the Pfizer-BioNtech authorization could come as early as Friday.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said last week that they are “very hopeful” of approval and that they are “moving very quickly.”

Fox News said “the order will also be accompanied by a framework for international access to COVID-19 vaccines, which will provide guidelines for how USAID, HHS, the Export-Import Bank, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corp interacts with foreign countries to bring an end to the coronavirus pandemic.”

President Trump will be replaced by Joe Biden on January 20, 2021, and it’s unclear whether the Biden-Harris administration will not repeal Trump’s executive order.

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Simon Ateba Washington DC
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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