A patient breathes with the help of oxygen provided by a Gurdwara, a place of worship for Sikhs, inside an auto rickshaw parked under a tent along the roadside amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in Ghaziabad on Monday. Photo: VCG
The US will share up to 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine with other countries, the White House said Monday. This is a decision apparently made under intense pressure from international public opinion.
However, the world would wonder, why AstraZeneca but not Pfizer? As is known to all, the AstraZeneca vaccine has been recognized by the European Medicines Agency and others as having a low risk of causing blood clots, and it has not yet been approved for emergency use in the US. That is to say, Washington is going to silence the world by sending out vaccines that it is afraid to use.
The White House said the AstraZeneca vaccine will be shipped from the US to other countries after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completes a safety review process. People have the reason to worry that the US’ “review process” will be simplified because the vaccines are designated for using on foreigners.
It’s reported previously that the Emergent BioSolutions plant in Baltimore that makes AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines was ordered to halt production, because it failed to follow basic industry standards and accidents often took place repeatedly. Up to 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine have been ruined. Will the AstraZeneca vaccines the White House planned to export still be produced by this plant?
Either way, there are doubts that Washington is not sincere enough about providing these vaccines to other countries. Can the AstraZeneca vaccines be produced on time and in accordance with the stringent hygiene conditions of the pharmaceutical industry? Are they safe? Washington is sending out its vaccine stockpiles to other countries bit by bit, like squeezing a toothpaste tube. Is it categorizing people into classes? Is there overt racism and discrimination?
US media outlets such as CNN claim the US has gone from having one of the worst COVID-19 responses to being “a global leader in vaccinations.” However, this is how the US is leading the world – it thinks it should realize immunity as soon as possible and then distribute the inferior vaccines to other countries while the latter must be grateful for such US “goodness” and jointly help safeguard the “American First” order.
Some Chinese scholars who know US politics well believe Biden himself may not have such a negative attitude toward vaccine exports. However, the US election has put pressure on him. It’s not an easy decision for the Biden administration to agree to share unused vaccine stockpiles. The Biden administration must openly promote “American vaccination first.” US’ political selfishness is in fact a magnified sense of collective selfishness. This is why the US as a country appears to be more selfish than a single American individual seems to be.
The logic of the US is particularly depressing to the world. When it comes to vaccines, the US and some developing countries can be compared as this: While rich people have wine and dining, poor people die of cold and hunger by the roadside. And this is just a microcosm of US hegemony. Such hegemonism is deeply embedded in every aspect of US foreign relations. This includes its abuse of the dollar advantage and its greedy and perverted pursuit of national security.
Those with a guilty moral conscience are most likely to be envious and jealous of others. They are also ones that care about their reputation the most. The US has been explicitly and implicitly accusing China and Russia of adopting “vaccine diplomacy.” The mutually beneficial cooperation between China and other developing countries has been blatantly condemned as a “debt trap” used by Beijing to control poor countries.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has become the world’s production and supply center of anti-pandemic materials. However, smears have been cast on this by Washington in every possible way. Even in areas where the US performed the worst, the country never stops proclaiming itself the global leader.
We would love to see Washington play an active role in the global fight against the pandemic. We would love to see it start to export its vaccines as soon as possible. But we hope that the US will act more practically. Even if the country cannot do more and talk less, it should be able to do as it says at least.
Washington blames China and Russia for “vaccine diplomacy,” while it is the one that has adopted “vaccine diplomacy” to counter international discontent. Washington should focus on the pandemic fight rather than on geopolitical calculations. It should know that the international community cannot be fooled, because everyone has a scale in his heart.