President Biden met with Pope Francis at the Vatican today ahead of the G20 summit in Rome. The pope has called for global vaccine equity and has urged world leaders to do more to tackle the climate crisis. In 2015, he penned the Encyclical on Climate Change and Inequality. On Thursday, before his departure for Europe, activists held a rally in Washington, D.C., to demand Biden keep his promise to make the COVID vaccine available to all countries, and to put people over profits. This is human rights advocate Pauline Muchina.
Pauline Muchina: “We talk about solidarity. We talk about global community. But we are hoarding vaccines. Five hundred million vaccines were promised by President Biden. How many of them have left the United States?”
Protesters: “Not enough!”
Pauline Muchina: “We hear of people throwing out vaccines. How many vaccines have been destroyed instead of shared around the world? It is time to end vaccines apartheid!”
The rally was followed by an all-night vigil in front of the home of White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeffrey Zients. More protests are expected in Italy over the weekend as the G20 gets underway.