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U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Hit 14-Month Low as Biden Pledges to Ship 20M Vaccine Doses Abroad

HeadlineMay 18, 2021

In the United States, a weekly average of coronavirus deaths has fallen to its lowest level in 14 months, while hospitalizations and new cases continue to decline. Nearly half of all U.S. residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, though the pace of inoculations continues to fall, with vaccine supplies outpacing demand. On Monday, President Biden said the U.S. would send at least 20 million vaccine doses to other nations by the end of June.

President Joe Biden: “We’ll share these vaccines in the service of ending the pandemic everywhere. And we will not use our vaccines to secure favors from other countries.”

Twenty million doses represents a small fraction of what’s needed to vaccinate most of the world’s 7.8 billion people. Fewer than 5% of Asia’s population and about 1% of Africans have been vaccinated. On Monday, World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus blasted the growing gap between rich and poor nations as “vaccine apartheid.”

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: “The world is in vaccine apartheid. As you know, high-income countries account for 15% of the world’s population but have 45% of the world’s vaccines.”

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