The first Quad Summit meeting between India, Australia, Japan and the United States on Friday is expected to reach a decision on the Coronavirus vaccine, commented a top diplomat. India has also asked the other Quad members to invest in India’s vaccine production which can counter China’s increasing vaccine diplomacy as Beijing has committed that it will be distributing its vaccines from Asia to Africa, Europe and Latin America, according to the calculations of Reuters.
Secretary of State, Tony Blinken said, “We have a Quad summit meeting on Friday with President (Joe) Biden, and I expect we’ll see something on vaccines coming out of that summit. There are other things that we’re looking at that we’re working on in the days and weeks and months ahead to make sure that we are a leading international actor in creating greater access to vaccines”.
Blinken added, “ First, we have to stop Covid-19 and restore and strengthen our global health security. And as such, I will really appreciate the early aggressive actions by the president as well as the administration to ramp up vaccine production here, to ramp up distribution with the Bill that we passed today, the American Rescue Plan. We have to make sure that every American is vaccinated. And that is our number one priority. That is job one. As we’re doing that, we’re looking at ways to accelerate access to vaccines around the world. As we discussed a little bit earlier, it’s in our national security interest to do that because, as long as the virus is replicating, it’s mutating. As long as it’s mutating, it could come back to bite us. So, we have a strong interest in doing that”.
Dr. Ami Bera, the Indian American Congressman remarked, “ I want to recognize the importance of the Quad and the importance that the administration has played on our Quad relationship in the region with Japan, Australia, and India. But I’m a doctor first, and, you know, my interests have always been as a physician on global health pandemic preparedness. I would be curious, as we start to think about once we’ve stopped Covid here domestically or at least gotten vaccines to the US population, how we’re going to directly engage and counter some of what China is doing, in a coercive way, frankly, with what I think is a worse vaccine”.
Blinken commented that a leader level summit would be held on Friday. Brad Sherman, a Congressman stated that he is pleased of Mr. Biden’s presence in the Quad Summit this Friday, along with the heads of Australia, India and Japan.