Gail Smith will focus on vaccine issues globally
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has appointed Gail Smith, a former USAID coordinator who helped lead the Obama administration’s Ebola response, as the State Department’s Global COVID Response and Health Sector Coordinator.
In his speech, Anthony Blinken noted that many countries are asking the United States to increase supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine and that Washington is making efforts to do so.
“We have already lent the vaccine to our closest neighbors Mexico and Canada. We will work with international partners to manufacture and supply it to ensure there is enough vaccine for everyone, everywhere, ”Blinken said.
The United States, which has not yet authorized the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, said it plans to ship approximately 4 million doses of the vaccine to Mexico and Canada through bilateral agreements. Washington also announced that it, along with three of its closest partners in the Indo-Pacific region, is committed to delivering up to a billion doses of vaccine across Asia by the end of 2022.
Anthony Blinken said Gail Smith has experience in dealing with global health crises including malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV. She was previously CEO of ONE Campaign, a global organization working to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030.
Speaking after Blinken, Smith said that “with a common goal, science, vigilance, and leadership” the world can defeat any virus.
“American leadership is essential and I am absolutely confident that we can meet the requirements,” she added.