Trump to sign coronavirus vaccine executive order prioritizing Americans over foreign nations
EXCLUSIVE: President Trump is expected to sign an executive order Tuesday that will ensure all Americans have access to the corona-virus vaccine before the U.S. government begins aiding nations around the world,
Senior administration officials told Fox News Monday that the president will reemphasize to the American people that the “priority has been an America First approach,” during a vaccine summit at the White House Tuesday.
The news of the executive order comes just days ahead of the Food and Drug Administration’s Thursday meeting regarding Pfizer and BioNTech’s application for emergency authorization of their coronavirus vaccine, three weeks after the companies filed for it. The FDA also plans to meet on Dec. 17 to discuss Moderna’s vaccine.
A source close to the White House Coronavirus Task Force told Fox News last week that the Pfizer-BioNTech authorization could come as early as Friday. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn last week said that they are “very hopeful” of approval and that they are “moving very quickly.”
“The priority is to make sure we distribute these vaccines to Americans before we start shipping them around the world to get international access,” an official told Fox News, predicting that international assistance could come “late spring, early summer,” and after they “achieve vaccinating those who have a desire to be vaccinated.”
The official said that the executive order is “clear and is directing that we prioritize access to the American people before working with partners and allies to provide access to the vaccine.”
The official added that the order will identify “who will be working with the international aspect of this, the framework, guides and tools, for when we have an excess supply to meet those demands.”
“We will very soon have highly effective COVID-19 vaccines to the American people,” another official told Fox News, adding that the vaccines are “critical to ensuring the health and safety of our citizens, viability of the economy and the security of our nation.”
The order will direct the secretary of Health and Human Services to prioritize distribution of the vaccines to Americans, at speeds “unseen before.”
The order will also be accompanied by a framework for international access to COVID-19 vaccines, which will provide guidelines for how USAID, HHS, the Export-Import Bank, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corp interacts with foreign countries to bring an end to the corona-virus pandemic.