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Margaret Brennan On Paris Agreement, COVID Vaccine Supply

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Face The Nation host Margaret Brennan discusses the return to the Paris Agreement and the demand for COVID-19 vaccine across the country.

Video Transcript

- America is back. That was the message that President Biden gave to world leaders today during the virtual Munich Security Conference. He says the US is determined to support its allies in Europe. "Face the Nation" host, Margaret Brennan, is live in Washington with us here tonight. Margaret, today marked America's official return to the Paris Agreement as well.

MARGARET BRENNAN: That's right. This was the climate change accord from back in 2016 that aims to dramatically lower greenhouse gas emissions country by country, but it's up to each country to actually follow through with that pledge. And as Secretary of State, former Secretary of State, John Kerry, now climate envoy, Kerry made clear today this step, in his view, was necessary, but it is not sufficient to deal with the problem.

In fact, he believes and argued to CBS News that even more dramatic steps need to be taken in order to actually reach that goal of lowering the threat level posed by greenhouse gas emissions. So this is a big priority for the Biden administration, but the symbolism of rejoining the agreement itself was reassuring to allies.

There was also a number of key meetings, including the largest economies in the world at the G7 spoke today about coordinating on pandemic response and trying to pool resources for vaccine supply, with the president standing by a pledge of $4 billion that was made in December by the prior administration.

- And Margaret, let's talk a little bit more about vaccines. It seems to be what everyone's talking about these days. Massachusetts, like many states, struggling to keep up with the demand for the vaccine. Our governor, Charlie Baker, says he wants more of a heads up to how many vaccines are going to be shipped here and what the date is for that. How is President Biden addressing that?

MARGARET BRENNAN: That's right. Your governor, Baker, signed on to that letter, along with about nine governors to the federal government, saying that they don't-- well, they would prefer to have more control or visibility at least, or at least some detail shared with the public about the portion of the vaccine supply that governors don't have control of and that the federal government is directly giving to pharmacies and other distribution networks.

So this is basically a big political problem for all local leaders when they have to figure out how to get the supply into the arms of their constituents. And in this letter from the National Governors Association Leaders that governor Baker signed on to, he was one of many raising this to the administration. We don't yet know that it will affect any change, but it's just a reminder that the Biden administration now owns this problem of figuring out how to get adequate supply out into the states and do it in the most efficient way possible, and state health agencies don't like giving up that control.

- Yeah. It is a battle over control with the vaccine right now. Thank you so much, Margaret Brennan. Always appreciate you taking some time with us here on these Friday afternoons. And, of course, you could watch Margaret on "Face the Nation" Sunday morning at 10:30 right here on channel four. Paula.