White House: Biden not considering sharing Covid vaccine with Mexico

White House press secretary Jen Psaki takes a question from a reporter during a press briefing at the White House, Monday, March 1, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Quint Forgey
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that President Joe Biden would not consider Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s expected request that the U.S. share its coronavirus vaccine supply with its neighbor to the south.

Biden and López Obrador are scheduled to meet virtually Monday afternoon for a summit that Psaki said will “reaffirm the enduring partnership between” the U.S. and Mexico, which is “based on mutual respect and the extraordinary bond of family and friendship.”

But during the upcoming conversation between the two leaders, Psaki said Biden would reject his foreign counterpart if asked to contribute a portion of U.S. vaccine doses to Mexico — a solicitation López Obrador is reportedly likely to make.

“No. The president has made clear that he is focused on ensuring that vaccines are accessible to every American. That is our focus,” Psaki told reporters at a White House press briefing.

“The next step is economic recovery. And that is ensuring that our neighbors, Mexico and Canada, have similarly managed the pandemic, so that we can open our borders and build back better,” she added.

For the time being, however, “the administration’s focus is on ensuring that every American is vaccinated,” Psaki said. “And once we accomplish that objective, we’re happy to discus further steps beyond that.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas will join Biden for his meeting with López Obrador. The leaders will discuss “a new phase of the U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship,” Psaki said, with a specific emphasis on “migration, recovery from Covid-19, climate change and security.”

On Saturday, the Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine — the third shot to be cleared for use in the U.S., after those from Pfizer and Moderna.

Weekly vaccine shipments to states have ramped up to 14.5 million over the past month, and drugmakers testified last week that the U.S. is on track to have 3 million doses per day available by April.