Gayle Smith, the new State Department Coordinator for Global COVID-19 Response and Health Security, speaks about U.S. leadership in fighting the coronavirus pandemic at the State Department in Washington, Monday, April 5, 2021. (Al Drago/Pool via AP)
UPDATED 8:11 AM PT – Tuesday, April 6, 2021
The Biden administration has appointed a new coordinator for its global COVID-19 response. On Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the former administrator for the Agency for International Development, Gayle Smith, will take on the role.
This comes as many countries are putting pressure on the U.S. to share coronavirus vaccine supplies with them. Smith addressed these concerns on Monday.
“Our challenges now are to first shorten the lifespan of a borderless pandemic that is destroying lives and livelihoods all over the world, and the second is to ensure that we can prevent, detect and respond to those future global health threats we know are coming,” she stated. “American leadership is desperately needed and I’m extremely confident we can rise to the occasion.”
While in office, President Trump balked at the idea of vaccine sharing until every American had the chance to receive one.