Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) sent a bipartisan letter with their colleagues calling on U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts for the nine million Americans living abroad.
The senators urged the administration to donate supplemental doses to U.S. embassies and consulates in coordination with the Department of Defense, prioritizing the vaccination of Americans living in countries where they are considered ineligible or in those that are not distributing vaccines authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization.
“While the country is quickly approaching its target of vaccinating 70 percent of adults based in the U.S., vaccination rates around the world vary significantly. Around 85 percent of shots administered so far have been in high- and upper-middle-income countries, while only 0.3 percent of doses have been administered in low-income countries. While Americans abroad are eligible to receive vaccines in some countries, in others, Americans are ineligible as non-citizens,” the senators wrote.
The senators continued, “Should Americans living abroad wish to travel to the U.S. to receive the vaccine, the financial burden of travel as well as lengthy quarantine requirements upon return to their host country may be prohibitive. As a result of these complicating factors, millions of Americans abroad worry they may not have access to a vaccine for months or even years.”
“The administration has made remarkable progress in vaccinating Americans at home and U.S. officials overseas. As the attention shifts to global vaccination efforts, we urge you to explore all viable options to support vaccination of the millions of Americans living abroad,” the senators concluded.
This letter was led by U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and joined by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).
The full text of the letter can be found HERE.