The United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken used the recent White House Virtual COVID-19 Summit to highlight the dedication of Jamaican Registered General Nurse Antonia Richards-Stewart, one of the many healthcare workers who has been working on the frontline since the start of the pandemic.
The summit, held on September 21st, was used to highlight how the United States has assisted countries around the world to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Blinken noted that in Jamaica, Nurse Richards-Stewart, who works at the Kingston Public Hospital, was one of the frontline workers who benefited from additional training and equipment provided by USAID.
“If – if we work together with the unity and urgency required at this moment, we can end the pandemic. I am convinced we can do this, in no small part because of the extraordinary people around the world who are working at this every single day, caring for the sick and their families, working to beat back this deadly virus,” he prefaced.
“People like Antonia Richards Stewart, a nurse in Jamaica. Additional training and equipment provided by USAID helped Antonia and her colleagues at the Kingston Public Hospital save lives there as well. But Antonia says that of everything she learned during the pandemic, the most important lesson in many ways has been the most basic, and I quote: “What is critical to winning [the] fight against COVID-19 is us, the people.” And ultimately, that’s always what it comes down to.
So if we take one message from the summit, that’s it. It comes down to us – what we do in this critical moment in the weeks ahead, in the months ahead,” Blinken stated.
Secretary Blinken also added that the United States plans to continue providing training and COVID-19 equipment to healthcare workers around the world, including in the Caribbean. He also announced that President Joe Biden plans to donate additional vaccines to small countries.
“The new commitments that President Biden announced today, including purchasing an additional half a billion doses of Pfizer vaccine, which brings our total commitment to more than 1.1 billion doses, shows that the United States will continue to engage and continue to lead,” he said.
The United States said it is assisting governments around the world to vaccinate billions of people. “Be must vaccinate billions more people, and quickly, fully vaccinating at least 70 percent of the population, in every country, in every major category, by 2022,” Blinken stated.