President Biden is upping pressure on the government to focus on battling Ebola outbreaks as the campaign for his re-election heats up in a race that has now tightened to a dead heat with his Democratic challenger, Sen. Hillary Clinton.
In a call with reporters Saturday, Biden’s point person on Ebola, Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, said the government is sending 1.3 million doses of the military-produced vaccine, Cervarix, to the World Health Organization next week. The details were confirmed by a senior White House official with direct knowledge of the call.
It will be the largest potential delivery of the vaccine, which can be given to 70,000 people, though officials said the government has not decided how the vaccine will be distributed to countries that don’t have it.
Cervarix is made by GlaxoSmithKline, the same pharmaceutical company that manufactured a vaccine for the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. It is currently not being used in the current Ebola outbreak.
The administration is also making available a further 1.5 million doses of Ebola vaccine, the U.S. official said.
They are showing a united front on this issue – which is different from what they’ve done with tariffs and immigration – as the campaign kicks off in earnest. After a few days of campaigning abroad, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will make a three-day swing through Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire as the administration seeks to improve its party’s prospects in a key race that will determine control of the Senate.