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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has named ex-diplomat Gayle Smith as the US global coronavirus response coordinator.
The appointee is a former veteran diplomat and humanitarian aid chief and will be the special envoy for US coronavirus vaccine and prevention efforts.
I can say from having worked with Gayle and admired her for years, that no one will work harder, faster, or more effectively to get us to the finish line.
In a news conference at the Department of State on this occasion, Blinken noted that Smith was the administrator of USAID for President Obama and served on the National Security Council for both President Obama and President Clinton.
"She has deep experience in responding to public health threats, having helped lead the US response to the Ebola crisis in 2014, having worked for years on the global fights against malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS. She's tested. She's highly respected," he argued.
"I'm grateful she's agreed to serve as the coordinator for Global COVID Response and Health Security," he said. He vowed that the US would do more to help other countries that are gravely affected by the pandemic.
"We hear you. And I promise we're moving as fast as possible. We'll be guided every step by core values.
"We won't trade shots in arms for political favors. This is about saving lives. We'll treat our partner countries with respect. We won't over-promise and under-deliver."
Blinken stressed that US has a duty to other countries to get the virus under control here in the United States.
But soon the United States will need to step up work and rise to the occasion worldwide because again, only by stopping COVID globally will Americans be safe for the long term.
"Moreover, we want to rise to the occasion for the world," he said. — Agencies
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