Thank you. I’m so honored to be here today, and we are here to today to underscore the bipartisan support for Taiwan and the strength of our partnership.
This pandemic has been a global challenge, and too many of us have lost loved ones, and had their livelihoods taken away. And for the past year and a half, we’ve seen how COVID-19 knows no borders. It spreads quickly and without hesitation. And it doesn’t care about race, religion, or political preferences. Even as some nations seek to use the response or COVID-19 to coerce others, we are here as friends. Because we know that Taiwan is experiencing a challenging time right now, which is why it was especially important for the three of us to be here in a bipartisan way.
Friends come to each other’s aid. The Biden administration has announced its framework for sharing at least 80 million vaccines – U.S. vaccine doses – globally, and the plan is for the first 25 million doses. After several weeks of conversations between each of the three of us and the White House officials, I am pleased to say that Taiwan will be receiving 750,000 doses of the vaccine as part of the first tranche of doses. It was critical for the United States that Taiwan be included in the first group to receive vaccines, because we recognize your urgent need, and we value this partnership.
We’ll be meeting with Taiwan’s leadership this morning to better understand Taiwan’s needs and carry those messages back to Washington. I know in the days ahead, the Biden administration will work to ensure Taiwan receives its shipment of safe and effective U.S. vaccines as soon as possible. This will help save lives and bring us closer to ending this pandemic, once and for all. Because ending this pandemic means that all of us in the international community must work together to get shots in the arms of as many people as possible. Because truly ending this pandemic means ending it everywhere.
And it also reflects our gratitude to Taiwan’s support for the American people in our time of need. In the early days of the pandemic, Taiwan came to our aid with supplies of PPE and other donations that helped to save American lives. And on behalf of the American people, we want to thank you for that. This is yet another example of how democracies work together to help one another.
You know, I especially wanted to be here because of my family. Most of you may know my father’s family has served in the American military going back to the Revolution, fighting for freedom and democracy. But most people don’t know that my mother’s family is actually Teochew from Guangdong. They walked out of China, seeking freedom to escape communism. My mother was born in Thailand in the early 1940s, so it’s especially important to me to be here to support another democracy in the region. My family and I know the price of freedom. And I’m here to tell you that the United States will not let you stand alone. We will be by your side to make sure that the people of Taiwan have what they need to get to the other side of this pandemic and beyond. Thank you.