After President Joe Biden assumed office, he pledged the United States would become a global leader in the vaccination effort, launching a nonpartisan effort to supply millions of vaccinations to nations in need to help stop the outbreak.
Biden Broke a Key Promise
His advisers promised from the stage, and in front of lawmakers, that the administration will not use the vaccination to seek political advantages in the same manner that Russia and China did.
However, a brief trip to Myanmar by Bill Richardson, the former Democrat governor of New Mexico, is raising the alarm among global health proponents.
Now, even senior Biden authorities are on alert about the large extent to which the US is trying to mix politics with health issues related to making a decision of where to send its immunization doses.
Bill Richardson went to Myanmar to discuss the shipment of US vaccine to the country w/ the military . The trip is sparking tensions among officials who are worried the USG is mixing politics w/ donation decisions — something the admin vowed not to dohttps://t.co/ffwl9AJ327
— Erin Banco (@ErinBanco) December 8, 2021
All talked on the request of anonymity to avoid insulting the White House and to openly discuss private White House conversations.
Richardson, a former UN envoy with prior professional experience in Myanmar, journeyed to the South Asian capital in November on a private quest to meet with the government’s military regime.
This happened to discuss the potential shipping of US vaccine doses to the nation and to assist in the release of incarcerated American journalist, Danny Fenster.
Richardson was the very first prominent western politician to meet with military commanders since they staged a coup d’etat in February, which the global community strongly denounced.
The Former Governor was Not Working Alone
According to two people with detailed knowledge of the discussions, the former governor flew to Myanmar after gaining approval from the Department of State.
Richardson discussed the task of getting US injections into the nation with military leaders, as well as the significance of freeing Fenster, notwithstanding his 11-year sentence, according to those who spoke with him.
Good find, @TVolscho!
Wonder if it's similar to Epstein employees donating to candidates he supported. Like accountant Richard Kahn & attorney Darren Indyke (& their wives) all donating to Bill Richardson's presidential campaign. https://t.co/aerTvwGe6B
— kate briquelet (@kbriquelet) December 7, 2021
Richardson was in regular dialogue with the State Department during the trips, according to those who spoke with him. Richardson and Fenster returned to the United States on Nov. 16.
According to those persons and a top Biden official, the Biden government, and COVAX, the worldwide vaccine equity effort, are actively considering an agreement to provide US doses to Myanmar.
Richardson refused to speak to Politico after multiple requests. Richardson did not address the vaccination and Fenster’s release “in the same conference,” according to one person with intimate knowledge of his talks.
Furthermore, the military regime did not even make an official application for doses. Richardson had “no authority to operate as a spokesperson of the United States government,” according to a State Department official, and was not permitted to make vaccination delivery pledges.
“The notion that he was in any capacity to make a commitment or imply there may be some reciprocity is completely wrong,” the official added.