Kuala Lumpur, Dec 15 — US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken today commended Malaysia’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and expressed appreciation for Malaysia’s contribution of vaccines to Covax, a worldwide vaccine sharing initiative.
Secretary Blinken said because of Malaysia’s remarkable leadership and success, it even had the capacity to distribute excess vaccines to other countries and Covax.
“This is deeply appreciated and evidence of real leadership,” he said during a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah.
He said during the bilateral meeting with Saifuddin earlier, they had touched on what could be done together to overcome the current challenge of Covid-19 and build back better for the next pandemic.
“We have to take this moment to strengthen the global health security system. So the next time we are better able to hopefully prevent, certainly detect, and as necessary deal with effectively a new pandemic,” he said.
Blinken arrived in Kuala Lumpur last night for a two-day working visit. He had earlier stopped in Jakarta, Indonesia, and will continue with his itinerary to Bangkok, Thailand.
He said the US is also working hard on making good on its commitment to provide again through Covax so that these vaccines will be equitably distributed.
“By through 2022, the US expects to donate 1.2 billion vaccines around the world without strings attached, we have a commitment to see what can be done to close the gaps in terms of vaccinations,” he said.