At a daily press briefing, State Department spokesman Ned Price recalled that the United States has millions of doses of vaccines and is ready to send some if Beijing wanted. “The United States is the largest donor of Covid vaccines worldwide. We are ready to continue helping people around the world, including China, with these vaccines or any other Covid support,” he said. “It is in the international society’s interest that we can jointly help China to keep [l’épidémie] under control,” he added.
Since 2020, China has introduced strict health restrictions in the name of a so-called “zero Covid” policy, which has made it possible to protect the most vulnerable, generally poorly vaccinated. The government unexpectedly ended most of these measures in early December amid growing public anger and a significant impact on the economy.
The number of cases has since exploded. The extent of the epidemic is “impossible” to determine, with authorities admitting that screening tests are no longer mandatory and the data is fragmentary.