The United States has administered more than 289 million COVID-19 vaccinations to date (including 130 million people who have received both doses). Approximately 230 million Americans should be fully vaccinated by August 2021. Despite these impressive numbers, much of the world remains vastly behind the United States in not only administering vaccines, but basic access to vaccines for their populations. With U.S. industrial might and coordination ramping up in the vaccine rollout, the country should look beyond its borders to address the epidemic globally.
The Navy’s Humanitarian Assistance History
The Navy has a long and storied role in humanitarian missions. As early as 1908, the Navy provided aid to Messina, Sicily, when it was hit by an estimated 7.1 magnitude earthquake that killed approximately 80,000 people. The Great White Fleet was in the Suez Canal on its voyage around the world when President Theodore Roosevelt directed it to provide humanitarian assistance.