With the visit of US Under Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman, a group of prominent American expatriates living in Thailand issued an open letter requesting vaccines against Covid-19. The letter implored the US government to include provisions to guarantee vaccines to all American expatriates in the kingdom.
” Do not give up us ! The United States continues to have a growing vaccine surplus, but many Americans abroad still lack access to vaccines and their lives are in danger.
The letter is a collaboration between the President of the Democrats Abroad in Thailand, Paul Risley, the Vice President of the Overseas Republicans for Asia, Tony Rodriguez, the President of the American Women’s Club of Thailand, Ambreen Miraly, and Veterans of Foreign Wars Commander Carl Manchester. Groups are advocating for vaccines for expats who struggle to access them during Thailand’s slow rollout. While only 3.5% of people in Thailand have been vaccinated, more than half of people in the United States have received 1 jab and 40% have been fully vaccinated.
Assuming that discussions between Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and Assistant Secretary Sherman would include many discussions about U.S. assistance to Thailand for the purchase of vaccines, the letter pushed to include an allowance for US citizens under the agreement. The United States has pledged US $ 30 million in aid for the Covid-19 vaccine and cited its vaccine surplus and intention to distribute it to countries struggling to vaccinate their populations.
The letter said that since China supplies the majority of vaccines to Thailand, it included in its recent donation a provision guaranteeing Chinese citizens access to the vaccination. US groups are calling for a similar clause in US aid. They pointed out that the U.S. government imposes taxes on its citizens, even when living abroad, a policy unlike almost any other country in the world and, as such, deserves access to publicly funded vaccines. the taxpayers that all other Americans receive.
On the The Democrats Abroad website, an article urges Americans to use the hashtag #TaxedButNotVaxxed on social media and includes a sample letter to send to government officials. The letter acknowledges President Biden’s frequent comments about all Americans working together and getting vaccinated, and highlights vaccines available to US State Department personnel around the world, veterans in Manila. and plans to vaccinate South Korean soldiers.
The letter calls for vaccines for all 9 million Americans living abroad and requests that donations of surplus US vaccines to countries include vaccines for US citizens. The article quoted Joe Biden in a recent speech where he pointed out that all Americans around the world are dealing with Covid-19 together.
âRemember, we are all Americans. Let us remember that we are all in the same boatâ¦ And we have to take this pandemic, deal with it not only here but also abroad to be truly safe in the long term. “
For more discussion and insight into the struggle of expats in the United States for help getting vaccinated, check out today’s episode of Good Morning Thailand where Tim and Bill discuss the issue with their guest Peter from Democrats Aboard.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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