The United States has sent more than 110 million doses of coronavirus vaccines to 65 countries, President Biden said Tuesday, putting the country ahead of all others on vaccine donations and “proving that democracies can deliver.”

The president’s remarks, delivered from the White House, came after he implored Americans to accept coronavirus vaccines as the highly contagious delta variant sweeps the country.

“We have a supply for every single American,” he said. “At the same time, it’s also in our national interest to share some of our vaccines with the world.”

“As long as the virus continues to rage outside the United States, potentially more dangerous variants could arrive at our shores again,” he said.

Tom Hart, acting chief executive of the ONE Campaign, an organization focused on extreme poverty and preventable disease, praised the Biden administration’s global response. The administration’s moves “will help save lives, reduce the emergence of variants, and limit the spread of this deadly virus,” he said in a statement following Biden’s speech.

But some global health experts have offered a more pessimistic outlook, as the pandemic surges in many parts of the world.

“The doses are useful, but they are just too little, too late,” said Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University Law. “It’s not going to make much of a dent in the pandemic.”

Over the course of the pandemic, health experts have sounded the alarm over the vaccination disparity between rich and poor countries, from both moral and strategic perspectives. World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told The Washington Post last week that the sharp divergence marked a “betrayal of trust” that had cost lives, which could have been saved if “the wealthiest countries allowed poorer countries access to their fair share of vaccines.”

What to know

  • What do we know about U.S. vaccine sharing?
  • Where are vaccine doses most needed?
  • What more could the United States and other nations be doing?
  • How has the delta surge changed things?