Biden announces global US vaccine donation ahead of G7 summit

By Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner, Melissa Mahtani and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 2020 GMT (0420 HKT) June 10, 2021
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2:20 p.m. ET, June 10, 2021

These are the people attending Biden and Johnson's bilateral meeting

From CNN's Betsy Klein in Falmouth, England

Toby Melville/WPA Pool/Getty Images
Toby Melville/WPA Pool/Getty Images

President Biden's bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and members of the United Kingdom delegation is still underway in Carbis Bay, Cornwall in England.

Here's a full list of participants from the White House:

US

  • President Biden
  • Antony Blinken, Secretary of State
  • Jake Sullivan, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Yael Lempert, Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy
  • Jeffrey Zients, coordinator of the Covid-19 Response and Counselor to the President
  • Daleep Singh, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor, and Deputy National Economic Council Director
  • Dr. Amanda Sloat, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs, National Security Council
  • Rebecca Neff, Director for European Affairs 

UK

  • Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Dominic Raab, MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland
  • Karen Pierce, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United States
  • Lord David Frost, Minister of State
  • Sir Stephen Lovegrove, National Security Advisor
  • Mr. Will Gelling, Private Secretary for Foreign Affairs
  • Professor John Bew, Foreign Policy Special Advisor
  • Mr. Jack Doyle, Director of Communications

Read more about today's US-UK meeting here.

2:21 p.m. ET, June 10, 2021

First lady says Biden has been "studying for weeks" ahead of foreign trip and Putin meeting

From CNN's Kevin Liptak in Falmouth, England

Phil Noble/Pool/AFP/Getty Images
Phil Noble/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

First lady Jill Biden says her husband has been preparing for weeks for his first foreign trip, including his high-stakes meeting next week with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"He’s so well prepared," Dr. Biden told reporters in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, as her husband was sitting down to his first meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

"He’s been studying for weeks working up for today," she said. "He knows most of the leaders that will be here. Joe loves foreign policy. This is his forte."

Asked specifically about whether he'd prepared to meet with Putin, she exclaimed: "He’s overprepared!"

She said the trip was off to a "beautiful beginning," and said she and the President were looking forward to meeting Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday.

Asked to explain her jacket, which had the word "love" printed on the back, Dr. Biden said, "I think we’re bringing love from America."

"We’re trying to bring unity across the globe," she said, adding she hoped people "feel a sense of hope after this year of the pandemic."

1:26 p.m. ET, June 10, 2021

NOW: Biden meets with UK PM Boris Johnson 

From CNN's Kevin Liptak and Kate Sullivan 

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie Johnson and US President Joe Biden with first lady Jill Biden walk outside Carbis Bay, Cornwall, on Thursday, June 10.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie Johnson and US President Joe Biden with first lady Jill Biden walk outside Carbis Bay, Cornwall, on Thursday, June 10. Toby Melville/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

President Biden's first in-person engagement with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is underway now in southwest England. They are expected to commit to working to open up travel between the US and the UK and lifting restrictions that were put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The two leaders exchanged pleasantries, but otherwise did not speak substantively to reporters ahead of the talks.

Biden said he'd been to the United Kingdom many times, but it was his first stop as President. Biden, noting it was a pleasure to meet Johnson's wife, quipped that both he and Johnson had "married up."

Earlier, Biden greeted Johnson along a stretch of ocean to launch their first face-to-face meeting. The two men's wives, Jill Biden and Carrie Johnson, also joined the greeting on a deck overlooking St. Ives Bay in Cornwall.

“It gorgeous. I don’t want to go home,” Biden said, according to pool reporters.

The foursome climbed a set of stairs to go inside, where the old Atlantic Charter had been put on display for the leaders to view.

The leaders are planning to sign an updated version of the document that better reflects the 21st-century world. The new Atlantic Charter will be modeled on the historic declaration made by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1941 that set out American and British goals for the world after the end of World War II, according to national security adviser Jake Sullivan.

As they viewed the charter, Biden and Johnson were both wearing masks. Outside, the leaders and their wives were maskless.

The new charter will outline priorities, values and challenges that include defending democracy, reaffirming the importance of collective security, building a more fair and sustainable global trading system, combating cyberattacks, addressing the climate crisis, protecting biodiversity and bringing an end to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Some more background: Personal dynamics between the leaders of the United States and Britain have often played a key role in the "special relationship" between the two trans-Atlantic powers. Roosevelt and Churchill were famously close, as were Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President Bill Clinton, and then, to the surprise of many, Blair and US President George W. Bush during the Iraq War.

Johnson was a favorite of former US President Donald Trump, who praised him for his support for Brexit, Britain's withdrawal from the European Union. During the 2020 campaign, Biden referred to Johnson as a "physical and emotional clone" of Trump.

Biden still holds deep reservations about Britain's exit from the European Union — a move Johnson championed and has advocated for as prime minister. Biden is expected to press Johnson on the issue during their talks, and specifically on how it might affect the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland.

Hear what the two leaders said during their meeting:

9:37 a.m. ET, June 10, 2021

Biden and Johnson are meeting soon in the UK. Here's a look back at their relationship. 

From CNN's Maegan Vazquez

President Biden prepares to address American service members and their families at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, England, on June 9.
President Biden prepares to address American service members and their families at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, England, on June 9. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

President Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will soon hold their first face-to-face bilateral meeting in Carbis Bay in Cornwall.

In style and in substance, the leaders are two very different men leading two countries whose relationship makes up one of the most important global alliances.

Biden rode into the White House last year on a record that spanned nearly 50 years in public service. And while the President ran as an antidote to then-President Donald Trump, Johnson has often been compared to the 45th President for his populist message and often brash comments.

The similarities between Trump and Johnson aren't lost on Biden, who on the 2020 campaign trail once called Johnson a "physical and emotional clone" of Trump.

Given the tight ties between the US and UK, observers expect the public portions of the meeting to be cordial and warm. But both men enter this weekend's diplomatic gathering under pressure to define their respective roles in the world and amongst other global powers.

Biden and Johnson's relationship will no doubt be one to watch throughout Biden's swing through Europe as he looks to reassure US allies that America will once again be conventional and reliable on the world stage.

The two diverge on policy on several fronts, including Biden's opposition to Brexit and Northern Ireland's role as part of Britain's exit from the European Union. The Northern Ireland Protocol – the part of the Brexit deal that creates a de facto trade border in the Irish Sea – has contributed to rising tensions in the region this year. Biden has long been skeptical of Brexit, and holds deep affection for Ireland, his ancestral homeland. In his first speech in the United Kingdom on Wednesday, he quoted a line from Yeats.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Wednesday that Biden is expected to bring up Northern Ireland during his meeting with Johnson, but told reporters his comments would be reserved to making "statements of principle."

Read more about the leaders' relationship here.

11:02 a.m. ET, June 10, 2021

Analysis: Why Biden's foreign trip is so unique and so important

Analysis from CNN's Stephen Collinson

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie Johnson and US President Joe Biden with first lady Jill Biden walk outside Carbis Bay, Cornwall, on Thursday, June 10.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his wife Carrie Johnson and US President Joe Biden with first lady Jill Biden walk outside Carbis Bay, Cornwall, on Thursday, June 10. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Joe Biden's first foreign trip as President comes at a unique moment.

No US President has ever left the nation's shores with democratic values under attack as broadly and systemically at home as they are abroad. This extraordinary reality will complicate his mission to purge the trauma of the Donald Trump era and convince both foes and friends that the US is reclaiming its global leadership role for good.

Biden meets British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday before the G7 summit, makes a hop to NATO in Brussels, then has a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva that will evoke the most tense days of the Cold War.

"We're going to make it clear that the United States is back and democracies of the world are standing together to tackle the toughest challenges," Biden told US troops at an air base in eastern England on Wednesday.

For Biden, democracy is not just some abstract concept from civics class that Americans experience only when they enter the voting booth every few years.

It is a system, a way of life and a set of rules and norms that made the United States the strongest and richest country in history. The free, prosperous nations the US rebuilt and protected after World War II faced down communist tyranny in the form of the Soviet Union and underwrote 70 years of peace. This web of open, like-minded countries is also the key to America's global power. If democracy ebbs abroad, so does US influence.

Read the full story here.

9:12 a.m. ET, June 10, 2021

Biden meeting with Putin will be “direct” and “candid,” White House communications director says

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Getty Images/Sputnik/AFP
Getty Images/Sputnik/AFP

White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield said President Biden will be “direct” in his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“He has every intention of having this meeting with President Putin, and what he would say is that he sits down with President Putin not in spite of our differences but because of our differences,” Bedingfield said on CNN’s “New Day,” after a Moscow court designated jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny’s political movement as an extremist network.

“He’s known President Putin for a long time. He’s met with him face-to-face before. So this conversation with President Putin is going to be direct, it’s going to be candid,” she said. 

Bedingfield said Biden will raise concerns about human rights violations, the Ukrainian border and cyberattacks during the leaders’ meeting on June 16 in Geneva.

“What he's looking to do is to create a stable, predictable relationship with Russia,” she added. 

2:21 p.m. ET, June 10, 2021

Key things to know about the Covid-19 vaccine donation Biden is expected to announce today

From CNN's Betsy Klein in Falmouth, England

Boxes containing doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at a Pfizer manufacturing facility in Portage, Michigan, on December 13, 2020.
Boxes containing doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine are prepared to be shipped at a Pfizer manufacturing facility in Portage, Michigan, on December 13, 2020. Morry Gash/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

President Biden's expected announcement Thursday evening that the United States plans to donate 500 million Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine doses globally will be a part of his efforts to reassert US leadership on the world stage, officials said.

Biden is set to deliver remarks at 1:15 pm ET from St. Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom.

Officials touted the move Thursday, suggesting it is part of a broader effort for the world’s democracies to lead the way in pandemic recovery.

“This will be clearly the largest purchase and donation of Covid-19 vaccines by a single country, by far, and it’s an unprecedented response,” a senior administration official told reporters on a briefing call Thursday. 

“We want to do everything we can to prevent more tragic loss across the globe,” the official said, adding that it is “in our national interest to end this pandemic everywhere.”

“Covid-19 knows no borders, and as long as this virus is in our world, Americans are at risk,” the official said, stressing how the virus also “threatens economic opportunity.”

But the move is also intended to encourage other US allies to step up. 

“We’re also using this announcement today to leverage and mobilize larger commitments from the world’s democracies, from the G7 and partner countries,” a separate senior official said, previewing a “G7 Covid-related multilateral announcement.”

At the G7 summit this weekend, the official said, leaders will announce a “collective effort by the world’s democracies to beat Covid-19 for once and for all.”

The donation comes as Biden has repeatedly said that the world is at an inflection point for whether democracy can prevail over autocracy.

“This is the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do, and it is tangible proof that it is going to be the world's democracies who ultimately deliver when it comes to beating the Covid-19 pandemic,” the official said.

Here are key things to know about the vaccine donation:

  • Officials said the Pfizer doses will begin to ship in August and 200 million doses will be delivered by the end of this year.
  • The remaining 300 million doses will be delivered in the first half of 2022.
  • They will be manufactured in the US, the officials said, “employing thousands of workers” in states like Michigan, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
  • The cost will be around $1.5 billion, which will come from previously-allocated funds in the American Rescue Plan relief package passed earlier this year.
  • There will be no conditions for the nations that receive the doses.

“The United States is not seeking favors in exchange for these doses, we’re not making demands in order for countries to get these doses, we are not imposing conditions, political, economic or otherwise. We are going to be guided by the science and public health experts in allocating them to the places where they can make the most difference,” the second senior official said.

2:21 p.m. ET, June 10, 2021

Biden will convey deep belief about peace in Northern Ireland when he meets with Johnson, official says 

From CNN's Kevin Liptak in Falmouth, England

President Biden isn't planning to adopt a confrontational tone with Boris Johnson on the Northern Ireland issue during their meeting later Thursday, a senior administration official said.

But he will still raise the matter as a topic of deep personal interest that he wants to see resolved.

"The United States is not in those negotiations and not seeking to be in those negotiations," the official said.

"It will not be confrontational or adversarial," the official said of Biden's plans to raise the matter in his talks with Johnson. "He didn't come here to give a lecture. He came merely to communicate what he believes, very, very deeply about peace in Northern Ireland."

 

2:22 p.m. ET, June 10, 2021

New "Atlantic Charter" will reflect shifting threats facing world 80 years after the original was signed

From CNN's Kevin Liptak in Falmouth, England

US President Franklin D. Roosevelt meets with UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill on board the HMS Prince of Wales in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, in August 1941. 
US President Franklin D. Roosevelt meets with UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill on board the HMS Prince of Wales in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, in August 1941.   Fox Photos/Getty Images

The new Atlantic Charter that President Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson will sign on Thursday is meant to reflect the shifting threats facing the world 80 years after the original document was signed following World War II.

"It's been eighty years since the last one, it's about time that it gets refreshed," a senior administration official said ahead of the signing, which is expected ahead of Biden's one-on-one talks with Johnson in Cornwall.

"The original really outlined what the post-war world order could and should look like, this new charter will make clear what the coming decades of the 21st century can and should look like," the official said. 

The new Atlantic Charter is meant to build upon the historic declaration made by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1941 that set out American and British goals for the world after the end of World War II.

Both leaders identify with their predecessors who signed the original document. Biden has consumed biographies of FDR as president and studied intently his "New Deal" efforts during the Great Depression.

Still, officials said the document was not designed to presage a new Cold War, as the original Atlantic Charter ended up doing.

"It is a profound statement of purpose of democracy, at a moment when, as the President has said, democracies are very much in competition with autocracy," the official said. "There's a renewal aspect to the commitment to these democratic principles in the face of genuine challenges and authoritarian competition, and the need to refresh and update the statement of principles so it actually reflects the world we're dealing with today and not simply harkening back to the world of the Cold War."