‘Worst PR award’: Chinese media mocks US donation of 80 Covid vaccine vials to Trinidad and Tobago
- On Monday, the US Embassy to Port of Spain said on Twitter that its Covid-19 vaccines donation to Trinidad and Tobago includes 80 vials of Pfizer shots.
Chinese state media have mocked the United States for highlighting its donation of 80 vials of Pfizer vaccine to Trinidad and Tobago for inoculation against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). In an article shared on WeChat, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua compiled more than 10 tweets ridiculing the US embassy announcement about donation, and wrote, "Would this be selected for the Worst Public Relations Award of the Year?"
The US and China have been competing for global influence by garnering goodwill from vaccine donation commitments to desperate governments amid a global shortage. While the United States announced large scale vaccine donations after administering Covid shots to the majority of its adult population, China got a head start by donating domestically made vaccines to emerging countries.
Last week, US President Joe Biden pledged to donate 500 million doses of Pfizer Covid vaccine to 92 low- and lower-middle-income countries and the African Union, on top of 80 million doses it has already pledged to donate by the end of June. The White House said it will be the largest-ever purchase and donation of vaccines by a single country.
On Monday, the US Embassy to Port of Spain said on Twitter that its Covid-19 vaccines donation to Trinidad and Tobago includes 80 vials of Pfizer shots. Typically, a vial contains five or six doses. “The United States is committed to assisting the Government of Trinidad and Tobago with its vaccination efforts. We believe that every vaccine counts,” the embassy wrote.
Chinese state media outlets including the Global Times and China Daily took potshots at the US through the sarcastic Twitter reactions generated by the embassy tweet. "Little was given, but much was spoken on it," Xinhua said.
"That is more like the amount of donations to a nursing home, not a whole country," replied Chen Weihua, EU bureau chief for China Daily, to the US embassy tweet.
While China has not disclosed an overall figure for its vaccine donations, a Reuters report, based on publicly available data, suggests that Beijing had delivered at least 16.82 million doses by early June, including 100,000 doses of Sinopharm's vaccine to Trinidad and Tobago, a Caribbean nation with a population of around 14 lakh.
(With agency inputs)