- Prince Harry called for global distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in a speech at the taping of Global Citizen's VAX Live concert.
- "This pandemic cannot end unless we act collectively with an unprecedented commitment to our shared humanity," Harry said. "The vaccine must be distributed to everyone everywhere."
- Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are the campaign chairs of the event.
Prince Harry called for equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine around the world in a powerful speech delivered at the taping of Global Citizen's VAX Live concert Sunday. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are the campaign chairs of the event, scheduled to air on May 8. The concert's aim, according to the official website, is to urge "world leaders to step up to make sure vaccines are accessible for all so we can end the pandemic for everyone, everywhere."
"Hi everybody. We are at a defining moment in the global fight against COVID-19. Tonight is a celebration of each of you here, the vaccinated frontline workers in the audience and the millions of frontline heroes around the world," Harry opened his speech at Los Angeles' SoFi Stadium, as People reports.
"You spent the last year battling courageously and selflessly to protect us all. You served and sacrificed, put yourselves in harm's way and with bravery knowing the costs. We owe you an incredible depth of gratitude—thank you."
"But we're also coming together because this pandemic cannot end unless we act collectively with an unprecedented commitment to our shared humanity," Harry continued. "The vaccine must be distributed to everyone everywhere. We cannot rest or truly recover until there is fair distribution to every corner of the world. The mission in front of us is one we cannot afford to fail out and that's what tonight is about."
"The virus does not respect borders and access to the vaccine cannot be determined by geography. It must be accepted as a basic right for all and that is our starting point."
"None of us should be comfortable thinking that we could be fine when so many others are suffering," Harry said. "In reality, and especially with this pandemic, when any suffer, we all suffer. We must look beyond ourselves with empathy and compassion for those we know, and those we don't."
"We need to lift up all of humanity and make sure that no person or community is left behind," the Duke of Sussex concluded. "What we do in this moment will stand in history and tonight, we stand in solidarity with the millions of families across India who are battling a devastating second wave."
In a previous statement about VAX Live, Meghan and Harry said, "Over the past year, our world has experienced pain, loss and struggle—together. Now we need to recover and heal—together."
"We can't leave anybody behind. We will all benefit, we will all be safer, when everyone, everywhere has equal access to the vaccine," the Sussexes said. "We must pursue equitable vaccine distribution and, in that, restore faith in our common humanity. The mission couldn't be more critical or important."
Selena Gomez will host the VAX Live concert, which will air on multiple channels as well as YouTube, while Jennifer Lopez, H.E.R., J Balvin, Foo Fighters, and Eddie Vedder will perform. President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will appear at the event, as will Chrissy Teigen, Gayle King, Ben Affleck, Nomzamo Mbatha, Jimmy Kimmel, Olivia Munn, David Letterman, and Sean Penn.