'God Bless America!" Doug Ford praises U.S. for promising to end vaccine blockade

Ontario Premier Ford is praising the U.S. as a "true neighbour" after Biden pledges to end his ban on sharing COVID-19 vaccines with Canadians once Americans are vaccinated. Canada has no domestic production capability.

The Canadian Press with CNC files

TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford is praising U.S. President Joe Biden's plans to lift the United States' legal ban on sharing to Canada after all Americans are vaccinated.

"God Bless America!" Ford said at a news conference shortly after the White House announced plans to lend 1.5 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to Canada.

"That's what true neighbors do, they help each other in a crisis," said Ford.

Last December, U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order blocking any export of vaccine produced in the United States. At the time, the Trudeau government said it was unconcerned about the ban, despite a lack of any public or private labs in Canada capable of manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines.

The U.S. legal block on sharing any U.S.-manufactured vaccine with Canada has been continued by current U.S. President Joe Biden.

With significant production capacity and a ban on exports, the U.S. vaccination campaign has moved ahead quickly. Over 115 million doses has already been injected, about 35 doses for every 100 Americans. Canada has administered fewer than four million does, about nine doses for every 100 Canadians.

Ford said today that he understands the United States would vaccinate its own citizens first, but he's grateful they're now trying to help their allies.

The premier promised to call Biden "a champion" once Canada received the promised doses, and even offered to drive his pickup truck to the U.S. to get the vaccines and bring them home.

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