Walking onto the New York stage hand-in-hand, the Duke and Duchess Sussex urged first world countries to donate one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to developing countries.
“Hello and good evening Global citizens,” said Harry, “Look at all of us here, 60,000 strong here in New York City. Are we prepared to do what’s necessary to end this pandemic?”
Meghan continued: “Hi everybody. It is so good to be back here with all of you.
“We know that it feels like this pandemic has been going on forever. We get it.
It is a lot. And some people are just over it.
“But if everyone’s over it – It’s never going to be over.
“There is so much that we can do today, now, that can get us closer to ending the pandemic and that’s why we’re all here.
“We’re able to be here tonight because the most brilliant scientists, researchers, frontline workers and selfless public health leaders have risked their lives to protect our global community. They are our humanitarian heroes.”
Harry continued: “Since this pandemic began, we’ve been talking to experts about how we can do our part.
“This week we sat with independent global health leaders to further understand how we get closer to vaccine equity and ending this health crisis.
“But we’re battling more than this virus alone. This is a battle of misinformation, bureaucracy, lack of transparency and lack of access. Above all this is a human rights crisis.”
Meghan added: “Every single person on this planet has a fundamental right to get this vaccine. That’s a point but that is not happening. And while in this country and many others you can go almost anywhere and get vaccinated, billions of people around the world cannot.
“This year the world is meant to reach the target of vaccinating 70 percent of people in every single country, but it is wrong that so much of the vaccine supply has only gone to ten wealthy nations so far and not everyone else. It’s just not ok.”
“We have what we need to vaccinate the world,” Harry said.
“But the experts told us here’s what’s getting in the way.
“They said many countries are ready to produce vaccines at home but they aren’t allowed to because ultra-wealthy pharmaceutical companies are not sharing the recipes to make them.
“These countries have the means, the ability, and the workers to start manufacturing. All they are waiting for is the vaccine intellectual property to be waved and for the vaccine technology to be transferred over.
Meghan continued: “And when we view this as a humanitarian crisis, which it is, control over a vaccine that can help save lives should not be solely in the hands of the fortunate few.”
Taking over, Harry explained that “doses are being bought up and stockpiled by wealthy nations and sent later to developing countries, often when they’re close to expiration, when it’s already too late.
“Dose sharing commitments are so important and appreciated, but this cannot just be a charity operation. It’s a fundamental human rights issue.”
Wrapping up the conversation, Meghan concluded by urging people to think about the millions of wasted vaccines.
She said: “And finally in our conversations these experts shared that how the vaccine is distributed and who it is distributed to should be left to independent international organisations who know exactly where the doses are most needed.
“Just think about the millions of vaccines which have been discarded this year.
“That’s like throwing away life vests when those around you are drowning.”
Cheers erupted as Harry took his wife’s hand for the final part of his speech, where he called on those listening to come together.
Prince Harry added: “My wife and I believe that where you are born should not dictate your ability to survive.
“So Global citizens we ask you tonight – Do you think we should start treating access to the vaccine as a basic human right?
“When we start making decisions through that lens where every single person deserves equal access to the vaccine, then we can achieve what is needed together for all of us.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK