De Lima lauds Fil-Am groups in US for seeking Biden help on vaccines

SEN. Leila de Lima lauded Filipino-Americans’ efforts to seek US President Joe Biden’s help to expedite the delivery of the 20 million Moderna vaccines purchased by the Philippine government and the private sector.

“The members of these groups may be miles away from us, but they showed that distance can never prevent them from going the extra mile to show concern and love for their countrymen and ensure that their fellow Filipinos’ lives will be protected,” de Lima said.

She referred to Filipino American groups such as the US Medicare in the Philippines and the Philippine Medical Association of Metro Washington DC.

“Amid the critical situation that we have in the country as Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) cases continue to rise, we really need the help from the US government to ensure the early release of Moderna jabs in the Philippines,” she added.

Recently, Virginia-based nonprofit US Medicare in the Philippines and partners Philippine Humanitarian Coalition, the Philippine Medical Association of Metro Washington DC, the National Federation of Filipino American Association and the Philippine Nurses Association of America reportedly wrote to Biden to facilitate the immediate delivery of Moderna vaccines.

“We appeal to you to authorize the early humanitarian release of the 20 million Moderna vaccines. Please consider an initial export release of 5 to 10 million vaccines this April—rather than in June or July. Your early decision will save thousands of lives in the Philippines,” the groups said in their letter.

The detained senator in a statement on Tuesday lamented why President Rodrigo Duterte does not bother to touch base with Biden on the matter of vaccines.

“If he can do it with the Chinese or Russian presidents, why not the US president, the US being a friend and the Filipinos’ most trusted major ally?” de Lima asked.

“All it takes is a small ounce of humility and sincerity in seeking succor from the US and other western countries, to augment the still very deficient supply of vaccines coming our way,” she said.

The Philippines logged 9,628 additional Covid-19 infections, pushing the country’s tally to 945,745 cases as of April 19.