Vaccines for U.S. Citizens Abroad

This letter has been formally submitted to the Office of President Joseph Biden

Dear Mr. President,

We, the International Executive Committee and Country Chairs of the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (Democrats Abroad), urge you to enable the swift vaccination of U.S. citizens abroad. While we cheer the rapid and highly effective management of Covid-19 vaccinations within the United States — as well as your March 11 commitment to make FDA-approved vaccines available to every adult U.S. citizen — many U.S. citizens overseas remain unvaccinated, in many cases due to limited availability of vaccines. Although some of us have access to vaccines in our host countries, we all agree that the U.S. government should take appropriate steps to ensure that vaccines are available to all of its citizens worldwide.

As you recently stated, using the United States’ vaccine stockpile to fight the disease around the world is “the right thing to do... the smart thing to do... the strong thing to do.” We respectfully ask that, in implementing this pledge, our government also considers the lives and situations of its own citizens residing outside of the United States and ensures  their access to FDA-approved vaccines.

Vaccine-related issues facing U.S. citizens abroad were recently highlighted in The Atlantic article “They Get Taxed, but Not Vaxxed.” As described, returning to the United States for a jab is simply not an option for most people. Jobs, family obligations, and costs preclude taking the five or six weeks required for travel, completion of the vaccination cycle, and in many cases the need to still comply with quarantine requirements upon returning to their host country. And, of course, the risk inherent in the trip itself, as pointed out in the U.S. State Department’s own recent travel advisory, can and should give pause.

To quote from the U.S. State Department website: “The U.S. Government has no higher priority than the protection of American citizens.” The security of nine million American lives may be at stake. We respectfully urge you to address this matter and ensure the swift vaccination of U.S. citizens worldwide.

Sincerely,

Candice Kerestan

International Chair

Democratic National Committee Member

Pennsylvania voter in Germany

 

International Executive Committee

Art Schankler

International Vice Chair

Democratic National Committee Member

New York voter in Serbia

 

Beth Landry

International Secretary

Maryland voter in Sweden

 

Quyen Nguyen

International Treasurer

Iowa voter in Colombia

 

Orlando Vidal

International Legal Counsel

Washington, D.C. voter in the United Arab Emirates

 

Nicholas Gordon

Regional Vice Chair, Asia Pacific 

Massachusetts voter in Hong Kong

 

Steve Nardi

Regional Vice Chair, the Americas

Michigan voter in Canada

 

Jennifer Rakow-Stepper

Regional Vice Chair, Europe, Middle East, and Africa

California voter in Austria

 


Country Chairs

Kenton Barnes

Country Chair, Germany

Ohio voter

 

John A. Baumlin Jr.

Country Chair, Japan

New Jersey voter

 

Elizabeth Blackbourn

Country Chair, China

Wisconsin voter

 

Kendra Borgen

Country Chair, The Netherlands

Alaska voter

 

Eric Burns

Country Chair, Switzerland

North Carolina voter

 

William J. H. Chapman 

Country Chair, Mexico

New Hampshire voter

 

Reno Domenico

Country Chair, Ukraine

New Jersey voter

 

Trip DuBard

Country Chair, Belgium

South Carolina voter

 

John Eastwood

Country Chair, Taiwan
North Carolina voter 

 

Kee Evans

Country Chair, Guatemala

New Mexico voter

 

Stacey Harris-Papaioannou

Country Chair, Greece

Florida voter

 

Jonathon Holler

Country Chair, France

Texas voter

 

Kristi Holmes Espineira

Country Chair, Portugal

Colorado voter 

 

Daniel James Jiron

Country Chair, Spain

Virginia voter

 

Steven Johnson

Country Chair, Costa Rica

South Carolina voter

 

Sam Khunaizi

Country Chair, United Arab Emirates

Michigan voter

 

Cory J. Lemke

Country Chair, Republic of Korea

Arizona voter

 

Stephanie Mattes

Country Chair, Argentina

Texas voter

 

Merrill Oates

Country Chair, Hungary

Utah voter

 

Leda M. Pérez

Country Chair, Perú

Florida voter

 

Paul Risley

Country Chair, Thailand

Virginia voter

 

David Shallenberger

Country Chair, Ecuador

Vermont voter 

 

Suma Shamanna

Country Chair, India

Oregon Voter

 

Christina Skovsgaard

Country Chair, Norway

Ohio voter

 

Rebekah Straneva

Country Chair, Vietnam

Pennsylvania voter

 

Elana Sztokman

Country Chair, Israel

New York voter

 

James Todd

Country Chair, Philippines 

California voter

 

Justin Underwood

Country Chair, Australia

Illinois voter

 

Christine Valverde

Country Chair, New Zealand

Pennsylvania voter

 

Randi Weitzner

Country Chair, Canada

New York voter