With Trump preaching ‘America first,’ developing world allies like Mexico are looking to Russia and China for COVID vaccines

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Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

At least three U.S. pharmaceutical companies have agreements with the Mexican government that could reduce how long its citizens have to wait for [COVID] vaccinations.

But officials in Mexico and many other developing countries are well aware that the United States is consumed by its own coronavirus crisis and led by a president who preaches “America first.”

And so they have also turned to two other superpowers that are more than willing to fill the void: China and Russia.

The governments of both countries have already been marketing still-unproven vaccines around the world, seizing on the likelihood of a global bottleneck to deepen ties abroad and expand their influence at a time when the United States has pulled out of multiple international agreements and shunned the World Health Organization.

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Russia’s trade ministry said it has received interest from more than 20 countries for a total of more than a billion doses. Meanwhile, the Chinese government is cutting its own deals and offering enticements, including a $1-billion loan program to help Latin American and Caribbean nations purchase its vaccines.

Both China and Russia have plans to supply vaccines to Mexico.

“We are not putting all our eggs in one basket,” said Mexico’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard.

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