UN chief: Global vaccine rollout inequity an ‘obscenity’

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday denounced the gaping inequality in the global COVID-19 vaccine rollout, deeming it an “obscenity” and calling for a plan to boost production.

“A majority of the wealthier world vaccinated. Over 90 percent of Africans still waiting for their first dose,” Guterres said in his address to the UN General Assembly. “This is a moral indictment of the state of our world. It is an obscenity.”

“We passed the science test,” he added. “But we are getting an F in Ethics.”

Watch out tomorrow for Biden’s vaccine summit: The striking comments from the U.N. chief come one day before President Biden will be convening a global COVID-19 summit, aimed at boosting vaccine supplies. Biden will reportedly be announcing another donation of 500 million doses of vaccine for the world, on top of the more than 600 million doses the U.S. already planned to donate this year and next.

The Biden administration has been under pressure to do more to vaccinate the world, though, including not only donating doses, but also boosting global manufacturing to make more doses, and facilitating the transfer of manufacturing know-how to other countries.