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What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White

Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.

This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.

Friday, December 03, 2021

Voting rights advocates frustrated by ‘same-old, same-old’ meeting with White House | US voting rights | The Guardian

Voting rights advocates frustrated by ‘same-old, same-old’ meeting with White House

"Participants lament apparent lack of strategy from Biden to address filibuster and get voting rights bills passed

Kamala Harris discussed voting rights with Black women leaders in July. Advocates have said they are disappointed in the administration’s lack of leadership on the issue.
Kamala Harris discussed voting rights with Black women leaders in July. Advocates have said they are disappointed in the administration’s lack of leadership on the issue. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Leading voting rights activists came away frustrated and alarmed from what they hoped would be a breakthrough meeting last month at the White House to discuss a strategy to pass federal voting rights legislation.

There were high hopes for the 15 November teleconference between the White House and the leaders of the hundreds of groups that comprise the Declaration for American Democracy (Dfad), many of which have been campaigning hard for federal voting rights legislation. Kamala Harris had agreed to stop by the meeting. 

After Joe Biden gave a strong endorsement in late October of altering the Senate filibuster rule for voting rights legislation, the activists hoped that the White House would lay out a course for getting the stalled bills through the US Senate.

Get the latest updates on voting rights in the Guardian’s Fight to vote newsletter

Instead, multiple people who attended the meeting said they didn’t hear any kind of plan from the White House.

The vice-president, who is leading the White House’s voting rights effort, arrived midway through the meeting and read just over six minutes of prepared remarks and then left without taking any questions, according to people who attended.

White House staffers stayed on the call and answered three questions from participants. “They did not lay out a strategy for getting this done,” said one person who attended, who requested anonymity to discuss a private meeting.

Cliff Albright, a co-founder of Black Voters Matter, also attended the meeting and said it felt like a “check-the-box kind of a call”.

“Nothing substantive came out of it,” he said. “It was very frustrating.”

A third participant was also critical of the way the White House handled the meeting.

“She said her five-minute remarks, which were the ‘same-old, same old’, and then she left”, said the person, who also requested that their name not be disclosed.

“We had hoped going into that meeting that after the president’s comments at the town hall that there would have been some sort of strategic shift, some sort of internal tactical thinking and planning done. It was, from that meeting, clear that no work had been done legislatively,” the person added. “They seemed pretty eager to talk about anything other than legislation.”

There is dismay that the senate could recess before the end of the year without passing voting rights bills, making itharder to implement sweeping voting changes ahead of fast-approaching primaries for the 2022 midterm elections. Alarm has escalated as Republicans in several crucial states have enacted new distorted electoral maps that will entrench their majorities for the next decade.

Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate, has said voting rights are a priority and his caucus is trying to find a way around the filibuster. But the plan remains unclear. 

Harris has held meetings with voting advocates in South Carolina, Georgia and Michigan over the last few months to keep a spotlight on the issue. She has saidshe has spoken with Republican senators about a path forward on voting rights.

“The vice-president and this administration remain focused on passing the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Senate Republicans have voted against even debating these bills, but the president and vice-president know that inaction and obstruction are not options,” deputy White House press secretary Sabrina Singh told the Guardian.

“Nothing comes without a fight, which is why the president and vice-president are working with Speaker Pelosi, leader Schumer, and advocates to protect our democracy and the fundamental right to vote,” she added, referring to the most senior Democrats in the House and Senate. 

Albright said he asked staffers how the administration would, for example, halt excessive gerrymandering, but the response “just wasn’t satisfactory”.

“The worst situation to be in is to have responsibility without authority. And right now that is the definition of her [Harris’] voting rights portfolio. She’s got responsibility, but she does not have the authority to deal with the elephant in the room, the filibuster,” he said.

“She cannot go any farther out on the issue than her boss, Potus, is willing to go. And he has not yet demonstrated that he’s willing to go as far as he needs to.”

Lisa Gilbert, executive vice-president of the advocacy group Public Citizen, who helped organize the meeting, said she was encouraged by Harris’ attendance. “The vice-president doesn’t attend many coalition meetings. It’s actually a signifier, or at least we hope it is, of greater engagement from the White House, and the seriousness that the vice-president takes it with.”

Activists have been pressuring Biden for months to use his bully pulpit to more aggressively push for the voting rights bills. Demonstrators have been regularly convening outside the White House and getting arrested.

“The frustration is not tied to that meeting. There has been a concern all year long that goes to the president and the White House with the failure to treat this existential threat as a top priority for the administration,” said Fred Wertheimer, the founder and president of Democracy 21, who also attended the meeting.

Jana Morgan, the director of Dfad, also said she was happy Harris attended the meeting and anticipated “increased engagement” from the White House.

In July, Biden gave a speech in Philadelphia that called for passing voting rights legislation, but didn’t say anything about the filibuster. Republicans have used the rule to block voting bills four separate times this year, in a chamber split 50-50 with the Democrats.

But then in October, Biden more explicitly endorsed changing the filibuster on voting rights “and maybe more”.

But Biden urged patience, saying that pressuring reluctant Democrats on the filibuster could make it more difficult to pass other important pieces of legislation. 

One of the participants in the meeting said staffers conveyed a similar message, saying voting rights legislation would have to wait until after the Senate dealt with the Build Back Better bill.

“We know what it’s like when the president treats something as a priority…But we know that we haven’t seen that when it comes to voting rights,” Wertheimer said.

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Voting rights advocates frustrated by ‘same-old, same-old’ meeting with White House | US voting rights | The Guardian

In Alabama, a Death Sentence for a Man Who Never Pulled the Trigger - The New York Times

In Alabama, a Death Sentence for a Man Who Never Pulled the Trigger

"A New York Times documentary examines the case of Nathaniel Woods, who was sentenced to death for his role in the murders of three Birmingham police officers fatally shot by someone else.


The New York Times Presents: ‘To Live and Die in Alabama’

[MUSIC PLAYING] “Nathaniel was about to be executed.” “Mr. Woods didn’t shoot anybody. And the state didn’t even contend that he did.” “The fact that three white officers was dead, they were just wanting to put somebody away.” “I don’t forgive. It’s never going to go away.” “Somebody’s life is literally in your hands.” [PHONE LINE RINGING] “(CRYING) No, no, no, no, no, no.” “(WHISPERING) Don’t give up.”

The New York Times Presents

‘To Live and Die in Alabama’

Producer/Director Matt Kay
Producer/Reporter Abby Ellin
Producers Cydney Tucker and Lora Moftah
Reporter Dan Barry

Watch our new documentary on Friday, Dec. 3, at 10 p.m. on FX or stream it on Hulu.

“I won’t shoot no police officer,” Nathaniel Woods told investigators hours after three Birmingham police officers were killed in a violent shootout at an Alabama drug house. “Ain’t do nothing like that,” he said.

Indeed, Woods didn’t kill anyone on June 17, 2004, and he was unarmed when the officers — Carlos Owen, 58; Harley Chisholm III, 40; and Robert Bennett, 33 — were fatally shot while trying to arrest Woods on an outstanding warrant.

“I know this to be a fact because I’m the man that shot and killed all three of the officers,” the gunman, Kerry Spencer, said in a letter in support of Woods. He added: “Nathaniel Woods doesn’t even deserve to be incarcerated, let alone executed.”

Still, Woods, a Black man, was convicted of capital murder for his role in the deaths of the three white officers.

Alabama is one of 21 states where accomplices are considered just as complicit as the person who pulled the trigger, and prosecutors had successfully argued that Woods lured the officers into the house, where his partner Spencer gunned them down. 

In Birmingham, in which a majority of residents are Black, a nearly all-white jury took less than three hours to recommend, on a 10-to-2 vote, that Alabama also execute Woods. The state has more people on death-row per capita than any other.

A new documentary by The New York Times examines the case of Woods, who never touched the gun used in the fatal shootings, but was punished all the same.

In the film, premiering Friday at 10 p.m. Eastern time on FX and Hulu, Woods and Spencer explained how they both wound up on death row, awaiting their fates. Woods’s family, his lawyers and even the sister of one of the officers shot by Spencer tried desperately to win a reprieve for Woods, up to the final minutes before his execution.

Andrea Elders, the daughter of Carlos Owens, one of the other slain police officers, shared the details of her devastating loss and said that she could never forgive Woods for his role in her father’s murder. Members of the jury described the difficult process of deciding whether or not to recommend the death penalty. 

“Somebody’s life is literally in your hands,” one juror said.

Supervising Producer Liz Day
Senior Producer Rachel Abrams
Directors of Photography Matt Kay, Victor Tadashi Suarez
Video Editor Pierre Takal

“The New York Times Presents” is a series of documentaries representing the unparalleled journalism and insight of The New York Times, bringing viewers close to the essential stories of our time."

In Alabama, a Death Sentence for a Man Who Never Pulled the Trigger - The New York Times

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Exclusive: Rep. Ilhan Omar on Islamophobia | The Mehdi Hasan Show

'You will not live much longer':Ilhan Omar reveals shocker voicemail af...

Lauren Boebert and Ilhan Omar’s contentious call


Report: Trump tested positive for Covid before Biden debate


Africa, Far Behind - The New York Times

Africa, Far Behind

"On vaccines, no other continent is close.

A vaccine clinic in Johannesburg yesterday.
Joao Silva/The New York Times

Last week, just days before scientists discovered the Omicron variant, South Africa’s government asked Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer not to make some planned deliveries of their Covid-19 vaccines. The country already had more doses in storage than it could use — about 16 million, in a country of 60 million people — and officials were worried that further supplies would spoil before they could be used.

How could that be?

The main answer should be familiar to Americans: vaccine skepticism. “There is a fair amount of apathy and hesitancy,” Dr. Shabir Madhi, a vaccination expert in South Africa, told Reuters. For similar reasons, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi have asked donors to pause vaccine deliveries, my colleague Declan Walsh has reported.

(This article on vaccine skepticism in Africa, by Lynsey Chutel and Max Fisher, has more detail.)

The sources of the skepticism are different in the U.S. and in Africa. In much of Africa, they are related to decades of exploitation and poverty. In the U.S., the biggest cause is political polarization: More than 35 percent of Republican voters are unvaccinated, compared with fewer than 10 percent of Democrats.

But both forms of skepticism stem from distrust — of experts, institutions and government leaders. And that distrust has become a major reason that the world is struggling to defeat Covid. The more people remain unvaccinated, the more the Covid virus spreads and the more people die. Less vaccination also increases the chances that dangerous variants will emerge.

“I think that Covid is not real — they are playing with us, politicians and everyone,” Tidibatso Rakabe, a 20-year-old resident of a township near Pretoria, told The Times. She does not plan to be vaccinated.

After scientists in South Africa announced the discovery of Omicron, some commentators in the U.S. jumped to the conclusion that unequal vaccine distribution between rich and poor countries was the cause. But that’s not quite right, as the stories of Africa’s unused vaccines make clear. (Plus, Omicron may not have originated in Africa.)

The airport drop

Unequal vaccine access was a major issue earlier this year. High-income countries were faster to order vaccines and could afford more of them initially. They also had the infrastructure to produce and distribute the shots. India and South Africa are among the few lower-income countries that manufacture Covid vaccines.

As a result, even residents of many low-income countries who were eager to receive vaccines often had to wait weeks or months to do so.

Today, though, a simple lack of access is less of a problem in many places. The U.S. and other rich countries are distributing hundreds of millions of doses for free, and pharmaceutical companies are selling others at a discounted price, often less than $10 a dose. In many poor countries, vaccinating the entire adult population would cost significantly less than 1 percent of annual G.D.P.

It still is not close to happening, however. Worldwide, about 56 percent of people have received at least one vaccine dose. Every continent is above 50 percent except for Africa — which is at about 10 percent. In South Africa, the share is 29 percent.

One problem is a lack of public health infrastructure in poorer countries, especially in rural areas, as Lynsey and Max note in their article. There often are not places to store the vaccines or people to administer to them. Governments have also failed to explain the vaccines’ importance to their citizens.

“Almost no investment in vaccine education or promotion has gone into low-income countries,” Dr. Saad Omer, a Yale University epidemiologist, said. “Why do we expect that all we will have to do is drop vaccines at an airport, do the photo op, and people will come running to the airport and grab the vaccine?”

A legacy of mistreatment

The lack of vaccine education plays into an underlying mistrust of many medical treatments, especially those that come from other countries. That mistrust has its roots in a history of horrific experiments under colonialism.

In present-day Namibia during the early 1900s, German officials sterilized some local residents, injected others with arsenic and deliberately infected people with smallpox, typhus and tuberculosis (as this Times essay by Kavena Hambira and Miriam Gleckman-Krut explains).

Such direct harm became less common in the second half of the 20th century, but mistreatment was still common. Drug companies sometimes conducted research trials without people’s consent. Only a decade ago, Pfizer made financial payments to the parents of dead children in Nigeria after a research trial went wrong.

Arguably the biggest source of modern distrust in southern Africa is H.I.V. After inventing lifesaving treatments, Western pharmaceutical companies initially kept their prices too high for many Africans to afford, and governments did not fix the situation for years. In South Africa, Zimbabwe and some other countries, life expectancy fell by more than a decade from 1990 to 2005 — a decline with little modern equivalent.

Given this history, it’s not exactly surprising that many Africans are skeptical of the Covid vaccines, even though all available evidence suggests they safe and effective. Online misinformation exacerbates the problem, as it does in the U.S.

In a survey of 15 African countries done late last year, 49 percent of respondents said they believed rumors that Covid was planned by a foreign actor and 45 percent said they believed Africans were being used as guinea pigs in vaccine research trials. Those misperceptions are costing people their lives."

Africa, Far Behind - The New York Times

Omicron Variant, in 20 Nations, Spread Earlier Than Was Known - The New York Times

Omicron Variant, in at Least 20 Nations, Spread Earlier Than Was Known

"With evidence growing that a worrisome new coronavirus variant is highly contagious, health officials issued warnings that vulnerable people should not travel.

A Covid vaccination in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday.
Joao Silva/The New York Times

The heavily mutated new coronavirus variant was in Europe several days earlier than previously known, health officials said Tuesday, and the number of countries where it has been found increased to at least 20, raising questions about whether the pandemic is about to surge once again.

The Netherlands’ National Institute for Public Health and the Environment said that samples taken on Nov. 19 and Nov. 23 — before the Nov. 24 announcement of Omicron’s existence — tested positive for the variant. Health officials have notified the two infected people and are doing contact tracing to try to limit the spread.

Mutations in the Omicron variant strongly suggest that it is more contagious than previous forms of the virus, scientists say. They caution that they cannot be sure without more testing and data, but the evidence so far is sobering.

Late Tuesday night, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it planned to toughen coronavirus testing and screening of people flying to the United States by requiring all international passengers to provide a negative result from a test taken within 24 hours of departure.

“C.D.C. is working to modify the current global testing order for travel as we learn more about the omicron variant,” said an agency spokesman, Jason McDonald.

The concern is that the current rules, which allow fully vaccinated people to take a test up to three days before departing on a flight to the United States, might not be stringent enough.

Remko De Waal/ANP, via Agence France-Presse

A day after warning that the risk from Omicron was “very high,” the World Health Organization on Tuesday said that unvaccinated people who are over age 60, are sick or have underlying health risks “should be advised to postpone travel.” In Greece, the prime minister announced that Covid vaccinations would be obligatory for people age 60 and older, and that those who failed to book a first shot by Jan. 16 would face fines.

In South Africa, where the variant was first announced and is already widespread, reported new coronavirus cases have rocketed from about 300 a day in mid-November to about 3,000 a day, the fastest rate of increase in the world. On two flights from South Africa to the Netherlands on Friday, just as a cascade of bans on travel from southern Africa were being announced, 61 passengers tested positive for the virus, at least 14 of them for Omicron.

In addition to the question of Omicron’s transmissibility, scientists still don’t have other answers the world is clamoring for: Are vaccines less effective against it? Are treatments? Does Omicron cause more serious illness?

Experts cautioned not to put too much stock in reports that the variant is causing only mild illness, because the data is still sparse. Early evidence from South Africa indicates that Omicron, more than previous variants, is infecting people who had already had Covid-19, but that, too, requires rigorous testing.

“It’s going to be two to four weeks, possibly a bit sooner,” before preliminary answers are available, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said Tuesday at a White House briefing.

As of Tuesday evening, no Omicron cases had been reported in the United States, though the variant has been detected in Canada. U.S. officials say that it is just a matter of time, and that the goal should be to slow its spread.

Brazilian media reported Tuesday that the variant had turned up in Brazil, which would mean it is already on every continent but Antarctica.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sequencing the genomes of 80,000 coronavirus samples weekly — about one-seventh of all the positive P.C.R. lab tests in the country — and will step up checks on arriving international passengers, the agency’s director, Dr. Rochelle P. Wollensky, said at the White House.

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

The variant has a very large number of mutations not seen in combination before, about 50, including more than 30 on the “spike” protein it uses to latch onto host cells; the spike is the primary target of the vaccines. That high degree of mutation is behind the fears about Omicron, and the uncertainty over whether those fears are overblown.

Several times before, nations have relaxed their guard, thinking that the worst of the pandemic was behind them, only to be swamped by another wave — most recently the one caused by the highly contagious Delta variant.

Vaccine makers are already looking into reformulating their shots to address Omicron, a step that was not required for fighting Delta.

And Regeneron, maker of an effective, injected monoclonal antibody treatment for Covid, said Tuesday that its therapy might not work as well against Omicron. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Tuesday recommended approval of an oral treatment to reduce the severity of Covid, made by Merck, and will soon consider another from Pfizer.

In previous waves of the pandemic, by the time the first cases of the virus or a particular variant were detected, in reality there were vastly more and it was already widespread. 

But the world’s supply of vaccines has gone primarily to the wealthiest countries, where many people have now received three shots before the vast majority of Africans have had even one. As long as many people are unvaccinated, the pandemic will continue and new variants will emerge.

“Vaccine equity is not charity; it’s in every country’s best interests,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the W.H.O., said Monday at the start of a conference intended to produce an international treaty to coordinate disease response.

“The time has come for countries to agree on a common, binding approach to a common threat that we cannot fully control nor prevent,” he said.

Joao Silva/The New York Times

Vaccine doses are in fact becoming more plentiful, but African countries still face challenges in distribution and overcoming vaccine hesitancy. South Africa recently turned away a shipment, unsure that it could use the doses in time.

The Coronavirus Pandemic: Key Things to Know

The new variant was first found in Botswana on Nov. 11 and days later in neighboring South Africa, where its genome was sequenced by scientists who announced its existence two weeks later. Researchers in South Africa have found it in samples from as long ago as Nov. 9, and experts have said it was likely that further testing of old samples would show that it was circulating even earlier.

In Europe, the number of cases confirmed is small so far, under 100, but officials are bracing for more.

“Is there likely to be community transmission?” Sajid Javid, the British health secretary, said at a news conference. “I think we have to be realistic: There is likely to be, as we are seeing in other European countries. We would expect cases to rise as we now actively look for cases.”

The timing is dismal for a continent already gripped by the biggest pandemic wave yet, forcing governments to drastically scale back plans to remain open for the holidays.

European countries are reporting more than two million new coronavirus cases each week, more than half the world’s total, although with vaccinations and improved treatments, deaths have declined compared with a year ago. Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Denmark and Norway all set records for new cases last week; several others hit new highs earlier in November.

Governments in the United States, Europe and elsewhere have barred entry by people — usually with the exception of their own residents — who have recently been in South Africa and several neighboring countries.

But the experience of the two flights that arrived in Amsterdam on Friday night from South Africa shows how late such measures might be.

Kim Ludbrook/EPA, via Shutterstock

With the travel ban taking effect, all the passengers were tested, and more than one in 10 had the virus; how many other infected travelers have gone undetected is anyone’s guess.

Not only did 14 of the passengers from South Africa have the Omicron variant — which was not yet known to the world when they took off — but they also had several different versions of it, the Dutch public health institute said.

“This means,” it said, “that the people were very probably infected independently from each other, from different sources and in different locations.”

Reporting was contributed by Cora Engelbrecht, Noah Weiland, Rebecca Robbins, Carl Zimmer, Megan Specia, Mark Landler, Michael D. Shear and Sheryl Gay Stolberg"

Omicron Variant, in 20 Nations, Spread Earlier Than Was Known - The New York Times

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

President Biden said South Africa has turned down vaccine doses. But the issue is more complicated than that.

President Biden said South Africa has turned down vaccine doses. But the issue is more complicated than that.

A nurse prepares a dose of the coronavirus vaccine Nov. 29 in South Africa as the new omicron variant spreads. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters)

President Biden on Monday rebutted criticism that the United States is hoarding doses of coronavirus vaccines at the expense of South Africa and other middle- and low-income countries, pointing to the fact that South Africa has turned down additional doses in recent days.

But the story of vaccines in Africa is far more complicated than a matter of supply — a reality that became evident as vaccine availability emerged as a flash point in the days after a potentially dangerous new virus variant, dubbed omicron, was identified in southern Africa.

That story includes issues of access, fragile health-care systems and the difficulty of making sure Pfizer’s vaccine remains ultracold.

South Africa faces challenges that mirror many of those that plagued the United States in the early days of its vaccination campaign and even today. South Africa did not begin its vaccination efforts until May, six months after the United States and other Western countries. And it has struggled to get doses to hard-to-reach populations and faced significant vaccine hesitancy, much like the United States and several European countries.

“Why should we be surprised that we need to do vaccine education and behavioral interventions in South Africa when it took us a pretty heavy lift?” said Saad B. Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health. “We are not done with that job in the U.S.”

The U.S. government has “all these people who understand these end-to-end solutions — from increasing supply to actually delivering vaccine — and they are nowhere to be found” in Africa, Omer said.

Experts have said the omicron variant, which has now been confirmed in numerous countries, is the predictable outcome of vast vaccine inequity. They have called on the United States, European countries and global bodies such as the World Health Organization to do more to get doses shipped to low- and middle-income countries. As long as large numbers of people remain unvaccinated, experts argue, the coronavirus has opportunities to mutate and continue spreading. It remains unclear where the omicron variant originated.

On Nov. 28, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned countries that imposed travel bans on his country and its neighbors over the omicron variant. (Reuters)

Drugmaker Pfizer said five of the eight countries included in a travel ban imposed by the United States — Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe — have asked the company in the last several months to pause shipments because of challenges with vaccine uptake.

The company said it expects by the end of the year to ship 43 million doses to the eight southern African countries covered by the U.S. travel ban.

“Given that we have sufficient stock on hand in the country, it doesn’t make sense to receive any more orders, so we have pushed back some of those orders into the early part of next year. We are well-stocked for the moment,” said Ron Whelan, who heads the covid-19 task team at health insurer Discovery Ltd., which has been involved in the rollout of vaccine doses in South Africa. Discovery worked alongside the South African government to secure vaccine doses and set up a distribution system across the country.

Whelan said South Africa’s vaccination program peaked at about 211,000 vaccinations a day. By September, the national vaccination rate had slowed to about 110,000 per day.

He pointed to three factors: significant vaccine hesitancy, apathy and structural barriers, which include people being unable to afford to travel to vaccine sites. He also noted that South Africa’s vaccination program started six months after those in Western countries, which began vaccinating people shortly after Pfizer-BioNTech’s and Moderna’s vaccines were authorized in December 2020.

“I can tell you it was extremely hard to get access to vaccines especially when you had countries like Canada and the U.S. and various other players ordering vaccines well in advance and in quantities three to four times more than they required,” Whelan said.

The White House said Monday that several federal agencies are working with African experts and institutions to provide resources and technical and financial support in the region to expand vaccine access. It said it has provided more than $273 million through the U.S. Agency for International Development to southern African countries, including nearly $12 million to deliver and distribute vaccine doses.

Just five African countries — fewer than 10 percent of the total on the continent — are projected to reach the year-end target of fully vaccinating 40 percent of their populations, unless the pace of vaccinations accelerates. Africa has fully vaccinated 77 million people, or just 6 percent of its population.

Nearly 60 percent of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated, and more than 40 million Americans have received a booster shot, according to The Washington Post’s vaccination tracker. In South Africa, about 35 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, according to the South African Department of Health, more than in most African nations. Just 3 percent of Malawi’s population, for instance, has been fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data.

The number of Americans who have received a booster shot exceeds the number of people who have gotten a single vaccine dose in the eight African countries combined on the U.S. travel ban, according to an analysis published Monday by Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group. About 30 million people total across Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe have received at least one dose, according to the analysis.

Higher-income countries have committed to donate 1.98 billion doses around the world; the United States has pledged more than half of those doses — 1.1 billion. About 20 percent of those doses have been delivered.

Global health experts said a confluence of factors, including sometimes unpredictable deliveries from vaccine manufacturers and limited health-care capacity, have created challenges in ensuring doses make it into arms. Many countries, including South Africa, also went several months without receiving any doses and then received millions at once, overwhelming health-care systems.

In the United States, the Trump administration established Operation Warp Speed to not only help manufacture millions of vaccine doses, but also to help quickly distribute those doses on an unprecedented scale. That effort faced significant challenges during the first weeks of the U.S. vaccination rollout, even as the Defense Department and Department of Health and Human Services worked to harness the military’s logistical infrastructure.

“There’s a reason that Operation Warp Speed didn’t just place an order with Pfizer and get vaccines. There was a whole infrastructure to mass-develop vaccines, expand vaccine production and work out some of the logistics around delivery,” said Zain Rizvi, research director at Public Citizen.

“The stat that always gets me is the Pfizer vaccine was authorized Dec. 11. … Imagine if on Dec. 11 last year, the U.S. government said we’re launching Warp Speed for the world,” Rizvi added.

Many African countries lack proper storage for vaccines such as Pfizer’s, which needs to be stored at ultracold temperatures. With some vaccine donations close to their expiration dates, some countries feel they will not have enough time to distribute and safely administer them, experts say. Whelan said that while South Africa has sufficient storage for vaccines such as Pfizer’s, most countries in Africa lack the resources.

“Supply remains important, but it’s now time to shift attention to delivery of doses,” said Amanda Glassman, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. “It would be great to have more visibility on how many vaccines do we have right now and what are we doing to get them out there and are we using all possible strategies to get them out there.”

Africa, the second-largest continent by size, consists of 54 countries, each with its own set of challenges in obtaining and distributing vaccine doses. While South Africa has struggled with hesitancy, among other issues, other countries have distributed their doses fairly quickly and have asked for more supply. In Botswana, national surveys showed there was a 76 percent acceptance rate of vaccines, Malebogo Kebabonye, director of health services at Botswana’s Ministry of Health and Wellness, told the World Health Organization.

“Vaccine distribution and vaccine acceptance arguments are weaponized against the idea of expanding supply,” Rizvi said. “You don’t say Canada doesn’t deserve vaccines because there are hesitancy challenges in the U.S., but somehow it’s acceptable to do that on the African continent.”