Sanofi CEO blasted for saying US should get coronavirus vaccine first

Paul Hudson, CEO of French pharmacy giant Sanofi, is facing backlash after he asserted that the U.S. should get the company's COVID-19 vaccine before the rest of the world in an interview with Bloomberg News.

In the May 13 interview, Mr. Hudson remarked that the U.S. has the right to the largest pre-order should the vaccine be successful because it was first to provide Sanofi with funding.

"I’ve been campaigning in Europe to say the U.S. will get vaccines first," Hudson told Bloomberg News. "That’s how it will be because they’ve invested to try and protect their population, to restart their economy."

These comments sparked outrage first in France, leading President Emmanuel Macron to make plans to meet with Sanofi executives next week.

Mr. Hudson’s remarks shone a spotlight on the intensifying conflict among multinational companies and governments as the world rushes to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. More than 140 global leaders signed an open letter released by The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS May 14 demanding a "people’s vaccine."

When asked about the controversy, the World Health Organization's director for the Western Pacific region, Takeshi Kasai, called vaccines "global public goods, which belong to everybody around the world."

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