Prince Harry Says “This Pandemic Cannot End Unless We Act Collectively” During Vax Live Speech

content-header__row content-header__hed” data-testid=”ContentHeaderHed”>Prince Harry Says “This Pandemic Cannot End Unless We Act Collectively” During Vax Live SpeechThe royal is serving as campaign chair for the event meant to encourage global vaccine distribution and equity.

May 3, 2021

by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Prince Harry joined some of the biggest names in politics and music on Sunday for the taping of Global Citizen's VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World, with the goal of encouraging the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to every part of the world where it's needed most.

The Duke of Sussex made his first public appearance since returning to America following Prince Philip's funeral without his wife Meghan Markle by his side. Both royals are serving as VAX Live Campaign Chairs to deliver an important message about global vaccine equity and to continue raising funds amongst the private sector for the vaccine-sharing program, COVAX. “We are at a defining moment in the global fight against COVID-19. Tonight is a celebration of each of you here, the vaccinated frontline workers in the audience and the millions of frontline heroes around the world,” Harry said during his pre-recorded address, according to People. “You spent the last year battling courageously and selflessly to protect us all. You served and sacrificed, put yourselves in harm's way and with bravery knowing the costs. We owe you an incredible depth of gratitude, thank you.”

He continued, “But we're also coming together because this pandemic cannot end unless we act collectively with an unprecedented commitment to our shared humanity. The vaccine must be distributed to everyone everywhere. We cannot rest or truly recover until there is fair distribution to every corner of the world. The mission in front of us is one we cannot afford to fail out and that's what tonight is about. The virus does not respect borders and access to the vaccine cannot be determined by geography. It must be accepted as a basic right for all and that is our starting point.”

“None of us should be comfortable thinking that we could be fine when so many others are suffering,” he concluded. “In reality, and especially with this pandemic, when any suffer, we all suffer. We must look beyond ourselves with empathy and compassion for those we know, and those we don't. We need to lift up all of humanity and make sure that no person or community is left behind. What we do in this moment will stand in history and tonight, we stand in solidarity with the millions of families across India who are battling a devastating second wave.”

In addition to Prince Harry's cameo, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will all participate as part of the White House's “We Can Do This” national initiative to increase public confidence in and uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine. Other heads of state are also slated to attend, like President Emmanuel Macron of France, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković of Croatia. There will be plenty of A-list guests present as well, with stars like Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen, David Letterman, Gayle King, Jimmy Kimmel, Nomzamo Mbatha, Olivia Munn and Sean Penn, in addition to performances from Jennifer Lopez, H.E.R., J Balvin, Eddie Vedder and the Foo Fighters.

The event, which was pre-taped at SoFi stadium in Los Angeles, will air on ABC, ABC News Live, CBS, YouTube, and iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations beginning at 8 pm EST on May 8, with a special extended version available on Global Citizen's YouTube channel. 

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