In his first public appearance since both events on Sunday, the Duke of Sussex addressed the world stage, asking for those in power to think of countries outside of their own when it comes to stopping Covid-19.
Attending the the taping of Global Citizen’s VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World without Markle, who is currently pregnant with the couple’s second child, the Duke gave an impassioned speech asking for equitable distribution of Covid vaccines.
When he took to the stage, Prince Harry thanked frontline workers, while urging people to “look beyond ourselves with empathy and compassion” and pleading for vaccines to be distributed to everyone, everywhere.
“Hi everybody. 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,” he said in his address. “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.”
“But we’re also coming together because this pandemic cannot end unless we act collectively with an unprecedented commitment to our shared humanity,” he continued. “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. 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,” he concluded.
Prince Harry and Markle are serving as Campaign Chairs of VAX Live, which was created to encourage people to get vaccinated, as well as to push for vaccines to be available to everyone, worldwide.
Global Citizen’s VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World will be hosted by Selena Gomez and will feature appearances by President Joe Biden, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, as well as celebrities such as Ben Affleck, Chrissy Teigen, David Letterman, Gayle King, Jimmy Kimmel, Nomzamo Mbatha, Olivia Munn and Sean Penn. The event will be broadcast in the US on May 8.