North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis says he will fight to make sure any coronavirus vaccine developed by a company in the United States will be used to vaccinate Americans before being sent overseas.
"If an American company finds the COVID vaccine, I believe American citizens should get vaccinated first before it goes overseas," Tillis said in the latest ad for his reelection campaign.
"Two dozen biotech companies are chasing a COVID vaccine. It's mostly American companies—one's in North Carolina," Tillis said. "No country discovers cures like us. America pays for research and then socialist countries ride for free. Not this time."
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The campaign says the the push is part of Tillis's "America First" approach to governance, hinting that legislation could follow that would ensure United States citizens are given priority for a vaccine.
"Senator Tillis believes that the goal he discusses in the ad can be done through federal legislation and will be fighting to make it a reality in the near future," campaign spokesman Andrew Romeo told the Washington Free Beacon.
The ad's release follows the Trump administration's Tuesday announcement that it would not cooperate with international organizations to find a vaccine, citing World Health Organization constraints and the organization's involvement with China.