Between April 1 and June 30, 2021, President Biden spoke by phone with Turkish President Erdogan once (April 23), German Chancellor Merkel once (April 14), and Ukrainian President Zelensky twice (April 2 and June 7). Notably, President Biden’s call with President Zelensky on April 2 came immediately on the heels of calls between the Ukrainian president, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley.
We’re tracking President Biden’s phone calls with the leaders of France, Germany, Russia, Turkey and the United Kingdom, whether or not they spoke, as well as other calls with European leaders of which we are aware. If we miss a conversation, please Give us a ring. Sources: The White House.
New COVID-19 variants and significantly lower global vaccination rates threaten to reopen the world. The B.1.617.2 – or delta – variant was first discovered in December 2020, and it has been rapidly increasing worldwide. 40-60% more portable Of the original COVID-19 strains, by mid-April 2021, more than 50% of new COVID-19 cases in India were identified as delta variant. Less than a month later, the Delta variant became the most widely traded breed in the UK too. By the end of the second quarter of 2021, the delta variant accounted for almost all cases in Israel (98%), Russia (95%), and Australia (84%).
Higher vaccination rates may limit spread of delta variant – confirms CDC director Rochelle Walinsky note The United States is facing an “unvaccinated pandemic.” In Israel, for example, where more than 50% of the population has been fully vaccinated since March 2021, the delta variant quickly became the most popular strain starting in May 2021. The UK, another winner in the vaccine race, over 48% of The fully vaccinated population on June 28 saw 98% of COVID cases come from the delta variant.
In the United States, from April to June, the proportion of people fully vaccinated nearly tripled, rising from about 17% on April 1 to 46% on June 30. However, with thousands of doses available in the United States, the number of doses taken daily is consistent decrease Since April 2021.
In Europe, despite licensing and distribution issues throughout the first quarter and early April, EU member states rapidly increased vaccination rates and were catching up in the United States, with Germany, France and Italy increasing the proportion of fully vaccinated people 7-fold (5% on April 1 to 37% on June 30), 7.5-fold (4% on April 1 to 31% on June 30), and 5-fold (6% on April 1 to 31% on June 30) respectively.
Across the West, vaccinations are reluctant – for example, only half the population of France She said They will or have already been vaccinated and up to a quarter of Americans will get the vaccine decreases The vaccine, even when introduced – still threatens an already fragile reopening. In July 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron took a step to tackle vaccine hesitation and prevent a fourth wave by announcing that people would have to show vaccine certificates to enter many public places, including trains, planes, restaurants and cafes. However, it seems that such a move is currently out of the question in the United States, where the Biden administration is reported to be Fears The political backlash that could result from the use of vaccine passports.
Ultimately, although high-income countries – such as those in the G7 – have reached a higher proportion of people fully vaccinated than low- and middle-income countries – such as those in the G20 – the inability to convince people at home to get Vaccination raises questions about a return to normal life. Countries with lower vaccine stocks, such as those in Africa where countries vaccinated less than 5% of their population as of June 2021, are Uniquely in danger From this new alternative.
NB. Due to limitations in the data available from Our World in Data, the averages provided for the G7 and G20 groups are the best approximations. In the graph showing the percentages of cases representing the delta variant, there was no data available for China, the European Union, or Saudi Arabia, and only Canadian and Argentine data until May 2021, all of which affect the value of the G20 and, in the case of Canada, the value of G7 . In the graph showing vaccination rates, there is no data available for Australia, China, Saudi Arabia and South Africa, which affects the value of the G-20.
Director of the Center for the United States and Europe Thomas Wright Outlines potential events, issues, and developments to monitor in the coming months.
I am pleased to share with you the twelfth edition of the Trans-Atlantic Scorecard, a quarterly assessment of US-European relations produced by the Brookings Institution. Center in the United States and Europe, as part of Brookings – The Robert Bosch Foundation’s Transatlantic Initiative.
This is the second scorecard of the Biden administration and covers an eventful quarter. Putin has dashed hopes for a stable and predictable U.S.-Russia relationship with a large buildup of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border and tolerating waves of ransomware attacks by suspected criminal entities in Russia. Multiple leaders-level summits in June underscored President Biden’s commitment to restoring diplomatic relations with Europe and strengthening the competitiveness of democracies. From the agreement reached on a global minimum tax in the Group of Seven to an increased focus on protecting democracy from “state and non-state actors” around the world, increased US outreach has fostered a new, more ambitious tone in transatlantic relations. Whether that rhetoric is translated into action will be a major focus for the following months and years.
Some points from this iteration of the survey are worth highlighting.
After the summits, our survey set saw a rise in the ratings of all functional and bilateral relationships, even in the case of relations with Russia and Turkey which improved only slightly. 100% of the survey group saw political relations between the United States and Europe as moving towards positive. A majority considered security and economic relations to be improving (64% and 57%, respectively), although a large minority – about 36% in each case – viewed it as moving towards neutrality. Bilateral relations with France, Germany and the United Kingdom improved to nearly 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 over the last quarter. Although both remain weak, bilateral relations with Russia and Turkey also improved in the last quarter, with US-Russian relations improving by a full point following President Biden’s direct summit with President Putin in Geneva.
On substantive questions, the survey group was divided about what kind of relationship with Russia might be realistic for the EU and the US: 50% disagreed with the view that achieving stability and predictability was realistic, while nearly 21% thought this goal was achievable and about 29% were neutral. Nearly 47% believed that fears of Trumpism returning to the White House in 2024 would not prevent European governments from investing in transatlantic initiatives, compared to 20% who thought they would and 33% undecided. Two-thirds of our group of pollsters think it is too early to tell whether the Biden administration has succeeded in bringing Europe into its China policy.
As we look to late summer and fall, Germany’s federal elections loom large: After nearly 16 years under Chancellor Merkel, Germany will elect a new chancellor. After the recent wave of ransomware attacks from Russia, the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and NATO condemning China for “irresponsible and destabilizing behavior in cyberspace,” we will be watching to see how the transatlantic alliance works to improve cyber defense and rules of the road in cyberspace. We will also be watching to see how Europe adapts to the delta wave of COVID-19 and whether the alliance can craft a common position on climate change ahead of the November COP-26 summit in Glasgow.
Thank you again for reading the transatlantic scorecard.