The Biden administration’s announcement on Monday that it would soon export tens of millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine completed a dramatic policy U-turn. It came after a tumultuous week in which the administration’s carefully constructed pandemic-diplomacy plan fell apart as the COVID-19 crisis in India worsened. The Biden administration needs to learn from this misstep and demonstrate a more agile approach in managing the pandemic globally and in navigating the domestic politics of foreign policy.

President Joe Biden’s foreign-policy team supports India and is unambiguously internationalist in its instincts, especially on matters of public health. It was horrified by the Trump administration’s failure to lead a global response in the early stages of the pandemic. However, key elements of Biden’s domestic-policy team, including his political advisers and the coronavirus task force, favored achieving herd…

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