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Persistence pays off with scoop on U.S. plan to share vaccines

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Zeke Miller’s persistence led to an exclusive, on-the-record interview about U.S. plans to share 60 million doses of vaccine with the world.

Miller, who has turned COVID reporting into a fulltime beat at the White House, repeatedly prodded officials on a matter of keen global interest — an explanation for why the U.S. wasn’t sharing more of its vaccine supplies with the rest of the world. Just days after Miller had teamed up with reporters around the globe for a story on the growing calls for the U.S. to start sharing doses with poorer countries, the White House responded to Miller’s latest request with a promise: “Do we have some news to share with you.” Ninety minutes later, Miller was on the phone with COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients and his deputies who outlined plans to share millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

AP had the story exclusively, with the only on-the-record comments from Zients. Other major news organizations scrambled to match the news, some with anonymous sourcing. Miller’s scoop scored the most use by AP customers for the day.

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White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients removes a face mask as he prepares to speak at a White House press briefing, April 13, 2021. – AP Photo / Patrick Semansky
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