Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Alexander Laskaris’ remarks at the 2021 July 4 Virtual Celebration

July 3, 2021

My dear friends, my Cameroonian brothers and sisters.  On behalf of the government and people of the United States, thank you for joining with us in celebrating the 245th anniversary of American independence. My name is Alex Laskaris and I am fortunate to be with you for a brief period as the Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde.

To the government and people of Cameroon: your friendship with America and all Americans is a cherished part of this day, and of our global diplomacy. We have a broad bilateral, regional, and global agenda with the Republic of Cameroon, and we have always enjoyed warm relations with the government and the people.  I am both delighted and proud that when I ask Cameroonians about what the United States is doing with you — our partners — cooperation in the health sector is always the first thing they mention.  Therefore, I thought I would use this day to continue our focus on the well-being of the Cameroonian people.

Faced with the threat of COVID-19 in the United States and Cameroon, we need the state, our religious leaders, our traditional leaders, and civil society.  Above all, we need a strong mobilization of Cameroonian and American women. We are deeply grateful for the efforts of our Cameroonian and American health care workers who expose themselves every day to risk in order to save others, in order to save us … which is why I paid a visit yesterday to the Public Health Emergency Operations Center, headquarters for the COVID-19 response in Cameroon, and a wonderful example of our two countries’ long-standing cooperation in the health sector and beyond.

The staff there, who have received training from the United States in public health emergency management and in field epidemiology, have been tirelessly and heroically leading the COVID-19 response efforts at the national and sub-national levels since March of 2020.  From July 7-11, these dedicated public health professionals will be supporting the national campaign to intensify COVID-19 vaccinations throughout Cameroon.

Whether it is measles, polio, or COVID-19, we have all learned through long experience in all our countries that vaccines save lives.  I thank all of you for taking the time to join with us in celebration for our National Day.  We encourage all Cameroonians and all Americans to get vaccinated against COVID.   If we are successful in vaccinating our people, I believe that next year we will celebrate Cameroonian and American independence together.

Thank you, and happy Fourth of July.