Prince Harry's relationship with his fellow royals may remain "extremely frosty" following their recent reunion at Prince Philip's funeral, but the Duke of Sussex received a warm welcome during his first public appearance back in the States. Harry delivered an impassioned speech at the taping of VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World in Los Angeles over the weekend. When he walked out on stage. he was greeted by a standing ovation from the crowd.
"We are at a defining moment in the global fight against COVID-19," Harry began his speech. "Tonight is a celebration of each of you here, the vaccinated frontline workers in the audience and the millions of frontline heroes around the world."
"You spent the last year battling courageously and selflessly to protect us all. You served and sacrificed, put yourselves in harm's way and with bravery knowing the costs. We owe you an incredible depth of gratitude, thank you," he continued. "But we're also coming together because this pandemic cannot end unless we act collectively with an unprecedented commitment to our shared humanity. The vaccine must be distributed to everyone everywhere. We cannot rest or truly recover until there is fair distribution to every corner of the world."
Harry continued to encourage those watching to get vaccinated, as well as call for equity in the distribution of the vaccine around the world. "The mission in front of us is one we cannot afford to fail out and that's what tonight is about. The virus does not respect borders and access to the vaccine cannot be determined by geography. It must be accepted as a basic right for all and that is our starting point," he said.
He told viewers that none of us should be "comfortable thinking that we could be fine when so many others are suffering" as the virus continues to devastate communities in other countries. "In reality, and especially with this pandemic, when any suffer, we all suffer," the duke continued "We must look beyond ourselves with empathy and compassion for those we know, and those we don't. We need to lift up all of humanity and make sure that no person or community is left behind."
VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World will be filmed at So-Fi Stadium in Los Angeles, and aired across iHeartMedia radio stations and on the iHeartRadio app, as well as on YouTube and major networks including ABC, CBS and FOX on Saturday, May 8th at 8 p.m. ET.