Majority of Democratic Caucus Call on White House to Support TRIPS Waiver for Global Vaccine Access

May 4, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON –  Today, Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Jesús "Chuy" García (D-IL), and Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), held a press conference to discuss their recent meeting with White House COVID-19 czar Jeffrey Zients and the U.S Trade Representative Katherine Tai. During that meeting, they presented a letter signed by 110 Democratic House members calling on the President to support the World Health Organization (WHO) TRIPS waiver. The waiver would allow other countries, many in poor regions of the world, to manufacture their own doses of the COVID-19 vaccines which have been created by U.S.-based pharmaceuticals companies funded by U.S. taxpayers.

In the letter, they underscore the urgency of the matter:

“Unless countries cooperate and share medical technology, there simply will not be sufficient supply of vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments for many countries – particularly developing countries – to effectively fight COVID-19. Some countries may not have access to widespread COVID-19 vaccination until as late as 2024 without large increases in production. This not only would cause additional, unnecessary loss of life, but it would also imperil the vaccination efforts now underway. Emerging COVID-19 variants show more resistance to vaccines and are more infectious. They spotlight why time is of the essence: further delay in developing immunity around the world will only lead to faster and stronger mutations. Our globalized economy cannot recover if only parts of the world are vaccinated. In the end, the TRIPS waiver will help us all.”

During the press conference, the members expressed optimism that the Administration would take the necessary action. Short of that, they committed to continuing their work to build support for the TRIPS Waiver with additional stakeholders, such as business and faith leaders.

The full version of the letter is available HERE.

The full video of today’s press conference is available HERE.

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