People around the globe cheered when President Biden announced the U.S. would support a temporary waiver of World Trade Organization intellectual property barriers to boost production of the COVID-19 vaccines needed to save lives and end the pandemic.
But months later, Big Pharma monopolies remain, now exacerbated by even higher vaccine prices. The administration has failed to deliver on the WTO TRIPS waiver or to facilitate broad technology transfer to speed vaccine production or to fund significantly expanded global manufacturing to expedite vaccine supplies to end the pandemic.
The critical shortfall of vaccines, diagnostics and treatments in low- and middle-income nations is enabling more deadly and possibly vaccine-resistant variants to develop and spread domestically and abroad. The delta variant first detected overseas is burning through the U.S., and public health experts have warned that lockdowns and perhaps other measures, like postponing in-person learning, may be necessary, implicating economic recovery and another school year.
Unless people worldwide can access vaccines and treatments, there can be no end to the public health or economic crises anywhere.
As the White House COVID-19 Coordinator, your chief responsibility is to put people over Big Pharma profiteering and ensure that the U.S. has a comprehensive plan to END the pandemic. As such, we call on you to live up to the charge of your position and immediately ensure the U.S. government:
Every day the U.S. fails to act, more people will die. The mismatch between the administration’s stated priority of enacting a waiver to get the world vaccinated and ending the pandemic to save lives, versus the failure to deliver is disastrous and unacceptable.
[YOUR NAME HERE]
Dangerous COVID variants will continue to develop until the world has greater access to vaccines & treatments.