9 US Senators Including Bernie Sanders Convinced Biden To Push For Patent Waivers On CoViD-19 Vaccines

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9 US Senators Including Bernie Sanders Convinced Biden To Push For Patent Waivers On CoViD-19 Vaccines

Nine US senators have written to the Biden administration asking for the US Government to drop intellectual property rights on Covid-19 vaccines so that poorer countries can have greater access. Biden has now agreed to their proposal and will push the agenda at the upcoming meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO).


The 9 senators include Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). In a letter to the president, they said:


"By securing a waiver agreement at the WTO Ministerial, your Administration can demonstrate real and impactful American global leadership. If the Ministerial Conference cannot deliver a solution, the WTO-and the wealthy nations blocking the waiver-will continue to lose credibility with the developing world. We urge you to seize this opportunity to engage actively and productively at the WTO [to] deliver on your promise to defeat the pandemic."


Adding:


"The United States and European Union nations have provided billions to pharmaceutical companies for the development and distribution of the most effective vaccines. Despite this public investment, the intellectual property is now privately held, pitting pharmaceutical profits against public health interests. A waiver will unlock local production of vaccines in developing countries, which is necessary both to overcome absolute shortfalls in supply and to ensure people in the developing world have reliable access to vaccines. The only way to end the pandemic is to increase vaccination rates to ensure that new variants cannot emerge from mass outbreaks."


The letter was also signed by Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Ed Markey (Mass.), Chris Murphy (Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), and Jeff Merkley (Ore.).


The moves by the senators come as a new variant, Omicron, is discovered in South Africa, which experts say is heavily mutated and could potentially be faster spreading than the current dominant variant, Delta. In response to this, many nations have closed all flights from South Africa. However, the UK, the Netherlands and other countries have already discovered Omicron within their shores, making containment unlikely.


[Based on reporting by: The Hill]


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Thinking Humanity: 9 US Senators Including Bernie Sanders Convinced Biden To Push For Patent Waivers On CoViD-19 Vaccines
9 US Senators Including Bernie Sanders Convinced Biden To Push For Patent Waivers On CoViD-19 Vaccines
Nine US senators have written to the Biden administration asking for the US Government to drop intellectual property rights on Covid vaccines so that
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