400 U.S. Organizations Call on Biden Administration to Stop Blocking COVID-19 WTO Waiver to Boost Vaccines, Treatments Worldwide

By Oxfam

MSF, Oxfam, Partners In Health, Human Rights Watch, Public Citizen, MoveOn, Indivisible, Unions, Faith Groups, Citizens Trade Campaign, and More Urge U.S. Action at March 1-2 WTO General Council

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. consumer, faith, health, development, labor, human rights, and other civil society groups will urge the White House to reverse Trump administration obstruction of an emergency COVID-19 waiver of World Trade Organization (WTO) intellectual property rules so that greater supplies of vaccines, treatments, and diagnostic tests can be produced in as many places as possible as quickly as possible. The pandemic cannot be stopped anywhere unless vaccines, tests, and treatments are available everywhere so variants that evade current vaccines do not develop.

At a Friday, Feb. 26 press conference, U.S. civil society leaders will release a letter signed by hundreds of prominent U.S. organizations calling on the Biden administration to join more than 100 nations in support of the waiver. The Trump administration led a handful of countries opposed to the WTO waiver. At two recent WTO committee meetings, the new administration has not reversed the Trump era obstruction of the waiver.

The WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) requires countries to provide lengthy monopoly protections for medicines, tests, and technologies used to produce them. While there is production capacity in every region, WTO rules block the timely and unfettered access to the formulas and technology needed to boost manufacturing. Unless much greater volumes are made, many people in developing nations may not get COVID-19 vaccines until 2024.

WHO: Sara Nelson, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, President

Paul Farmer, Partners In Health, Founder

Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Executive Director

Abby Maxman, OXFAM America, President & CEO

Yuan Qiong Hu, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Senior Legal & Policy Advisor

Akshaya Kumar, Human Rights Watch, Director of Crisis Advocacy

Dr. Peter Mugyenyi, Joint Clinical Research Centre on HIV/AIDS in Uganda/Health GAP

Lori Wallach, Public Citizen, Director of Global Trade Watch (moderator)

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 26 – 11 a.m. ET

WHAT: Health, Labor, Faith Leaders Urge Biden to Support WTO Initiative to Boost Global Access

to COVID-19 Vaccines, Treatments, Diagnostics

HOW: Online Webinar – REGISTER HERE

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