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According to top US lawmakers, the Biden administration’s decision to support India and South Africa’s WTO proposal to waive anti-COVID vaccine patents in order to boost supply is a critical step in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi praised President Joe Biden’s plans to play a strong role in negotiations aimed at ensuring that all countries have access to life-saving treatments and vaccines during the pandemic on Wednesday.

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“The Biden administration announced at the World Trade Organization that it will work to advance a carefully crafted TRIPS waiver for vaccines, which is a welcome and critical step forward in the global fight to eradicate the virus,” she said. Biden’s “historic decision” recognises their shared humanity in the face of this dreadful and unprecedented pandemic, according to Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

In response to a global grassroots movement, Jayapal claims that the Trump administration is reclaiming global leadership by putting human life ahead of pharmaceutical profits. “As India, Brazil, and other countries around the world face terrifying new outbreaks of COVID19 infections and deaths,” she said, “the Trump administration’s shameful obstruction of international efforts to temporarily waive patent monopolies could not come soon enough.”

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She noted that wealthy countries distributed over 80% of global vaccines, while low-income countries received only 0.3 percent. Congressman John Larson praised the Biden administration’s decision to support the proposal. He said, “I urged the administration to do this because it will significantly increase production.”

“We knew the United States was back on track as a global leader with Vice President Biden’s inauguration.” Today’s announcement, according to a statement released by more than a half-dozen US lawmakers, shows that we care more about saving lives and assisting poorer countries than corporate greed and profits.

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“If a global COVID-19 vaccine shortage allows this highly contagious, rampant pandemic to spread a path of death and suffering around the world, Americans will be at risk.” According to the legislators, a large portion of the required vaccines should be manufactured abroad, close to those in need, and using American technology.

Among them are Jan Schakowsky, Lloyd Doggett, Earl Blumenauer, Angie Craig, Jose Chuy Garc a, Barbara Lee, Adriano Espaillat, and Andy Levin. The goal of US taxpayer-funded COVID-19 vaccine research and development, they claimed, was not only to find a solution to the pandemic here at home but also to eradicate the virus globally.

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An intellectual property waiver, according to Congressman Adam Smith, is a critical step toward allowing other countries to manufacture vaccines, increasing global vaccine supply, and defeating COVID-19.

“Waiving intellectual property protections is insufficient to make vaccines available globally.” He thinks the US should work with other countries to expand vaccine manufacturing capabilities, share more of our own vaccines, and support international vaccine initiatives such as COVAX.