[Ip-health] Press Conference today: 400 U.S.Organizations Call on Pres. Biden to Stop Blocking COVID-19 WTO Waiver to Boost Vaccines, Treatments Worldwide

Asia Russell asia at healthgap.org
Fri Feb 26 06:43:21 PST 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 26, 2021

CONTACT:  Matt Groch mgroch at citizen.org (202) 454-5111

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

*MSF, Oxfam, Partners In Health, Human Rights Watch, Public Citizen, Health
GAP, 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
waiver at the WTO. 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:   *U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)*

  *U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)*

  *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

*  Akshaya Kumar, Human Rights Watch, *Director of Crisis Advocacy

  *Brook Baker, Health GAP, *Senior Policy Analyst & *Northeastern
University* Professor of Law

*  Lori Wallach, Public Citizen*, Director of Global Trade Watch


WHEN: TODAY, Friday, Feb. 26 – 11 a.m. ET

WHAT: MoCs, 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

Asia Russell
Executive Director, Health GAP (Global Access Project)
asia at healthgap.org | healthgap.org
tel: +256 776 574 729 (Uganda)
      +256 703 574 729 (Uganda)
      +1 267 475 2645 (US)
twitter: @asia_ilse | skype: asia_ilse
support Health GAP: healthgap.org/donate

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