The Biden administration is facing increasing pressure to help lower-income countries gain access to much-needed coronavirus samples.
The best trade representative of the United States will start discussions with the World Trade Organization (WTO) on how to spread COVID-19 vaccines more widely, as the country faces increasing pressure to help other countries obtain much-needed samples. .
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klein said Sunday that US Trade Representative Catherine Ty would hold talks with the WTO “on how we can get this vaccine more widespread, more licensed, more widely shared.”
“We will have more to say about this in the coming days,” Klein said in an interview with CBS News Face the Nation.
The administration of US President Joe Biden is facing calls to relinquish intellectual property rights to much-needed coronavirus vaccines to allow more countries to produce doses.
The United States, which has the most coronavirus and deaths in the world, has accelerated vaccination of its own population this year, with nearly 56 percent of adults having received at least one stroke so far, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ) data.
But many other countries have failed to quickly inoculate their populations amid global vaccine shortages and other challenges – and public health experts say the United States needs to do more to promote global justice.
Last month, the international medical charity Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) called on rich countries to stop blocking patent exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines to help lower-income countries secure doses.
Last week, the United States said it was considering ways to maximize global production and delivery of the lowest-cost vaccines, including supporting a proposed waiver of intellectual property rights, but no decision was made.
Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said Sunday that the administration believes pharmaceutical companies “should deliver on a large scale and at a cost to the whole world so that there is no barrier for everyone to get vaccinated.”
Ty’s office did not respond to an email request for further details from the Associated Press.
Also Sunday, independent US Senator Bernie Sanders said that while the United States must ensure that every citizen is vaccinated as soon as possible, they also have a “moral obligation” to ensure that other countries have access to stings.
“I think what we have to say at the moment to pharmaceutical companies, when millions of lives are at stake in the world, is to allow other countries to have these intellectual property rights so that they can produce the vaccines that are sorely needed in poor countries, “Sanders said in an interview with NBC News.
“There is something morally unpleasant about rich countries being able to get this vaccine, and yet millions and billions of people in poor countries cannot afford it.”