The effort in this regard is led by two Indian-American legislators, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi along with Congressman Tom Malinowski. Other signatories include American Indian Congressman Ro Khanna.
In the letter, members of Congress asked the White House to take five specific steps, from financial investments to diplomatic efforts, to achieve the goal of a speedy and equitable vaccination program while mitigating Covid-19 globally.
The letter is sent ahead of the G7 Summit and at a time when rich countries have administered more than 80 percent of the world’s vaccines, while low-income countries have received only 0.3 percent.
“We urge you to take additional steps to advance a bold and comprehensive strategy to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible,” the lawmakers said.
“It is imperative that the United States act swiftly and deploy all the tools in our arsenal. Now is the time to foster international cooperation and solidarity in ways we have never seen before, including the full force of diplomacy, economic and commercial leadership of the United States, legal authorities and membership in multilateral institutions. The destiny of our own health and safety in the United States is inextricably connected to the well-being and protection of the most vulnerable among us throughout the world. ” they wrote.
Lawmakers urged President Biden to ensure the immediate release of the 80 million doses of the vaccine the government plans to share with the world, allocating the committed doses based on where the growing numbers are greatest, while at the same time reassessing our stockpile of vaccines to release even more. vaccines immediately to countries around the world.
They also urged Biden to invest an additional $ 25 billion in the Build Back Better agenda to authorize the Advanced Biomedical Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to oversee the production of 8 billion doses of mRNA vaccines; enough to vaccinate half the world and one of the fastest ways to increase the immediate supply of vaccines globally.
In addition, account and allocate to production the remainder of the USD 16 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan allocated for COVID-19 vaccines.
Congressmen urged Biden to use all available tools of US influence, persuasion, diplomacy and legal authorities to facilitate the rapid and widespread transfer of technology and expansion of vaccine production, including the direction of the National Institutes. of Health to participate in the World Health Organization (WHO). Covid-19 Technology Access Pool Program, and negotiating and obtaining vaccine licensing agreements with existing manufacturers to enable broad exchange of vaccine technology and industrial processes to increase production.
They urged Biden to back a new issue of Special Drawing Rights, a free reserve asset of the International Monetary Fund, to help strengthen public health budgets around the world and provide low-income countries with resources to import medical supplies. and carry out vaccination campaigns while securing support through the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and U.S. membership in WHO, UNICEF, and other agencies to help expand technical capabilities and infrastructure. developing countries to administer vaccines universally.
In the letter, lawmakers urged Biden to convene a global vaccine summit with world leaders to stimulate cooperation and coordination in vaccine development, production and distribution; Foster research transparency, open access, and global collaboration in engineering and manufacturing with the goal of accelerating universal vaccination.
“The world cannot wait. It is imperative that the United States act swiftly and deploy all the tools in our arsenal. Now is the time to foster international cooperation and solidarity in ways we have never seen before, including using all the tools in our arsenal. strength of US diplomacy, economic and commercial leadership, legal authorities and membership in multilateral institutions, ”the congressmen wrote in the letter.
The coronavirus has claimed more than 3 million lives worldwide so far, along with more than 172 million confirmed infections, according to Johns Hopkins University.