The United States will continue to push for a waiver of intellectual property rights for vaccines and COVID-19 treatments even as they and other wealthy Group of Seven countries dramatically increase vaccine donations to poorer countries.
US Sales Representative Katherine Tai said jeudi that the Biden administration was working on multiple fronts to end the pandemic.
"Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary action " Tai said during a virtual town hall for union members hosted by the professional federation AFL-CIO.
This effort included donations of 80 million doses of vaccine by the end of June, additional donations of 500 million doses announced Thursday by President Joe Biden, and negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to secure limited waiver of rights intellectual property (IP) for vaccines, she said.
"And that can take time, given the complexity of problems at stake, but our objective remains to make vaccineer as many people as possible as quickly as possible, "Tai said, adding that the pandemic wouldn't be over until I was content everywhere.
Biden's plan to donate 500 million more doses - a key part of the G7's plan for 1 billion donations - has raised questions about whether Washington could drop its support for an IP waiver at the WTO.
The waiver is opposed by Germany, Great Britain and some others US allies , as well as the US business community .
But officials in the Biden administration say the waiver will help boost global production of coronavirus vaccines.
Biden on Thursday ay says crisis, like AIDS previous epidemic, requires a global response and that failure to stop the pandemic would slow global growth and may increase instability in some countries.
"We will continue to manufacture doses, to give doses, to receive 'jabs ' - as we say here in the UK - in arms, until the world has defeated this virus ", a- he said.
Sean Flynn, intellectual property expert at American University Washington, said he expects this that the WTO reach agreement on a waiver at a ministerial meeting later this year.
He welcomed the US "ideological flexibility " to seek both waiver and take action to increase vaccine donations, and declinedare that the new viral mutations underscored the need to produce vaccines by more than the few players in rich countries.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday that around 20 low-income countries had vaccinated only 1% of their population. "America is better off in a richer, more vaccinated world than a poorer, unvaccinated world," she said.
The pharmaceutical industry claims that companies have invested their own funds to develop vaccines and relinquishing their intellectual property rights will jeopardize this work in the future.
Robert Grant, senior director of international affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center, said there was " no evidence "that the waiver of rights intellectual property would stimulate vaccine production.
"The concern is that countries all around the world will just start to say: " Well, we are not going to implement or enforce laws on intellectual property, " he said, adding that the result would be a chaotic patchwork of laws that "would undermine the rationale for investing in these places for years to come. "
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