Matthew Rose, Health GAP Director of U.S. Policy and Advocacy, said:
“In this moment of global health crisis, it’s fitting that President Joseph R. Biden has made reengaging with the World Health Organization (WHO) one of his first acts as President, a commitment to working to end pandemics and their effects. Withdrawing from the WHO would have cost more lives around the world at exactly the moment we need greater global collaboration, not less. The WHO performs a vital role in getting new HIV treatments to people around the world safely and quickly and providing key technical assistance to strengthen health systems in vulnerable countries. COVID-19 is exposing the consequences of decades of false scarcity in response to AIDS and other global health threats. The U.S. must work together with the global community to end the colliding HIV and COVID-19 pandemics.
“If the Biden administration is truly committed to ensuring that not only every American has access to life-saving COVID-19 vaccines, but also to ‘…help make sure that others around the world who want it have access to it,’ as Secretary of State Nominee Anthony Blinken told the Senate during his confirmation hearing yesterday, they must not stop at joining COVAX. COVAX is floundering with too many promises and too few vaccine doses. Joining COVAX alone will not correct the vaccine apartheid being created by extreme vaccine nationalism and artifical scarcity of supply. COVAX will continue to fail to deliver equitable vaccine access in poor countries unless the Biden administration commits to pushing pharma companies to share patents, intellectual property, and know-how in the WHO’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), along with supporting the waiver on intellectual property rules for COVID-19 vaccines and medical technologies proposed by South Africa and India at the WTO. Now is a time for bold, decisive action. It’s the only way we’re going to end these pandemics for people around the world and here in the U.S.”
Context: Read Health GAP’s full policy memo to the Biden-Harris transition team including steps they should take in the first 100 days of their administration to end the AIDS pandemic.
About Health GAP
Health GAP is an international advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all people living with HIV have access to affordable life sustaining medicines. Our team pairs pragmatic policy work with audacious grassroots action to win equitable access to treatment, care and prevention for people living with and affected by HIV worldwide. We are dedicated to eliminating barriers to universal access to affordable life sustaining medicines for people living with HIV/AIDS as key to a comprehensive strategy to confront and ultimately stop the AIDS pandemic. We believe that the human right to life and to health must prevail over the pharmaceutical industry’s excessive profits and expanding patent rights.