Washington [US], May 6 (ANI): US Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday (local time) hailed the Biden Administration's announcement that they will work to advance a carefully-crafted Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver for vaccines at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), stating that it is a "welcome and key step" in the fight to crush the virus.
"The Biden Administration's announcement that they will work to advance a carefully-crafted TRIPS waiver for vaccines at the WTO is a welcome and important step in the fight to crush the virus globally. The President is to be commended for the United States' plans to take a strong role in negotiations that are focussed on how best to ensure that all countries have access to lifesaving treatments and vaccines during this extraordinary pandemic," Pelosi said in a statement.
She said that the US should also continue to provide the resources and assistance needed to turbocharge the production and deployment of vaccines, in order to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible as the virus rages in many parts of the world.
She further lauded Biden's American Rescue Plan and thanked House Democrats for passing the USD 4 billion coronavirus relief package.
"President Biden's American Rescue Plan significantly provides billions for vital global health initiatives, and thanks to the leadership of House Democrats, the December coronavirus relief package included USD 4 billion for GAVI, the global vaccine alliance," said the Speaker.
Stressing the need to accelerate the production of vaccines to defeat the virus, she said: "Accelerating the production and distribution of life-saving vaccines across the globe is both a moral imperative and an urgent necessity to crush the virus pandemic and prevent the spread of more virulent coronavirus variants. We cannot be fully safe from the virus anywhere until we defeat it everywhere."
The Biden's administration on Wednesday announced its support for a global waiver on patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines and said it will negotiate the terms at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
"These extraordinary times and circumstances of call for extraordinary measures. The US supports the waiver of IP protections on COVID-19 vaccines to help end the pandemic and we will actively participate in @WTO negotiations to make that happen," US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement.
India, South Africa, and other nations had requested to waive certain portions of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) for all members of the WTO.
The requested waiver was to provide many people with possible access to vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, including in developing countries. (ANI)