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Congressman Krishnamoorthi Urges President Biden And Congress To Pass The NOVID Act To Dramatically Expand US Global Vaccine Aid To India And Other Nations

August 6, 2021
Press Release
“As We Approach Indian Independence Day, We Need To Declare Our Independence From COVID”

WASHINGTON – Today, after securing the support of 116 Members of Congress, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi issued the following statement as part of his ongoing effort to dramatically expand US global vaccine aid programs to India and other nations at a time when the US has so far only allocated 7.5 million vaccine doses for India:

“I’m once again urging President Biden and my colleagues in Congress to come together and pass the NOVID Act into law to end this pandemic for good because, so long as outbreaks continue in any nation, the entire world faces the threat of new, vaccine-resistant variants. As we approach Indian Independence Day, we need to declare our independence from COVID by creating the global partnership necessary to produce and deliver the billions of vaccines necessary to truly bring this pandemic to an end. Meeting those goals will demand the continued cooperation of the world’s leading democracies and producers of these life-saving vaccines, including the United States and India.”

Under the NOVID Act, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Senators Jeff Merkley and Elizabeth Warren introduced with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, the United States would establish the Pandemic Preparedness and Response Program (PanPReP), which would have oversight and responsibility for the U.S. Government global health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. PanPReP would coordinate efforts between the Department of State, USAID, CDC, FDA, BARDA, Health Resources and Services Administration, DOD, the Peace Corps, and the Department of Labor. The Program would also be responsible for coordinating the U.S. Government response with international non-governmental organizations, development banks and civil society as well as foreign governments. After the COVID-19 pandemic, the Program would shift to protect against future pandemics by coordinating a global disease surveillance network to identify and stop pandemic-potential pathogens before they spread uncontrollably.

The PanPRep would develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide through establishing specific, achievable goals, and focus on three primary issues:

  1. Working with manufacturers to rapidly scale up the production of vaccines and vaccine components around the world to ensure there is an adequate supply of vaccines for all nations.
  2. Working with our international partners to purchase enough vaccines for low- and middle-income countries to immunize at least 60% of their populations.
  3. Supporting end-to-end delivery and administration of vaccines in low- and middle-income countries. In this respect, the Program should be modelled off of the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has for almost two decades set the global standard for targeted bilateral public health interventions.

The bill would authorize spending for $34 billion: $25 billion to cover the cost of scaling manufacturing capacity and producing 8 billion vaccine doses; $8.5 billion to cover the cost of end-to-end delivery of enough vaccines to immunize 60% of the populations in the 92 COVAX countries; and $500 million to establish a global disease surveillance network to protect against future pandemics. We anticipate our international partners would contribute to cover additional costs, including health care workers’ salaries and medical treatment for COVID-19 patients.

Earlier this week, 116 Members of Congress called upon Congressional leadership to include The NOVID Act in the reconciliation package Congress is currently debating and the bill has been endorsed by 34 organizations: Public Citizen, Oxfam America, The Access Challenge, Advocacy Network for Africa, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, American Friends Service Committee, American Jewish World Service, American Medical Women's Association, Asian American Hotel Owners Association, Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, Buddhist Global Relief, Center for Popular Democracy Action, Chicago Medical Society, ChildFund International, Doctors for America, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, Foundation for Integrative AIDS Research, Health GAP, HelpAge USA, Incentives for Global Health, International Medical Corps, Islamic Relief USA, JustActions, Mennonite Central Committee U.S., Partners in Health, Physicians for Human Rights, PrEP4All, R2H Action, Salud y Farmacos USA, The United Methodist Church, US Impact, Watch Democracy Grow, and Win Without War.