Congressman Krishnamoorthi On US Vaccine Summit Commitments: “President Biden Is Right That We Need To Go Big, But Right Now, American Vaccine Aid Commitments Aren’t Nearly Big Enough To End The Pandemic And Protect Americans”
WASHINGTON – Congressman Krishnamoorthi issued the statement below today in response to President Biden’s vaccine summit, which included the announcement of American commitments to purchase 500 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine while providing $370 million in aid to help with vaccine delivery worldwide. At the event, President Biden argued, “We’re not going to solve this crisis with half-measures or middle-of-the-road ambitions. We need to go big.”
“President Biden is right that we need to go big, but right now, American vaccine aid commitments aren’t nearly big enough to end the pandemic and protect Americans from new variants and additional outbreaks,” said Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. “While I’m glad to hear the President’s announcement that we’ll be donating an additional 500 million vaccine doses to countries in need, the administration has yet to make good on its promise to donate the first 500 million vaccines. In fact, it’s been nearly one year since we started vaccinating people against COVID-19, and the United States has donated around 130 million vaccines, of the 1.13 billion currently promised. Nearly 4.5 billion people around the world haven’t even received their first dose of these lifesaving vaccines, necessitating an additional 9 billion doses. We need to dramatically increase our investments in vaccine production, donation, and end-to-end delivery if we want to truly end this pandemic, and the Administration’s current proposals are still coming up short. That’s why I urge the White House to dramatically expand US efforts on the scale proposed in my NOVID Act legislation, and I, along with 116 of my Congressional colleagues, strongly advocate including this bill in the reconciliation package.”
On June 8th, Congressman Krishnamoorthi introduced the NOVID Act, a detailed blueprint to invest $34 billion in global vaccine manufacturing and distribution to reach herd immunity in all 92 COVAX countries, with Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). On August 4th, the above Members and Representative Malinowski penned a letter to President Biden, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer with 116 Members of Congress requesting the NOVID Act provisions be included in any reconciliation package. On August 10th, 175 public health experts separately wrote to the President demanding that he act immediately to invest in global vaccination.