Representatives Krishnamoorthi, Jayapal, Malinowski, Pocan, and Auchincloss Launch The COVID-19 Global Vaccination Caucus With Senator Markey
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Mark Pocan (WI-02), and Jake Auchincloss (MA-04) launched the COVID-19 Global Vaccination Caucus with Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts as co-chairs. This caucus will advocate for the one solution that has proven to work and that majority of Americans and scientists agree is crucial to ending the pandemic: vaccines. Currently, only 24% of the global population is fully vaccinated. This caucus will push for the manufacturing, production, and distribution of vaccines in low- and middle-income countries. In effect, this will encourage a U.S.-led program to increase the vaccinated populations of poor countries to protect those populations but also to block the spread of dangerous COVID-19 variants to the United States.
“I am proud that my fellow colleagues have rallied behind this effort to manufacture and distribute vaccines across the globe to end this pandemic and have joined my COVID-19 Global Vaccination Caucus,” Congressman Krishnamoorthi said. “At the end of the day, this pandemic is a monumental problem that requires a monumental solution that this caucus can provide. The virus does not know borders, and in order to defeat it, our efforts must be global in scope. The COVID-19 Global Vaccination Caucus is advocating for the necessary immunization of the populations of the world’s poorest countries in order to block dangerous variants from emerging and further harming them and us. COVID anywhere is a threat to everyone everywhere.”
"A global pandemic is not over until it is over everywhere," said Congresswoman Jayapal. "It is not only America's moral responsibility to quickly and equitably unleash the resources necessary to defeat this deadly virus abroad, but doing so will also keep us safe at home. I am proud to co-chair the Global COVID-19 Vaccination Caucus as we continue our urgent work to end this crisis and recognize that whether you live in the United States or around the world, your future is intertwined with mine — that we’re all better off when we’re all better off."
“The most important investment we can make in defeating the COVID pandemic is getting the world vaccinated as quickly as possible,” said Congressman Malinowski. “Accelerated production and global distribution of the vaccine will save lives, protect Americans from dangerous new variants, and reinforce America’s global leadership."
“When COVID-19 is the greatest risk to not just our national security but the world’s security as well, the United States should be leading the charge in a global vaccine distribution effort to put an end to this pandemic,” Congressman Mark Pocan said. “As Co-Chair of the Global COVID-19 Vaccination Caucus, I look forward to working with my colleagues to help vaccinate the world.”
"The world needs America to lead. The fight against Covid-19 is a transnational challenge that calls for vision and boldness,” said Congressman Jake Auchincloss. “In the past, Americans have brought forth their best in times of crisis. Out of crisis comes opportunity and after Trump abased our country on the world stage for four years, the United States can reclaim moral leadership with vaccine diplomacy."
“The global response is ‘stuck’ because of lack of leadership. We need a quantum leap in the level of global ambition to end the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S.G. must play a leading role in that effort,” said Dr. Carlos del Rio, Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health at Emory University. “In the fight against HIV the leadership of then President George W. Bush in establishing PEPFAR transformed the response. Since its inception PEPFAR became the driving force behind the global scale-up of HIV care and treatment services, particularly in expansion of access to antiretroviral therapy. Despite initial concerns about cost and feasibility, PEPFAR overcame challenges by leveraging and coordinating with other funders, by working in partnership with the most affected countries, by supporting local ownership, by using a public health approach, by supporting task-shifting strategies, and by paying attention to health systems strengthening. WE now need to do this for COVID-19. Representatives Krishnamoorthi, Jayapal, Malinowski, Pocan, and Auchincloss along with Senator Markey have the support of scientists, clinicians and advocates around the world for their push to end the pandemic through a global vaccination campaign supported by the US and its allies.”
“If we wanted to vaccinate the world, we have the resources and expertise to make this happen now,” said Dr. Gregg Gonsalves, Professor of Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, and Co-Director of the Global Health Justice Partnership. “What stops us—and imperils billions around the world and risks our own hard-won successes at home—is political will. Representatives Krishnamoorthi, Jayapal, Malinowski, Pocan, and Auchincloss along with Senator Markey have the support of scientists, clinicians and advocates around the world for their push to end the pandemic through a global vaccination campaign supported by the US and its allies.”
“Despite constant calls from the world’s top health officials to address vaccine inequity, less than 2% of people in low-income nations have received even one dose of COVID vaccine,” said Sheila Davis, DNP, ANP-BC, FAAN, CEO of Partners In Health. “The need to expand vaccine manufacturing and support vaccine delivery worldwide could not be more urgent. I applaud the launch of the COVID-19 Global Vaccination Caucus and am eager to support their efforts to achieve global vaccine equity.
On June 8th, Congressman Krishnamoorthi, Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) 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. On August 4th, the aforementioned 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 117 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. Earlier this year, Congressman Auchincloss called for a Marshall Plan for vaccines and led a resolution backing such an effort with 21 colleagues.