Rep. Ilhan Omar Statement on Biden Support for Vaccine Waiver
May 5, 2021
MINNEAPOLIS—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Vice Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights, released the following statement after the Biden Administration announced their support for waiving patent protections for COVID-19 vaccines. Rep. Omar has been a vocal advocate for ensuring free global access to the vaccine since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis and recently joined a letter urging the Administration to support the waiver.
“This is a huge sigh of relief to the global community and a massive victory for public health advocates and the progressive movement. Without waiving the vaccine patent restrictions, at least 85 poor countries are not expected to have significant access to the vaccine until 2023. This would be a death sentence for millions around the world—and it is because giant pharmaceutical corporations would rather maximize profit than provide vaccines to people who need them.
“As a world leader, we must lead the charge in making sure everyone has equal access to the vaccine. That is the promise President Biden ran on, and I am thrilled he has lived up to that promise.
“Now it is incumbent on all of us to make sure the rest of the World Trade Organization follows suit. This deadly virus does not respect borders. Until all of us are safe from this virus, no one is.”