Californians are being vaccinated against COVID-19 in increasing numbers, leading many to hope for a speedy end to the pandemic’s public health and economic crises. But the COVID threat won’t end anywhere until people everywhere have access to vaccines.
Public health experts have repeatedly warned that outbreaks anywhere in the world can allow the coronavirus to mutate, enabling the emergence of new variants that can evade current vaccines and prolong the pandemic for everyone.
Unfortunately, global vaccine production is nowhere near enough to meet global demand. For this reason, over a 100 nations have called for a temporary waiver of intellectual property and trade secrets rules at the World Trade Organization — a so-called “TRIPS waiver” — so that COVID-19 vaccines and treatments can start being produced in as many places as possible as quickly as possible. There are numerous factories around the world that could start producing COVID vaccines, test kits and medications to help increase global supplies, but they’re not being allowed to do so!
Hundreds of public health, faith, human rights, labor and other organizations also support the TRIPS waiver, including Doctors Without Borders, Partners In Health, the American Medical Student Association, National Nurses United, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and many, many others. So does House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a growing number of Congressional Democrats from California and beyond. They all say the waiver has the potential to save millions of live, to jumpstart the economy, to improve international relations and to head off possible viral mutations.
But pharmaceutical companies oppose the waiver. Despite the COVID vaccines being developed with billions of dollars of taxpayer assistance and already providing pharmaceutical companies with massive profits, they want to maintain monopoly control over where COVID vaccines and medications are produced and how much they can charge for them.
Rep. Peters is siding with Big Pharma on this issue over the health and well-being of his constituents. Worse still, we’ve heard reports that he’s actively leading efforts to organize other policymakers to oppose the TRIPS waiver.
The fact that Rep. Peters has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from pharmaceutical company PACs in recent years may be what’s clouding his judgement on this issue. Whatever his reasons, Rep. Peters’ action on this issue are unconscionable. He’s threatening lives. He’s threatening the economy. And he’s threatening to prolong the COVID pandemic for everyone.
Rep. Peters is clearly hearing a lot from Big Pharma lobbyists. He now needs to hear from you!
Please email Rep. Peters’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com with this message:
Dear Bailee and Daniel,
As a constituent, I’m writing to urge Rep. Peters to support the WTO TRIPS waiver. The COVID-19 crisis won’t end unless people all around the world are vaccinated. Continued outbreaks allow the virus to mutate, threatening San Diegans and everyone around the world with vaccine-resistant variants.
Too many Californians have lost loved ones due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By standing against the WTO TRIPS waiver, Rep. Peters is supporting a prolonging of a pandemic that has cost millions of lives already around the world. Human lives are more important than corporate profits, we hope Representative Peters can recognize this and do the right thing by supporting the WTO TRIPS waiver.
Please let me know if the Congressman will take a stand and support the WTO TRIPS Waiver.
Feel free to personalize that note any way you like, but please send email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com now, and then forward a copy to Will@citizenstrade.org to let us know that you did so.
Rep. Peters is one of the few Members of Congress nationwide who is actively organizing against the TRIPS Waiver. As a Californian, your voice is very important. Please take action now.