A RESOLUTION OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF OREGON
WHEREAS, public health experts have been warning since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that Americans will not be safe from new COVID variants unless vaccines, diagnostic tools, and treatments are readily available throughout the world; yet, heading into our third year of the crisis, roughly 90% of people in low-income nations still haven’t received even a single vaccine dose; and,
WHEREAS, the Delta variant that was first detected in India and increased COVID deaths worldwide, making children dangerously ill and reversing progress in containing COVID, showing why “no one is safe until everyone is safe”; and,
WHEREAS, new variants may prolong the COVID–19 crisis, and the next variant could be the mutation that makes COVID–19 vaccines ineffective and causes untold harm and suffering; and,
WHEREAS, to end the pandemic and safeguard Americans’ health and economic security, the United States Government must deliver on President Biden’s pledge to save lives worldwide by leading the global COVID–19 vaccination effort, including by specifically achieving the President’s goal of 70 percent global COVID–19 vaccination by the United Nations General Assembly meeting in September 2022; and,
WHEREAS, a major cause of the shortage is patent restrictions of how much and where COVID– 19 vaccines are made by a handful of pharmaceutical corporations that have consolidated their control using intellectual property barriers; and,
WHEREAS, voluntary licensing arrangements have not fixed this problem given the handful of pharmaceutical corporations that are using intellectual property patents to limit production and supply; and,
WHEREAS, people around the world cheered when, on May 5, 2021, President Biden announced United States support for the temporary waiver of some World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) rules; and,
WHEREAS, in response to the Biden-Harris administration announcing support for a temporary COVID–19 emergency waiver of WTO intellectual property barriers, now more than 130 nations support a waiver of WTO intellectual property patents for pharmaceutical corporations; and,
WHEREAS, to most quickly translate the lifting of TRIPS-imposed intellectual property barriers into billions of COVID–19 vaccine shots in arms, the United States must leverage the public investment in research, development, and pre-purchase of COVID–19 vaccines and exercise its existing rights and authorities to require the COVID–19 vaccine patent firms to share recipes via speedy technology transfer; and,
WHEREAS, vaccine experts have identified more than 100 companies around the world with mRNA manufacturing potential; and
WHEREAS, House Concurrent Resolution 60 (H. Con. Res. 60), introduced on November 9, 2021 by Rep. Janice Schakowsky, with Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Peter DeFazio as cosponsors, outlines six steps that they urge the Biden administration to take to help end the pandemic now; and,
WHEREAS, Human Rights Watch and Doctors Without Borders have, in an open letter to Mary Beth Goodman, Acting Coordinator for Global COVID Response and Health Security at the Department of State, have called for similar actions by the U.S. government; and,
WHEREAS, on March 11, 2022, the second anniversary of WHO declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic, 130 current and former world leaders, Nobel laureates, scientists, and humanitarians published an open letter expressing essentially the same message and calling for the same actions as H. Con. Res. 60.
THEREFORE, THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF OREGON, HEREBY RESOLVE THAT:
SECTION 1: We thank Rep. DeFazio for becoming a cosponsor of H. Con. Res. 60.
SECTION 2: We join with Reps. Schakowsky, DeFazio, Blumenauer, and others in urging the Biden administration to take the six steps outlined in H. Con. Res. 60.
Resolution submitted by Lisa Stiller, Chair of the Healthcare Caucus.
ADOPTED by the Democratic Party of Oregon on March 27th, 2022.