WASHINGTON, DC: Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), and Senators Jeff Merkley (OR) and Elizabeth Warren (MA), led 70-colleagues in urging Congressional Leadership to include additional funding in the reconciliation package for the production and global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
In a bicameral letter, the lawmakers argue that this investment will save lives and reinforce America’s leadership in combatting the pandemic worldwide.“No investment in the fight against COVID-19 is more urgent and cost-effective now than an investment in getting the world vaccinated as quickly as possible,” wrote the lawmakers. “
Even assuming wealthy countries will be fully vaccinated by mid-2021, the global economic cost of not vaccinating lower-income countries is estimated to be $9 trillion per year, or nearly ten percent of global GDP. $34 billion is a small price to pay to help return the U.S. and global economy to normalcy, and we request that such an amount is included in the upcoming spending package.”
The letter is based on Congressman Krishnamoorthi’s – Nullifying Opportunities for Variants to Infect and Decimate (NOVID) Act, which he introduced alongside Senator Jeff Merkley (OR), Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07). The NOVID Act would dramatically expand the United States’ international vaccination efforts through helping to inoculate at least 60% of the populations of the 92 low- and middle-income countries. This would reduce the risk of more dangerous, new COVID-19 variants emerging throughout the world – such as the Delta variant, which is already wreaking havoc on U.S. COVID-19 case rates and public health.