WASHINGTON, D.C. — Public Citizen, along with the Council for a Livable World and 37 other global health, nuclear non-proliferation and national security organizations, today urged the U.S. Senate to vote “yes” on a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment that would reallocate $98 million away from an outdated and costly weapons system, the B-83 nuclear bomb, and into desperately-needed global COVID-19 vaccine production efforts. The amendment is led by U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
The B-83 gravity bomb is a weapons system that was slated for retirement by the Obama administration, as the B61-12 bomb will replace it, rendering it both unnecessary and costly. However, the Trump administration reversed this decision. House Democrats are seeking to undo Trump’s reversal and retire the system to free up funding for other priorities. The organizations called for senators to support reinvesting this funding into global COVID-19 vaccine access and preparing for future pandemic threats.
“The pandemic has made abundantly clear that our most urgent threats cannot be solved by pouring more money into weapons of war,” the letter stated. “Vaccinating the global population is in the obvious interest of our security, in order to prevent the emergence of dangerous new variants, to save trillions of dollars in the global economy, and finally to get the pandemic under control… Retiring the B-83 is a straightforward way to invest in global health without compromising existing U.S. national security objectives.”
Read the letter here.