Statement of Peter Maybarduk, Director, Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program
Note: World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and various heads of state today announced the “WHO Solidarity Call to Action: To realize equitable global access to COVID-19 health technologies through pooling of knowledge, intellectual property and data,” or the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP). The announcement comes after months of efforts from governments and civil society to create a global mechanism through which COVID-19 patents, cell lines and other technologies and data can be shared to accelerate research and development, facilitate global access and promote fair and equitable access to diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.
Rarely before has there been a time that more greatly warranted global cooperation to solve a pressing problem that threatens the lives of people throughout the world.
The WHO’s knowledge sharing pool has the potential to bring the world better medical technologies to combat COVID-19 faster, through sharing and solidarity.
If the U.S. participates, it could help lead the world out of the pandemic. The U.S. should commit to sharing and participating in the pool immediately.
But thus far, President Donald Trump has continuously attempted to distract from his catastrophic failures, which have led to the deaths of more than 100,000 Americans, by scapegoating the WHO.
In a pandemic, America First puts everyone last. Trump’s obstinate refusal to work with the WHO is shortsighted, misguided and only exposes people in the U.S. to greater peril