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PC(USA) Washington office supports legislation to ‘end the pandemic now’

House resolution calls for action to increase vaccine manufacturing, other measures against COVID-19

by Rich Copley | Presbyterian News Service

Photo by Michael Marais via Unsplash

LEXINGTON, Kentucky — The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness (OPW) is urging support for legislation calling on the United States government to take steps that sponsors say would hasten the end of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide.

House Concurrent Resolution 60, introduced in the House of Representatives in late November, calls for action that would increase the capacity for vaccine manufacturing, testing and treatment for the virus.

“Public health experts have been warning since the start of the pandemic that no one will be safe until vaccines, diagnostic tools, and treatments are readily available throughout the world,” the Action Alert says. “Yet two years into the pandemic, less than 12% of adults in low-income nations have had access to vaccines, and treatment and testing remain scarce.

“With these conditions, variants like omicron will continue to develop and outpace our efforts to eradicate the virus. It will also prolong the domestic and global economic recovery.”

The legislation calls on the U.S. and European governments to enact a World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) waiver related to COVID-19 vaccines and related interventions and treatments to increase global access. OPW has consistently supported TRIPS waivers related to the pandemic.

“As people of faith, we are called to care for the sick and serve the poor,” the Alert says. “Our nation has a moral obligation to do the same for our global neighbors, especially if we want a return to normalcy at home.”

The Alert provides tools for people to contact their congressional representative, including text for a message.

The Office of Public Witness is one of the Compassion, Peace & Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

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