Reps. Krishnamoorthi, Jayapal urge Biden to including global vaccination funding in Families/Jobs Plan

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Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, posing for photo on Capitol Hill. Photo:courtesy Facebook @CongressmanRaja

Representatives Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, and Tom Malinowski, D-NJ, with the support of at least 116 Democratic members of Congress, are urging President Biden to support the inclusion of robust funding for global vaccination in the reconciliation of the Families/Jobs Plan bill going through Congress.

In their letter to the President, the Members argue that this is necessary to protect Americans from the spread of deadly new variants, such as Delta and Lambda.

Specifically, the letter, which has the bicameral support of 116 Members of Congress, including more than half of the Democratic Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, advocates for $34 billion in the reconciliation package to go toward an international, American-led global vaccination program to help inoculate the 6 billion people worldwide who have not yet received a single dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We respectfully submit, Mr. President, that any legislative package focused on American jobs and families must address the biggest issue facing American jobs and families. Today, that issue is the COVID-19 pandemic,” the letter says.

In the letter to Congressional leadership, led by Reps. Krishnamoorthi, Malinowski, Jayapal, and Senators Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, and Elizabeth Warren, D-Washington), the Members stressed that “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.”

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington. (Photo: Twitter)

The authors of the letter estimate the global economic cost of not vaccinating lower-income countries to be around $9 trillion per year, or nearly ten percent of global GDP, even assuming wealthy countries will be fully vaccinated by mid-2021.

They argue that $34 billion is a small price to pay to help return the U.S. and global economy to normalcy, and request 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 aims at 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 by providing 8 billion vaccines to the world’s poorest nations but also ensuring their delivery to patients

 

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