Eric LeCompte and Jubilee USA Network are featured in Crux on the recent meeting with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and the push to waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. Read an excerpt below and click here for the full article.
Religious leaders push waiver on patents for COVID vaccines
By John Lavenburg
If world leaders don’t take steps this fall to get COVID-19 vaccines to the world’s poorest countries, according to Eric LeCompte, the executive director of Jubilee USA Network, then the darkest days of the pandemic still lie ahead.
"Temporarily waiving COVID-19 vaccine patents is an important step to accomplishing that goal," LeCompte said. Earlier this week, religious leaders advocated for that action to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, who expressed support.
“If [the World Trade Organization] doesn’t move forward, we’re not going to have the vaccines we need for global distribution, let alone what it seems now are a necessity for a third shot or booster shot for people who have already been vaccinated in the developed world,” LeCompte told Crux.
The meeting with Tai was the first of its kind between religious leaders and the U.S. Trade Representative. Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Military Services, who is a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on International Justice and Peace, represented the Catholic Church.
LeCompte said Broglio and the other religious leaders were able to “very profoundly share the stories of what’s happening in most of the world” when it comes to the spread of COVID-19, and convey the need for urgent action on issues such as the temporarily waiving the property rights on COVID-19 vaccines.
“It already may be too late to curb some of the great challenges we’re going to face, and that’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate that the World Trade Organization went on vacation instead of dealing with the most urgent matter before it,” LeCompte said. “It’s unfortunate that world leaders have been slow to act over the summer at the G-7 and G-20 with making decisions that need to be made in terms of financing and aid for global vaccine distribution.”
Read more here.