A group of Democratic members of the House of Representatives has recently signed a letter, encouraging the Biden administration to do more to help distribute COVID-19 vaccines around the world. This letter has come after President Biden announced the U.S. will be sharing 25 million vaccines with countries around the world immediately, and up to 80 million vaccines by the end of the month (June).
Pramila Jayapal, the chair of the Progressive Caucus and a Democrat from Washington state is the leading author of this letter, and she is joined by several progressive members like Reps. Ritchie Torres and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Raja Krishnamoorthi and Danny Davis of Illinois, Cori Bush of Missouri, and Ro Khanna and Mark Pocan of California.
According to Pramila Jayapal, she and other members of the Caucus have been pressing the Biden administration to distribute vaccines around the world more aggressively, as the situation has become dire in countries like Brazil, South Africa, and India. She added that she is in constant contact with Ron Klain, the White House chief of staff and that she was happy to see President Joe Biden’s initial announcement, but noted that there’s a lot more to be done.
In an interview with CNN, Jayapal said, “This is urgent, I mean, people need them right now. And so that is a good first step. Our letter, however, calls for — and I’ve spoken to the White House about all of these things — but it calls for much more.” Both of Jayapal’s parents live in India and have been affected by COVID-19. Because she happened to witness the devastation caused by the pandemic in India firsthand, she is pressing upon the Biden administration her belief that taking the necessary steps right now is important.