Biden move on vaccine IP 'monumental moment' in COVID-19 fight – WHO chief

FILE PHOTO: World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference organized by Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva Switzerland July 3, 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS

GENEVA (Reuters) – The head of the World Health Organization said on Wednesday that U.S. President Joe Biden’s plan to back a proposed waiver on intellectual property rights to boost global vaccine production was a “monumental moment in the fight against #COVID-19.”

Biden earlier on Wednesday threw his support behind a proposed World Trade Organization waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, bowing to mounting pressure from U.S. Democratic lawmakers and more than 100 other countries.

The WHO’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has repeatedly urged countries to support the proposal brought by India and South Africa at the WTO, said in a tweet: “This is a monumental moment in the fight against #COVID19. The commitment by @POTUS Joe Biden & @USTradeRep @AmbassadorTai to support the waiver of IP protections on vaccines is a powerful example of United States leadership to address global health challenges.”

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