We all want the coronavirus pandemic to be over, but do we know the most effective, fastest way to do that? We have to increase global access to safe and effective vaccines.

Research from Northeastern University shows that vaccine hoarding by wealthy nations and inequitable vaccine distribution could lead to twice as many COVID-19 deaths, worldwide. That’s why it’s so important that Senator Wyden, Senator Merkley and Congresswoman Bonamici support global efforts to distribute vaccines and invest at least $20 billion in fighting COVID-19 globally, including funding for proven health programs like the Global Fund and CEPI.

Regardless of whether you live in Beaverton or Botswana we’re all in this fight together. In order to end this pandemic, the US must help ensure that first responders and at-risk populations have priority access to vaccines, regardless of where they live. Promoting global access to COVID-19 vaccines isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. If we don’t fight the virus everywhere, variants will continue to evolve and spread around the world. It’s the only way to end this pandemic as quickly as possible, here in the United States and around the world.

As Congress considers the next COVID-19 emergency relief bill, I encourage Senator Wyden, Senator Merkley and Congresswoman Bonamici to support at least $20 billion in global COVID-19 resources that are essential to reopening the global economy and ending this pandemic everywhere.

Michael Kalkofen

Beaverton

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