More than 175 public health experts, scientists, and activists on Tuesday called for President Joe Biden to do more to help fight the global spread of COVID-19, warning that newer, more dangerous variants are likely to emerge if nothing is done.
“We urge you to act now,” the experts wrote in a joint letter to senior White House officials Tuesday, The Washington Post reported. “Announcing within the next 30 days an ambitious global vaccine manufacturing program is the only way to control this pandemic, protect the precious gains made to date, and build vaccine infrastructure for the future.”
A separate letter was sent directly to Biden that noted the delta variant is fueling a surge of infections in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, where many residents have yet to receive a single dose, The Post reported. Meanwhile, the United States has stockpiled more than 55 million doses of mRNA vaccines but is administering fewer than 900,000 shots per day, the letter said.
The letters’ cosigners include Tom Frieden, M.D., who led the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the Obama administration; Linda Fried, M.D., the dean of the Columbia University public health school; Paul Farmer, M.D., cofounder of Partners in Health, a nonprofit group focused on the developing world; and other leaders in global health and infectious disease. More than 50 organizations also cosigned the letter.
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