Wednesday, December 1, 2021


As the U.S. Supreme Court takes up a high-stakes abortion case, it coincides with divisive arguments over voter fraud, mask mandates and more, and at least three are dead in a Michigan school shooting.


Republican lawmakers say government won't shut down; Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says inflation will last well into next year; and an FDA panel greenlights first pill to treat COVID-19.


South Dakota foster kids find homes with Native families; a conservative group wants oil and gas reform; rural Pennsylvania residents object to planes flying above tree tops; and poetry debuts to celebrate the land.

Demonstrators to German Leader: Release Vaccines for Global Production


Thursday, July 15, 2021   

SEATTLE -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel is being met with demonstrations over global vaccine access as she visits the United States today.

Germany has rejected temporarily waiving trade-related intellectual property rights (TRIPS), so low- and middle-income nations around the world can produce COVID-19 vaccines.

Protests took place at German consulates across the country leading up to Merkel's visit, including in Seattle last weekend.

Hillary Haden, executive director of the Washington Fair Trade Coalition, said TRIPS can be waived in extraordinary circumstances.

"There could not possibly be more extraordinary circumstances than the ones that we have found ourselves in for the last year," Haden argued. "So from there, our hope is that we can get those rules waived and that developing countries will be able to manufacture their own vaccines."

Germany said manufacturing supply and ensuring quality control are the biggest factors in vaccine production, not patent rights. BioNTech, which partnered with Pfizer to develop a vaccine, is headquartered in Germany.

Gulrez Azhar, a Washington resident with family in India who worked in public health at the University of Washington, said he's lost two uncles in India to COVID-19. He pointed out everyone in his family has been symptomatic as the pandemic sweeps the country, and made clear the importance of a vaccine.

"It's literally the difference between life and death," Azhar stressed. "With an IP waiver in place, people would be able to manufacture at scale in the developing parts of the world. I mean, you're talking about hundreds of millions of people, possibly billions of people."

Dr. Pauline Muchina, representative for Africa at the American Friends Service Committee, is from Kenya and is disheartened her home country might have to wait until 2024 for the vaccine.

She said it's in the interest of every country to get as many people vaccinated as possible to stop the spread of more infectious variants, and implored Merkel to waive TRIPS.

"To have vaccines technology when there is a global pandemic, a global emergency, and to refuse to share that technology, that is not humane," Muchina asserted.

The World Trade Organization is expected to meet at the end of the month to discuss TRIPS.

Disclosure: Trade Justice Education Fund contributes to our fund for reporting on Livable Wages/Working Families, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
According to an annual survey, 20% of Americans could not name any branches of government. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

FARGO, N.D. -- The U.S. Supreme Court today takes up arguments in a high-stakes abortion case. It coincides with divisive arguments over voter fraud…


MADISON, Wis. - The Department of Natural Resources wants Wisconsinites to weigh in on its efforts to address chronic wasting disease. The always-…

Social Issues

RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina communities will soon receive funding to preserve green spaces, maintain parks and boost resiliency against the …

Shoppers in Wyoming's historic downtowns can have cookies at Santa's Saloon and kids can deliver letters to Santa via Pony Express. (Visit Cheyenne)

Social Issues

LARAMIE, Wyo. -- Wyoming shoppers choosing to buy gifts at local mom-and-pop stores this holiday season can sample cookies with Mrs. Claus and refuel …

Health and Wellness

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Today marks World AIDS Day, observed internationally to remember those lost to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and raise awareness about the …

Modern-day agriculture is now closely linked with technology, says a dean from Chemeketa Community College. (sodawhiskey/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALEM, Ore. -- A new project with a grant from the federal government aims to invite Hispanic students in Oregon into agriculture and technology …

Social Issues

GREAT FALLS, Mont. - Student-loan borrowers have had a reprieve from making payments during the pandemic, but that's set to end in 2022. Starting in …


HEMET, Calif. -- Public-lands groups are asking Congress to support the proposed Western Riverside County Wildlife Refuge, a 500,000-acre swath …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021