Tuesday, September 21, 2021


The American Rescue Plan could provide essential training to boost jobs in construction, and we explore a trauma-informed approach to preventing marijuana use in teens.


Pfizer says its vaccine is safe for children ages 5 to 11, travel restrictions soon will ease for vaccinated international visitors to the U.S., and a Texas doctor who performed an abortion under new restrictions is sued.


Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

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
Food prices are rising nationwide, and the cost of a grocery store trip is up 3.5% from a year ago, according to a USDA report. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

RALEIGH, N.C. -- More than $1 million in COVID-19 relief grants are helping rural organizations increase their focus on locally sourced food relief…


DES MOINES, Iowa -- This fall, the Iowa Utilities Board is hosting meetings to inform the public about a proposed underground pipeline, which would …

Social Issues

MANDAN, N.D. -- North Dakota has had nearly 18,000 job openings in recent months, with roughly 1,000 in construction. A labor leader in the trades …

Approximately 3% of the 1,500 students in Montgomery County who were screened for behavioral health indicators were found to be at risk of substance use. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

DAYTON, Ohio -- An Ohio county is taking a trauma-informed approach to its work on preventing marijuana use in teens. As marijuana policy changes …

Social Issues

DENVER -- As Congress considers making significant investments in the nation's child-care system, children's advocates say now is the time to make …

This, year the theme of Sea Otter Awareness Week is the species' key role in the mosaic of the ecosystem. (Wikimedia Commons)


MONTEREY BAY, Calif. - This week, conservation groups are celebrating Sea Otter Awareness Week with online and in-person events across the state…


LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Admission to any state park in Nevada is free this coming Saturday, as part of the first Nevada Public Lands Week - with a series …

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new Redistricting Advisory Council announced last week by Gov. Tom Wolf's office will focus on reducing gerrymandering as new …


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