Erik McGregor Photography

Erik McGregor is a New York City based artist, photographer and activist.

Protest at New York Stock Exchange To Demand World Leaders End Monopolies on COVID-19 Vaccines and Treatments

New York, NY – Members of a coalition of healthcare advocacy community organizations in New York including ACT UP/New York, Center for Popular Democracy Action; Health Global Access Project (Health GAP); Housing Works; Metro New York Health Care for All; New York Trade Justice Coalition; Physicians for a National Health Program, NY Metro Chapter; Right to Health Action; Rise and Resist; and Showing Up for Racial Justice NYC gathered outside the New York Stock Exchange, a citadel of world capitalism , demanding world leaders end the international pharmaceutical industry’s monopoly grip on COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments needed to save lives and prevent the next viral variant. March 11, 2022 marks two years after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, activists held die-ins and rallies around the world.

Last May, the Biden administration announced U.S. support for a temporary waiver of international intellectual property rights for COVID-19 medicines by the World Trade Organization (WTO) –the TRIPS Waiver– but the U.S. has done little yet to bring that about in the face of staunch opposition from the EU, UK, and Switzerland who are protecting the industry. Meanwhile, over 120 nations, led by South Africa and India, have been pushing for the WTO to adopt the waiver.

While affluent countries are issuing third- and fourth-dose COVID-19 boosters, only about 13% of people in low-income countries have received even a first vaccine dose, resulting in preventable deaths and leaving the world vulnerable to the next disruptive wave of variants. The increased global demand for booster shots and new vaccine formulas have only increased the need for additional vaccine and treatment production.

Earlier this week, it was announced that 6 million people around the world have died from COVID-19, with nearly 1 million of them here in the U.S. Many of these deaths could have been prevented had it not been for Big Pharma’s obstinance that has contributed to the emergence of the deadly delta and omicron variants.

The die-ins and rallies, taking place in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, call on world leaders, including those in the U.S. and the EU, to immediately waive intellectual property rules standing in the way of increased vaccine and treatment production.

Organizations sponsoring the efforts globally include: The People’s Vaccine Alliance, Trade Justice Education Fund, STOPAIDS, Just Treatment, Justice Is Global, Southern Voice, Emergency, Oxfam, War on Want, IAMMS, Christian Aid, People’s Health Movement, HelpAge International, AFEM, Amnesty International, Social Security Works, MIST, AFTINET, African Alliance, American Friends Service Committee, Campaign for America’s Future, Global Justice Now, ActionAid and Frontline AIDS.

Protest To End COVID Vaccine Monopolies

© Erik McGregor – erikrivas@hotmail.com – 917-225-8963

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