The week

Pfizer, Moderna shares plunge after Biden government backs COVID-19 vaccine patent waiver

In talks with the World Trade Organization, the United States will campaign to waive protection for COVID-19 vaccine patents, US sales representative Katherine Tai said on Wednesday. The Biden government “is a firm believer in protecting intellectual property,” Tai said in a statement, but the White House will support the waiver in the face of the “exceptional circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.” The government has come under pressure to support the move, which aims to increase vaccinations around the world – especially in countries with a surge in infections like India – without relying solely on exports. These extraordinary times and circumstances call for extraordinary action. The US supports the lifting of IP protection for COVID-19 vaccines to end the pandemic and we will actively participate in the @WTO negotiations to achieve this. – Ambassador Katherine Tai (@AmbassadorTai) May 5, 2021 Proponents were happy with the news, but shortly after Tai’s announcement, stocks of pharmaceutical companies that have made vaccines, including Moderna and Pfizer, plummeted. I believe the Biden government has decided to campaign for a patent waiver on Covid vaccines. This is what it does to vaccine manufacturers’ stock prices. – Kiran Stacey (@kiranstacey) May 5, 2021 It remains unclear whether the protection will actually be lifted as all 164 WTO members have to come to an agreement on the matter, but US support should so definitely do move the needle. More Stories from theweek.comAmerica’s mental breakdown is right on schedule, Asked about the purge of Liz Cheney, Mitchell McConnell says, “100 percent of my focus is on stopping Biden.” BidenThe GOP lays all eggs in a dangerous basket