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For Immediate Release

Contact

Derrick Robinson, drobinson@citizen.org

Press Release

Biden-Merkel Summit Will Be a Failure Unless Pres. Biden Convinces Merkel to Stop Blocking Emergency COVID WTO Waiver to Save Millions of Lives

Nationwide Protests at German Consulates as Activists Demand Biden Get German Chancellor Merkel to Drop Her Deadly Opposition to the COVID TRIPS Waiver
WASHINGTON -

WHAT: International faith, health, consumer and development leaders joined by member of U.S. Congress to urge German Chancellor Angela Merkel to end Germany blockade of an emergency waiver of WTO intellectual property barriers and call on Pres. Biden to show leadership by persuading her to do so, for the sake of millions of people’s lives and livelihoods. German has positioned the European Union to block130-plus other nations at the WTO, including the United States, that consider the waiver key to boosting COVID vaccine production.

Speakers Include:

  • Charlie Chilufya, Director of Justice and Ecology at Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar
  • Marian Lieser, Oxfam Germany Executive Director
  • Joia Mukherjee, Partners In Health Medical Director
  • Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)
  • Moderator: Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch
  • More speakers to be confirmed

WHEN: Wednesday, July 14 at 10 a.m. ET

WHERE: RSVP for the online event and get updates as speakers are confirmed.

For more information, please contact Matthew Groch at mgroch@citizen.org.

BACKGROUND: WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dozens of U.S. protests and public events, including a die-in near the White House and protests at German consulates nationwide, are planned for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s U.S. visit on July 15 as Germany blocks an emergency WTO waiver to facilitate COVID-19 vaccines and treatments that would save millions of lives.

As the Delta variant rages worldwide and Tokyo locks down pre-Olympics, COVID-19 and German TRIPS waiver opposition threatens to overshadow what Chancellor Merkel hoped would be a valedictory visit.

The Biden administration declared support of the waiver in May and many nations followed their lead, however WTO consensus rules means German opposition is now blocking 130+ nations that view a waiver as key to boosting production of vaccines and other medical supplies. COVID-19 is raging through the many nations with limited vaccine access. Poor nations’ access may lag until 2024, destroying lives and livelihoods and increasing chances a vaccine-resistant variant develops.

Merkel’s singular role as the obstacle has made the summit a critical test of whether President Joe Biden can deliver on his goal of a TRIPS waiver unlocking global vaccine and treatment access – or his initiative to save tens of millions of live could fail despite his historic support, as well as Merkel’s chance to cement her legacy as a humanitarian, not a Big Pharma shill.

The U.S. and Germany alone produce approved mRNA vaccines. If Merkel gets a high-profile White House photo op and victory lap without Biden delivering progress on the TRIPS waiver, a major administration agenda item will be dealt a punishing blow. As Be a Hero founder Ady Barkan recently explained in a video going viral: “President Biden has shown so much leadership. Now we need him to bring Chancellor Merkel along with him.”

Below is a preview of protests and events leading up to Merkel’s visit. Check here for updates and to view events in calendar layout.

White House Photo Op: Germany—Stop Blocking Global COVID Vaccines! Banner Drop

WHAT: Protesters will float 20’ by 10’ banner on helium lifts with White House as backdrop

WHEN: Tuesday, July 13 at 9 a.m. ET

WHERE: Corner of Constitution and 16th Street NW, Washington D.C.

For more information, please contact Arthur Stamoulis at arthur@citizenstrade.org

Press Conference: Global Leaders Urge Merkel/Biden to Solve TRIPS Waiver Block

WHAT: Leaders of public health, and other organizations will urge Chancellor Merkel to end her waiver blockade and call on Pres. Biden to show leadership by persuading her to do so, for the sake of millions of people’s lives and livelihoods.

WHEN: Wednesday, July 14 at 10 a.m. ET

WHERE: RSVP for the online event and get updates as speakers are confirmed.

Speakers Include:

  • Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)
  • Marian Lieser, Oxfam Germany Executive Director
  • Joia Mukherjee, Partners In Health Medical Director
  • Charlie Chilufya, Director of Justice and Ecology at Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar
  • Moderator: Lori Wallach, Director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch
  • More speakers to be confirmed

For more information, please contact Matthew Groch at mgroch@citizen.org

Mass Protest at German Permanent Mission to UN in New York City

WHAT: Protest at German UN Mission/Consulate to protest Germany TRIPS waiver blockage

WHEN: Wednesday, July 14 at 10 a.m. ET

WHERE: Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, E. 47th Street (between 1st & 2nd Ave.), New York Marching from there to the German Consulate and then to Pfizer Corporation offices.

For more information, please contact please contact Ben Levenson at b.levenson@peoplesaction.org

Protest: Die-in at White House During Merkel’s Visit (Featuring Giant Merkel Puppet)

WHAT: On the day of Merkel’s White House visit, protesters will display body bags representing the global number of COVID-19 deaths since the TRIPS waiver was first proposed in October 2020. An oversized Merkel puppet will bear witness to the sad reality that Delay=Death.

WHEN: Thursday, July 15 at 9 a.m. ET

WHERE: Lafayette Square (H St and Black Lives Matter Plaza NW)

For more information, please contact Arthur Stamoulis at arthur@citizenstrade.org

Vigils at German Consulates Across the Country

WHAT: Waiver advocates will hold vigils outside German consulates, remembering those who have died of COVID-19 and calling for the global access to vaccines and treatments that’s needed to help save millions of lives and end the pandemic. Several have already been held, and more are being scheduled.

Confirmed vigils are below, all times local:

CALIFORNIA

Wednesday, July 14 * 10:00 a.m.

Outside the German Consulate

6222 Wilshire Boulevard * Los Angeles, CA

For more information, please contact Will Wiltschko at will@citizenstrade.org

RSVP for Los Angeles Event Online Here

Thursday, July 15 * 6:00 p.m.

Outside the German Consulate

1960 Jackson Street * San Francisco, CA

For more information, please contact Will Wiltschko at will@citizenstrade.org

RSVP for San Francisco Event Online Here

Friday, July 16 * 10:30 a.m.

Outside the Honorary German Consulate (Emerald Center)

1620 5th Ave * San Diego, CA

For more information, please contact Will Wiltschko at will@citizenstrade.org

RSVP for San Diego Event Online Here

COLORADO

Wednesday, July 14 * 11:00 a.m.

Outside the Honorary German Consulate

4100 E Mississippi Avenue * Denver, CO

For more information, please contact Andi Petrovic at apetrovic@citizen.org

RSVP for Denver Event Online Here

MAINE

Thursday, July 15 * 12:30 p.m.

Across from Honorary German Consulate (Lobsterman Park)

1 Temple Street * Portland, ME

For more information, please contact Martha Speiss at mspiess@myfairpoint.net

RSVP for Portland Event Online Here

MASSACHUSETTS

Monday, July 12 • 12:00 p.m.

Copley Square (Corner of Boylston & Darmouth Streets)

560 Boylston St • Boston, MA

For more information, please contact Andi Petrovic at apetrovic@citizen.org

RSVP for Boston Event Online Here

NEW YORK

Wednesday, July 14 * 10:00 a.m.

Dag Hammarskjold Plaza

47th Street (between 1st & 2nd Ave) * New York, NY

For more information, please contact please contact Ben Levenson at b.levenson@peoplesaction.org

Share on Facebook

RSVP for the New York Event Online Here

Thursday, July 15 * 5:00 p.m.

Outside the Honorary German Consulate

120 West Tupper Street * Buffalo, NY

For more information, please contact George Kimball at george@citizenstrade.org

RSVP for Buffalo Event Online Here

OHIO

Wednesday, July 14 * 12:00 p.m.

Outside the Honorary German Consulate (One Cleveland Center)

1375 E. Ninth Street * Cleveland, OH

For more information, please contact Andi Petrovic at apetrovic@citizen.org

RSVP for the Cleveland Event Online Here

OREGON

Wednesday, July 14 * 6:00 p.m.

Outside Honorary German Consulate

3900 SW Murray Blvd • Beaverton, OR

For more information, please contact Hillary Haden at hillary@washingtonfairtrade.org

Share on Facebook

RSVP for Beaverton Event Online Here

TEXAS

Friday, July 9 * 11:00am

Car Caravan Around German Consulate

Meeting at 17198 Knoll Trail Road * Dallas, TX

For more information, please contact Bob Cash at bobcash@citizenstrade.org

RSVP for Dallas Event Online Here

UTAH

Tuesday, July 13 * 12:00 p.m.

Outside the Honorary German Consulate

36 State St * Salt Lake City, UT

For more information, please contact Andi Petrovic at apetrovic@citizen.org

RSVP for Salt Lake Event Online Here

VIRGINIA

Thursday, July 15 * 10:30 a.m.

Outside the Honorary German Consulate (Town Point Park and Nauticus)

1 Waterside Drive * Norfolk, VA

For more information, please contact Ryan Harvey at rharvey@citizen.org

RSVP for Norfolk Event Online Here

WASHINGTON

Sunday, July 12 * 1:00 p.m.

The German House

613 9th Ave * Seattle, WA

For more information, please contact Hillary Haden at hillary@washingtonfairtrade.org

Share on Facebook

RSVP for Seattle Event Online Here

###

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people – not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

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