December 21, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) President and CEO, Liz Schrayer, released the following statement on the agreement for combined FY21 Omnibus and emergency COVID-19 spending announced Sunday evening:
Tonight’s deal to include $4 billion for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is a critical step in the right direction for our global response that will save lives and directly impact America’s health and economic recovery. We are grateful Congress prioritized Gavi and the importance of global vaccine distribution.
But as long as the virus is spreading anywhere in the world, Americans are not safe, and that means our current global response is simply not enough.
There’s no denying this year-end agreement was difficult and hard-fought to address many critical domestic needs. At the same time, hundreds of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have spoken out in recent months that failing to invest in a global response comes at our own peril. They recognize that as the global pandemic rages on, the growing global instability is impacting our top trading partners, boosting terrorist activity in Africa, and driving massive increases in disease, hunger, and poverty around the world.
The urgency is increasing by the day for additional emergency investments in global health, the economic and humanitarian response, and frontline U.S. civilian operations. As the 117th Congress convenes next year, the entire USGLC network will look to partner with lawmakers to ensure a robust international response in order to strengthen and protect our nation’s recovery.
Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle also expressed their support for a larger global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey said, “The $4 billion for GAVI will help children across the world receive the coronavirus vaccine, though far greater investments are needed to support international COVID-19 response.”
House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul said, “The only way to truly stop the spread of this virus in the U.S. is to also eliminate it around the world – and that requires a coordinated global response. I’m pleased Congress has included $4 billion to assist developing countries with COVID vaccination programs through GAVI. But, more must still be done to address the indirect impacts of the pandemic, particularly the damage its done to stabilization efforts in fragile states and on the food security of vulnerable populations around the world. After all, the world is safest when America is leading.”
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 500 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic, military, and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.