Pope Francis on Saturday supported waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, backing a proposal by U.S. President Joe Biden.
In remarks to reporters, Biden voiced his support for a waiver which followed swiftly by a statement from his top trade negotiator, Katherine Tai, who backed negotiations at the World Trade Organization.
“This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures,” Tai said in a statement.
In the same vein, French President Emmanuel Macron affirmed Thursday that he was “absolutely in favour” of a global waiver on patent protection for Covid-19 vaccines.
The French President’s statement marked a shift for France, which had previously opposed such a move as likely to discourage innovation and argued patents should only be waived as a last resort.