Republicans have proposed a bill aimed at sending vaccines to Latin America. Florida Congressmen Maria Elvira Salazar, Tom Rice, Byron Donaldson, Gus Bilirakis, and Dr. Ronny Jackson this week introduced the American Medical Innovation Generating Safety Abroad Act, also known as the AMIGOS Act (HR 3236).
In addition, the bill defends American Intellectual Property and pushes to strengthen the United States’ ability to engage in vaccine diplomacy in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar argued that the United States is leading the global response to COVID-19. She said they developed the most effective vaccines and have made the largest contributions to global health organizations such as COVAX and GAVI to deliver vaccines directly to vulnerable communities. However, he said, the U.S. does not have a strategic surplus vaccine diplomacy strategy.
¡Acabo de introducir la ley #AMIGOS para proveer vacunas de #EstadosUnidos🇺🇸 contra la #COVID19 a los hermanos latinoamericanos!
¡Tenemos que combatir la influencia de Rusia y la #China Comunista en la región!
➡️ Para más información: https://t.co/iTGv8NEZN4 pic.twitter.com/DwIPc0oEwa
— Rep. María Elvira Salazar (@RepMariaSalazar) May 14, 2021
“Instead of squashing free market innovation, the U.S. should propose bold plans to donate surplus vaccines, raise awareness of current U.S. efforts. And increase vaccine manufacturing,” Salazar said.
Vaccines to Latin America
Likewise, the Republican highlighted that Latin America, in her opinion, is more vulnerable than the United States. For this reason, she promotes the approval of the law.
“Our most vulnerable allies and neighbors, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean, are counting on us to solve this problem and slow the viral spread and mutations of COVID-19”.
She also emphasized that the measure is also intended to diminish China’s influence in the countries of the region. “I introduced the AMIGOS Act to develop a strategy for effective U.S. vaccine diplomacy and to counter the growing influence of communist China and Putin’s Russia in our hemisphere.”