tv Health Experts on Accelerating COVID-19 Vaccinations Globally CSPAN December 16, 2021 8:03pm-10:01pm EST
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have not yet received even a single dose of a coronavirus vaccine. that is 3 million people who remain at far higher risk than they should be. some of these 3 billion are those who have been unwilling to get the vaccine. the select subcommittee held a hearing on vaccine hesitancy earlier this year. we continue to examine the process and seek solutions to increase vaccine uptake. many others remain unvaccinated, however. many others who remain unvaccinated, however, have been among those who have been unable to get the vaccine because it is
unavailable in the countries where they live. many countries around the world have received an inflection of those in the united states and elsewhere in the west have. 56 countries, largely in africa and in the middle east have been able to vaccinate even 10% of their populations and some areas such as haiti, that figure is below 1%. this inevitable access to coronavirus vaccines is causing unnecessary death and suffering and we have a moral obligation to save lives by expanding vaccine access.
but to ensure vaccines are available around the world is not just the right thing to do. it's necessary to protect our own health and our economy . experts say viruses are 6 to 8 times more likely to occur from countries where low vaccination rates create opportunities for the virus to mutate. the more that new virus develop, the greater the risk that there will be more infections, more deadly, and that they will be resistant to the current life-saving vaccines. we have learned from this pandemic just how difficult to see to prevent new variants from reaching our shores once they emerge.
the best protection is, therefore, to be sure they do not develop in the first place. by increasing access to vaccines around the globe, we can save lives and protect public health at home. helping other countries vaccinate their citizens is also the right thing to do for the economy. the american economy, like the economies of all nations in the 21st century, relies on international trade to reach its full potential. many goods we manufacture still depend on materials sourced elsewhere. other goods, made in the united states, are exported, and sold to other countries. outbreaks in those countries hurt american businesses and
workers. coronavirus surges in southeast asia this summer illustrate how connected our economy is to global public health. from malaysia semi conducter plants shut down because of coronavirus outbreaks, american car companies like ford and general motors could not produce new cars. they were therefore forced to suspend work in factories here at home. american consumers feel these consequences. as a result of the shutdowns in malaysia, general motors was force to cut production by an estimated 100,000 fewer vehicles in the second half of this year.
outbreaks in vietnam have similarly hurt the supply of clothing, footwear, and cell phones manufactured by american companies. higher vaccination will help us prevent empty shelves and higher prices here at home. a fully vaccinated world is critical to the american recovery. in fact, a report commissioned by the gates foundation found that high income countries like the united states that reap economic benefits from global vaccination that are more than 12 times the cost of funding those mass vaccination efforts. so all these reasons, i applaud by the administration for its leadership in ensuring vaccines
are available around the world. and as reflected in this chart, the united states is doing nearly, donated nearly 300 million vaccine doses and doing 800 million more, than every other country combined. president biden recently reaffirmed his commitment to help vaccinate the globe, with an additional $400 million to help low income countries to administer vaccines on top of the 1.2 billion previously dedicated to global vaccination efforts. as we face another new
coronavirus variant, we call on other countries around the world to step up and follow america's example. i would like to thank today's witnesses for being with us today. i look forward to hearing more about the importance of increasing global vaccinations for both public health and economic strength. and now i recognize ranking member for his opening statement. >> thank you mr. chairman, appreciate you having our hearing, appreciate our witnesses before us today. it is a true testament to president trump's operation warp speed that anybody in america who wants the covid vaccine can get their vaccine and it's fully paid for. i've been proud to support president trump's operation warp speed, an amazing public-private
partnership that led to the development of three different vaccines. two, of which, by the way, only took less than a year to produce when many were saying it would be years to produce that. but in addition to that, produced manufactured and distributed enough vaccines to give a shot to every american who wants one. americans also donated millions of doses to countries around the world as the chairman just showed. i believe there is bipartisan agreement on the subcommittee, the vaccines have helped us reopen our economy, helped people get back to work, and helped people to live their lives again. there's no doubt about it, they've saved millions of lives. but they've been around for about a year and widely available 6 months yet about 1,300 people are still dying each day in the united states. sadly, there have been more covid deaths this year than last
year. though there is still plenty left to learn from covid, one thing we know for sure at this point is vaccines are not a patacia against preventing the spread of the virus. despite these facts, after nearly a year in office, president biden still has no real strategy to protect american families from covid. the same administration that promised to shut down the virus still does not have an fda commissioner. it took president biden a year nearly to get a nominee to lead the fda and just having the hearing in the senate today. there has been no investigation into the origins of covid which we in the minority continued to push for. the only strategy they seem to is the one that increases government control over people's lives with more illegal mandates. biden administration ignores naturally acquired immunity and won't put much attention to
therapeutics but want to mandate vaccines in any setting they can think of. they want to bully and shame americans into thinking like they do or face termination from their jobs. biden administration trying to apply unlawful vaccine mandates, to federal contractors, to companies with more than 100 employees. trying to get workers fired who are unvaccinated, more than he has spent on therapeutics trying to keep family safe. biden administration is losing big time in the courts. federal courts struck down, halted or delayed most of president biden's unlawful mandates. this slide actually shows all of the different mandate that is have been blocked. the osha mandate, for example, that president biden issued for private employers blocked by the
fifth circuit court of appeals last month. cms mandate that health care workers had to be at least partially vaccinated by december 6th of this year or face termination, after a federal district court in missouri, the healthcare workers mandate was finally blocked nationally just two weeks ago. unlawful mandate for federal contractor and see subcontractors blocked two weeks ago after found it exceeded executive authority. finally, under executive order, all federal employees had to get vaccinated or risk losing their job. office of management and budget encouraged federal mandate to see delay enforcement under another mandate, this is another
under biden's unlawful mandates. with healthcare systems still treating patients, facing shortages, i ordered months ago, that the treatment of healthcare workers would exasperate the shortages and they continue to not support the problem but rather create problems of their own. what is this twisted infatuation biden has with firing millions of hard working families right before christmas, especially at a time when companies can't find workers. it seems all biden wants to do is fire people from their jobs when the courts are saying it's illegal for the president to do this. they want to do the same thing on global vaccinations, to increase the vaccine supply world-wide, the biden administration wants to force
the american developers of covid-19 vaccines to give away their intellectual property. to give away those rights. that's right, for years, we all spoke out against china trying to steal america's intellectual property. now, we have the american president trying to give our intellectual property away to china and other countries for free. if president biden gets his way, imagine the chilling effect this would have on the ability to develop more lifesaving drugs in the future. on a bipartisan basis for more than 25 years, the u.s. trade representative made protection of u.s. intellectual property a cornerstone of our trade agreements. when america's ingenuity is protected and able to flourish, america can compete and win. american pharmaceutical companies have led the world in both research and development and introduce more lifesaving drugs. the covid vaccines are a great example of this.
we're the world's leader because we have strong ip protections and because we prohibit the u.s. government from setting prices like the socialized healthcare systems abroad. now, president biden wants to take a sledge hammer to innovation by removing protections for u.s. intellectual property, stripping innovators of their intellectual patents will weaken international competitiveness and only help communist china, the country that spread the pandemic in the first place. even if the u.s. government was successful in forcing companies to give away the vaccine recipe, it would take years to store material to see produce these vaccines, this would not ensure more safe and effective shots in arms across the world, it's another attempt to under mine american competitiveness. as i said, we should protect ip,
contract with manufacturers and help distribute to countries who need it. it's a safer strategy, there would be more shots administered and wouldn't have to knee cap future innovations to do that. some it seems wanted to use covid as a way to exert control even when it makes no sense. americans are sick of this. thankfully, and finally, mr. chairman, people are coming around to the idea that these shutdowns and mandates must end. quote, the emergency is over, that was a quote from democratic governor and former colleague of ours from colorado, gerald polis the article saying today, covid isn't going anywhere, and it's time to start acting like it. time to learn how to protect people and their freedoms while doing a better job of handling
covid. the biden administration must lead on this. first, clean up their mixed messaging on public health that has left americans confused and frustrated and then start following the science on schools, masks and vaccines. americans have had enough. thank you mr. chairman, i yield back. >> i welcome today's witnesses first, dr. ali khan, a practicing physician and dean of the college of public health at university nebraska medical center. dr. khan previously served as a director of office of public health preparedness and response, at the centers for disease control and prevention,
where he laid out responses to numerous domestic and international public health emergencies. i would next like to welcome dr. katherine russ, a professor of economics at uc davis. dr. russ is an expert in open economy micro economics and international trade policy, and associate at the national bureau of economic research and a senior fellow at the peterson institute for international economics. she previously served as senior economist for international trade and finance for the white house counsel of economic advisers. next, i would like to welcome dr. martin mccarily, professor
of surgery at johns hopkins school of medicine. i would also like to welcome dr. krishna udiyunamoma kumar, i'll have problems with a few of these names but i hope i get them okay. thing director of the global health inhibitions sector, and social professor of medicine and a social professor of the practice of global health at duke university. finally, i would like to welcome dr. shinam kamumule unis, is that -- whatever it is, i'll let you tell us when you speak.
professor of economics at university of maryland. research associate at the national bureau of economic research, and a research fellow at the center for economic policy research. he coauthored a leading study commissioned by the international chamber of commerce research foundation that analyzed economic value of global coronavirus vaccinations. will the witnesses please raise your right hands. do you swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? >> i do. >> let the records show that the
witnesses answered in the affirmative. without objection, your written statements will be made part of the record. you are recognized five minutes for your opening statements. >> good afternoon and thank you chairman and ranking members and distinguished members of the select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis. as you just heard i'm dr. khan, former director of preparedness at cdc and dean of nebraska college of public health medical center. i'm pleased to offer testimony for an improved strategy to defeat covid and end this pandemic. in september of this year, covid passed the spanish flu influence of death toll and now the largest event disease in our nation's history, despite the scientific advancements we made
sincerely 1900s. over the years many claimed the mantle of the great pandemic or black death including plague, influenza, sars, now covid, adapting with different tools, technologies and health solutions. undoubtedly, we're in a much better position than a year ago. so two years later, why do we still say we're in a pandemic? because covid is still disrupting critical healthcare and social andeconomic functions in cower communities, still see thousands of hospitalizations a day and healthcare rationing in america, as well as supply chain disruption, closing schools, businesses and supports and omicron sending capital markets
into a tailspin. the rise of the omicron variant may or may not draw out this pandemic. we in at risk of more infections and deadly variants until we fully address the pandemic globally. thanks to american ingenuity, i'm happy to tell you we already have all the tools we need to beat covid and transition to a post-covid world with on going cases, vaccines which are safe and effective, we have quarantine, self isolation, masks, proven effective control methods and seeing antivirals emerge, increase testing across the nation and increasingly in our homes, but the end of the pandemic no longer ends just on good public health science. it depends on action and depends on rebuilding citizen trust in their government that has been eroded by the cooperation of this response and rapid misinformation. so how do we balance our right to freedom, personal autonomy
and responsibilities with the right of everyone to be protected from infection and death? how do we remember that sacrificing for the common good is how communities are built and it's how wars are won, including wars on microbes? it all starts, i think, with the admission that we're stalled and need a new and different strategy to end this pandemic. in the u.s., need new public health officials and voices and need new national and local political leaders to help restore trust to those who are sceptical about the vaccine and even sceptical about the disease itself. we need to increase vaccine confidence. the 60% vaccination rate nationally is clearly not enough to return our lives to something resembling normal, even with those who have natural immunity. we need better solutions to increase coverage to at least 85% or more through vaccine mandates, inventives or
non-mandate approaches that are people-centered or community based and for the sceptical we do need standardized tests for the natural and acquired community. we need partnerships for realtime covid data in the u.s. so we stop relying on foreign countries on our data to decide what to do with vaccines, et cetera. and to fully protect us from new variants, need to increase global vaccination supply, access and confidence. so globally, as you said, mr. chairman, only 7.1% of developing countries have had a single dose yet so needed actions for the u.s. must share its moderna patent with the global community and announce temporary waivers and other intellectual property and licenses, actively share technology and know-how, remove
export controls from critical materials and continue to fulfill our 1.2 billion vaccine donation, we learned this lesson and the hiv pandemic that in the time of deadly pandemics, profits will never outweigh lives anywhere in this world. we need to solicit more partners in logigistics efforts and finally need global standardization for strategies and triggers to help fight misinformation and the global anxiety so people know what is going to happen and when and why and saw this recently with a trigger for travel bans again. so as somebody with 30 years of experience responding to outbreaks all over the world i want to ensure the american people that there is hope and light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. so i leave you with a simple
message, get vaccinated, get tested and mask on, america. >> thank you, dr. khan. dr. russ, you are recognized for five minutes. >> good afternoon, honorable chair and members of the select subcommittee. thank you for the opportunity to testify, and in addition to the humanitarian urgency, ensuring vaccination against covid-19, globally and with the most effective vaccines available is critical to the u.s. economy. i'll tell you four reasons why. first, leaving large pools of people unvaccinated overseas increases the risk that new variants will sweep in the u.s. workforce. as we saw this fall, each new wave has a direct and serious impact throughout our economy, including the services sector. second, failing to vaccinate the
world as a whole creates a host of supply chain problems. the lack of availability of effective vaccines over seas has worsened some of the biggest hang-ups american businesses and consumers are experiencing now. perhaps the most visible example is the one the chair mentioned, that plagued the u.s. auto industry in the third quart of this year. covid-19 outbreak in malaysia triggered public health restricts that are you kaled the creation of semi conductors, the shut down, domestic production dropped below 100,000 units in september, the only time this has happened in the last 28 years other than lockdowns in spring 2020. shut downs helped keep prices elevated in domestic car markets which is a key driver of overall inflation facing american consumers over the last few months. malaysia's vaccination rate
reached over 80% but the first 18 million shots they got was a vaccine much less effective at preventing infection than the ones you and i received. countries across southeast asia and around the world used vaccines from china and russia which are less effective than our mrna vaccines, this increases chance of outbreak that is can cause supply chain disruptions. other examples are shut downs affecting two major courts in china over the summer. quick to use lock down to see prevent the spread of the virus, partly because vaccines there are not as effective as vaccines in the u.s. these courts are so large, closures provided shipping delays for u.s. and other countries. the closures were also a reminder that shutdowns can reduce supply of many products u.s. sources from china. third, failing to insure global
delivery of vaccines can lead to labor market shortages causing additional supply problems for the u.s. economy. because there are large pools of people who have not been vaccinated, some countries resorted to restrictions on workers' movement to reduce spread. resulting labor shortages are affecting production in a broad array of agricultural and manufacturing industries world-wide, like textiles in vietnam, wine and other products in europe, these restrictive measures might be mitigated or avoided were all workers properly vaccinated and tested. finally, due partly to lack of access to vaccines, emerging markets in low-income countries are unlikely to return today growth path they were on prepandemic for some time. this lower growth abroad threatens job in export industry as, more than 10 million american jobs rely on export of goods and services to the rest
of the world. close to half of these exports are close to developing countries where the covid vaccines are harder to come by than here. risks of lock-down induced slow downs also loom in many high income u.s. trading partners where vaccination is incomplete including australia, austria and germany. we must wage a global war on covid-19, do foremost to the immense humanitarian need, but also to reduce economic volatility is and uncertainty for american businesses and consumers. whether it is $50 billion or double that, it would be a bargain compared to the cumulative injury to the u.s. economy and our influence abroad were we to delay any longer. thank you. >> thank you, dr. russ. we'll now hear from dr. mccary. dr. mccary, you're recognized
for five minutes. >> herman cliburn, thank you, my name is dr. makary i studied epidemiology at harvard school of public health where i received masters and served on johns hopkins public health for the past ten years, take patients including immunocompromised patients. i would personally ask you to consider new scientific data that tells us that some covid policies have become too extreme, too rigid and are no longer driven by clinical data. take, for example, boosters in children who already had covid. when pharma announced on wednesday that they did a lab experiment which shows boosters raise antibody levels against omicron without releasing the underlying scientific data, the cdc immediately urged everyone 16 and 17 years old to get a
booster. is this what we've come to? pharma tells people what to do in a press release and the cdc just falls in line? meanwhile, germany just reported no healthy child 5 through 17 has ever died through covid in the first 15 months of their pandemic with nearly all unvaccinated. the cdc never told us if any u.s. covid deaths in the u.s. for children have been healthy children and now countries like germany now restrict the covid vaccine underage 30 because of heart complications. i'm pro vaccine, i'm vaccinated but we have a modern day mccarthyism in someone asks a question about boosters in young people. just 12 weeks ago the fda external experts voted 16 to 2
vote not to vaccinate for those under 18, but then returned to vote for all but did not queen the external experts. cdc did the same, as a result, got their broad booster recommendation by circumventing the external experts who opposed it. health official experts justify it by claiming declining antibody tiders but ignore the study done by the community just last week itself finding to be effective against omicron. vaccine boosters used on young people without any supporting clinical data. those vaccine doses to boost young people should be going to the 93% of the population of the world in low income countries who have received no vaccine. let me be clear.
nothing represents america's waste, excess, and global arrogance more than requiring a young, health, low-risk student, who had the infection in the past and already has natural immunity to get a booster, yet dozens of colleges and universities already announced this as a requirement. i believe in mammograms and believe they save lives, but i don't recommend them universally for men or children. we need precise medical guidance, not blanket medical guidance good for marketing departments. if the u.s. wants to help countries ration their vaccine supply in the midst of epidemic, tell them to recognize natural immunity and those with covid step aside to protect those who are vulnerable faster with a life-saving vaccine. over 20 scientifically sound studies demonstrated that natural immunity is as good or
better than vaccinated immunity, yet public health care officials continue to ignore it, in fact never talk about it. why don't they do their own study of people who had the covid infection 20 months ago in new york, test their bloods and interview them? why never do that study with their gigantic budgets, they say it's unknown. my team is doing that study because they've failed to do it. they have circulating antibodies from prior infection, antibodies that neutralize the covid virus, but they are antibodies the government does not recognize. as a result, careers destroyed and medical privacy is essentially dead. the u.s. can also show leadership with medications, fluvoxamine a steroid inhaler, both have been around for years, have impressive randomized control data that show they dramatically reduce covid
deaths. why do we never hear our public health leaders talk about them? these are not medications with the controversies of hydroxy and ibermectin. paxovid cut hospitalizations 91%, been sitting at the fda four weeks as americans die every day. moropiravir had up vote from external experts two weeks ago. what is the fda doing two weeks after the vote to authorize medication? finally, anybody getting vaccinated with mrna vaccine should space it out three months. many of us begged u.s. policy makers to do this. uk did it as a broad policy, makes sense. why give two life preservers to people in an ocean when some are drowning with none? the data are now in, the experiments over and the uk did
it right, we did it right, yet uganda had approximately 1% of its population vaccinated when the president announced they'll use a new ship: of almost 700,000 vaccines, as the world has scarce vaccine supply, they should learn from our mistakes, not repeat them. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, dr. makare, we'll now hear from dr. umayunakuma. >> my name is krishna umanukamar. through the global covid accountability platform led by duke and covid collaborative we're delivering actionable
insights for effective covid response. we know the pandemic continue to see evolve in a highly pandemic manner around the world. we're in a global war against a virus that doesn't respect borders and rapidly advances against continents but global leaders have yet to use the full arsenal of tools to fight this war. scientific achievements gn begun under the trump administration and continued under president biden have led to the development of highly effective and safe vaccines, promising therapies and other interventions including diagnostics, but the world has been unable to marshal a coordinated, effective and equitable response. the widening gap between vaccine haves have-notes increases the risk of variants that could pierce vaccine immunity. indeed, we're witnessing the consequences of a failed global response with surges in many pa the world including the u.s.,
while the omicron variant spreads rapidly with worrying signs of increased transmissibility and immune evasion. based on current vaccination rates nearly all low income countries including most african countries are not on track to reach the globally agreed upon 40% vaccination target for the end of the month. recent analysis identified three elements to accelerate global vaccination. first increase transparency of production, supply, and allocation to drive stronger accountability and more effective vaccine planning and implementation. second, allocate a rapidly increasing supply of vaccines much more equitably and urgently. third, strengthen country level capabilities and capacity to ensure effective and efficient vaccination. as overall vaccine supply continues to increase significantly now with over a billion doses produced each month, challenges and allocation, distribution and
delivery in low and middle income countries are becoming more urgent. strong, bipartisan american leadership has been critical to address major global health crises over decades from the eradication of small pox to increasing global access to treatments for hiv and aids, to managing recent ebola outbreaks. such american leadership is needed again to effectively address the covid-19 pandemic. the best way to prevent further domestic and global catastrophe is to dramatically decrease cases and slow transmission of the virus through widespread global vaccination combined with other public health measures. thankfully, there is significant progress and u.s. leadership from which to build. the u.s. and g7 allies have taken important but still modest steps to close the global vaccination gap including accelerating large scale production and delivery of high quality vaccines, increasing financial support to covax and other entities, and supporting
the shared over 1.6 billion doses. the u.s. has now donated over 317 million vaccine doses. as you noted, mr. chairman, than any other country combined. president biden also hosted a global covid-19 summit in september to further galvanize global coordination and response. the recently announced initiative is also a step in the right direction. while commendable, these actions still fall far short of the true scale and urgency required. much more needs to be done to provide high quality vaccines more quickly and to build countries' vaccine distribution and delivery capacity, which is rapidly becoming the key constraint in the race between vaccines and variants. the $315 million allocated to support global vaccine delivery in global vax is substantially inadequate in the context of the billions of dollars needed to support successful vaccinations around the world. in fact, we have proposed with the endorsement by bipartisan
group of experts a bold u.s. emergency plan for global covid-19 relief. the global covid-19 pandemic is both an international humanitarian crisis and also a threat to our own nation's security, health, and economic interests. we can impose travel restrictions, promote vaccines and boosters, recommend masking and distancing, but those steps will not keep americans completely safe because we can to the stay isolated from the rest of the world. building from significant efforts to date we must further unleash unparalleled american resources and capabilities and provide bold american leadership to address the global pandemic. such an effort will reflect both our ideals as a people and our interests as a nation. by galvanizing global efforts to vaccinate the portions of the world's poorest, most afflicted countries, we can accelerate the end of the pandemic here and everywhere. thank you for the opportunity to
testify. >> thank you very much. the chair will now hear from our next witness. you're recognized for five minutes. >> good afternoon, chairman clyburn and members of the subcommittee. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to discuss the case for global vaccinations. i am a professor of economics and finance at the university of maryland college park with a specialty in international macro economics and globalization. rolling out a vaccine to stop the spread of the global pandemic doesn't come cheap. already billions of dollars have been spent, dropped and put in place in programs to get those jabs into people's arms. however, given the uneven
distribution of vaccine the poorer countries are lagging far behind richer nations and the question is simply what is the economic cost of not vaccinating everyone? my work joined with my colleagues calculate these economic costs of uneven global vaccinations and how much of these costs will be borne out by rich countries such as the united states. back in january, 2021, with the projected progression of the pandemic at that time we have estimated $4 trillion global cost at the end of 2021, rich countries, vaccinating all, while poor countries only inoculate half of their population. 49% of the $4 trillion global cost is going to be borne out by the rich countries, composed of the united states, canada, japan, and europe. for the united states, the cost is 3% of its 2019 gross domestic
product, $671 billion. as of now, the reality of the vaccinations turn out to be much worse than our initial assumption as rich countries were not able to vaccinate all their citizens and poor countries are nowhere near vaccinating half of their population as we just heard. with the ongoing pandemic, if we do not achieve global vaccinations, the economic costs we have estimated will only fwroe exponentially in 2022 and 2023. we analyzed 35 industries such as services and manufacturing in 65 countries and studied these before the pandemic. for example the construction sector relies on steel from brazil, american manufacturing needs glass and tires from countries in asia and so forth. then we used the count of covid-19 infections in each country to demonstrate how
coronavirus crises can disrupt the supply chain and providing very early analysis of possible global supply chain obstructions. in our model the more a sector relies on people working in close proximity to produce the goods the more destruction and obstruction there will be because of high infection. sectors globally stopped. we then modeled how vaccinations can solve the problem as a healthy and immune work force is able to produce increasing output. widespread vaccination in rich countries will certainly help domestic businesses such as restaurants and services, but industries such as auto, construction, wholesale, and retail that depend on other countries for labor, materials, will continue to suffer if vaccines are not made available worldwide. in addition, people in other countries, if they remain out of work because of repeated lockdowns required to control the spread of the virus, then they will have less money to
spend on the sale of exports in north america and europe. our work estimates the economic costs rising from supply chain disruptions with a key reason the ongoing pandemic. how could we predict the economic costs of supply chain obstructions ten months ago before they became evident that they are widespread and now known as the container crisis and the great destruction? this is because our economic estimates take into full account the full complexity of the entire global trade and production network data. our research shows that vaccinating the other nations is not an act of charity but an act of economic rationality with a high return on investing in global vaccinations. we have calculated the numbers by dividing the cost of not vaccinating the rest of the world by the cost of vaccinating as put out by covax.
if the united states alone wants to close this gap it implies a returned investment to the united states of 24 times the investment in global vaccinations. as chairman powell has stated to this committee recently, economic activity, according to our model, in the absence of global vaccinations, 2021 united states gross domestic product will be 3.1% lower than what could have been showing the heavy economic toll of not vaccinating the world for the united states. as shown by the new omicron variant we know that no one is safe until everyone is safe because if you wait longer on the global vaccine nags new variants are emerged. our work -- no economy is an island and world economies are interdependent on each other so full economic global recovery will come only when every economy recovers from the pandemic. thank you.
>> thank you, dr. ozcan. i do not see the ranking member at this point. we are to go into questions. i see the ranking member has returned. >> hey, mr. chairman. yeah. i'm voting on this one, too. i'm not sure if you voted on the -- >> i have not. i have not. i'm going to yield to you for five minutes of questions and while i go vote and i'll take my five minutes when i get back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. obviously when you look at what we opened with, the mandates have been thrown out by courts over and over again. we've had three different court cases on mandates, all three have said the president doesn't have the legal authority to fire people whether federal workers, subcontractors, or health care workers, yet it seems like that's the administration's main
focus. i think if you go to mr. mccarry's opening statement i think you touched on things a lot of us would like to see explored more. i've talked to a lot of medical professionals that have said it seems like the biden administration is really underplaying the importance of things like natural immunity, some of the other therapeutics that are out there, and we've had, you know, obviously we mourn the lives of the hundreds of thousands of americans who have died, but we also know that we've had millions of americans who have contracted covid and came through it and lived. some had really tough experiences. some had very mild symptoms. that by the way is before and after the vaccine. vaccinated and unvaccinated people have gotten covid who have experienced different degrees of difficulty going through it and, again, some have had no problems but they tested positive and now they have immunities. it seems like there is a missing
gap in the science on what these immunities do, how it protects people going forward. i think you touched on it with children, but if you could, doctor, talk about what maybe congress should be looking at more. what should the scientific community in washington be doing that it's not doing to study more about what natural immunity really means? >> if you could unmute. >> thank you, ranking member scalise. you raise a really important point. the original sin of this covid pandemic was that when this virus hit the united states, we had a complete paralysis of research at the nih. with over $42 billion they could not pivot any of those dollars quickly to answer the most basic questions that the american people were asking all of us in health care. how does it spread? do masks work?
how long do i need to quarantine for? when is the peak day of viral shedding in the course of illness? we could not answer those questions with any solid evidence because the nih was unable to pivot their funding. we just had a study of nih funding last year, the year of the pandemic. they spent 5% of their budget last year on covid research. they spent twice as much on aging research. the average time for them to give research dollars to a group of researchers like my team was five months in a health emergency. they had 278 research grants on social determinants of health, an important topic, but about four on how the virus spreads. and so you had this very popular group think led by our top public health officials that it was surface transmission. wash your hands for 20 seconds. pour a gallon of alcohol gel on
your grocery bag. we had a vacuum of scientific data. and what filled that vacuum is political opinions. that is the original sin of this politicalization. it was the inability of the bureaucracy of the nih to pivot their funding to answer the practical, pinnacle questions we needed answered. and today, we can't do -- we seem unable to do any followup on the therapeutics, hypertonic spray, none of these have gotten research dollars to this day. we have basically been uni focused on vaccines, an important intervention but has come at a heavy exclusion. we aren't doing the world a service if we are only telling them about one of several important ways to reduce death and mortality >> i appreciate that. clearly as we continue to promote the vaccine and its safety and effectiveness, again,
the president only talking about mandating vaccines or else somebody is going to get fired, the courts aren't even allowing that. so at some point you would think the president would move on and come up with other alternatives including natural immunity, which many medical professionals are starting to look into and recognizing there is a during the -- a durth of studies being done. all of this should be focused on keeping people safe not a one size fits all approach. we've seen a lot of studies that have shown kids ought to be in school and it hurts them not to be. have you seen research on that as well? >> brown university has a good study showing that kids who have been in school during the pandemic compared to kids before the pandemic have more cognitive, motor, and learning deficits. this is a tragedy. it's unchartered territory. we're going to appreciate the down side of this far into the future. young women have had a 51%
increase in emergency room visits for self-inflicted harm, and so the list goes on and on. substance abuse, opioid deaths are up 30,000 this year. so, anyway, that is the american tragedy -- >> we'll try to get that brown study to all the members. i appreciate that feedback. with that, mr. chairman, yield back. >> thank you very much. doctor, i'm going to ask you, under the biden administration the united states has led the global coronavirus campaign to combat the pandemic with more than $1.6 billion committed. nearly 300 million vaccine doses donated and 800 million
additional doses pledged. our country leads all others by a significant margin on all of these metrics and have called on our international partners to do more to address vaccine equity. what would you say were the benefits of america's leading contributions to global vaccination efforts? >> mr. chairman, as we heard very eloquently from our economic speakers, also, there is no doubt that in the united states the cost of the failure to get this pandemic under control, we still have health care rationing going on. we have schools, businesses, etcetera disrupted. supply chain. but that plays out globally, also. and until -- if we want to protect people we have to protect everyone otherwise we will continue to have new
variants emerge and make their ways on to our shores and force us into another cycle of aggressive prevention strategies. so, yes. the u.s. has taken the global role, which is necessary, because then that allows us to work with other partners to say, other countries need to step up, also, and continue these efforts to increase both vaccine supply, vaccine access, and to address the misinformation that's rampant in the united states. we see it all the time here in the u.s., unfortunately, and it's now made its way worldwide with increasing vaccine hesitancy. so we need to address all three of those issues. and as i said during my testimony, we answered this question with the hiv pandemic when we said profit will not trump lies. and those were the decisions we made then to make sure that hiv treatment was available to everybody worldwide. it's a simple decision for us to
make now. the u.s. owns the moderna patent and it can clearly make it available to the global community. w.h.o. has set up an mrna technology hub that's ready to make this happen, so it's not a matter as if countries could not scale up if they were not issued these licenses and assistance with know how. they clearly can scale up. we can have national hubs that are producing vaccine get us closer to getting a global community vaccinated and get to a post pandemic phase. >> thank you very much. i know we'll be a bit convoluted as we go through this today. so is mr. jordan -- i don't see him. >> i'm here, mr. chairman.
would you like me to go next? >> yes, please. >> okay. thank you. i want to thank you all for your testimony and thank you to the chairman for having this hearing today. i'm actually a member also of the foreign affairs committee and we definitely talk about vaccine diplomacy, the importance of it. particularly as it impacts our supply chains. my first question would be i guess for our economics professors here, just if you can touch on the impact that vaccine diplomacy, that has on alleviating supply chain issues we are experiencing today. some of it is on vaccine mandates as well, right here in the united states. that's impacting the supply chain. can you talk a little bit about both of those dynamics? >> would you like to go first? >> yes, i mean, basically the united states is doing the right
thing here because we do have to increase the supply of global vaccines. i just want to be very clear here. this is not about, you know, allocating. this is not about just not, you know, give all the available vaccines in my country but, you know, like ration. as we just heard from dr. khan, to increase the vaccine production and the vaccine supply to other countries and the united states leadership so far has been very good and it is definitely the right way but it is not enough. the supply chain issues are going to be sorted out when we really do this globally. if you look at the very complex figure of the global supply chains in my recent testimony you'll understand that this is not just about some chips or some lumber issue. all of these sectors are linked to each other and different countries having different
exposures. without really doing this at a global scale, we won't be able to -- plus, the stimulus, the fiscal stimulus now that skyrocketed the demand is making it -- in that sense it is very urgent. >> thank you. if you can comment on one hand what the prior individual said is somewhat true, but, also, the vaccine mandates are having a tremendous impact on our economy. new york city in the "new york times" today has the slowest recovery rate of the rest of the nation, unemployment is double the national average, i believe a lot of that is due to a lot of the mandates, vaccine passports, and other restrictions put in place. if the doctor can please comment
on the concerns that you have regarding some of the mandates i would appreciate that as well. >> representative malliotakis, we can't get a vaccine chemotherapy in parts of the united states because of our supply chain prices. the treatment for hodgkins lymphoma. there are downstream effects not to mention the many careers destroyed and up to 1 in 5 people leaving health care. the real story in new york that we're not hearing about is they're having significant staffing issues and they're asking for a partial halt or plan to halt elective surgery to so-called dead head of omicron but the real story is they're having significant staffing issues. now, all of these problems are massive, chemotherapy supply chain problems, halting elective surgery. they could have all been avoided with a flexible immunity mandate. in other words, recognizing natural immunity. allow for more medical
exemptions. not require immunization for health care workers that are not on the front lines. that is patient facing. we would have avoided so many of these problems. >> one last question to follow up. regarding the mandates, how much should we be focusing on these mandates as opposed to looking for, you know, treatments and therapeutics? you mentioned natural immunity. what about treatments and therapeutics, leaving that more of a priority? >> representative, no one should be dying of covid right now with rare exceptions. with best practices of the treatments, immunization, two drugs sitting at the fda, their applications are sitting on someone's desk as we wait for these two drugs that have cut covid deaths to zero or near zero in both their phase three trials, no one should be dying of covid right now. we never hear about therapeutics from our public health leaders, only this intense focus on
vaccinations. we can do both. >> i appreciate that. i think it is a balance that is required here. i appreciate all your testimony today. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> can i clarify a point here because i think it is very important. the economy cost estimates are the short zone. the costs are going to come from every single delay. in our model nobody dies but the minute you get sick there is going to be an economic cost. natural immunity is going to take time. so this is very important. the costs are really coming from being sick and not able to be productive two weeks. we have this set up there as long as you are sick a week to two weeks you can go back to the work force later with your natural immunity but that two weeks will add to the economic
cost. >> thank you very much. the chair now recognizes for five minutes. >> thank you very much, chair clyburn. this is a very needed hearing you're doing today because there is so much information out there. a lot of it sometimes conflicting. and so i have a few questions that i really want to ask. first of all, let me thank dr. khan for his caution about cdc accepting information that they get from press releases. i've often wondered why they could adopt a certain thing so quickly and wondered whether or not the testing and the research
had been done before they start to advise about 5-year-olds, etcetera. i want to learn a lot more about that but i thank him for opening up that discussion. secondly, i want to get to the global problem that we have and he want to ask whether -- i want to ask whether or not we are assisting in any way to help other nations to develop their own vaccines. as i understand it there is something in terms of international law that may be stopping them from being able to do it. some of them want to do it. what do you know about that? >> representative waters, thank you for that question. the u.s. is assisting several organizations around the world in trying to stand up vaccine manufacturing capacity. the format that's been used to date has included u.s. public sector investment from the international development
finance corporation as well as working with u.s. manufacturers. so examples of that would include what was announced at the quad vaccine partnership so johnson & johnson partnered with biological e in india with investment from the dfc and others to enable the production of a billion doses of vaccine over the coming year. we have also seen vaccines in terms of licensing especially for capacity, announcement of pfizer biontech enter into such partnership in south africa. we have heard johnson & johnson may allow manufacturing in its entirety. so the work that's happened to date has included voluntary licensing from our private sector manufacturers in partnership with the public sector being able to help support everything beyond intellectual property, the know how, access to supply chains, regulatory advice and oversight
access to financial capital, and it's really that type of model we need to continue to see. we most definitely need to increase the vaccine manufacturing capacity across low and middle income countries and we have seen significant progress including through a partnership for african vaccine manufacturing that's also under way. this is a space that is going to take some time, months to years to stand up, given the complexity, but there is significant progress already being made. >> thank you so very much. i would like to know, at one point the caribbean was begging the united states to help with the vaccines. now, that was early on. do we have that problem anymore? because they had the money to purchase but they did not have access despite the fact that the united states had a memorandum of understanding with both canada and mexico. are we in a position now where we can help others really and not do what allowed to happen --
allow to happen what happened with the caribbean? >> yes, thank you, ma'am. we are in a much better position than we have been in the past and the best position we've ever been in. as i mentioned, we see global output of more than a billion doses of high quality vaccines each month that will allow us in the u.s. to make sure that we're following the science in terms of primary vaccination and boosters. we are not in a position of having to sacrifice any of that. but in addition to boosters as warranted in the u.s. as well as primary vaccination, we do have enough. we continue to send tens to hundreds of millions of doses internationally, and we need to continue to do that. our recent analysis shows if you look at the g7 and european countries, by the end of this year, in addition to everything they might need for domestic needs, they will likely have more than 500 million doses of excess vaccines. and those are the ones that absolutely have to reach low and
middle income countries as quickly as possible. >> thank you so much. we have another problem i want to mention just quickly, and that is in haiti we got vaccines to them, and they could not distribute them. and so we had to make sure that we retrieved them before they expired. we just need to come up with some ways of helping countries like haiti. with that i have used up all of my time and i thank you very much. >> thank you very much, ms. waters. the chair now recognizes mr. jordan if he is with us. i don't see him. mr. jordan? how about dr. meeks? the chair now recognizes velazquez for five minutes. >> thank you very much.
you called for a study to model the costs of incomplete global vaccination. what did your study conclude about the costs of failing to achieve global vaccination to advance economies like the united states? >> yes, so the study shows that the overall cost to the united states, canada, japan, and europe will be 4 trillion. for the united states it will be 671 billion, which is the 3% of the 2019 gross domestic product of the united states. this is assuming the united states and other nations vaccinate everyone in their own countries and the rest of the world at least reaches the 40% to 50% of vaccination in their country. so vaccinations were way worse than we assumed so the true costs are much higher than that and it is going to get higher in the next year and the year after if we don't take global
vaccination seriously. >> thank you. so, doctor, what does your research show about the potential economic benefits of donating vaccines to the developing and less wealthy nations? >> huge. we calculate the return to investment only for the united states of 24 times. the rich countries overall will get a return to investment over a hundred times. the return to investment to countries like france, germany, is going to be 20 times. there is no question of just sending these vaccines and now we hear from the doctors that, you know, we can easily do this. we are in a position of producing billions. so it is a no brainer. this is a rounding error compared to the money we spent in fiscal spending domestically in rich countries. thank you. >> thank you. professor ross, covid outbreaks in malaysia and vietnam have
contributed to supply chain issues such as the slowing of the production of component parts, for american car manufacturers, and finished goods sold in the u.s. can you tell us about how the outbreaks in southeast asia earlier this year affected the u.s. economy? >> sure. so if we take just the example of the semiconductors causing the auto plant shutdowns, so car prices have been rising the last few months. the white house council of economic advisers just stated that about 1.4 percentage points of the 6.8 overall inflation that consumers faced in november compared to the last year was due to auto related items. so those shutdowns helped keep those prices for autos high.
and that means that it contributes to the overall increase in prices that consumers are facing. and it's not just autos. i mean, that is a really visible, big shock. but, also, and the chair mentioned -- i was muted. sorry. so not just autos but also clothing, textiles, so many different products. if we want to think about active pharmaceutical ingredients, important for diabetes or chemotherapy, many of these come from china. and so china is really quick to move to lockdowns because their vaccines are not super effective. we saw the port lockdowns that caused major shipping disruptions globally but including for the united states. so the normal time for shipments to get to the united states from china is 40 days by sea.
and in the fall it peaked at 73 days. so, you know, that is an extra 33 days we have to wait for, say, medical supplies to come when we are sourcing the active pharmaceutical ingredients. so it's really widespread, this impact it can have on the u.s. economy. >> so we could say that vaccinated people around the dploeb -- globe will help mitigate economic disruption in the united states. >> absolutely. including inflation. >> thank you. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> i thank the gentle woman for yielding back. the chair recognizes mr. jordan for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. doctor, how many -- let me start with this. what is the budget at cdc? do you happen to know that? >> it's about $9 billion, sir. >> how about at niaid?
>> 6 billion. >> what about nih? what is the budget there? >> between 42 and 43 billion. >> if i do the quick math that is like 57 billion, $58 billion annually, right? >> annual. >> and you know how many people work at cdc? >> cdc and nih together about 30,000 people. >> 30,000. what about if i add in niaid? what was the number? >> that's right. 31,000 people between cdc and nih. >> 31,000 people spending $58 billion a year. why hasn't our government done a study on natural immunity? >> if i can be honest, representative jordan, i don't think they want to know the answer. it would undermine the indiscriminate vaccine -- vaccination policy for every single human being including
extremely low risk people. >> so how many americans have got covid since we've had this virus, do you know sf. >> north of half of americans based on the columbia university study that showed 1 in 3 had covid at the end of last year, a year ago. >> so there is certainly a sufficient sample size to do a study and 57 to $58 billion, i mean some of that money to do a study. and then of course you know you got 30,000 people who could conceivably do a study on a pretty fundamental question. i think i saw in your opening statement that you're actually doing a study on natural immunity, is that right? >> that's right. with private funding. john hopkins my research team is doing a study. >> okay. so there is no grant money coming from cdc, nih, nothing like that? >> no, sir. >> and are any of these 30 some
thousand employees helping you with your study? >> no, sir. >> now, other countries if i understand i think this was in your opening statement as well, other countries have done this study is that correct? >> most of our learnings come from israel and other countries, yes, sir. >> what have they found? start with the israel study if you could just refresh my memory. what did israel find? >> the israel study is the largest study done worldwide and it found that natural immunity adjusted for age, income morbidity, is 27 times more effective than vaccinated immunity. and they just put out december 5th another study, follow up study affirming similar results. that natural immunity is stronger than vaccinated immunity. >> are the scientists in our government at cdc and nih -- they don't account for that, they don't talk about that. what do they say about that study? >> they never talk about it unless asked, but i would say that they are doing worse than
being absent on the topic. they are undermining natural immunity through two studies that the cdc did that are so flawed, that are so poorly put together, honestly they would not qualify for a 7th grade science fair. the results cannot be derived from the data. and it is a disgrace that those two studies were put out because it undermines the larger body of science. >> so they won't talk about international studies that conclude natural immunity is 27 times better than the vaccine but they will do some bogus, in your words, some 7th grade science experiment studies using some of the 33,000 employees and some of that $58 billion of american taxpayer money. they will do that. >> that's right. that's fair. i will say their intention is noble but very paternalistic. that is they believe, from private conversations, that if they acknowledge natural immunity some people may avoid vaccination and think i'll just get the infection. we don't want people to do that but we can be honest with the
data and encourage vaccination at the same time >> i think the american people particularly the ones paying, this is their money, they expect honesty and transparency from our government. they don't expect to be deceived. this is what gets me. we can spend money. some of the 58 billion, and some of the resources at nih and cdc can be used to fund gain of function research and give a grant to eco health who then sends some of that money to a lab in wuhan, china. that is just fine. but we can't find any resources to deal with a fundamental question about natural immunity and so much so that you have to go out and get private funding to do it yourself. >> that's right. the nih spent twice as much money on aging research last year, the year of covid, more than they spent on covid research. >> this would be laughable if it wasn't so serious. >> the implications, when you think of the mandates and what is happening to the economy not to mention being honest with the american people who after all it
is their money but we have the head guy, dr. fauci, saying i represent science. but he is afraid to actually do the science and do the studies that need to be done to answer this question. we have to rely on international studies and your private study to get the truth to the american people. >> we've subjected 72 million children to intense restrictions for two years yet we don't have the most basic research. we've never had an nih funded stud oin masks in kids and never any information revealed by the cdc on whether any healthy child has died of covid. >> it is either they know the answer and don't want the american people -- they know the answer and don't want the american people to know or they do know the answer and are trying to hide it. i mean, it is like they know the answer and are not sure or they know it and are trying to hide it from the american people, one of those two. >> thank you. your time is expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
the chair now recognizes ms. maloney for five minutes. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman, on this important hearing. even as we are working to keep increased vaccination rates in the united states, we don't have to -- we have to really focus also on the fact that we need to vaccinate the rest of the world in helping vaccinate people in lower income countries is not only the right thing to do from a humanitarian and diplomatic standpoint but it also helps protect health and safety of americans and as long as the coronavirus continues to circulate widely across the globe, new variants will arise and americans will be at risk. we're already on another new variant. i'd like to ask you, how does a
failure to bring the coronavirus under control around the world put americans at risk? >> thank you, representative. i think we continue to put americans at significant risk so long as we don't have a global plan of attack against the pandemic that leads to a global recovery. first and foremost, we put the health and lives of americans at risk as we saw with the delta variant, as we are seeing with the omicron variant, that have both emerged in other parts of the world where infections were raging and vaccines were under utilized and under available. we can't isolate ourselves from the rest of the world so we are prone to anything that happens elsewhere. fundamentally to protect americans we need to make sure there is a global response. secondly our economy as we heard from colleagues today is intertwined with the rest of the world. we will not see as strong a global economic growth and recovery or global trade or global travel so long as the
pandemic continues. third as you started off rightly by saying it is also the right thing to do. it is a way for the american people to express our values as a people to the rest of the world and lead in a way that brings strong american values in helping those most in need. and of course it is also the ability to influence the future decades of diplomatic relations in the world. i think we have every incentive that could be possibly aligned to do the right thing and do it quickly. >> thank you. the new variants have been devastating. we've seen the problems brought on by the delta variant which happens to be even more contagious. it is really going through new york and infecting a lot of people, very, very contagious. twice it is likely to result in
hospitalization than other strands. i would like to ask dr. khan, what does our experience with the delta variant tell us about the potential threat posed by not only delta but other new variants that seem to be arriving? dr. khan? >> thank you for that, representative maloney. correct. our 1300 deaths a day in 65,000 hospitalations are due to failure to adequately respond to this pandemic with vaccination. and each of these variants have arised overseas. until we have a global response, layered with other public health measures, you know, masks, testing, quarantining, isolation, treatment, you layer them all together, we need to do this globally. otherwise we will be at risk for yet another variant.
it may not be omicron. between delta and omicron a lot of numbers went through. that didn't turn out to be a big issue for us but it could be whatever the next variant is. we must make sure we have a global response to this pandemic if we want to protect americans and go into this post pandemic phase. >> dr. khan, how would temporarily waiving patent rights on certain vaccines help accelerate global vaccination efforts? given the fact we have to be as concerned about other countries as our own? >> it would allow many of these hubs being stood up to use those patents immediately, including as i said the u.s. owns the moderna, critical moderna patent on the spike protein formulation. so having -- and w.h.o. has already set up a facility ready to do that work.
the companies don't want to work with them unfortunately because profit for them outweighs lives. but the u.s. has the ability to be paid for these vaccines. the american people paid for these vaccines. they can demand that these companies work with these other countries and make sure we get everybody vaccinated. that is the solution we need to get more sites vaccinating in addition to as i said access issues, logistics issues, and to address the vaccine hesitancy that we also seem to be exporting. >> scientists at the national institute of health played a critical role in developing this vaccine and the federal government i believe should have a say in how it is licensed abroad. dr. khan, can you put this into the context of the global vaccination effort or is it important for the federal government to be involved in making these decisions abroad?
>> the gentle woman's time is expired. >> my time is expired. >> can i answer? no? >> quickly. >> we need to get everybody vaccinated as fast as possible and everything we do to increase that speed will increase our transition to post pandemic and move us back to a better new normal and take care of the trade issues and social and political economic disruptions and health care disruptions. >> thank you, dr. khan. the chair now recognizes dr. meeks for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair. you know, it is interesting listening to the panel and i agree this is a global pandemic so all of our panelists would agree this is a global pandemic. yes? all of them agree that we need to have immunity and we know that we can acquire immunity through two different sources. one through vaccination, and the second way that we can acquire
immunity is through infection acquired immunity which we have heard discussed already. it is frustrating to me to share that the response from some of our panelists is that if the united states forces the u.s. companies to give up intellectual property rights and patent protections to allow more dosages to be developed, one is that, are there facilities that can develop vaccines immediately and with the safety requirements and then, would, is there a public health infrastructure in order to deliver vaccines? three, while we're waiting for this individuals are developing covid-19 and developing immunity so perhaps talking about immunity would be extraordinarily helpful. one of the greatest problems to date that we see and i see, i've been told for over a year to listen to the science and i listened to the science but i see there is a lack of evidence based decision making from the
biden administration. one example is what is happening in schools. president biden promised to support a return to the safe learning as quickly as possible, yet even as teachers were prioritized for vaccines they refused to turn to in-person instruction. students' learning loss due to remote or hybrid learning is astronomical and we just had another publication about that this week. failing grades are rising and child suicide rates are surging. some schools remain remote or hybrid despite no scientific basis for this decision and we heard this week schools in certain states are going back to hybrid learning because of the omicron variant which to this point has very little fatalities. in addition to which when i was trained in some areas of my district yesterday i learned that one of the school systems in a rural area closed down for a week for mental health reasons for the faculty not the students and that put a burden then on those individual child care providers and parents who were
in that school system. so for even those schools that are in person, many are forcing children to wear masks even though there is no study that shows masks on their own provide any additional protection for children. dr. mckaray do you have any studies which shows the efficacy of masking children in schools? >> the topic of masking children has not been studied with any form of randomized controlled trial. the data we are relying on are really from adults and that is the largest cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted by researchers at stanford university. they found that basically a cloth mask had almost a negligible benefit. a surgical mask had a roughly 11% reduction in transmission. higher quality masks were higher. now i don't love that study design but it is all we have to work on and basically we've imposed the covering of faces of 52 million school aged children with very weak data.
>> are there some evidence based consequences of masking children in schools? >> certainly if you talk to those who are speech pathologists, guidance counsellors, if you look at mental health disorders in kids, it has to play a factor. the brown university study that showed that developmental aspects of childhood are being significantly hindered in those who have gone to school during the era of masks being worn in school, that was very validating to many front line people who have had concerns. some kids do great with masks. some kids struggle. a quarter of kids wear glasses and it fogs up the glasses many times. so it is easy to say my kid does well with the mask and therefore everyone should wear it. come to inner city baltimore and take a look at the kids who are not in school or in school wearing a mask trying to learn on an ipad with glasses on.
it is an entirely different situation than somebody who has private tutors for their kids in the hamptons with a $10,000 zoom sweep. >> dr. makary like you and our other panelists i am fully vaccinated and i have given vaccines in all 24 of the counties in my congressional district but i think we brought up a very important point in this hearing that i've asked dr. fauci and dr. walensky on hearings of this subcommittee, we had five public health experts just recently in this hearing ask them about infection acquired immunity, ask them about the israeli study, and all of them were less than supportive of evidence based data that has come out about infection acquired immunity. i put forward a bill to mandate all insurance both private and federal cover for serology testing for antibodies and also t-cell antibodies because we know the t-cell immunity is stronger and lasts longer.
but yet as you're indicating when we are talking about trying to globally vaccinate countries we are vaccinating now children 16 to 17 and recommending boosters for individuals who may already have immunity rather than recommending testing for that. we don't know in children because the cdc, and i've asked this of dr. walensky for those children who have died of covid-19 what were the risk factors, the vulnerabilities? that is information we should know before recommending every child be vaccinated from the ages of 5 to 11 and then recommending boosters. as i think you indicated would you agree those boosters could be doses that could go overseas to other countries in order to increase the rates of immunization? >> the time has expired. the chair recognizes mr. foster for five minutes. >> thank you. am i audible and visible here, mr. chair? >> yes. >> thank you.
dr. khan, we've heard a lot of speculations about how maybe we would be better off with a national response that focused on natural immunity rather than vaccination. and so if we had adopted that sort of approach which is pretty much what third world countries are forced to do because they don't have access to vaccines, if we had adopted that approach what would it have meant in terms of patient overflow in emergency rooms and icus? what would it have meant in terms of burnout of medical personnel? >> thank you, representative foster. we did adopt this strategy the great barrington death declaration of natural immunity. there is a reason in the english language we say avoid it like the plague because in no other plague have we ever said let's go out and get infected. yeah. so the trouble with natural immunity is you have to get
infected to get natural immunity which makes you either dead or have long covid or other complications and oefrms the health care system. i am a big fan of immunity. innate immunity, natural immunity, acquired immunity love all of them, love b-cells, t-cells, probably love for other cells, too. what really beats all of those is hybrid immunity and the data is unequivocal with hybrid immunity right? the cdc study done in kentucky may, june of this year 2.3% less likely to get infected if you were previously infected and vaccinated versus just previously infected. and even israel that we like to talk about i think they only give you three to six months before they say sorry you have to get vaccinated with the omicron variant we are seeing the data natural immunity is not as good with the omicron variant
and overcomes very easily. that three to six months will probably go away also. what is better is hybrid immunity. so if you've been naturally infected get infected. over half of americans have been infected in some way, shape, or form. add in 200 million people who have been at least fully vaccinated. essentially everybody in america is some version of fully vaccinated or natural immunity. in which case why do we have any cases anymore? we should have zero disease in america if you have the combination. this continued misinformation and false god of natural immunity is one of the reasons why we have the military deployed to hospitals across america to say please help us. it is why we have health care burnout. and institutions are in trouble
not because of interventions of vaccination masking, social distancing, isolation, quarantine, institutions are in trouble because of the disease which we respond to with good, better public health measures. we need to get people vaccinated. >> thank you. we've also heard that masking may be as small as 11% effective. okay? that sounds like maybe a small number but it means the virus first off has to find a new victim or die every week or two. okay? so now that means if it is 11% effective then you have only 89% of the virus that will be transmitted in the next generation. one generation it will be 89% squared. the next one cubed and on and on. after ten generations ten weeks afterward you will find that 70% of the virus has been wiped out by masking.
which is why you see at the country comparison level masking is so efekive as a general public health precaution. so 11% even if the number is that low is nothing to be sneezed at in terms of public health impact. also we've heard the claim made that somehow the strag is not interested in natural immunity. i can tell you the administration is very focused on it particularly in terms of omicron and what that will mean. now, the multiplication factor seems to be about every three days, the doubling time. that means if it is every three days after one month a factor of a thousand. one case will turn into a thousand cases. after two months a million cases. after three months a billion cases. the likelihood is that within the next three months most of humanity will be affected by this. it is a matter of crucial concern i can tell you from the very top of the administration and understanding why whether that will provide some level of
cross immunity to the delta variant which is apparently the lethal version of it. and so i just want to put that out there, that there is no shortage of interest in the implications of cross immunity to the omicron virus in the administration. it is going to be a crucial issue and officials at the highest level of working on it. my time is up at this point and i yield back. >> the chair now recognizes mr. murphy for five minutes. >> thank you. i am the cochair of the vaccination caucus in congress so this is a very important hearing. let me first ask, dr. russ, it
is correct vaccines abroad could relieve supply chain disruptions, correct? >> yes. in two ways >> i want to just build on this question. reducing supply side disruptions will in part tamp down price inflation, correct? >> yes. therefore global vaccinations would help fight inflation, right? >> yes. >> do you have an estimate of how much inflation would go down because of global vaccinations? >> no. >> would it be a substantial portion of the inflation that we see? >> it is hard to tell. the relationship between the price of imports and the impact on our domestic inflation is not linear, so if you think about the contribution of the shortage in semiconductors it generated
these shutdowns in u.s. auto production that contributed to keeping prices high on autos in the united states. right now autos contribute to one-fifth of the inflation we are seeing. that is not all because of the vaccine related supply disruptions >> i understand. doctor, a new study came out from south africa today suggesting that the omicron variant may cause less severe disease and they found 20% lower risk of hospitalization. they also found in the uk members of the same household were three times more likely to pass on omicron than delta. if we have 29% fewer hospitalizations but three times more people infected it would produce more hospitalizations overall and potentially overwhelm hospitals in this country would it not? >> yes. that is exactly right.
we like to think about transmissibility and severity as different variables that impact and certainly the significant increase in trans misiblt is quite worrisome. >> since the delta variant became the dominant variant in july in the u.s. almost 200,000 people have died from covid-19 in this country. given that the two-dose vaccine regimen is less effective against omicron, and natural immunity less protective against omicron and it is significantly more transmissible are we likely to see tens of thousands of deaths in the u.s. alone because of omicron? >> i would say it is probably too early to tell because we don't really know the questions around severity. it is likely we'll see that level of deaths in the u.s. over the coming months. >> so one of the things i am pushing along with my cochairs of the global vaccination caucus
is $17 billion more in fy-22 appropriations for the scaling up of manufacturing capacity of vaccines. what i wanted to ask you is would you agree this additional $17 billion for the purchase of vaccines as well as scaling up of vaccine capacity is needed right now to combat the lack of vaccines locally? >> we are still tens of billions of dollars short in the global response. i would note in addition to vaccine manufacturing and purchases, the additional bottleneck going into 2022 is going to be on the delivery side. so the country level readiness is also something we need to invest significantly in the billions of dollars >> i am glad you brought that up. i have introduced legislation called novid a play of words, no more covid. 120 of my colleagues and i urged this be adopted as part of our
legislative process going forward to help make sure that we combat the problem of a lack of vaccines abroad. let me, dr. khan, you know, i read in a recent piece by dr. makary that back in the spring of last year natural immunity apparently had reached a very high level and he said quote i expect covid will mostly be gone by april 2021. that wasn't the case, was it? >> no, it wasn't. and anybody who was a field epidemiologist public health expert would have known that. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank the gentleman for yielding back. i do not see any others here.
am i missing somebody? it is now time for me to yield to the ranking member for whatever closing statement he wants to make. is the ranking member available for his closing statement? >> like on cue, mr. chairman. i appreciate that between votes we were able to pull this hearing off, too. appreciate all the witnesses for bearing with us. and for bringing your different view points to mind, you as well, mr. chairman. obviously when we look at where we are on covid with yet another variant that has come we've seen different approaches by different states, and i think some states have shown the way for how you can confront the virus while also maintaining
people's own rights and freedoms and the ability for people to live their lives, to keep their businesses open, keep their jobs. unfortunately, i think one of the things we've been very frustrated by is that it seems coming out of the biden administration it's been much more of a one size fits all approach and more of a top down kind of bullying, shaming approach just on vaccine mandates. again to show the president has tried and been blocked by courts all across this country on these mandates. the courts have said you can't fire people in the health care industry for example if they don't get a vaccine. you can't fire people that have, that work for a company with over a hundred employees if they don't get the mandate. you can't fire someone who is a government contractor. it is just alarming that president biden's main focus seems to be trying to get people fired from their jobs as opposed to putting more time and effort
into some of these alternatives. i'm glad we started to discuss them. what do immunities really provide you for how long do those immunities really last? and for someone who says they don't want to get a vaccine, most of our members are vaccinated and have encouraged other people to get vaccinated but we also see there are segments of our country that don't want to get vaccinated. it is not all trump supporters. it is people in every community, african american communities, hispanic communities, across the political spectrum. it is not a political issue. it is a personal choice. people are making that personal choice with the facts. let's first get them the facts and let's trust the science but it seems like science is getting thrown out the window when it doesn't meet a narrative. we should be putting more time into looking into those questions. what are alternative therapies that aren't being researched right now that could help
protect and keep people safer while also maintaining their freedoms, the ability for people to go about their lives again. the idea some state want to shut everything down is not realistic. it ignores where many people are in their lives. let's look at the models where it has worked well. many states have done it much better than others. those are the discussions we ought to be having. bring in scientists that have different viewpoints so we can hear how we can put more ideas on the table. i don't see enough of that happening. once again i will say we ought to have a hearing to investigate the origin of covid-19 to see what really happened, why the world wasn't told the truth, how many lives could have been saved, and how we can prevent something like this from happening again.
appreciate the testimony. mr. chairman, see you on the floor in a little while. with that i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you, ranking member, for yielding back. thank you so much. thank you for being with us today, all of the witnesses today, in closing, i want to say we appreciate your insight, your expertise, and your advice on the urgency to accelerate vaccinations around the world. i often quote dr. martin luther king jr.'s letter for various reasons. today i wish to quote his statement that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice
everywhere. we are caught in an inescapable network of neutrality, tied in a single garment of destiny. whatever affects one, directly affects all indirectly. on no subject is that statement more clearly true than the subject of vaccinating the world against the coronavirus. the injustice facing those who still lack access to a vaccine is a threat to justice everywhere in the world including here in the united states. it's a threat to health justice and it's a threat to economic justice. as we have heard from today's witnesses, the only way to end
this crisis once and for all, for everywhere, is to make sure that the united states continues to support global vaccination efforts so the virus cannot spread unchecked anywhere. we have the tools to end this pandemic. vaccines and boosters are highly effective at preventing hospitalization and curbing the spread of the virus. but it will only work if people can have access to them. as we continue urging fellow americans to take advantage of these life saving vaccines, we must dedicate the necessary resources to allow everybody in the world to access them.
their lives and livelihoods depend on our efforts. american lives and livelihoods depend on our efforts. to protect the lives and livelihoods of all of us caught in the inescapable network of neutrality, tied in a single garment of destiny. we must achieve a global solution to this global problem by accelerating vaccinations across the world. with that, all members have five legislative days to submit additional written questions for the witnesses to the chair, which wil >> ♪ >> c-span's washington journal.
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