US President Joe Biden on Wednesday voiced support for a waiver in a sharp reversal of the US position, and his top trade negotiator.

The WTO said in April that of 700 million vaccines administered around the world, only 0.2 per cent had been in low-income countries. A recent surge of infections in India, the worlds second most populous country, has underlined the point.
The European Union was willing to discuss a proposal to waive intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday, as drugmakers fought their ground.
Dr Anthony Fauci, Bidens chief medical adviser, has pushed back against the global calls, warning it may not be the best way to actually improve vaccine access.
If you take too long, people are going to die, he told the Financial Times earlier this week. There are other ways to ramp up vaccine production around the world.
Dr Fauci suggested that Western companies should instead be encouraged to increase production and export excess doses, and countries should also donate any surplus as Norway and Sweden have begun to do.
He warned a waiver could potentially end in a protracted legal battle.
Going back and forth, consuming time and lawyers in a legal argument about waivers – that is not the end game, he said.
People are dying around the world and we have to get vaccines into their arms in the fastest and most efficient way possible.
The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations condemned the US move as disappointing.
A waiver is the simple but the wrong answer to what is a complex problem, the group said in a statement.
Waiving patents of COVID-19 vaccines will not increase production nor provide practical solutions needed to battle this global health crisis.
Reuters; Bloomberg; The Telegraph, London