Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Vaccine Apartheid


Vaccine Apartheid

by C.A. Matthews

Billionaire Bill Gates and his foundations say that no one else is capable of manufacturing Covid-19 vaccines except the current pharmaceutical firms who hold the patents. Other pharmaceutical companies worldwide insist otherwise. The end result? There are no cheap, generic Covid-19 vaccines available currently, and outbreaks in countries like India and Brazil have killed and sickened millions.

Welcome to the world of vaccine apartheid, a new way to keep poorer and developing economies in debt to Western corporations and economies. It may not be considered racism per se, but it sure comes darn close to it. "Elitism" or straight up "disaster capitalism" might be more accurate terms, but does terminology really matter when so many lives are at risk?

It's no accident that, as the majority of the poor and working classes have suffered financially and physically from the pandemic, the billionaires have prospered more than ever. Can't go shopping in your local stores due to a Covid outbreak and lockdown? Shop online via Amazon! Jeff Bezos, the first or second richest individual on the planet, really appreciates your business. Don't forget you'll need the latest in computer software and systems to do your online purchasing and to please your boss (who's making you work twice as hard for half the pay from the comfort of your heavily-mortgaged home) now. "Ka-ching! ka-ching!" go the cash registers at Microsoft.

While you grow poorer, they grow richer. And richer… And richer yet.

The coronavirus pandemic is a windfall for capitalists like Gates and Bezos. Could this simple fact alone explain "vaccine apartheid?" The more people become sick and the longer the Covid-19 pandemic lasts, the more profits they realize? Why would any self-respecting billionaire not want such a scenario to continue until they've milked the last drop of revenue possible out of it?

The more one thinks about it, Bill Gates--who has worked hard to establish his philanthropist status--might actually want to make it difficult to impossible for certain countries (or areas of the US) to obtain and purchase vaccines in order to make them dependent on his benevolence. Perhaps he's buying up all the patents for Covid-19 vaccines even now as you read this post. He stands to make a good profit or great publicity for his "causes" if he does. Either way, Gates and his kind are exercising the ultimate control over life and death for billions.

Control.  Maybe that's what billionaires and potential trillionaires want above all else? After all, they own practically everything else. What's left for ├╝ber-capitalists to compete over except power and control? Why stop at being "King of the World," as journalist Krystal Ball calls Bill Gates, when you can become "King of the Universe"?

I used to wonder why billionaires like Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin) and Elon Musk (Space X) are so eager to get into space exploration. I don't think it's just because they're visionaries who want to see man return to the moon surface or land on Mars in the next decade. Not anymore. I have become somewhat jaded by their recent antics. I no longer trust their motives for spaceflight as I might have in the past.

Their motivations are cloudy, but one thing does stand out. Consider the control these capitalists will enjoy on another planet such as Mars when they land their corporations' spacecrafts on its surface. They won't be landing there for "all mankind" as the Apollo astronauts claimed when they landed on the moon. Space X isn't going to build a United Nations' utopian space colony dedicated to pure science. No, they'll be landing there to make a profit for their businesses--their mining, terraforming, or space tourism businesses.

There won't be any "police" stationed on Mars to tell them what they can or cannot do to the planet itself or with the workers they bring from Earth to their new corporate location. The only policing agencies will be the kind these corporations provide themselves, private agencies akin to the Pinkertons. And it's not like we haven't seen any evidence of wrongdoing by police working for private corporations on Planet Earth already… Remember the cops working for the oil companies at Standing Rock?

Strip mine the Moon or contaminate the atmosphere of Mars with your heavy industry, Mr. Musk? Sure, why not? Refuse to provide a life-saving vaccine for an outbreak of coronavirus to your workers because it'll eat into profits, Mr. Gates? Yeah, that's allowable. Turn off the oxygen to the dome if you decide you can't have your workers form a union on Mars and protest for better wages, Mr. Bezos? Go ahead! Who's there to stop you?

Already we've seen how Covid-19 vaccines are being used as a genocidal weapon against a persecuted minority: Palestinians haven't been vaccinated against the coronavirus at anywhere near the same rates as Israelis. Using health care as a weapon or a threat (as in it can be denied to you by your employer if you don't continue working under unsafe conditions) is nothing new. Throw in some anti-vaxxer conspiracy talk, plenty of state-sponsored propaganda, an authoritarian regime such as the current ones in Brazil or India, and a lack of affordable patent-free Covid-19 vaccines and the death toll will continue to rise. And rise...

Vaccine apartheid. I'm afraid this won't be the last time you'll read these two words together. We have to get out of our comfort zones and make some noise about how worldwide Covid-19 death and hospitalization statistics represent actual human beings... Human beings who aren't things to be used and then discarded by capitalists seeking to make obscene profits. Health care is a human right and that will always mean people over profit. Period.

Links to articles to learn more about Covid-19 vaccine apartheid:

Rally for a People's Vaccine in DC this May 5!  https://freethevaccine.org/2021/04/19/dc-rally-for-a-peoples-vaccine/

Drug Companies Took None of the Risks to Develop a COVID-19 Vaccine, Yet They're Getting All of the Profits https://migrate.readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/69144-focus-drug-companies-took-none-of-the-risks-to-develop-the-covid-19-vaccine-theyre-getting-all-of-the-profits

 "The US public poured billions of dollars into developing a COVID-19 vaccine, yet drug companies are reaping the profits and jealously guarding the intellectual property from poor countries. Let the drug companies cry: we should release the vaccines immediately."

Covid Cases Soar in India: Advocates Urge Biden to End Vaccine Apartheid  https://truthout.org/articles/as-covid-cases-soar-in-india-advocates-urge-biden-to-end-vaccine-apartheid/

"At issue, as the Washington Post reported Friday, is a proposal India and South Africa submitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) last October to suspend Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) rules on Covid-19 vaccines and treatments to boost manufacturing capacity. It’s now cosponsored by 60 nations and backed by over 100 countries as well as hundreds of U.S. and international civil society organizations, former world world leaders and Nobel laureates, and some U.S. lawmakers.

In addition to the U.S., other wealthy nations including the U.K. and Canada are blocking the proposal — which needs consensus to pass."

Brazil Seeks to Hold Bolsonaro Accountable for More than 400,000 Covid-19 Deaths https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/69162-focus-brazil-seeks-to-hold-bolsonaro-accountable-for-more-than-400000-covid-19-deaths 

"Brazil, which is lagging behind in vaccinations, has suffered over 400,000 coronavirus-related deaths, one of the highest tolls in the world, and has become an international pariah, as well as a prime breeding ground for new variants of the disease. The collapse of health care systems and overflowing cemeteries have made global headlines and spread the devastation across South America. Disentangling the whos, whats, and whys will be no easy task, especially as the president’s allies will work to stymie the investigation at every turn.

Of particular interest will be revealing why Brazil ignored or rejected initial offers to procure millions of doses of vaccines on at least 11 separate occasions, as well as how much of Brazil’s failure to combat the disease has been due to deliberate policy or administrative incompetence and ideological delusion."

Covid Vaccine Factory Production https://theintercept.com/2021/04/29/covid-vaccine-factory-production-ip/

"Bill Gates, the billionaire philanthropist whose foundations help manage the United States and Europe’s primary Covid-19 outreach efforts to the developing world, known as Covax, was even more blunt. “It’s not like there’s some idle vaccine factory, with regulatory approval, that makes magically safe vaccines,” Gates said last weekend by way of explaining to Sky News why he thought the recipe for making coronavirus vaccine should not be shared.

Except it is exactly like that. Factory owners around the globe, from Bangladesh to Canada, have said they stand ready to retrofit facilities and move forward with vaccine production if given the chance.

“We have this production capacity and it’s not being used,” said John Fulton, a spokesperson for Biolyse Pharma, a company based in St. Catharines, Ontario, that produces injectable cancer treatments. Fulton noted that Biolyse has spent years buying equipment to produce biologics and is uniquely prepared to start getting ready to produce vaccines. The company, which Fulton said is best suited for replicating the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, could produce as many as 20 million vaccines per year, he estimated."

 CDC Finds Anxiety Was Cause of Many Adverse Responses to J&J Vaccine https://truthout.org/articles/cdc-finds-anxiety-was-cause-of-many-adverse-responses-to-jj-vaccine/

“It is possible that some persons seeking Janssen COVVID-19 vaccination could be more highly predisposed to anxiety-related events after being vaccinated,” the authors of the study explained. “The stress of an ongoing pandemic might also increase anxiety surrounding COVID-19 vaccination.”

US Weaponizing Medical Technology Against Other Countries (Video) https://youtu.be/rVpKdP_FEQA

Bill Gates Is Lying To You On Vaccine Patent Protection (Video) https://youtu.be/kZ5DavuOkcM

***
From Friends of the Earth:

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Standing with you,

Jason Davidson,
Senior food & agriculture campaigner, 
Friends of the Earth

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2 comments:

  1. Vaccine apartheid. A new approach to racism. Just when you think these capitalists can't get any worse...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, they can get worse. It's why we can't close our eyes to their tactics and let them get away with it. Millions of lives depend on us acting out today in order to save tomorrow.

      Delete

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