Globalists Want to Steal COVID Vaccines
India and South Africa, along with the American Left, demand that the WTO waive vaccine patent rights.
Thanks in part to President Donald Trump’s leadership in establishing Operation Warp Speed, at least two American pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and Moderna, have developed COVID-19 vaccines. And now that these vaccines have been developed at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars in private capital, the countries of India and South Africa are angling to steal these companies’ intellectual property. They submitted a resolution to the World Trade Organization demanding that patent protections for COVID vaccines be waived.
Using the plight of the poor as cover to justify straight-up theft, India and South Africa argued in their WTO proposal that “intellectual property rights hinder[ed] or potentially hinder[ed] timely provisioning of affordable medical products,” and therefore such patent protections should be waived. Notably, Pakistan, Argentina, and Venezuela also backed the resolution, as well as many Americans on the Left.
But this is no Robin Hood tale of taking back from the cheating rich to give to the cheated poor. Rather, this is yet another example of socialism’s false economic narrative of private companies only producing value because of government handouts, when in fact the exact opposite is the case.
Under Operation Warp Speed, “the U.S. government has … agreed to compensate private companies for vaccines and therapies in return for obtaining the earliest available dosages,” notes The Wall Street Journal editorial board. “For instance, the feds have allocated $1.5 billion to support the manufacturing and delivery of Moderna’s vaccine candidate in return for 100 million initial doses.” And importantly, “America’s taxpayers have essentially paid for early access.”
What India and South Africa are effectively doing is demanding the legal theft of intellectual property so they can in turn produce vaccines “and sell copycats worldwide,” profiting off the costly research and development labor of Pfizer and Moderna. And they want to do it all under the cover of “helping the poor.” It’s grossly unethical and ends up hurting everyone.
What companies will invest billions of their own capital in research and development for vaccines for the next global pandemic only to see their intellectual property stolen in the end? The obvious answer is none, with the predictable result being that no vaccine is developed at the amazing speed that has been witnessed this year for COVID.