So with the 4th of July on the horizon, you may remember back on April 30th when President Joe “250,000 more Americans dead in the month of December” Biden told us all how we needed to continue to wear masks (caps mine) “It's a small precaution to take that has a profound impact. It's a PATRIOTIC RESPONSIBILITY for God's sake”. OK, all well and good. Although I thought the masks were a “scientific” imperative to save us all from dying from the “novel” coronavirus, but apparently it’s also a patriotic thing. Biden said the same thing back in October so I guess someone thought that concept polled well with…patriots? He continued: “…be afraid for your husband, your wife, your son, your daughter, your neighbor, your co-worker. That’s who you’re protecting having this mask on…” The more reasons for masking, the merrier I guess.
But OK, let’s accept that mask-wearing is a patriotic responsibility to protect others. What exactly does that mean? Seems pretty clear – you are doing something in pursuit of helping or protecting your fellow Americans. That seems patriotic. As an American, you are compelled by your sense of “patriotism”, that is, your concern to help your country, to make certain “sacrifices” for the greater good. That also seems patriotic – you do things for the betterment of the country even if it’s beyond, or even at odds with, your own personal interests. Kind of like losing your job or closing your business that you’ve put your life’s work into to protect others from catching the ‘vid. Or not having a funeral for your mom or dad because, you know, patriotism, or maybe how it was (and in many places still is) our "PATRIOTIC RESPONSIBILITY" to damage our kids’ physical, social, psychological, and educational well-being in order to protect Grandma. There’s patriotism for ya. Although I’m not sure a society that would cannibalize its own children in pursuit of its “PATRIOTIC RESPONSIBILITY” towards any end is one worth saving, but that’s a story for another day.
So now we have an understanding of what our “PATRIOTIC RESPONSIBILITY” is. It’s commonly known as “altruism” which is defined as “the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.” You were wearing a mask or losing your business, or now getting the vaccine even if you really don’t want to, to protect others. Bully for you! But here’s an interesting question. Why were we all expected to exercise our “PATRIOTIC RESPONSIBILITY” in all that we’ve been through for the last year and a half, but the drug companies weren’t called to do the same?
According to a New York Times article (5/4/21) on Pfizer, an American drug company: “The vaccine brought in $3.5 BILLION in revenue in the first three months of this year, NEARLY A QUARTER of its total revenue, Pfizer reported. The vaccine was, far and away, Pfizer’s biggest source of revenue…That would translate into roughly $900 MILLION in pretax vaccine profits in the first quarter.” It’s also interesting that “…the company’s vaccine is disproportionately reaching the world’s rich…As of mid-April, wealthy countries had secured more than 87 percent of the more than 700 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines dispensed worldwide, while poor countries had received only 0.2 percent, according to the World Health Organization. In wealthy countries, roughly one in four people has received a vaccine. In poor countries, the figure is one in 500.” The piece continues: “The company pledged to contribute up to 40 million doses to Covax, a multilateral partnership aimed at supplying vaccines to poor countries. That represents LESS THAN 2 PERCENT of the 2.5 billion doses that Pfizer and its development partner, BioNTech, aim to produce this year…The World Health Organization figures make clear that Pfizer has provided MINIMAL HELP to the world’s poorest countries.”
“The vaccine is expected to keep generating SIGNIFICANT REVENUE for Pfizer and BioNTech, especially because people are LIKELY TO NEED REGULAR BOOSTER SHOTS. Pfizer said on Tuesday that it expects its vaccine to GENERATE $26 BILLION IN REVENUE this year, up from its previous estimate of $15 billion.” That would translate into something like $7 BILLION in profit this year from the vaccine alone while their entire profit last year was about $9.6 billion. By the way, did you catch the “NEED FOR REGULAR BOOSTERS”? Remember that time when crazy science-deniers like me were warning you about the coming “need” for boosters and we were dismissed as QAnon kooks? That was awesome. (shout out Chris Farley)
Anyway, back to my original point. If it was our “PATRIOTIC RESPONSIBILITY” to do all we did for the betterment of the good old USA and in fact the world, why exactly is an American drug company like Pfizer being allowed to make so much money? Now to be fair, Pfizer did “forego” government funding for developing the vaccine with an eye on profit (gotta give em credit for that), but as the Times reports “The National Institutes of Health patented technology that helped make Pfizer’s and Moderna’s so-called messenger RNA vaccines possible. BioNTech has a licensing agreement with the N.I.H., and Pfizer is piggybacking on that license.” So as former President Obama might have said, “You didn’t make that”.
Pay them for their (true) development and production expenses, but after that, this vaccine, which we have all been told is a life-saver and the only way out of this pandemic, should be distributed free of charge to everyone who wants it. That doesn’t mean “free of charge” (which it is) to you the individual, that means “free of charge” to you the taxpayer. You know, in the best interest of our fellow Americans the drug companies should sacrifice their potential profits in the name of patriotism.
Now don’t get me wrong, I believe whole-heartedly in capitalism, but in this case, with all the PANIC PORN we’ve been fed and the insistence that everything we have endured is to help our fellow man, it seems somewhat unpatriotic, even predatory, for Pfizer (and others) to be making obscene profits in light of what we’ve been told could have been an extinction level event. I would say “Follow the money!” but then, “conspiracy theorist” and all, so I’ll just say that if you are still one of those people “following the science” as dictated by Biden, Fauci (Where's Fauci been recently? Asking for a friend.), or the mainstream media, I’ve got a bridge somewhere in the swamps of Jersey to sell you…