Alex Azar, II, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, asked if the administration could guarantee corona virus vaccine would be affordable to all: “I’m saying we would want to work to make it affordable but we can’t control that price because we need the private sector to invest ... price controls don’t get us there.”
This is “free market” theory whipped into an absurd warp drive: only those who can afford a vaccine will have access to it. Even if HHS or dt or whomever pulls back and says all will have access and price will not be a bar, the mindset this reflects is sick.
Dr. Jonas Salk refused to seek a patent on his vaccine for polio. He thought to do so was wrong. Of course, that was back during President Eisenhower’s administration. The GOP was not steroid-driven to gouge profits for corporate backers it seems.
Another important point: in all likelihood, most other countries will make vaccines available for free or at negligible price to their people - as is the case with most pharmaceutical drugs developed and sold by U.S. pharma.
As Professor Sheila Suess Kennedy recently noted, Big Pharma spends more on PR than on R & D. So even the premise - we have to pay higher prices to ensure vaccines are developed - is without validity.
We subsidize these corporations. This is a crisis. With even a two percent (2%) mortality rate, COVID-19 is highly contagious and stands to kill a lot of people the World over. We should not have to pay admission to the party of “life.”
Pandemics are a type of “thing” - broad in scope & more amenable to unified, national responses - best addressed by the Federal government. Yet the announcement by the current occupant of the Oval Office (a/k/a dt) seemed to make the States the public entities tasked with the battle.
What is worst is that in 2018 dt sacked the CDC pandemic response team to cut government costs. To eliminate agencies and programs that have prospective purposes for things such as pandemics is grossly irresponsible.
VP and former Indiana Governor Pence is to lead the effort. Pence has experience with contagion - he managed to bungle efforts to address HIV in southern Indiana. It is too much to hope he learned from his mistakes - dt picked Pence because Indiana has such great health care.
I’m Mark Small. I’m a candidate in the May 5 primary for Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. We need to reinstate the pandemic response team - and otherwise hope COVID-19 is contained. I approve of this blog. Hell, I wrote it.