Finally, Biden Now Wants to Waive Covid Vaccine Patents.
Facing pressure, the Biden administration has shifted their position in regards to ensuring other nations are vaccinated.
It’s important to acknowledge necessary steps in the right direction, and the Biden administration made one in finally deciding to back waiving Coronavirus vaccine patents to make them more easily accessible to developing countries. Personally, I found the news that pharmaceutical companies saw their stock prices plummet as an added bonus. While I do not like to give credit for coming around to not only what should have been the position from the beginning, but one that he claimed to have while campaigning, the stock price plummet was a grim reminder of the time, effort, and money these companies were investing in compelling the most powerful man in the world to put their profits over human lives.
This was a rare occasion where it appears as though the best interest of the people as opposed to the corporate interests is winning, and I think it’s okay to embrace small victories once in a while.
Perhaps the most encouraging response to this news came from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who shared the link to an article about the topic with the caption:
“Let’s do insulin next.”
It seems like a no brainer, doesn’t it?
Patents on life saving vaccines and medications like insulin motivate pharmaceutical companies to simply buy them in an effort to monopolize the market and set the prices for years, to the detriment of the people who those drugs and vaccines are intended to help. AOC’s statement feels like a testament as to why pharmaceutical companies were so against the waiving of these patents in the first place. They know that people will want more, as they should, and begin questioning why patents on other healthcare necessities exist.
I will be the first to admit I am cynical, and probably too cynical at times. While it’s certainly worth addressing the fact that it shouldn’t have taken any pressure to get the Biden administration to take this stance, I don’t have the time or the energy to be constantly focused on the negative and I’m trying to find small moments of celebration while I can. Biden gets no praise whatsoever until these patents are waived, but I’m hopeful that a new public stance on an issue that’s been dominating political discourse means that these countries will get the information about these vaccines that they need.
We often say that when handling Covid here in America, state by state approaches do not work and it requires a unified, coordinated approach. That mindset applies to the global community as well, and I’m hoping Biden’s stance indicates he understands that. We cannot truly move forward until every nation is able to take care of their citizens, and it should not be up to the United States’ and the Western world’s pharmaceutical companies to determine profit comes above the lives of human beings in developing nations.