They're just agreeing to talk, not actually doing anything
America has just gotten a big PR boost from supporting patent-free vaccines. But they haven't done anything. They've just agreed to talk about it. It's bullshit.
America could have approved the India/South Africa proposal on the table and that would be news. Instead they're just agreed to negotiate. This is just PR. They'll be having meetings while the virus rips through millions of lungs. Hundreds of thousands will die while they delay and distract, and we're praising them for it. We should not. We still have to fight America like our lives depend on it, because it's true.
Just read what they're committing to. They are pointedly NOT simply approving the existing waiver. Even that is just the minimum required and they're not even doing that.
We will actively participate in text-based negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) needed to make that happen. Those negotiations will take time given the consensus-based nature of the institution and the complexity of the issues involved.
Text-based what? We need mRNA-based vaccines! We need to take the shackles off the factories ready to go and start producing. Just vote yes on the 7-month old waiver sitting on the table. We would still have a lot to do, but it would be a start. What the US has agreed to here is not even that. They've just agreed to start talking, while the virus seems pretty damn committed to action.
America is literally negotiating on behalf of the virus here. According to Tom Bollyky, "2003 TRIPS waiver took more than 8 months to negotiate and negotiated result is so complicated that it has only been used once." The virus lols at our negotiations about fighting it. It just infects, mutates and wins. It kills a hundred doctors while we wait for lawyers to meet. With a virus that can double every week, negotiation is murder. Every day, every meeting, people will die.
Of course they're not really negotiating on behalf of the virus, they're negotiating on behalf of the people that corrupted them. The pharma companies. Remember that these are publically funded drugs where the profits are privatized. Imagine this sort of state capture... except in Russia. You'd just call it corruption, because that's what it is.
The drug companies pay millions in bribes and get billions in return. It's just bog-standard corruption, you bribe, loot the treasury, and fuck the world.
The pressure against this fuckery has gotten too much, so the US is releasing the pressure. They're not actually doing anything, but all the people following the story can breathe a sigh of relief, think they're the good guys, and move on. But nothing has changed. We still can't make vaccines. We still have to fight the drug companies tooth and nail for every humanity. Meanwhile people die. The only winner here is America's reputation, and it's wholly undeserved.
Now if anyone complains the US can say "but we support patent-free vaccines" without actually doing anything. It's a master-stroke of PR fuckery, really. They got everyone to shut up by just talking.
Just look at this bit here from the Trade Representative here:
Those negotiations will take time given the consensus-based nature of the institution and the complexity of the issues involved.
Who's blocking consensus? America. Who's making this complex? America. Who has time? No one! What are they even talking about here? You don't negotiate with viruses! Just unite and fight.
Frankly it's exhausting that we're fighting the US (and rich countries) and not the fucking virus. And we have to fight them on every little thing, they can't just understand a simple goal and cooperate. The TRIPS waiver was itself inadequate, but now they want to break it down into negotiations. Then we'll have to negotiate technology transfer. It's all bullshit. The US should be doing everything it can without people have to scream for every little thing. But they just can't. They want to look good without actually being good and this is fucking the world.
In truth, Biden and Trump are both America First. Honestly, Biden more than Trump, because Trump killed Americans. Biden actually kills more people, just across the world. This of course isn't a good look, so his administration is changing how it looks. But they're not changing anything on the ground. We're still not able to make more vaccines. We're still in the same place we were yesterday, except Americans can feel better about themselves. But they shouldn't. They still suck.
Therefore, for the rest of the world the fight is not over. The fight for humanity, against the inhumanity of the west. It's exhausting, but not as exhausting as dying of COVID. And so we have to keep on. These billionaires would suffocate us to buy a third yacht, but we are the billions and we have to keep the pressure up, and not get distracted by bullshit. There's nothing to negotiate here. You're either with the virus or humanity. Choose a side.
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