A convicted monopolist is a vaccine monopolist. Who could have predicted this 🤔
Bill Gates has said 'NO' to patent sharing during a pandemic. Why? Because places like India are 'unsafe'. But, uh, India manufactures over 60% of the world's vaccines now. Are they unsafe? Gates knows all this, so you have to take his statements for what they are. Racist dog-whistles. Gates is cynically using racism against 'dirty' places like India to preserve drug company monopolies. You know, the sort of monopolies he was prosecuted for.
Monopolists going to monopolize, and this ain't Internet Explorer. This is getting people killed.
Just listen to Gates statements here and tell me this is anything but rank racism. After the fold, I'll help you read between the lines.
SKY NEWS: There's been some speculation that the changing intellectual property rules and allowing these vaccines, as you say, the recipe for these vaccines to be shared, would be helpful. And do you think that would be helpful?
BILL GATES: No.
SKY: Why not?
GATES: Well, there's only so many vaccine factories in the world and people are very serious about the safety of vaccines. And so moving something that had never been done moving a vaccine from say a J&J factory into a factory in India, that, it's novel. It's only because of our grants and our expertise that can happen at all.
The thing that's holding things back in this case is not intellectual property, there's not like some idle vaccine factory with regulatory approval that makes magically safe vaccines.
This is some real cynical shit. Gates knows better, he's just playing to the fact that his audience doesn't. He knows that India safely manufactures most of the world's vaccines, including for J&J. He also knows that his audience doesn't know, and he's playing to that ignorant racism. He's branding India as 'unsafe', a racist dog-whistle if I've ever heard one. It's absolutely appalling. He has no principles beyond profit. This is why billionaires laundering their wealth through philanthropy is so corrosive. The blood money doesn't wash out. It just spreads blood stains across the world.
Let's go through the lies and whistles one-by-infuriating-one. Gates is doing two things here. He's saying somethings that are true, some things that are patently false, and whistling such a racist Dixie that even dead dogs can hear.
"There's only so many vaccine factories in the world"
Okay. MOST OF THE PRODUCTION IS ALREADY IN INDIA. It's a joke that the west calls itself industrialized. Most of the factories are here. 60% of the vaccines sold globally are manufactured in India. The Serum Institute is the largest manufacturer in the world. Gates must surely know this, and he's cynically playing on his audience's ignorance.
The average viewer still thinks of the entire Global South as some backwards, dirty place. And that's what Gates is playing on here. "You can't trust these dirty people to make 'clean' vaccines". This ain't even a whistle. It's a foghorn.
What Gates is saying has nothing to do with facts about factories. It has everything to do with exploiting racist ignorance to preserve what he has always tried to preserve. Patents, profits, and monopolies.
"People are very serious about the safety of vaccines"
Yes we are. But wait, oh shit, WHAT ABOUT THE 60% OF VACCINES PEOPLE ARE TAKING NOW? They're made in dirty, backwards India. Are they suddenly unsafe? Gates knows they're not, but again he knows his audience doesn't know. You can't say that Indians are backwards or dirty, but you can say 'unsafe'. It means the same thing. The whistle is so loud my dog ran outside howling.
Gates then jumps to Super Saiyan bullshit because who cares, Sky News viewers are dumb.
"Moving a vaccine from say a J&J factory into a factory in India, that, it's novel"
This is his most stunning take, because you can really see him exploiting ignorance here. On the face of it, what Gates is saying is completely false. J&J has been making pharmaceuticals in India since 1975. Biological E is manufacturing the J&J COVID vaccine now. To the ignorant, he's saying that a grand J&J factory in fetid India is impossible, and that's what they will understand. it confirms their racist biases, the dogs have been whistled to sleep. But then, for the lawyers, Gates implies the truth.
"It's only because of our grants and our expertise that can happen at all."
Here Gates is saying that he knows that J&J factories are currently operating in India. But he just told viewers that this is impossible, and a few might be paying attention. To close the racist loop, he says this is only possible because white people made it possible. These Oompa-Loompas could not possibly manufacture anything without him, the great Billy Wonka, air-dropping grants and expertise. This is a common attitude (among colonial assholes).
Behold Angela Merkel of Germany:
“Of course, we have only allowed India to become such a large pharmaceutical producer in the first place, also from the European side, in the expectation that this [exports to Germany] should then also be complied with. If that is not the case now, we will have to rethink,” she added. (Hindustan Times)
Merkel is literally saying that they allowed the colonies to set up factories in order to serve their European masters, and now the servants are getting uppity. She said this during India's current devastating wave, complaining that engorged Germany was not getting enough supplies. They're saying the quiet, colonial part out loud. Both her and Gates are racist and wrong.
White people did not allow colored people to master science and manufacturing. There are literally brown people IN the UK, EU, and US making these vaccines. Brown people can absolutely make these things at home. Indeed, as mentioned, MOST VACCINES ARE ALREADY MADE IN INDIA. Science is absolutely collaborative, but this is not because Germany or Bill Gates did it. It's because people did it, and Indians did it their own damn selves.
Here we really see Gates with the mask off. He goes from cynical racism for profit to overt racism for death. He is saying that places like India are categorically incapable of making 'safe' vaccines, so let them much more safely die from COVID. This is the imperialist attitude in a nutshell. As Tseng Puttermen succinctly put it:
Imperialist countries donating pandemic supplies to Global South epicenters while refusing to end their pharmaceuticals' monopoly on vaccine IP at the root of vaccine apartheid is a pretty good microcosm of what "foreign aid" under capitalism is all about.
This is why it's so dangerous to have billionaires launder their monopoly money into public health. We end up with public health monopolies. We end up with vaccine apartheid which is, in itself, a public health emergency.
Anyways, Gates goes on:
"The thing that's holding things back in this case is not intellectual property, there's not like some idle vaccine factory with regulatory approval that makes magically safe vaccines."
Gates is right and wrong here. Intellectual property is absolutely not enough. It's the minimum. The world needs actual cooperation. The sharing of know-how. But this idea that mRNA is some impossibly complex thing that darkies cannot do is just patently false. First off, darkies were instrumental in inventing and developing this technology. Second. mRNA is simpler, cheaper, and easier to setup than normal vaccine technology, which us dumb darkies have already mastered. If you don't believe me, listen to a white person. This is Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the CDC.
The two vaccines that may be best suited for accelerated manufacturing are the mRNA vaccines marketed by Pfizer and Moderna. That’s because mRNA vaccine production processes require smaller manufacturing facilities than conventional vaccine production, and these facilities can be built in less than half the time and with far lower capital costs. Additionally, mRNA facilities are more likely to be able to be repurposed against new variants and even new threats. (Politico.eu)
Gates is also implying that somehow building new factories DURING A GODDAMN PANDEMIC is somehow impossible. Well, the US wasn't manufacturing many bombers before WWII, but they somehow figured that out. We're at war with a damn virus and he's like 'we cannot possible fight back'.
But we can, if billionaires will stop fighting against billions of people. Frieden proposes setting up mRNA factories at a starting cost of just $500 million. For reference, Bill Gates' wealth has increased by $20 billion during the pandemic.
A sensible approach would be to establish a competitive process to select producers in four regions of the world to make mRNA vaccines. Sites accepting funding and know-how would do so in exchange for agreeing to produce reasonably priced products that meet stringent quality standards and for ensuring that these products are distributed in underserved regions. This effort can focus on countries with prior demonstrated capacity to meet the needs for speed, stringent quality controls, and regional impact. This includes India, Brazil, Indonesia, Senegal, and others which have produced pre-qualified WHO vaccines, or South Africa and Vietnam, which have displayed leadership in health technology. Countries such as South Korea could also play a major role. (ibid)
Underlying all of Frieden's assumptions is not racism. He fundamentally assumes that places like India, Indonesia, and Senegal are humanly capable of mastering this technology. What Gates is saying is fundamentally racist. He's saying that we're 'unsafe' and categorically cannot. That without his white-saving us we'd all be dead. But he can fuck white off. We actually just need him to get off our necks.
Bill Gates has long been touted as one of the 'good' billionaires, but this all goes to show why philanthropy itself is toxic. A monopolist has become deepely enmeshed into public health, where ideas like monopolies have no place. Where they're getting people killed. What he is proposing is trickle-down public health, where colored people wait for 'grants' from the rich whites, and this is just rank bigotry of low expectations. It's cynical, it's wrong, and it's getting people killed.