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Big Business's Profiteering Caused the Omicron Variant


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Characters Referenced: Litzy Gonzalez

From the Office of Democratic Representative Litzy Gonzalez

A dangerous new variant of COVID-19 is something that's been predicted for awhile now. Experts have warned repeatedly that leaving large areas of the world unvaccinated would make new variants almost inevitable. But when big business is put in charge of who gets vaccines and who doesn't, "leaving it to the market" in the global economy means letting corporations decide who lives and who dies where the rich get more than they need while the poor get nothing.

South Africa, the country that thankfully recognized and warned the world about the variant has only been able to fully vaccinate 24% of its population. For Southern Africa that's considered high. In Malawi and Zambia for example it's only 3%. Continent-wide less than one in ten African medical workers have been vaccinated.

Meanwhile richer countries such as the United States sit on vast quantities of vaccines. No thanks to the recent "body autonomy" champions for everyone except women over their own uteruses in the Republican party vaccines go wasted away in our country as they further wink and nod to their unvaccinated science denying supporter base with every condemnation of mandates and cry for the "freedom" to put others at risk.

The problem is not gross incompetence, it's the moralistic failing of our capitalism gone wild global economic system altogether. When corporations are in charge of combating a global health pandemic, you get situations where vaccines developed in South Africa are shipped off to North America and Europe at the instruction of Johnson & Johnson themselves. While for millions around the world the pandemic has been a death sentence for big pharma it's been a new lease on life. Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna make $1,000 profit every second while the world's poorest countries are still largely unvaccinated. Due to the excessive profiteering of big pharma from COVID related product monopolies such as is the case with vaccines and equipment nine new billionaires have been created globally with a $19.3 billion net wealth that could vaccinate the entire developing world. Put frankly, our capitalistic global economic system rather than helping billions helps make more billionaires and it always will.

We cannot continue to pretend silly rhetoric like "let the market decide" or "leaving it to the market" are merely harmless phrases.  We cannot continue to pretend deregulation is just some innocuous ideological position. We cannot continue to pretend the free market has the best interest of people in mind. These things have substantial consequences on the world and it is no thanks to such ideology that we have the Omicron variant now to contend with. Ending big pharma monopolies is a dire necessity that cannot go unanswered. Ending the profiteering on the pandemic is imperative. The status quo is obviously not working and it's time for real, lasting change. 

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Democratic Representative Litzy Gonzalez

Texas Congressional District 35

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