According to American journalist Alexander Zaitchik, in the name of defending the medical monopoly, the Gates Foundation has taken action to block global access to the anti-Covid-19 vaccine.
On 11/2/2020, hundreds of public health and infectious diseases experts were present at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the risk of a global outbreak of the COVID pandemic- 19.
At the meeting, leading experts spent 2 days drafting an “R&D Plan”, summarizing the coronavirus research situation and proposing measures to speed up the progress of diagnosis, treatment methods and vaccines. In addition, the meeting also planned a global trial surveillance responsible by WHO, to evaluate the effectiveness of the currently used treatments.
However, there is an issue that is never mentioned in the plan is intellectual property rights. Experts and researchers believe that the joining hands of many countries in widespread epidemic will disrupt the monopoly of the global drug system.
As they believe, they commit a series of companies around the world to “improving production” and “non-profit” to develop and value products. Instead of building up a monopoly wall and running the race to produce vaccines, public and private organizations propose to collect research and other intellectual property into the global knowledge fund during the time. pandemic.
The idea was realized by the launch of the WHO Covid-19 Prevention Technology Access Pool (WHO Covid-19 Technology Access Pool, C-TAP for short).
And Bill Gates – the most powerful man in public health – is of course not out of the wave of vaccine research.
Failure to bring vaccines to the world
In April 2020, the Gates Foundation started the ACT-Accelerator initiative to organize the research, development, manufacture, and distribution of therapies and vaccines. In contrast to C-TAP, ACT-Accelerator shows Gates’s enduring commitment to respecting exclusive claims about intellectual property.
In ACT-Accelerator’s point of view, intellectual property rights do not go against global interests at all and they need to be protected even during a pandemic.
Coming out in a somewhat more epic version of the original at WHO, ACT-Accelerator is committed to organizing the development and distribution of everything from the method to the Covid-19 therapeutic vaccine. The COVID-19 Vaccine Global Outreach Mechanism (COVAX Mechanism) proposes vaccine subsidies through donations to poor countries and for sale to richer ones.
The goal of this program is to provide vaccines to up to 20% of the population in low- to middle-income countries. Then, governments of other countries must compete in the global market.
However, the above solution is considered one-sided, when only solving the problem of the demand side, not to mention it can cause a double crisis of supply and accessibility. Intellectual property is at the heart of both issues.
But despite its best efforts, ACT-Accelerator failed to reach its goal of providing vaccines to low-income populations. Pharmaceutical companies and governments in many developed countries that cheered Gates’ ideas a year earlier are now completely withdrawn.
As of early April 2021, less than 600 million doses of the vaccine have been used worldwide, three-quarters of which are used only in 10 high-income countries. Even nearly 130 countries with 2.5 billion people have yet to receive a single dose. These figures reflect the “catastrophic failure” that the WHO Director-General warned earlier this year.
Although under the auspices of WHO, all ACT-Accelerator activities are managed by Gates Foundation staff. ACT-Accelerator exemplifies the Gates Foundation’s philanthropic practice of restraining global production by prioritizing rich countries, preventing manufacturing licensing.
Companies that cooperate with COVAX may set their own rates. Of course, they also don’t need to comply with the requirements of transparency or fair access, as long as they maintain their monopoly.
With such enormous benefits, it is not surprising that pharmaceutical companies support ACT-Accelerator and COVAX. Speakers at the ACT-Accelerator launch ceremony in March 2020 hailed ACT-Accelerator as a “landmark global partnership”.
However, failing to get vaccines into the hands of the global population forced ACT-Accelerator to give up the opportunity to become a central organization in future pandemics, besides the possibility of transferring technology to others.
“Don’t be Bill Gates’ enemy”
The above transfer is not related to intellectual property as is commonly seen, but focuses on access to technology related to actual production, including biological materials and the areas of ownership. Intellectual property protection, also known as trade secrets.
Civil society organizations in the southern hemisphere call for technology transfer within a few months through a contract or voluntary scheme affiliated with the C-TAP. But the Gates Foundation does the job differently.
In early March of this year, senior managers under Bill Gates joined a group of staff operating many pharmaceutical companies to attend the “Global Covid-19 Vaccine Supply and Production and Supply Chain Summit” hosted by Chatham. House held in London.
The purpose of the agenda is to plan a new direction for ACT-Accelerator, seeking to solve the problem of technology transfer in terms of monopoly and bilateral licensing.
Indian journalist Priti Patnaik said that Gates’ technology transfer mechanism without the participation of WHO member states would be a blow to C-TAP and similar initiatives, wanting to promote licensing and future knowledge sharing. She said the debate is entirely determined and shaped by the people who set the terms and conditions for knowledge to be transferred.
There are indications of Gates abuse in public health and a lifetime commitment to exclusive intellectual property rights. In addition, Gates also controls the manner of reporting in the media.
An article in the New York Times published on March 21 about the US role in developing the mRNA vaccine under the control of Moderna and Pfizer. Instead of mentioning Gates’ key role in the model above, the text links to price summaries of vaccines and other technology. More interestingly, the access to the above summary leads to the Gates Foundation website.
Finally, Bill Gates has a hand in most of the payroll of global public health workers. According to Director James Love International Intellectual Ecology, the current power of this billionaire is enormous.
“If you don’t want to lose your job at the United Nations, it’s best not to become an enemy of Gates by asking questions about IP (intellectual property) and monopoly issues,” said James Love.