India’s COVID Problem Is Capitalism’s Fault! [The Dispatch]

India has now become the epicenter of the pandemic. It seems like everyone is taking a turn to be epicenter. We had China, Sweden, Italy, the UK, the US and now India! As of now the death toll is being reported at 195k people with 2000 people dying a day. Hospitals are over run & are lacking PPEs, ventilators & oxygen!  This is coming after India saw a significant decline in COVID cases earlier in the year. But that might have been one of the reasons why the cases started to spike. 

The far right Conservative party of India, the BJP, was trying to rally for elections, holding massive events & India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, claimed the pandemic is pretty much over for India. This was obviously not the case. When case numbers start going down, the natural inclination is to act like things are back to “normal”, which was only great for Capitalism! 

With statements like Modi’s, people tend to be more laaize-fairre about being safe. Along with that there’s a rise of a double mutant strain that the scientific community is trying to figure out. The concern is that this strain is both vaccine resistant & spreads faster. A lot more research has to be done on the new strains of SARS-CoV-2!

A third cause of India’s crisis is Capitalism itself. India is called pharmacy of the world, which produces 60% of the worlds vaccines but only has 1.5% of its population vaccinated! India has not been approved to receive Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccine. They have been approved to receive Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, which is just as effective as America’s jabs. 

But America doesn’t want India to use a Russian vaccine! They fear the side effects of this might include the destruction of Freedom, changing the ending to Rocky IV, & something the CIA calls Puntin Syndrome. I think it has something to do with being shirtless & needing to fight bears! Everyone is really unclear on the details or even the reality of this condition. Thats how dangerous this thing is! 

Vaccination numbers are climbing in the US & the UK. Most of the global north is doing fine thanks to working class of the global south. In fact these vaccines, which were only created because of publicly funded research are maximizing profits for the pharmaceutical companies that have their logos on them. These companies have made roughly $23 billion & can produce enough vaccines to take care of everyone in India. 

India is also charging people for these vaccines at private practices. Most of the low income population can’t afford to pay for them & opts out. They also don’t have resources necessary to find vaccine centers either. 

Now it is important to note that these vaccines don’t stop the spread of the virus. Rather they’re a stop gap measure to ensure people don’t get symptoms & flood hospitals. There is research from the university of Chicago that proves CBD has antiviral properties to prevent coronaviruses from replicating inside cells. This means that if we fully legalize cannabis we can wrap up the pandemic faster than you can say puff puff pass. 

But Joe Biden has no interest in actually ending the pandemic. Neither does most of the developed world considering this healing plant is still considered a danger to public health. Proving again that when you politicize science you effectively kill science! In the case of cannabis that’s exactly what’s happening. There is no science to show that cannabis is hazardous to health. In fact science says the opposite! 

But Big Pharma & it’s government lackies have no intention to cure anything. A few years ago a Big Pharma executive said that there’s no money is curing diseases, but there is big money is keeping people just sick enough that they need their product to survive. And that’s likely the goal with these vaccines. 

Biden says he wants to send the necessary equipment to India, but yet has to. If this crisis is as serious as they claim, why not send aid right away! Why wait? Only a callous, angry and hateful person would let brown people half way around then world die while wasting time on platitudes and hot take tweets! Right now India is relying on the black market to get its oxygen, which has skyrocketed its prices. It’s only fair that the country that produces 60% of the vaccines gets its fair share. But the issue of getting the American vaccines to India & a lot of other countries in the global south is patents for profits. 

Biden is saying these patents should be waived, and he can use an executive action to do so but that would mean standing up to Big Pharma who have been buttering his ass for a while now. If he does, Big Pharma will stop butter his ass! And do you really want a President with an unbuttered ass? Or worse a President that has to use “I can’t believe it’s not butter” on his ass? I apologize if anyone can’t stop picturing a Buttered Biden Ass now. 

Look if the idea of these vaccines is to reduce the stress on a capitalist healthcare system then wouldn’t the logical conclusion be to ensure everyone in the world can get this thing? Or at least make it available so people can make the decision to get it or not. It would at least reduce the death toll in India. Biden has the power to alleviate this but he’s refusing to use it. That’s because he doesn’t actually want to use his power for good. He never has. He will make public statements to help his image, but that’s about as far as he’s willing to go. 

And to make matters worse, the Biden Administration is hoarding AstroZenica’s vaccine; a vaccine that’s not approved in the states but is approved in India. If he gets that to India he can reduce suffering. But, like Trump, Biden is all about America first and the stock pile is a just in case measure for Americans! 

It sounds like Biden wants to Scrooge McDuck the stock pile of vaccines. Instead of filling a bathtub full of cash just a bathtub full of vaccine viles. Biden wants to reenact that famous scene from ‘Flashdance’, where he pulls a cord and is showered in vaccines. And if that sounds like an exaggeration, just remember that 87% of the vaccines have been given to upper class people in the global north.

This is vaccine Imperialism. The global north is hoarding patents & vaccines from nations that need it to reduce suffering. Plus right wing buffoonery in claiming the pandemic was over have all contributed to cause. And the ones that come out on top are the pharmaceutical companies, who are likely to charge for the booster shots we’re going to need to get. The simple solution is to waive those patents but the simpler solution is to legalize cannabis globally & ensure the true end of the pandemic. But where’s the money in that?