(RightWing.org) – Billionaire Bill Gates has been talking about helping the Third World for years, but, as the COVID pandemic shows, he’s not willing to put his money – or even Big Pharma’s money – where his mouth is.
How Bill Gates has developed and wielded influence over two decades is one of the more consequential and under-appreciated shapers of the failed global response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Alexander Zaitchik writes. https://t.co/A5hl6PaGj1
— The New Republic (@newrepublic) April 12, 2021
The World Health Organization (WHO) didn’t exactly cover itself with glory in the early stages of the pandemic, but it’s been trying to make up for it since. Last May, the WHO set up a clearinghouse for data on COVID vaccines, intending to make a cheap, open-source vaccine available to the whole world. The COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) was supposed to be a shared knowledge database, free of intellectual property rules, that all researchers and vaccine manufacturers could access. But right away, it faced a massive obstacle: Bill Gates.
By the time C-TAP was up and running, it already had a competitor, the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. ACT has one big difference, though – it doesn’t ask contributors to give up their intellectual property rights. If a researcher wants to make a vaccine using technology they found in ACT, they need to pay a licensing fee to the creator of that technology – and Third World countries just can’t afford to do that. There are almost 130 countries where nobody has received a dose of vaccine yet, because their governments can’t afford to make any.
And who runs ACT? Well, that would be Bill Gates.
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