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Modi Operandi and the misleading promise of patent relief

India has always had a Covid pandemic crisis. They’ve just been successful until now at covering it up. Here’s part of the reason why:

When I heard that millions of workers were returning to their villages from the cities last year, I thought it was only going to make the pandemic worse. When you have a disease as catchy as Covid running loose, the very LAST thing you want is people moving around. Ideally, you want them to not move at all like players in a game of Spud.

We’ve known that India has been fudging its numbers from the beginning. It’s also a country of 1.3 billion people and a very underfinanced public sector. Check the video above if you want to get a reason why.

Modi’s government has exacerbated the conditions that have made the pandemic explode and is endangering the rest of the world with potentially more lethal escape variants. Modi is a Trump-esque politician who whips up nationalism and disunity between Hindus and Muslims. Take the Republican “if you’re poor and needy it must be because you didn’t do x,y, z and deserve your fate” meme and paste it on a country with a strong residual caste system and you have hundreds of millions of people whose plight is ignored while the upper classes walk around thinking they are immune.

It’s a recipe for disaster.

It’s been made worse by Modi’s Trump style rallies and the government’s encouragement of unregulated Hindu religious festivals where millions gather at the Ganges, completely ignoring social distancing rules as they go down to the river to pray.

Now, we in the US have pressured pharma to give up their patents. And given the nature of the global emergency, this is the right thing to do. It would be the equivalent of forking over the polio vaccine patent. It’s ethical and presumably, the companies have already gotten phenomenally wealthy by now from the government contracts of developing countries. If I were Biden, I’d make sure a healthy chunk of that went in to hiring more researchers but more likely, the CEOs will take the money and run. Who needs scientists, right?

And that’s part of the problem with India. India has a pharmaceutical sector of its own. It has its own brands plus it has benefitted mightily from the US offshoring a lot of research. Maybe it was not high level research but more like contractors supplying parts for drugs and other biologicals for US research companies but India *does* have the brainpower, facilities and probably the raw materials to do their own vaccine research. They shouldn’t feel obligated to just be the hired help for the wealthy.

The question is why didn’t it do it? Why didn’t Modi’s government mobilize its pharma sector? Vaccine research isn’t a new thing. There’s no reason why Indian scientists couldn’t have whipped up an adenovirus vaccine. In fact, I think they do have a home grown version.

But they didn’t plan on vaccinating hundreds of millions of people, especially poor people. So, the government didn’t throw its resources behind vaccine production. Instead, it relied on covering up Covid infections and propaganda and misdirection.

Giving Modi’s government the patents and raw materials that they didn’t seem to feel necessary to get by themselves is not going to solve their problem. In fact, there *is* no solution to the problem in India right now. It will take more time than they’ve got to vaccinate a country that size to herd immunity status because they have to overcome the logistics of ramping up production and distribution. India’s Covid crisis is going to have to burn itself out and hopefully stay within its borders.

What India has is a sociopathic government and an irresponsible electorate that has been encouraged to turn to religion in this crisis.

This could have happened to us if Donald Trump hadn’t been defeated by millions of voters in the US. We’re still not out of the woods. But India should be the focus of our news programs to show how disastrously bad it could have gone. Instead, the Fox News addict will be discouraged from getting vaccinated by misleading and sensational stories. Or they’ll be distracted and outraged over the stupid fantasy story of Biden forcing us to become vegetarians. In a way, a significant portion of the American public has been lulled into a state of false security abs complacency because once Trump was out of the way, our public sector was able to do what India didn’t.

More people should be aware of that. More pictures of rickshaw ambulances and crematoriums running out of fuel to burn bodies need to be shown. More secret footage of India’s collapsed healthcare system, overflowing hospitals, patients on makeshift beds on the floor gasping for air. More pictures of religious devotees bathing in the river. More video of political rallies. More time lapse graphics of the spread. More and more and more.

Everything else in the news is a distraction. There but for the grace of the US electoral system in 2020 go we.

16 Responses

  1. I suspect the caste system has done more to hold back India, and its people, than all its foreign conquerors throughout history put together ever did.

  2. Meanwhile, I got my second COVID-19 immunization today. (Moderna vaccine) :mrgreen:

    Eat shit and DIE, you evil beeyotch. 😈

  3. Off-topic weekly reminder:

    Friday nights 8 PM – 9 PM North American Central Time:

    The Magical Mystery Tour. Host Tom Wood takes a look at the Beatles from a different angle each week.

    Friday nights 9 PM – 12 AM North American Central Time:

    Beaker Street, the legendary rock radio program, has returned. Iconic host Clyde Clifford has returned from his medical absence.

    Both shows can be found at http://arkansasrocks.com/

    If you can’t catch Beaker Street live, MP3 files are available soon afterward at https://beakerstreetsetlists.com/

  4. COVID is Outpost 4, and my immune system is a Warbird. 😈

    • Actually, my immune system was pretty damn strong to begin with–so strong I have to take an immune modulator (Mercaptopurine) to keep it from attacking my own intestinal lining. That’s what was causing my internal bleeding that I had to have an operation for over 7 years ago.

      It worked, by the way. No internal bleeding since. :mrgreen:

  5. There’s a slight difference between Trump and Modi. Whereas Trump cynically courted religious fanatics, Modi actually is one. He’s a True Believer.

  6. Oh, Corona-chan–have you met my immune system? 😈

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