BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN
While those two Americans in their seventies take an impressively long time to maintain an election, risibly both are taking credit for the new Covid vaccine manufactured by Pfizer (ironically a firm best known for producing the world-renowned recreational drug Viagra).
Just remember that – whatever you are told or blocked from seeing on Twitter – these politicians were nowt to do with Pfizer’s Covid vaccine success. Pfizer’s Chief Executive Officer, Albert Bourla, has clarified repeatedly that the drug giant has gone out of its way not to take taxpayer dollars for research and development purposes:
“I wanted to liberate our scientists from any bureaucracy,” Bourla said in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on September 16th. “When you get money from someone, that always comes with strings. They want to see how we are growing to progress, what types of moves you are going to do. They want reports. I didn’t want to have any of that. Basically I gave them an open checkbook so that they can worry only about scientific challenges, not anything else. And also, I wanted to keep Pfizer out of politics.”
Yes, Berlin gave Pfizer’s German partner BioNTech $445 million. BioNTech is credited with contributing the messenger RNA technology to the vaccine search; tech which prompts the body to make a key protein from the virus, creating an immune response. But Pfizer characteristically stayed well clear of receiving any funding from the US vaccine effort – Operation Warp Speed – for the development, clinical trial or manufacturing of the vaccine. Pfizer is also handling its own delivery of its products while most vaccine front-runners will distribute their doses through a US government partnership with McKesson Corp. Impressively, Pfizer has designed reusable containers that can keep the doses at ultracold temperatures and is organising trucks and flights to shift them.
Pfizer’s efforts are quite simply a triumph of capitalism. Pfizer has long supported the free market – with arguments and with money. The “Pfizer Forum” has frequently housed essays and articles of a decidedly pro-free-market persuasion, including one by a gentleman called Milton Friedman. Another of those well-known pro-free-market essays is by Johan Norberg and titled “In Defense of Global Capitalism”. Pfizer has been a regular advertiser on free market publications and has put its dollars behind free market conferences.
So how will the masses take to being inoculated with this capitalist vaccine?
When Brits queue to have Pfizer’s vaccine jabbed into their arms over coming months, look out for those hypocrites standing in the socially-distanced queue who demand we all secede from the bountiful, material world yet fail to remove their watches or ditch their laptops or iPhones. Through capitalist exertions we have put aside superstitions, tinkering and calculated guesses, while billions have been lifted from poverty. Year Zero short-cutters can pay as much lip service as they like to technology and science, but they know full well that the great corpus of scientific knowledge is based to a great extent on capitalist-backed research and development. It is from that corpus and a business-honed infrastructure working to announcement deadlines – centred around what they vilify as crapitalist drug sales – that what looks like a winning Covid vaccine was generated in triple-quick time.
Yet today, despite its great victories for mankind, the fantastic march onward of capitalism is under sharp attack. There are many dinosaurs who are still bitter at their paradise unfound and pursue a revolution to make all humans somehow equal and happy, seeking to check the privileged as if their own state of repeated failure is somehow more equal and joyous.
Look how the class-war Marxists and anti-capitalists of Extinction Rebellion hark back to the mythic blessings of stateless, communal and primitive societies. Look how their acolytes – their red rebels – writhe in red togas chanting paeans to Pan and the woodland nymphs, while attempting to rewrite our proud history via pathetic stunts.
There has been far too much homage of late to the divisive and dangerous ideas of Marxian socialists and communists – they dare call themselves progressives but they are merely pissing against the unrestrainable wind of capitalist progress. It is time they took a knee to capitalism. In 2020, gluing oneself to a train is, put bluntly, demonstrating room temperature IQ – surrendering oneself as mere bait for certain extinction. Judging by their fondness for a MacBook and a McDonald’s, be sure these sorry hypocrites will be at the front of the queue for the new and capitalist vaccine. When the needle hits their arm, they more than most should appreciate how pharma dollars have done so much more than they ever will to allay the onset of humanity’s annihilation.
Dominic Wightman is the Editor of Country Squire Magazine.