Biden B2B Doctrine Must Make Vaccination a Human Right (Part VII)

by Bobby Reyes

“Covid-19 vaccine with money, stethoscope and syringe” | Photo by Marco Verch via Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Remember how in my previous column (Part VI), I used the term “Vaccine Imperialism”? Well, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria called it “Vaccine Nationalism.” It is because rich countries must make the cure against the pandemic a part of our human rights.

In his Sunday’s GPS Fareed’s Take at CNN, his commentary dealt with “the grave consequences of vaccine nationalism.” He said that “(T)he richest countries have paid for hundreds of millions of Covid-19 vaccine doses, often far in excess of what they need. Canada, for example, has preordered enough to cover its 38 million residents five-times over.”

“That’s a problem,” Fareed’s Global Briefing Newsletter said, “because if the virus is to be eradicated, inoculation will need to be global. In countries like Israel, the UAE, Britain, and the US, vaccination rollouts are encouraging, and an end to the pandemic may appear to be within reach. But unless developing countries get vaccines, too — and so far, some aren’t — the world will face a long-term, simmering crisis of periodic outbreaks and new mutations emerging from places where herd immunity was never reached.”

A transcript of Mr. Zakaria’s opinion in CNN also appeared in the Washington Post.

The US, G-7 countries need to use their aid to countries to build Medical Centers to produce vaccines

This column has suggested that the Economic and Military Aid (E&MA) sent by the United States and the leading industrialized nations must invest — instead of merely “give” to Less-Developed Countries (LDCs). Why? Because often, the politicians and the military leaders of the recipient countries only line up their pockets with substantial portions of the E&MA. It may be advisable and more-productive to invest the E&MA in joint ventures like medical centers (that will produce vaccines, viral therapeutic, and antibiotics– even under license) and projects in the fields of education, agriculture, and ecological tourism.

On Oct. 13, 2006, I wrote then-Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Willy Gaa, about the E&MA that the Philippines gets from the United States. I said in my letter: “The Philippines receives from the United States almost nothing in economic/military aid (when compared to Israel or Jordan or countries like Egypt) despite the presence of 3.0-million Filipino Americans and Filipino contract workers in the United States. There are certainly more Americans of Filipino descent than Americans of Jordanian and/or Egyptian ancestry.

“And considering further that Filipino Americans earn more-than $42-billion (updated to $92-billion in 2019) per annum and they pay at least thirty (30%) percent in combined federal, state, and local taxes every year. Therefore, the taxes paid by Filipino Americans and Filipino contract workers in the United States exceed $12.0-billion ($33-billion in 2019) per year.”

” …”The Philippines receives from the United States almost nothing in economic/military aid (when compared to Israel or Jordan or countries like Egypt) despite the presence of 3.0-million Filipino Americans and Filipino contract workers in the United States. There are certainly more Americans of Filipino descent than Americans of Jordanian and/or Egyptian ancestry.”

But nothing came out of my lobbying efforts directed at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC. And even in my correspondence to The White House Press Office, I was a then-accredited member of its minority-press correspondents.

From the 1960s to the 1970s, the Philippines received anywhere from $75-million to $175-million per year from the United States. The amount is peanuts if compared to countries like Israel and Jordan. American aid to the Kingdom of Jordan totaled $3.59-billion from 2001-2005. According to the Congressional Research Service, Jordan also received American support of $1.36-billion from 1996 to 2000. Of course, Israel gets anywhere from $7.0-billion to $9.0-billion per year. And in 2020, Palestine (Gaza Strip and the West Bank) received $75-million from the United States.

Egypt also receives a lot of American E&MA. Here is a description of the US assistance to Egypt (as Googled): “Since 1978, the United States has provided Egypt with what now totals over $50 billion in the military and $30 billion in economic assistance.”

Viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens are color blind

Imagine if the American policy and decision-makers were to persuade these four countries to use the annual E&MA from the United States as American investments in a typical “Medical Center.” In turn, the American taxpayers will get back as shares of stocks the bulk of the aid to Israel ($9-billion, tops), Jordan ($4-billion, tops), Egypt ($2-billion, minimum), and Palestine ($75-million). The American “investments” can exceed $15-billion per year in the four countries alone.

“After all, the viruses and bacteria infect everyone irrespective of their creed, race, skin color, economic status, and location. Whether they are Jews, Muslims (Shiites or Sunni), Coptic Christians, Catholics, or any other faith or denomination, they are agnostic or atheist; they are susceptible to serious health hazards death caused by viruses or bacteria.”

Putting up the proposed typical “Medical Center” in the four countries can go a long way in providing solutions for the current and future pandemics. And probably generate so-much goodwill and peace among them. It may persuade all the inhabitants in the said four countries to work together. After all, the viruses and bacteria infect everyone irrespective of their creed, race, skin color, economic status, and location. Whether they are Jews, Muslims (Shiites or Sunni), Coptic Christians, Catholics, or any other faith or denomination, they are agnostic or atheist; they are susceptible to serious health hazards death caused by viruses or bacteria.

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