Remember Howard Dean, the progressive champion who campaigned on equitable health care and other desperately needed policies?
He's been replaced by Howard Dean, the not-a-lobbyist who won't tell anyone what he does for the giant lobbying firm Dentons.
The old Howard Dean supported single-payer healthcare. The new Dean opposes it.
But then, that new Dean works for Dentons, the largest law firm in the world, alongside Newt Gingrich, as a "senior advisor" to the firm's lobbying arm.
Dentons lobbies for pretty unsavory characters, including Big Health. Dentons owes its world-beating scale to a 2015 merger with the massive Chinese law-firm Dacheng, which gave it access to the vast fortunes spent by Chinese state-owned industries to lobby the US government.
Last month, the new Howard Dean published a remarkable op-ed in Barron's, opposing any measure to permit the world's poorest countries to manufacture generic versions of the covid vaccines they desperately need.
The arguments Dean fields for this are tired, racist, and manifestly untrue arguments, straight out of Big Pharma's playbook:
I. Poor countries can't make vaccines (reality: poor countries are already among the world's largest pharmaceutical manufacturers) and;
II. No one will invest in pharma if poor people don't have to pay extortionate royalties in exchange for their lives (reality: pharma doesn't invest in pharma! The pharmaceutical industry is entirely and totally dependent on public R&D spending).
As Lee Fang writes in The Intercept, there's an explanation for this surprising change of heart: "[Dean] reversed his positions on virtually every major progressive health policy issue since moving to work in the world of corporate influence peddling."
Dean insists he's not a lobbyist, but he sure acts like one, trading on his reputation as a "liberal lion" to sell policies to benefit pharma at the expense of the public - like his work with BIO to secure exclusivity for breast-cancer treatments.
This would all be appalling on its own terms - a medical doctor who convinced progressives (including me) to volunteer for his presidential bid, selling out to corporate health-care profiteers, but when it comes to vaccines, this goes beyond selling out. It's genocidal.
As things stand, 85 of the poorest countries will not have widespread vaccine access until 2023.
@pluralistic its such an obviously fake argument too—if poor countries couldnt make the vaccine then giving them vaccine production info wouldnt even result in the royalty infringements big corporations are so worried about
The only reason giving them that info would cause them not to buy the vaccine is if they are in fact capable of making the vaccine themselves
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