One of the most powerful men in the world, Bill Gates became a target of criticism after his remarks about sharing vaccine formula. International calls have been made to normalize vaccine formulas so that the cure can available for the global poor. Media asked Gates about what he thought about this and he said that removing patents from vaccine formula would be a bad idea. He said that sharing the recipe with everyone would mean a drastic increase in production and distribution.
This is exactly what the international community is demanding since the COVID-19 pandemic has infected more than 148 million people and caused the death of 3.12 million globally. A study by PLOS in January 2021 suggested that the majority of the deaths included those who were poor, ethnic minorities, less educated, and war veterans.
Advocates of social justice have criticized Gates for underestimating the issue of poverty and inhumanity in the world for the sake of intellectual property rights related to the vaccine formula.
Do Bill Gates Care About Poor People?
The pandemic has ravaged developing countries like India, where oxygen shortages have led many to abandon all hope. The current devastating situation of COVID-19 led the international community to demand an uninterruptible supply of vaccines; a feat that will largely protect the poor along with the entire world.
It is clear that the vaccination process has been going at a slower pace than pandemic. Removing patents and making vaccines easily available for everyone could potentially make a difference. Gates advised against that invited the wrath of social media users. Some were not even surprised:
After listening to Bill Gates trying to reason his thoughts, many have condemned their childhood education that portrayed him as a hero. People were reminded of all those books and teachers who gave examples of the great philanthropist while trying to teach a subject. They believed that Gates might not be much concerned for people that are suffering the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some said that Gates might just be another hypocrite who keeps siphoning off the world’s economy and giving back peanuts in return. Moreover, he built his whole life on intellectual property rights and monopolistic business so he might not feel the pain of those who compete to survive each day amidst the deadly pandemic.
Why Vaccines Formula Cannot Be Patent-Free?
Bill Gates argued that there are not many authentic vaccine factories in the world which raises concern for the safety of vaccines. Moreover, shifting a vaccine from one factory in a developed country to another in an underdeveloped country is something that has never been done before. Gates said that it is not only intellectual property but also the complexity of the COVID vaccine that forces the health departments to choose selective manufacturers for the job. They have to be extra careful with the development process using state-of-the-art equipment and conducting human trials.
It did not stop the criticism because even during the pandemic the health sector has remained largely for-profit. A lot of money and patience are required for making vaccines as Gates keeps on advocating the status quo. Critics were not impressed by his explanation and accused him of being a hypocrite who uses his welfare firm to protect other ruthless elitists in tax evasion.
Is This the Time for Luxuries Like Intellectual Property?
What most folks could not believe is that how can Gates deny the adverse health and economic crises the global community is going through. They wondered if it would be possible for the rich to forget about leeching off more profits and consider taking actions to protect people from coronavirus.
It was merely an opinion by Bill Gates but it showed an aspiration for profits rather than concern and compassion for humanity. The world is currently in desperate need of the latter two which made people mad at Gates. It was similar to watching someone who has all the power to help the poor countries but instead, he decides to monetize their weakness.