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Letters to the Editor

For Trump, it’s all about money

Linda Osegard



Is it too much to think a vaccine that could stop a pandemic would be immediately shared with every country? International cooperation on resolving a world pandemic that has cost 150,000 American lives is a foreign concept for President Trump. For him, it is all about money and power.

In March, President Trump tried to convince a German firm working on a coronavirus vaccine to move to the United States. He failed, but the effort was widely viewed as a brazen attempt to “corner the market” so U.S. citizens would be the first to receive it and he could control dispersing it to the rest of the world. Exclusive ownership of a vaccine would bring tremendous world power and be worth billions, if not trillions of dollars. When a group of countries and celebrities joined together in May and raised $8 billion dedicated to finding a vaccine, the U.S. was conspicuously absent. When the World Health Organization developed highly accurate tests, Trump refused to request them, and has discouraged the use of any test. Medical experts claim our failure to have proper testing has allowed the spread of COVID-19 to be out of control.

Trump has not prioritized testing or international cooperation. He is prioritizing private research, recently awarding a $1.9 billion contract to Pfizer for 100 million doses. This is where the money is and Trump’s Big Pharma friends are already raking it in. Vaxart Corporation stock holders made several hundred million dollars overnight by falsely suggesting they had been selected for further trials. Moderna has received about half a billion dollars from the government to develop a coronavirus vaccine, and says it will sell the vaccine for profit.

Trump does not accept responsibility for any part of the COVID-19 pandemic or the growing American death rate, but you can bet he will be front and center wherever the money leads.