Statement from Margarida Jorge, campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now, on the COVID vaccine safety pledge by pharmaceutical corporations:
“It is simply remarkable and beyond dangerous that President Trump has so politicized the vaccine process to the point that drug corporations–the least trusted industry in America in America–are now the messengers on vaccine safety. It is the job of elected officials and government regulators, not corporations, to police safety for consumers. Yet, Donald Trump continues to prioritize his own narrow political goals over the needs of the American people, undermining public health and ignoring his responsibility as President.
Big Pharma asking the public to trust them is like the fox asking for trust to guard the hen house. These are the same companies that killed tens of thousands of people with addictive opioids, that force Americans to ration insulin, and that price-gouge on HIV/AIDS medicines. Americans know they can’t be trusted to put profits before public health–even in a pandemic. Since COVID began, pharma executives and insiders have pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars, before producing any vaccine.
These corporations haven’t changed their tune on profits or suddenly become virtuous. Instead, they realize that President Trump’s actions are undermining Americans’ faith in a vaccine and that kind of bad advertising could hurt their bottom line.
But in the middle of the biggest public health crisis of our lifetimes, Americans need concrete assurance that a vaccine is safe, affordable and effective from the government, not gimmicks from corporate executives. A vaccine is the only way out of the pandemic. Since President Trump has made clear that his priority is winning the election whatever the cost, it’s up to Democrats in Congress to safeguard Americans’ health and pass the long-overdue reforms we need to ensure access to affordable, safe COVID medicines.”