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US Politics: Biden Hood - Prince of Plebs

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1 minute ago, Tywin et al. said:

2024 is a long ways out, but there's no reason to assume Biden can't win reelection. He's basically going to get three big spending bills through which will be popular while Republicans will continue to be at each other's throats trying to out batshit one another. They'll probably do okay in 2022, but that's about it at this point.

you are assuming Biden will still be in adequate physical/mental condition come the 2024 campaign season.  

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1 hour ago, ThinkerX said:

you are assuming Biden will still be in adequate physical/mental condition come the 2024 campaign season.  

And you're assuming he won't be. Who knows, but his policy track along with the political landscape looks optimistic as of now. 

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2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

And you're assuming he won't be. Who knows, but his policy track along with the political landscape looks optimistic as of now. 

you, of all people. should be aware of the democratic party's ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  

that said, yes, Biden will get the spending bills - or large chunks of them passed.

however, he is 78 years old *NOW.* Come reelection time...best to have a plan B.

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3 hours ago, ThinkerX said:

you, of all people. should be aware of the democratic party's ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  

that said, yes, Biden will get the spending bills - or large chunks of them passed.

however, he is 78 years old *NOW.* Come reelection time...best to have a plan B.

Isn't that the...uh...Vice President?

 

In other actual news (before I'm tempted to talk more about the 2024 election), the US is backing a waiver of the vaccine patents.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-57004302

Quote

The US has thrown its support behind a move at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to temporarily lift patent protection for coronavirus vaccines.

India and South Africa proposed the plan, which they said would increase vaccine production around the world.

This is after some hemming and hawing from Dr. Fauci on Mehdi Hasan's show. It's definitely a good sign but I don't know what it means for transfer of technology and raw materials in the instances of those being blockers.

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13 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

The big vaccines are the mRNA ones, and that technology won’t transfer easily.

I'm not sure about that. The NYT did a pretty interesting article about the step-by-step method of making the mRNA vaccines, and it's not exactly rocket science, it's mostly just mixing a bunch of materials together and testing them to make sure the proper reaction has occurred. I think the really difficult part will still be that you need seriously cold storage temperatures, which will presumably be possible in India's cities but perhaps not the rural areas. And the same issue will present itself in most of the world.

 

 It also takes about six weeks end-to-end so it's not going to solve anything any time soon.

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The stock market sure hasn't liked the lifting of the vaccine patent plan, even if only temporarily, any more than it's liked a slightly higher level of interest.  Yikes, it's as if the Big Money really hates the idea of people being able to make money with their money doing ANYTHING except dump it into speculation. :P

 

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Posted (edited)

Granted I dont know how the mind of Bill Gates works (although there may actually be a Netflix documentary about just that), but I am puzzled by his insistence on vaccine IP protection. Based on the PC wars of the 80s, I am pretty sure none of the big players, Microsoft included, cared overly much about copyrights, IP etc. and routinely 'borrowed' from each other.

Edited by IheartIheartTesla

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@IheartTesla

It's the fear that manufacturers with too little experience or with sub-standard facilities will produce and market these complicated vaccines that then prove to also be sub-standard, or even contaminated, and the result of this will be increasing immunization resistance from a public that decides that it can't trust the vaccines. See just how much trouble there's been in that regard with every hiccough that has happened to Astra-Zeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, etc.

Most experts I've read seem to agree with the reasoning. All the waiving of IP rights in the world will not create more high-quality Covid-19 vaccine because the issue is logistical (too few factories sophisticated enough to make them + supply chain issues).

 

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Question: does the waiving of the patent laws make it so any country can manufacture it without permission? 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

Granted I dont know how the mind of Bill Gates works (although there may actually be a Netflix documentary about just that), but I am puzzled by his insistence on vaccine IP protection. Based on the PC wars of the 80s, I am pretty sure none of the big players, Microsoft included, cared overly much about copyrights, IP etc. and routinely 'borrowed' from each other.

Isn't it obvious? He made money from copying other people's code, so he did that. And now he wants to make money from preventing other people from copying "his" vaccine (which the government paid for, btw). If this was about humanitarianism, the patent fee would have been zero all along.

Edited by dbergkvist

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58 minutes ago, Ran said:

@IheartTesla

It's the fear that manufacturers with too little experience or with sub-standard facilities will produce and market these complicated vaccines that then prove to also be sub-standard, or even contaminated, and the result of this will be increasing immunization resistance from a public that decides that it can't trust the vaccines. See just how much trouble there's been in that regard with every hiccough that has happened to Astra-Zeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, etc.

Most experts I've read seem to agree with the reasoning. All the waiving of IP rights in the world will not create more high-quality Covid-19 vaccine because the issue is logistical (too few factories sophisticated enough to make them + supply chain issues).

 

Yes, I understand that knowledge/know-how transfer is probably more important than removing legal constraints on practicing this art. Its also true I think that Moderna waived patent protection rights for its vaccine, so some of that already exists. It would mostly be a symbolic gesture.

But I also think that coming up with a new vaccine portfolio that works on variants may become easier when IP is waived. At any rate, I was thinking more about how Gates views have 'evolved' since his time at Microsoft.

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, dbergkvist said:

Isn't it obvious? He made money from copying other people's code, so he did that. And now he wants to make money from preventing other people from copying "his" vaccine (which the government paid for, btw). If this was about humanitarianism, the patent fee would have been zero all along.

This is a bit of a cynical take.  I'm not sure how Gates is supposedly making money out of it (other than the fact that the stock market has a vested interest in the pandemic going away).   He doesnt own Moderna or Pfizer.  Ran already mentioned the more salient points.  Patent law is about the only real hook the countries that researched the vaccine have to ensure quality control and maintain confidence.  I did a quick google search without luck, but has anyone heard of any pharmaceutical companies that want to manufacture the vaccine, have the means, quality control, and reagent supply chain been denied a license?  Keep in mind that the key research on the spike protein was done through the NIH and then published for anyone who wanted to work on developing the vaccine (Phase I trials for Moderna started in March of last year not long after the key research was completed).  I dont think many would accuse Fauci of trying to profit off of the vaccine- and he's expressed doubt that releasing the patent would do more good than harm. 

Edited by horangi

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Posted (edited)

I don't know if Gates is making any money from the vaccines. I also don't know why he is supposed to be an expert for... well, everything. I'd like to hear from independent experts about the problems. Knowing that India is the biggest vaccine manufacturer in the world, I somehow doubt that these problems are as insurmountable as the corporations want us to believe. It's about profits.

As for Gates, apart from his god complex, I think he fears a ripple effect for copyrights in other industries. Which is stange because this is something so very different, but compare to that Hollwood initiative/ open letter against waiving the patents.

Edited by Mindwalker

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4 minutes ago, Mindwalker said:

I don't know if Gates is making any money from the vaccines. I also don't know why he is supposed to be an expert for... well, everything.

The Gates Foundation is a huge player in global health and vaccination campaigns.  This isn't exactly outside his wheelhouse.  That doesn't make his word definitive, but it's not like he's some armchair expert who read a few blog posts. 

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

The Gates Foundation is a huge player in global health and vaccination campaigns.  This isn't exactly outside his wheelhouse.  That doesn't make his word definitive, but it's not like he's some armchair expert who read a few blog posts. 

I know, sorry, I should have mentioned that. Still, that doesn't make him an expert. And I think the suggestions of his initiatives should be well examined. (I mean, remember the chips he puts in the vaccine! Kidding.)

Edited by Mindwalker

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Mindwalker said:

I don't know if Gates is making any money from the vaccines. I also don't know why he is supposed to be an expert for... well, everything. I'd like to har from independent experts about the problems. Knowing that India is the biggest vaccine manufacturer in the world, I somehow doubt that these problems are as insurmountable as the corporations want us to believe. It's about profits.

As for Gates,  apart from his god complex, I think he fears a ripple effect for copyrights in other industries. Which is stange because this is something so ery different, but compare to that Hollwood initiative/ open letter against waiving the patents.

India does have its own vaccine and facilities- what they dont have is enough raw materials to make much of it.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/us-supplies-of-vaccine-components-to-india-to-enable-manufacturing-of-two-crore-doses-of-covishield/articleshow/82423264.cms

As for Gates, I wouldnt be looking to him to be personally doing CRISPR cas9 gene editing (though its actually a relatively easy technique experimentally speaking), but he probably is as knowledgeable as most heads of global health agencies at this point, simply by virtue of having a lot of really smart people in his employ directly or indirectly. 

As Tesla noted, the benefit for releasing the patents at this point would be the public gesture of good will (i.e. public relations). 

Edited by horangi

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The difference is that leaders of global health agencies are somewhat controlled by politics; 'philanthrophical' billionnaires are usually not. I'm not saying that makes every suggestion of Gates a bad thing; only that he's not an authority, even though he probably thinks so.

 

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14 minutes ago, Mindwalker said:

The difference is that leaders of global health agencies are somewhat controlled by politics; 'philanthrophical' billionnaires are usually not.

 

 

Ahh fair enough- I'd only add that thats not always a negative.  The popular choice often isnt the optimal choice.  To quote The Foundation- Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right.

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1 hour ago, Mindwalker said:

The difference is that leaders of global health agencies are somewhat controlled by politics; 'philanthrophical' billionnaires are usually not. I'm not saying that makes every suggestion of Gates a bad thing; only that he's not an authority, even though he probably thinks so.

 

With the decades of work he's done in the field of public health, yes, I'm pretty certain he's an expert.

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