News Release

Dean Baker on * Vaccine * Debate Myths


CommonDreams reports: “‘Depraved’: Trump Reportedly Offered German Firm ‘Large Sum’ for Exclusive Rights to Coronavirus Vaccine.”

DEAN BAKER, dean.baker1 at, @DeanBaker13
Baker is senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research and visiting professor at University of Utah.

He just tweeted: “It is unbelievably absurd that the world is not working collectively towards a vaccine and effective treatments. That means open research. Unfortunately, our elites are so brain dead, no one talks about this.”

He said today: “In the 21st century, we are relying on patent monopolies, a relic of the medieval guild system, to finance the research leading to a vaccine and effective treatment. While we do have teams all over the world racing to develop vaccines and treatments, the problem is that the quest for patent monopolies means that they are working in competition rather than cooperation. We should want these researchers sharing results as soon as possible so that all could benefit from their findings. The model for this sort of cooperation is the Bermuda Principles, with the Human Genome Project, where results were posted nightly on the web.”

We also want whatever vaccines or drugs are developed to be available as cheap generics. It is absurd that we are in a situation where governments may have to beg the drug companies to sell these items at affordable prices. If they didn’t give them patent monopolies in the first place, affordability would not be an issue. And, in this case, since so much of the research money is coming from governments anyhow, there is no logic to giving a patent monopoly to reward the portion of the funding paid by the drug companies.”

“Governments should just pick up the entire tab. If the drug companies are paid to do the research, there is no reason to pay them a second time with a patent monopoly.” Baker recently wrote the piece “Can Coronavirus Force Policy Types to Think Clearly About Intellectual Property?

He also recently wrote the piece “Educating the Washington Post: We Did Not Have to Bail Out the Banks in 2008.” (Biden claimed in last night’s debate: “Had those banks all gone under, all those people Bernie says he cares about would be in deep trouble. Deep, deep trouble.”)

Baker also recently wrote the piece “Wanting to Cut Social Security, Along with Everything Else, Is Still Wanting to Cut Social Security.” (See from Newsweek “During Democratic Debate Joe Biden Denies Advocating For Social Security Cuts — Here’s Video Showing He Did.”)