Trump Administration Can’t Promise You’ll Be Able To Afford Coronavirus Vaccine

Illustration for article titled Trump Administration Can’t Promise You’ll Be Able To Afford Coronavirus Vaccine
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Barf BagWelcome to Barf Bag, a daily politics roundup to help you sort through the chaotic Trumpian news cycle.

With the Centers for Disease Control informing Americans that the spread of coronavirus is less of a matter of if and more of a matter of when, there has been an increased urgency for government agencies, businesses, and communities to decide out how to act. President Trump is worried that coronavirus hysteria is negatively impacting markets while his administration is receiving criticism for a slew of budget cuts to the CDC, disease security programs, and other health spending.

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And if the Trump administration doesn’t already appear ill-prepared to handle coronavirus, testimony from Health and Human Services Secretary and anti-abortion crusader Alex Azar did little to ease worries when talk of vaccinations arose.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky asked Azar whether a coronavirus vaccine, when available, would be affordable to all Americans, and his answer was... concerning.

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“We would want to ensure that we work to make it affordable,” Azar said. “But we can’t control that price, because we need the private sector to invest. Price control won’t get us there.”

In other words: Sorry, poors, you might be out of fucking luck! But blah blah blah beauty of the free market blah blah blah America blah blah blah.


In other news, Pete Buttigieg has canceled campaign events in Florida due to a cold. Naturally, people are jumping to conclusions. But we aren’t. Nope. I, for one, have not once thought about the possibility of one of the presidential candidates—and all the hands the shake, day in and day out—coming down with coronavirus.

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  • Despite all the chatter about the havoc a Bernie Sanders nomination would have on down-ballot races in swing districts, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is actually pretty cool about the prospect of Sanders leading the ticket.
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  • And speaking of the House, they overwhelmingly passed a bill that would make lynching a federal hate crime. This long-overdue legislation received bipartisan support, but four congressmen—Independent Justin Amash (MI) and Republicans Louie Gohmert (TX), Thomas Massie (KY), and Ted Yoho (FL)—decided to vote against it. [Politico]
  • The Trump campaign has filed a defamation suit against the New York Times. [Daily Beast]
  • Hmmm...
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  • And today in “Michael Bloomberg Is Distressingly Out of Touch”: A now-deleted tweet shilling caps that tout the glories of bootlicking!
Illustration for article titled Trump Administration Can’t Promise You’ll Be Able To Afford Coronavirus Vaccine
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DISCUSSION

mortal-dictata
Mortal Dictata

“But we can’t control that price, because we need the private sector to invest. Price control won’t get us there.”

Or you could just, you know, subsidise the price or buy stockpiles outright...

The flu kills hundreds of thousands every year and only about 40-50% of Americans bother to get a shot.

Coronavirus is not that bad as long as you don’t deliberately botch measures to deal with it. Most of the cases and deaths have all been in a single Chinese province that did such dumb shit as a) threaten doctors trying to stem the initial outbreak with arrest and b) kept public events going far too long to avoid embarrassment. The only country so far to have done similar is Italy, which is why they’ve also seen a sudden surge in cases. Those dying tend to be the elderly and those already with underlying conditions and again, almost all of them are in a single Chinese province that fucked up massively. Everywhere else people are recovering and death rates are minimal.

More people are going to be hurt in most parts of the world due to the media induced hysteria about this (just like with Swine Flu and SARS) than the actual virus, which most people have recovered from.

All that needs to really happen is report potential cases early, force people to quarantine (none of this “but meh rights” personal choice shite), and provide any potential vaccine if developed before this thing burns out to those who are more vulnerable. That’s it.