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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  May 5, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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05/05/21 05/05/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> in order to be able to gear up, we need a broad waiver that covers the whole web of intellectual property rights the big pharma has right now constricting the ability of countries around the world. amy: pressure is growing on the biden administration to support a temporary waiver on intellectual property rights at the world trade organization to help gear up the production
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of vaccines, treatments, and diagnostic tests so desperately needed in the global south. but big pharma is fighting the proposal. wto meetings on the issue have just begun in geneva. we will go washington to speak with lori wallach of public citizen's global trade watch, and then to the philippines to speak with walden bello, co-founder of focus on the global south. >> it is an emergency that we have to put human lives above corporate profits. amy: we will also talk to walden bello about u.s.-china relations. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. india reported another record daily covid debt told -- daily
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death toll today with 3780 fatalities. the world health organization says india accounted for nearly half of all global covid-19 cases reported last week and one in four deaths, as the government of narendra modi is coming under mounting calls to impose a national lockdown. india's infection and death figures are believed to be vast undercounts. in britain, india's entire delegation to the g7 summit in london is in self-isolation after two of its members tested positive for covid-19. india's foreign minister subrahmanyam jaishankar and all indian delegates will attend meetings virtually. tanzania announced new measures on travelers entering the country to prevent the spread of variants. the move comes two months after samia suluhu hassan replaced the late john magufuli, who downplayed the pandemic, as tanzania's president. in the seychelles, which has the world's highest vaccination rate, officials are closing schools and re-imposing other
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restrictions as infections surge. over 60% of the seychelles' adult population is fully vaccinated. here in the united states, covid-19 cases and deaths continue to trend downwards but some regions are seeing new surges concluding in arizona and the pacific northwest. on tuesday, president biden announced a new vaccination goal. pres. biden: our goal by july 4 is to have 70% of adult americans with at least one shot and 160 million americans fully vaccinated. that means giving close to 100 million shots, some first shots and others second shots come over the next 60 days. amy: president biden urged people in their 20's and 30's in particular to get the vaccine. currently, 56% of the adult population has received at least one shot. as supply starts to outpace demand in some states, the white house will begin keeping unordered doses in a federal bank so they can be made
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ailable for other states who have higher vaccination demand. pfizer says it will seek emergency use authorization in september for its vaccine to be given to children aged 2 to 11. the fda is expected to clear the vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old by early next week. meanwhile, pfizer announced tuesday its covid-19 vaccine brought in $3.5 billion in revenue in the first three months of 2021, by far its biggest source of revenue. pfizer expects to make $26 billion in revenue this year. in news from capitol hill, more than half the house democratic caucus called on president biden in a letter tuesday to stop blocking an effort to waive patent rights for covid-19 vaccines at the world trade organization. they write -- "we must make vaccines, testing, and treatments available everywhere if we are going to crush the virus anywhere." the wto is meeting today and tomorrow to discuss the waiver. we'll have more on this after headlines.
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in new york, governor andrew cuomo signed legislation extending a moratorium on evictions through august 31. the moratorium was set to expire may 1. new york is also expected to start distributing $2.4 billion in rental assistance. despite these measures, many new yorkers are still at risk of losing their homes. at least 50,000 eviction cases have been filed in new york city since the start of the pandemic, the highest number in the country. in california, police arrested a suspect in the stabbing attack of two asian american women tuesday afternoon in san francisco. this comes after at least four assaults on asian americans were reported in new york city over the weekend, including a hammer attack on two women walking in manhattan. a new study by cal state san bernardino found a 164% increase in reports of anti-asian hate crimes in the first quarter of this year compared to the same
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period last year. an attorney for former minneapolis police officer and convicted murderer derek chauvin filed a motion for a new trial tuesday, alleging prosecutorial misconduct, juror misconduct, witness intimidation, and negative publicity around the case. the office of minnesota's attorney general keith ellison said it would oppose the defense's arguments. last week, ellison called for a harsher prison sentence for chauvin because of the "particular cruelty" of his crime. chauvin is due to be sentenced on june 25. a warning to our audience, the following stories contain graphic descriptions of gender-based and other violence. in massachusetts, questions are mounting following the april death of 16-year-old mikayla miller, a black lgbtq teenager from the boston suburb of hopkinton. an investigation is ongoing, but the district attorney's office has already come under fire
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after initially saying no foul play was suspected. mikayla's mother reportedly said her daughter was assaulted then tied to a tree. a community vigil is planned for thursday. in puerto rico, hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets in recent days in response to the femicides of 27-year-old keishla rodríguez and 35-year-old andrea ruiz. ruiz was found on friday with her body covered in burns. her ex-partner confessed to her murder. ruiz had sought protection against him but the courts denied it. and rodríguez, who was pregnant, was found lifeless floating in the san josé lagoon saturday after being reported missing the day before. prominent boxer félix verdeho sánchez, who represented puerto rico at the 2012 olympics, has been charged with rodríguez's murder. feminist leaders are demanding puerto rican governor pedro pierluisi take action ainst skyrocketing gender violence on the island.
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>> we demand the state hold itself accountable and tell us where the real state of emergency is. the entire country shop -- shocked. amy: the intercept is reporting the trump justice department repeatedly contacted and eventually threatened to subpoena two researchers at mit over their analysis of the 2019 bolivian presidential election. the mit study debunked claims of electoral fraud in bolivia, which were used to help justify a coup against president evo morales. a warning to our viewers, this story contains graphic footage of police violence. in colombia, as massive protests against poverty and inequity continue, the united nations has condemned police and military officers for violently cracking
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down on protesters. at least 19 people have been killed since protests erupted last week against now-withdraw proposed tax reforms introduced by the right-wing president iván duque. over 400 people have been reportedly detained and hundreds more injured. in new york, demonstration is played today to protest an new york university event featuring former colombian president urib e. he is been accused of human rights abuses and link to right-wing military groups and celebrated recent violence against protesters. a group of indigenous leaders and members of mexico's zapatista movement are sailing through the atlantic ocean enute to sin -- maing 500 years of indigenous resistance after spanish colonizers arrived to the aztec cital of techtitlán, which ler became mexico cy. they wilgo on tourourope and share their plans to fight the inequities triggered by capitalism.
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in related news, mexican president andrés manuel lópez obrador has offered a formal apology to the maya indigenous community. >> we offer the most sincere apologies to the mine people for the terrible abuses committed by national and foreign authorities during the three centuries of colonial domination and two centuries of independent mexico. amy: the mexican president was joined by the guatemalan president alejandro giammattei. the ceremony was held under the southern state. this comes as the mexican president continues to support the construction of a massive railway in southern mexico that uld cut right through sacred indigenous land and ancient sites. and in guatemala, indigenous land and water defenders continue to be brutalized, criminalized, and displaced under giammattei's government. in afghanistan, fighting between government forces and the taliban has forced thousands to flee their homes in southern
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helmand province as the u.s. military started its official withdrawal over the weekend. attacks have been surging leading up may 1, the previous pullout date agreed to by the trump administration. biden announced the u.s. will withdraw instead by september 11, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. fighting was also reported in other parts of the country. back in the united states, president biden has tapped richard cordray, the former director of the consumer financial protection bureau, to manage the federal student aid program within the department of education. the move was welcomed by progressives as student campaigners and many top democrats continue to pressure biden to use executive action to cancel at least $50,000 in student debt per borrower. a federal judge has ordered the justice department to turn over an internal memo used by then-attorney general bill barr in 2019 to justify clearing former president trump of obstructing justice in relation
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to the russia investigation. the judge accused barr of misleading her court and congress about advice he said he received on the matter from top justice department officials. the national oceanic and atmospheric administration released its updated figures for u.s. climate averages, with the new normal one degree hotter than it was just 20 years ago. the data also shows the u.s. is much wetter in the eastern and central parts of the country and drier in the west. the rising temperatures mean that places like fairbanks, alaska, are no longer classified as a sub-arctic climate but are now considered part a warm summer continental zone. and in france, a new bill aimed at addressing the nation's response to the climate crisis passed its first vote tuesday. the bill includes banning short domestic flights when there is an alternative train route, restrictions on landlords renting out poorly insulated properties, and making ecocide a punishable crime. but climate groups say the measures are still too weak.
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this is jean-françois julliard of greenpeace france. >> it is a law that could have been sufficient if it had been passed 15 years ago whethe clime emergency was less present. today in 20 21, the law will unfortunately not be sufficient to effectively tackle global warming. it is far from ambitious enough far from allowing to reach the target the government has set itself, namely reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, we speak with lori wallach about today's important wto meeting in geneva. calls are growing for the wto to waive intellectual property rights to help gear up the production of vaccines, treatments, and diagnostic tests so desperately needed in the
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global south. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "the world" by charles bradley. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. sign up for our daily news digest email by texting democracynow -- one word, no space to 66866. pressure is growing on the biden administration to support a temporary waiver on intellectual property rights for covid-related medicines and vaccines at the world trade organization. the wto has just begun two days of talks in geneva. india and south africa first proposed the waiver in october, but it was bloed by the united states and other wealthy members -- countries of the wto. big pharma haalso come out against the proposal and has
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lobbied washington to preserve its monopoly control. supporters of the waivers say it critically needed to gear up the production level of vaccines, treatments, and diagnostic tests so desperately needed in the global south. more than 100 countries have supported the waiver at the wto. the majority of house democrats in the u.s. have also signed a letter to biden, urging him to back the waiver. the letter read in part -- "your administration has an incredible opportunity to reverse the damage done by the trump administration to our nation's global reputation and restore america's public health leadership on the world stage." on sunday, senator bernie sanders voiced support for the waiver during an appearance on "meet the press." >> we should do with this issue by protecting intellectual property rights of the drug companie and i think what we've got to say the drug companies, when millions of lives are at stake
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around the world, yes, allow other countri to have these intellectual property rights so they can produce the vaccines that are desperately needed in poor countri. there is sething morally objectionable about rich countries being able to get the vaccine but millions of people in poor countries are not. amy: this all comes as pfizer announced on tuesday its covid-19 vaccine brought in $3.5 billion in revenue in the first three months of 2021. pfizer expects to make $26 billion in revenue this year. joining us in washington is lori wallach, director of public citizen's global trade watch. she and nobel prize-winning economist joseph stiglitz recently co-wrote a piece in "the washington post" headlined "preserving intellectual property barriers to covid-19 vaccines is morally wrong and foolish." explain why and explain what
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needs to be done. good morning. the big problem is simply not enough vaccines are being produced. and that is because a handful of vaccine originating pharmaceutical calibrations have monopoly -- corporations have monopoly control over the production and have rejected requests from qualified manufacturers around the world to pay them to be able to make more doses. the world needs 10 billion to 15 billion doses to reach herd immunity and right now all of the global production is on track to make about 6 billion doses this year. at issue is a proposal that india and south africa put forward in october at the wto -- the world trade organization has ruled on the trips agreement that requires all of the wto
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members to guarantee the pharmaceutical companies monopoly control of production. so the proposal is simply to temporarily, for the covid emergency, waive parts of the agreement that cover the four specific types of intellectual property now protecting the vaccines from being made in greater value as well as treatments and diagnostic tests, and basically to allow countries around the world to have producers make in each region enough vaccine so everyone can actually get vaccinated. it is not just the morally necessary thing to do with millions of lives at stake, it is selfishly in the interest of the united states because we can vaccinate everyone and that by the administration does a great job but if there is any outbreak anywhere it is more infectious
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variants of the virus and hash. and we will all end up in a global lockdown if we don't get everyone immunized in shorter order. amy: many times the vaccine makers from the white house adviser anita dunn, cofounder of the consulting firm skdk, which works closely with pfizer. biden's domestic policy adviser susan rice holds up to $5 million in johnson & johnson. white house science adviser eric lander holds up to a million dollars in shares of biontech, which co-developed pfizer's coronavirus vaccine. on monday, i spoke to the intercept's lee fang about these ties and also about the albright group, that many in biden's inner circle come from. this is what he id. >> the fact 34 under secretaries of the state department were at a consulting firm albright group
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that represented pfizer, anita dan, she is not mentioned a lot in the media recently but one of the closest advisors to the biden administration, the defective campaign manager for his presidential campaign. her consulting firm represents pfizer, engages in a lot of the pr, advertising for that firm. these are serio conflict of interest. they deserve some scrutiny given the fact pfizer is looking at this product, this vaccine as its massive moneymaker. one estimate shows pfizer's coronavirus vaccine under even the kind of negotiated prices that are deeply discounted this year for u.s. consumers, that will bring in something like $15 billion a year, making it one of the highest grossing pharmaceutical products of all time and they're already talking about raising prices. so pfizer, madrona, johnson & johnson have so much money at stake. they're leaning on lobbyists and
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former democratic aides and potentially some of these folks they have ties with in the white house to push back on any effort to allow a generic -- amy: there you have lee fang the intercept. your response to this cocoon of -- eisenhower talked about the military-industrial complex. the drug industrial complex under this country, the pharmaceutical and gestural complex. is biden and his inner circle protecting their benefactors? >> here's the bottom line. thisecision is going to be made by president biden and president biden personally to the camera directly promised, eaamerica, in a conversation wih ady barkan, heroic challenged by super activists that he would not allow tellectual property rights of pharma to interre with the world getting access to
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these vaccines. enter a congress, throughout the activist world, the vatican, everyone is saying to biden, mr. biden, deliver on this promise. whomever he is surrounded by, regardless of what is a tsunami of pharma lobbyists -- they are here all the time. they have a ratio where they have one lobbyist for every 20 members of congress. it is not just that we are all running round and citizens trying to get our members of congress to do something, they are so thick on the ground they are always try to get the way. 60% of the u.s. public is divided as we are has said absolutely this should be a waiver. the opposition to it in the u.s. is minuscule. to some degree if you're not forthcoming is because you don't know about it. it is not rocket science. it is the first critical step to having the chance to end the pandemic as quickly as possible. it is on biden to follow through
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regardless of who is speaking in his ear. and many people in the administration, by the way, are for the waiver. today in geneva, the u.s. is going to take a position -- is going to have to take a position. they are not blocking adoption of a specific waiver. since october, starting with trump, the u.s. has blocked more than 100 other countries merely having a negotiation about the text of a waiver. we have stopped the negotiations. the wto works by consensus to lunch negotiation. you cannot have any major country blocking it. the u.s. blocked it. switzerland, u.k. snuck up behind and " us, too." as soon as the u.s. gets the hell out of the way, stop locking. if there are problems in the
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draft, the negotiation can address specific problems. that then needs to still be adted. the u.s.oes not have to be the cheerleader for it. they need to get out of the way. what is a look at the u.s. thanks to the by monstratio stepping up -- anyone who needs a vaccination and once one will have one by the summer and yet we are the country that is going to block 100 plus countries being able to do thenitiative they say is necessary for them to have the same thing we already have? and the only potentially upset party is a handful of pharma compans that got billions in taxpayer money. they have no risk. they got billions in advance. and they are making billions as lee fang says. it is not just the morally right thing, it is the only thing to be done to stop the pandemic kind to get vaccines into everyone. this waiver is part of the answer to that. amy: and yet you people like one
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of the democrats backed by big pharma who opposes setting the waiver is the senator from president biden comes delaware, his very close ally chris coons. kunz ranks 16th among recipients loving money. -- recipients of pharmaceutical industry lobbying money. during an address last month to the washington think tank, center for strategic international studies, he echoed pharmaceutical industry talking points. when senator coons refers to ip, he means intellectl property. >> if we were to simply open up to the world, all of the ip at the core of these groundbreaking developments, think we would be a risk of losing the private sector investment and development critical to this moment personalized medice, a breakthrough vaccines, breaktough medical diagnostics. anfrankly, think the world would suffer aa result. as i said, i don't ink waving ip rights will suddenly enable other countries the ability to ramp uphe manufacturing of
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complex vaccines. instead, i am urging the biden administtion and the prite sect work togetr in a corrugatedffort to manufacture commitments or vaccines rapidly and equitab globally. let me close by bein oimistic out our abily to iest novation, competitiveness unr the u.s. a central pt of being successful in this compition is continuing with our constitutionally creed protected property rights of a patent, something long believed in. amy: that is democratic senator chris coons of delaware. your response? >> there are some outliers who are corpore-funded democratic hats about this, no doubt about it. there are a coup and it a use as well. the bottom line of all of this is the vast majority of americans, of democratic members of ngress, countries around the world, do not buy that
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ridiculous argument. one important thing, separate from the moral imperative, if this were a movie, this is where we are facing the zombie apocalypse, everyone is going to die get there is a solution. if greed could just be gotten out of the way. cut to the chase of what is going on here. but this thinking he has, premised on a false claim that the mrna, this terrific newly exploited technology for the vaccine, somehow u.s. technology. number one, it is not new. the original breakthrough was by a hungarian scientist in the early 1980's. and two, it is not u.s. to live the patents is held by two turkish people who lived in germany. around the world this has been happening. in third street -- the pfizer
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biontech vaccine is being made under contracts for chinese use by chinese farm. this nationalistic notion of it is ours and we should not share, by the way, senator cruz, destruction of the u.s. economy, that is so integrated in the global economy. if you want to be crass about it, look at the international chamber of commerce study that said under scenario where rich countries are vaccinated, developing countries aren't in 2021, the global losses to the global economy, $9.2 trillion, half of it in rich countries. this is avoidable if we can get herd immunity vaccination and end the pandemic. that is not going to happen unless more vaccine is made. his part of it should be made here? absolutely.
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we should make as much as we can and send it elsewhere. but it will not be sufficient. the world health organization, scholars around the world agree, there needs to be regional hubs -- we can help find em, but they need access to the technology. the recipes, the know-how to help make these drugs. just yesterday at a high level webinar, the ambassadors from india and south africa repeated data that has been in lots of u.s. publications, billion more doses to be made now in the shorter-term, in months, if this information, the waiver happened and the information was public. there is unused existing capacity in global cell producers that are top-notch, already highly qualified, tenical biologic drugs for aids, hbv vaccine, etc. in the short term, more can be made but there has to be investment in the u.s., around the world to have more production capacity.
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the first step is getting the information -- by the way, amy, we have already paid for. $110 billion globally has been invested, transferred to the pharmaceutical industry from government in u.s., europe, and yet don't have the vaccine. amy: and they are deploying that in lobbyingongress. and let's not forget the media. coons' speech gave him accolades which wrote hope president biden go ignores the left." there was an editorial in "the washington post closed yesterday and then dr. anthony fauci who also just wait and it is the way were still in the financial times "going back and forth consuming time and lawyers the legal argument about waivers, that is not the endgame. people are dying around the world so we have to get vaccines into their arms and the fastest and most efficient way
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possible." your response? >> i was on a ll last week with dr. fauci and he said that and he said that, of course we need to do a waiver, but we can't waste all of our time fighting over the waiver. there are so many other steps. yes, we need to share the know-how in the get the investment and then we need to get the different centerarnd the world going and then we have to get the comnies actually share the know-how. therhas been an effort for months by the pharmaceutical industry to make it seem like dr. faucis against the waiver. actually, i think i can hear in my head the ve context in which that statement was made and wt he said over and over, which is we need to share the know-how and the technology and get vaccines made. amy: what is your understanding of the battle that is going on within the by the administration right now over these waivers? this is the critical moment
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because the wto is having these two days of meetings today and tomorrow in geneva. >> there are some interests that are against the waiver. there are two camps. there is the pharma corporate cap. and then you have the camp of should focus on getting more shots and the people, focus our domestic vaccination rollout as if making sure our variant that undoes vaccine rollout -- if there is a vaccine resistant strain that emerges because there are raging outbreaks anywhere, you can vacnate 70% of the american public, as the president said yesterday, and we are still locked down again because i vaccine resistant variant can brew anyplace there are major outbreaks going on. it is very shortsighted us
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first, there later. on the other hand, there are several key agencies, many people in the white house who are for the iver and what to get past the waiver in this is that that is a key step because it is certainly not going to translate like that to having more vaccines. there's so much more work that has to happen, which is why it is so critical that today the united states stop blocking 100 plus countries that simply want to have a negotiation about what they deem as critically important for their people to be able to have what we have gush acss to the vaccine that can save their lives but also to contribute to the global fight to crush this pandemic. we do not want this to be in a endemic problem that is raging around the world, much like in the apartheid form of rich countries getting vaccinated and poor countries being left to die. but also in addition to the
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moral implication of that, to not be able to help in what has got to be a global effort of a race against vaccine versus variants. if that does not -- if humans don't when that, then there is no place not here, not without vaccine, that will be safe. amy: lori wallach, thank you for being with us, director of public citizen's global trade watch. wrote the recent "washington post" op-ed with nobel prize-winning economist joseph stiglitz "preserving intellectual property barriers to covid-19 vaccines is morally wrong and foolish." we will link to it at democracynow.org. when we come back, we go to the philippines to talk with walden bello about the pandemic in the philippines and u.s.-china relations. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "time" by juan dela cruz band.
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this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the quarantine report. i'm amy goodman. you can watch listen, and read , transcripts using our ios and android apps. download them for free from the apple app store or google play store today. as we continue our coverage of the world trade organization and the fight over intellectual property rights during the pandemic, we are joined by the acclaimed filipino scholar and activist walden bello, the co-founder of focus on the global south. he is an adjunct professor at binghamton university and a former member of the house of representatives of the philippines. his new op-ed in "the new york times" is headlined "the west has been hoarding more than vaccines." walden bello joins us from manila. welcome back to democracy now! >> thank you for inviting me. amy: start off by talking about the significance of these meetings and what difference it would make for people in the philippines and in asia ovell -- in the global south, for that matter. >> as you know, because of the
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shortage of vaccines, we are in a situation where only about 0.2% or 0.3% of the population of the global south has had access to vaccines. here, for instance, in the philippines, it has only been around 260,000 people or .025% of the population of 100 tinley people -- 100 tinley people who have had access to vaccine. there is no certainty i when these vaccines will arrive. we got a few shipments from astrazeneca -- a significant
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number of donations from china and in the last two days, the sputnik v from russia arrived. with respect to the western vaccines, there is a very great deal of uncertainty when those would in fact becoming because of the fact that a lot of vaccines going to the south have been hoarded by european uon andy the united states. the press officer of the by the administration, jen psaki, has in factaid our policis to be oversupplied. one of the things e by the administration did in response to the situation in india was to
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say it was going to be sending about 60 million doses of astrazeneca. and it was found out in a report in "the new york times, those are potentially spoiled vaccines that were produced by the factory in maryland that had been contaminated. amy: that also produce the johnson & johnson vaccine that led to a halt on the johnson & johnson vaccine, that johnson & johnson astrazeneca somehow contaminated each other. >> right. when people heard that, my god, spoid vaccines to india. well, let's send the spoiled to the global south and we're going to keep the good stuff here in the united states.
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that is been sort of the mixed messaging that has been taking place with the rhetoric of the biden administration. i think it is going to be very important what happens in geneva over the next two days. as lori wallach says, the decision point is, will the u. stop blocking negotiations or will it continue tru's poly? this is the inflection point for the biden administration with respect to the global south. if it fails this one, there is going to be tremendous distrust of u.s. foign policy initiatives. so the test foriden in the global sou has come very
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early, but you don't choose the time when these things come on. as far as i know at this point, we don't know exactly what is thehinking of the administration going into geneva . it has kept its cards very close to the vest. as i said in my column "-- in my guest editorial in "the new york times," mr. biden knows what ithe rit thing to do. e question is, will he have the courage to do the right thing. amy: have you gotten the vaccine? >> yes, i have. as a senior, i was priority.
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we were given the firsdose of the vaccine. so seniors in my city got the first dose of the vaccine. but the vast numbers of people, aside from seniors and from health-care workers, front-line workers come have not gotten the vaccine yet. will we get the second dose? it all depends on developers in india and in different parts of the world. we would not have been facing this supply problem if when india and south africa had proposed the waiver the first time around october of last year and the u.s. and the rich countries, the other rich countries blocked it we could have moved already to be able to
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get the formulas for the vaccine, the technologies to bring them out, repurchasing as lori said the big pharmaceutical capacities of a number of different countries in the global south like south africa, india, thailand. so that could have already been done. but here it is the trage that we lost all that time. we lost about six months because the u.s. was just not cooperating. it was so shortsighted. it was caving in all the time to the pharmaceutical companies who were tremendously unpopular in the global south but also in the united states because if these companies -- as we heard
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earlier, made billions that pfizer is making, it is mainly out the biggest moneymaker has been the pfizer vaccine over the last several months. it is this very, very big contrast between what are the needof humanity and what are the needs of the people of the drug industr -- which not only are they making tremendous profit for their shareholders, but we're talking about executives, corporations making tremendous in tes of their salaries, raking from around $15 billion -- $15 million to $25 million a year. these are the people, basically, among the 1% who are making
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these decisions to block what would be benefit for the global south, which is to live, allow them to live. if, put it this way, this shows the tremendou irrationality of global capitalism. profits for a few express over the lives of many. the dynamics of this period of the pdemic has really exposed why we need to overcome capitalism, toet out of the system tt allows the decisions to be made by aew, creates tremendous inequality, and allows a lot of people to die
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because the medicine for the vaccines that would allow them to live are being blocked. amy: i want to talk about the philippines. we have heard a lot about india, which we cannot hear enough about. they're are going through a covid tsunami. the philippines has recorded over a million covid cases and at least 17,500 deaths, the single highest in southeast asia next to indonesia. the second highest. many hospitals are struggling to handle the latest surge in cases. i want to turn to a doctor in manila. >> the hospital, especially the government hospitals, they are struggling. we know any increase in the number of cases just as we know the increase in the number of health workers being positive and in the past -- since march. amy: if you could talk about the crisis in the philippines and asia.
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also, a poll has just come out that was done in some 53 countries. it says the u.s. the scene around the world now as more of a threat to democracy than russia or china. and this goes to the difference between how russia and china is dealing with the rest of the world and these vaccines and other technologies, medical treatments, and what the u.s. is seen as around the world. >> yes. well, over here in the philippineand a numb of southeast asian countries like cambodiand thailand, there has been a second wave that has en occurring since early march. the second wave has been more devastating than the first wave in 2020. in the philippines, for a couple of weeks, records of infections
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were being broken every day. withinheast week, for instance, the infections have ranged from around 7000 to 9000 people being infected every day. so we have a situation which is really bad in terms of hospital stays. you know, having run out. people, especially about two weeks ago, they had to keep people in tents outside the hospital. some of them were even just in their cars. there have been incidents of people kept out of the hospital and died in their car. and like we heard in india, there's is been a shortage of
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oxygen -- there has been a shortage of oxygen. in stores running out of oxygen tanks. basically, something -- not as bad as in india, but certainly it was pretty rough in people were just not prepared for the situation. now seral facts really come into play here. one, of course, is the glitc under the vaccination program, mainly because the supplies are not coming in because of the hoarding in -- by the western countries. the second thing has been, to some extent, a sort of -- becoming a bit complacent
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terms of social distancing in a number of other very important measures like face masks being worn properly. but i think a big factor,nd i think it is the central factor, the government h just been so inefficient and incompetent in dealinwith this situation. amy: so you had president duterte first saying he was not going to take the vaccine that are enraged public health officials, now yes taken the chinese vaccine. and walden bello, i want to ask you about china and u.s.-china relations in light of all of this. on tuesday, foreign ministers from g-7 nations met in london, continuing to meet. china topped the agenda. this comes as both china and the united states are accusing each other of escalating tensions in the south china sea. last week the chinese government
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claimed there's been a 40% increase of activity by u.s. planes in chinese claimed areas since biden's took office. activity of u.s. military up 20%. tony blinken appeared on "60 minutes" and accused china acting in adversarial ways. >> it is the one country in the world that has the military, economic, diplomatic capacity to undermine or challenge the rules-based order that we care so much about and are determined to defend. but i want to be very clear about something. and this is important. our purpose is not to contain china, to hold back, to keep it down. it is to uphold this rules based order that china is posing a challenge to. anyone who poses a challenge to that order, we are to stand up
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and defended. amy: that is the secretary of state tony blinken. walden bello, we have been having this discussion about vaccines. the u.s. being seen in the eyes of the world right now as more of a danger to the world, especially when compared to russia and china. russia and china getting out their own vaccines and facilitating others. the u.s. not doing the same at this point. if you can link that to this also increased tension between china and the united states? >> yes. first of all, i think we people look at what the trump admistration and -- did with respect to blocking the trips waiver and contrast that to the ways that china was shifting chinese vaccines to countrs
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under the global sou, ok, there was a very big contrast. shipments been donations given. in the case of the philippines, for instance, the final -- the only vaccines until abt two days ago that were available for the general population. yes, we had the astrazeneca vaccine from europe that had come in a seniors were vaccinated with that, but the vast majority has been sinovac. there is the net contrast. now when it comes to the philippines, this sort of donations of the chinese vaccine
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has been seen suspiciously by a large part of the population as basically china's effort to buy off the government in term of the sovereignty rights inhe south china sea, or what we call herehe west phippine sea because the duterte administration has in fact hardly protestedgainst the moves of china in the west philippineea or the south china sea around taking over and infringing on maritime formations thalie within the exclusive economic zone of the philippines.
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we have a situation within the south china sea whereby a number of the countries here,ncludi the philippines anvinam, feel that they have been really disadvantaged by chin claiming that the whole south china sea or west philippine sea belongs to it alone. where is all of these five otr countries bord it. that is a basic injustice, let me put it that way. that really territorial grand iceman that is -- aggrandizement taking place. however, you need to look at it within this rod or regional context where china is surrounded by something in the order of 65 military bases
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coming down from japan, the south korea to guam to the philippines where they have bases over here. you have to look at itn the context of the south china sea impact -- basically, theolice of the united states has deployed itself and considers that basically a free zone for its ships. what we are seeing is china's perspective, posture has been that of defense. and ev t pentagon admits that china's strategic posture is that of strategic defense whereas that of the united stes is more oan offensive,
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forward deployment. basically what i want to say is this, ok? china's moves in the south china sea west phippine sea are not justified. theyre illegal. but at the same time, they e made in terms of strategic sponse to u.s. eirclement. and heightened u.s. military activity. that iwhat we need to look at this. blinken's statement. it speaks -- it a warmongering statement. like the anchorage meeting about two months ago -- amy: we have 10 seconds. >> acted toward the chinese. i guess my point is this, what
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trump anti-china policy is now also been followed by the administrations -- the biden administration. amy: we have to leave ixxxúúúúú■
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■ new orleans. new orleans. n'awlins. nola, crescent city. groove city. jazz city. the big easy. branding and reputation aside, things are far from easy in new orleans. the city suffers from many of the symptoms of the urban american narrative: poverty, social and racial inequity, gun violence, a murder rate twice the national average. then, the world watched in 2005 as hurricane katrina smashed through this place. how does any city rebound from that? how does any community regroup and rebuild? now, we can add a rise in mass tourism and gentrification to the list of challenges that this city is facing. this city still stands, stubbornly so.

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