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Oh, So The Biden Administration Is Giving Up On COVID Prevention Plans Entirely? Cool.

Joe Biden gives a thumbs up to the camera while walking across the white house lawn.

Here at The Mary Sue, we have a lot to say about Republicans. I myself have written many an article about the party across the isle, and not all of them are nice. In fact, I don’t think any of them are nice. But considering how some Republicans seem to be cozying up to anti-Semitism and transphobia across the nation, I don’t exactly feel bad about.

But right now, Republicans are momentarily safe from my ire, because I’m aiming my keyboard crosshairs at the Democrats. In particular, the Biden Administration. Why?

Because they’re cutting government funding on vaccines.




Yes, 400%. If my 5th grade understanding of mathematics is correct, that’s quadruple the original value. Pharmaceutical companies like Moderna don’t see a problem. In a television interview with Bloomberg, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel says the 400% price hike is “consistent with the value” of the drug. Which I guess is true? Considering that lifesaving drugs are priceless to humanity? BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT THEY SHOULD COST AN ARM AND A LEG, DAMMIT.

Moderna and its rival company, Pfizer, think otherwise. Pfizer is already pulling a similar stunt, claiming that the price hike will be “free” while blissfully ignoring that such a move will cause insurance premiums to skyrocket. According the the Wall Street Journal, Moderna is considering raising the price of their vaccine from $26 to $110-$130. Lawmakers have been quick to call the price hikes “pure and deadly greed” and “unseemly profiteering.” “We urge you to back off from your proposed price increases and ensure COVID-19 vaccines are reasonably priced and accessible to people across the United States,” said lawmakers in an open letter to the companies.

Yet it appears these pleas have fallen on deaf ears. The only sound that these companies are willing to listen to is the sound of coins jingling in their pockets. Billions of dollars worth of coins. In 2022, Moderna announced that its vaccine sales totaled around $18.4 billion. They expect to make at least $5 billion in 2023. To pour a little salt in that wound—remember, we funded the vaccines. These pharmaceutical companies were given boatloads of government money (taxpayer money) in order to develop the vaccines. Selling these vaccines that we’ve already paid for back to us at inflated prices is, as one Twitter user puts it, theft.

But We’ll Be Okay Right? If Biden’s Pulling Out, COVID Must Not Be That Bad Anymore! Right????

Wrong. According to the CDC, there were 10,000 people that died of COVID in December 2022. That capped off the year at around 263,000 deaths across the country. Average weekly COVID deaths in the US account for 1 in 5 COVID deaths reported globally. Nearly three years after the start of this pandemic, the USA still is reporting 20% of the world’s COVID deaths. As for the survivors, think tanks have theorized that millions of US citizens are suffering the complications of Long COVID and may be out of work because of it.

In spite of these disastrous numbers, the Biden administration has spent years describing the situation as beyond their control. They claim that we need to simply “learn to live with the virus.” Well, we’re certainly learning to die with it.

Nevertheless, the Biden administration has resisted any sort of universal masking policy and has pushed a “vaccine only” strategy for combating the disease, despite 61% of COVID deaths occurring in the vaccinated. The Biden administration has admitted that masking is a critical tool to prevent infection, but claimed that masks “have a time and place” in their updated COVID preparedness plan. Apparently, that time and place is neither “here” nor “now.”

Despite overwhelmed hospitals and mass staff walkouts, the Biden administration appears to be stubbornly sticking to their decision. In January 2023, a year after the new system was put in place, the White House Coronavirus response coordinator told the Washington Post that he fears “we are going to have, for years, our health system being pretty dysfunctional… because we’re going to be so overwhelmed with respiratory viruses.”

The Biden administration’s plan to end government sponsorship of vaccine programs will likely make things worse. And because the Biden administration is pulling a move straight out of the Pontius Pilate playbook and washing their hands of the whole thing, it’s going to harder to pin the blame on the administration for crucifying public health. Most people aren’t even aware that this plan is in place, and it has therefore received little opposition. Despite the Biden administration having hinted at the privatization of the vaccine for years, the public appears to be taken off guard.

So Just How Much Of A Disaster Will This Be?

Think of it this way: as of now, the Biden administration has been sort of a referee in the no-contact sport called “surviving COVID.” Despite allowing some decisions to be made at the state level, the federal government has had the final say on policies regarding COVID prevention. Now that the government seems to be stepping off the field entirely, American citizens will be at the mercy of every private insurance company in the nation. There will be no one central institution to appeal to. Instead, it will be left to state-run Medicaid, Pfizer, Moderna, CVS, Walgreens, and anyone else who decides they want to start hocking needles.

If there’s anything worse than having to rely on the Biden administration to deal with COVID, it’s having to rely on the U.S. healthcare system as a whole. Vaccines will be harder to come by, insurance premiums will sore, and private health insurance companies will be allowed to decide for themselves whether or not COVID tests will be covered under their plan. Under the federal government, many of these pandemic survival necessities were guaranteed to be free. That guarantee is no longer assured when the federal government steps away.

So there you have it. It’s not just the Republicans sickening the nation by demanding lax policies on COVID prevention, it’s the government as a whole. So for the love of god, wear a mask. Somebody has to set a good example, and that doesn’t appear to be the government’s job anymore.

(Featured image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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