Biotechnology firm Moderna announced on November 16 that its experimental vaccine appears to be nearly 95 percent effective at preventing coronona virus illness, including severe cases.This follows a November 9 announcement by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech that their coronavirus vaccine was more than 90 percent effective in experimental testing.
There’s a lot more to be done: testing, government authorization, production, distribution; but it’s not too early to point out that this happy news emanates from corporations. This is certain to cause distress among our socialists. They hate corporations. They hate private profits. They look to socialist government for salvation. Socialists, you see, care nothing about profits. Their only motivation is altruism. That’s what they tell us. So why would be doubt them?
Many people seem to dislike Big Pharma and blame corporate greed for the prices they pay to buy their products, nonetheless they care more about results than motivations. Keep this clearly in mind: there has been lot written about the wonders and prodigies performed by government health care programs, but who has heard of a government-owned pharmaceutical enterprise? None have come to my attention. My knowledge of drug production is limited but it seems certain that zealous socialists would celebrate them if they had a record worth glorifying.
Practical-minded people care a lot about results and little about motives. They may prefer to receive their protection and relief from a kindly, clean-living, noble benefactor rather than a greedy, ill-natured businessman with poor personal hygiene who is famous for torturing kittens but they’ll take his medicine all the same.
I have a personal interest here. My annual income comes in large part from the College Retirement Equities Fund set up by Andrew Carnegie long ago. Their annual report shows they own over $411,000,000 in Pfizer, part of almost nine billion dollars of Big Pharma equities they own. From this they pay the wicked “corporate profits” that help finance the retirement of teachers and professors.
Pfizer dedicated two billion dollars of its filthy profits in its crash program to produce its vaccine.
Unlike Pfizer, Moderna received nearly $1 billion from Operation Warp Speed, a government program for upfront funding and coordination of the trials. Affirming the importance of free enterprise does not require the dogmatic exclusion of government from vaccine development. Science and technology engages the talents of multitudes. No corporation or constellation of corporations controls their complex operations.
It’s instructive to know why the first confirmed cases of a pandemic which first appeared Haskell County Kentucky came to be known as the Spanish Flu not the Kansas Flu.
World War I was still shedding barrels of blood when the pandemic got started. It may have been the movement of troops from the Kansas base to the battle front in France accelerated the spread. But the belligerent governments all had bureaus dedicated to censoring news. All the governments were focused on the battlefields. They did not wish their citizens to be distracted by the pandemic. So they blocked all references. The major Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera got around this for a while by printing the names of the victims. Eventually the government caught on and made it stop. That left the Spanish press as the only new source reporting on the progress of the pandemic. Spain was at peace and had no censorship. So Kansas escaped incrimination.
In fact government involvement in a pandemic that killed far more people than “the Great War” was pretty much confined to censorship. The U.S. government formed no task force, held no press conferences, mobilized no experts. The Public Health Service financed no research. President Wilson said nothing in public. Research can find nothing about in his private conversations. The flu killed 675,000 Americans and their government had no comment.
In Philadelphia 11,000 people died in a single month after a mass rally to sell “Liberty Bonds” for financing the war. Mayor Thoms B. Smith never said a word about the death toll. It pains me to report that Smith was a Republican, but I console myself with the knowledge that San Francisco’s James Rolph was also a Republican and the only mayor who shut down businesses and urged people to wear masks..
John Frary of Farmington, the GOP candidate for U.S. Congress in 2008, is a retired history professor, an emeritus Board Member of Maine Taxpayers United, a Maine Citizen’s Coalition Board member, and publisher of He can be reached at [email protected]

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