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Was Trump justified to try to buy the rights to a COVID-19 vaccine?
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There are worrisome social implications

If a country has exclusive rights to a drug, yet believes healthcare is a privilege, the consequences include the creation of a new 'underclass'. Remember survival of the fittest? Such behaviour champions that idea, but on the basis that 'fit' means rich, and 'weak' means poor.
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The Argument

Poverty is understood to be a major contributor to ill health as it acts as a barrier to accessing appropriate and effective health services. In other words, the poor cannot afford to purchase items that promote a healthy lifestyle. This reality is only amplified as health care is increasingly considered to be a privilege and drugs subsequently become more exclusive. As a result, only the rich— who can afford such medications— are deemed valuable enough to society to continue their life. [1] Moreover, promoting an exclusive drug could also throw others into poverty. This is due in part to the cost of seeking health care, which can include not only out-of-pocket spending on various forms of care, but can also be manifested through more informal payments like transportation costs. It is here that payments associated with health care services lead to decreased use of health services and catastrophic health expenditures. Additionally, an individual/a family in similar circumstances can expect to experience a considerable loss of income as they either need to cease working or become a caretaker.[2] Therefore expanding the gap between the rich and the poor even further; consequently, the poor will face death at an overwhelming frequency.

Counter arguments

Survival of the fittest is not an inherently negative notion. Instead, survival of the fittest motivates others to work harder in life. As President Trump has stated: "You wouldn’t give some bozo with zero experience a management position. Why should health care be any different?” He also said, “Where I come from, you have to prove your worth. You have some guy with no college degree working a minimum wage job; no ambition, no goals, nothing to show for it. Yet for some reason, the current administration believes he — and millions of people like him, should have access to health insurance. It’s outrageous."[3] Why should we let those who contribute nothing benefit from our own hard work? Through a survival of the fittest inspired system, a sorting structure can be implemented. In other words, an individual will experience a wake-up call that will demonstrate their need to work for what they need, while it simultaneously reveals those who truly require help.


Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Sunday, 28 Jun 2020 at 02:39 UTC

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