Pfizer earns billions from Covid vaccines purchased by governments. The vaccines have been developed in part thanks to research by universities, and are purchased with taxpayers’ money. But Pfizer prefers to pay as little tax as possible. The company successfully avoids tax authorities via the Netherlands.
Het virus SARS-CoV-2, beter bekend als het coronavirus, dook eind 2019 op in de Chinese provincie Hubei. In een paar weken tijd veroorzaakte het virus daar een epidemie, waarna het zich over de rest van de wereld verspreidde. Begin maart 2020 verklaarde de World Health Organisation de ziekte tot een pandemie en gingen landen wereldwijd 'op slot'.
Al met al is met het coronavirus een crisis van historische proporties ontstaan. De gevolgen van deze crisis zijn nog grotendeels onbekend. Maar de maatregelen die we nu nemen, zullen bepalen hoe de samenleving van de toekomst eruitziet. Daarom volgt de redactie van FTM de ontwikkelingen op de voet. Welke oplossingen dienen welke belangen?
Amrish Baidjoe is one of the few Dutch outbreak experts with broad experience in crisis situations. At the end of July, he and other experts founded a think tank, the Red Team, to advise on alternative strategies for dealing with the pandemic. After it published a report on facemasks last weekend, prime minister Mark Rutte decided that the Outbreak Management Team, which advises the government, should take another look at the issue. Baidjoe is moderately positive about the tighter rules issued by the government yesterday. ‘We’ve reached the stage where we can no longer stop the flow of infections with testing and contact tracing alone,’ he says.
‘Most people are decent,’ is the central thesis of Rutger Bregman's new book ‘Humankind: A Hopeful History’. The prominent Dutch historian believes that if we embrace this positive image of humanity, the corona crisis will herald the end of the neoliberal era. Financial economist Thomas Bollen wonders whether this is really true: we talk about solidarity, but in the meantime social inequality is growing.
In a Europe without borders, a virus spreads more easily than elsewhere. Although the EU has acknowledged this fact on several occasions, member states do not want to relinquish their sovereignty in the field of public health. The EU agency established after SARS is but a shadow of its American counterpart.
Dutch citizens have been asked to show solidarity with southern Europe. But Italy is not the only one needing help. If citizens do not provide financial support, the European banking sector is at risk of going under – again.
Pharmaceutical company Roche announced Friday afternoon that it will release the recipe for its lysis buffer if Dutch laboratories ask for it. Earlier today Follow the Money revealed that the European Commission was exploring options for an intervention in pharmaceutical company Roche, instigated by the possible abuse by Roche of its position of power on the coronavirus test market. Below you find the article that prompted Roche to release its recipe.
The Dutch policy of limited testing for the coronavirus is largely caused by a shortage of laboratory supplies. Pharmaceutical company Roche dominates the market for lab materials and currently supplies a mere 30 per cent of the Dutch orders. Roche holds the key to the storage cabinet and has as of yet kept the recipe which could help overcome certain shortages under its hat.