Of course, we do not in fact think that investors in Moderna should be paid more than their current free market and willingly agreed price for their vaccines. But tell that to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.):
Sanders seems to believe that when stock prices rise then product prices should fall. So, seems fair, that when stock prices fall product prices should rise.
Or, of course, we could observe what is really happening here, which is an attempt to create a meme. Back a while, as Accuracy in Media discussed here, the Institute for Policy Studies decided to measure billionaires’ gains in the pandemic. They measured, because of course they did, from the very bottom of the stock market on March 18. Entirely ignoring the precipitous and 32% decline in the couple of months preceding that. Because of course they did, and their aim — and Teen Vogue’s aim in reporting it — was to create a meme that would outrage, not inform or educate.
Another political group, Global Justice Now, wants to create another such meme. We’ve discussed them before, too. They noted that the stock price of Moderna rose between 24 Nov and 30 Nov and calculated it out. Some already rich people had made lots of money – that the source for Bernie’s claim. You can check their spreadsheet via this Salon article.
The thing is, since 24 Nov the stock price is back down again, below where it started even. In fact, from the peak on 29 Nov those same Moderna investors – a part of that $8 billion that so outrages Sanders – have lost $14.7 billion. So, we should do something, right? If a rising stock price means vaccine prices must fall then a falling one must mean higher drug pries. Right, amirite?
Of course not, and no, we don’t suggest anything so silly. But we do want to point out where that original calculation came from, that Global Justice Now. Which is an organization which has long campaigned against the very idea of drug patents even existing. Which is using COVID vaccines as an excuse to put forward their argument. They’re not attempting to educate or inform any of us, they’re hoping to produce a meme that outrages so that no one stops to think about their proposals.
That they’ve managed to get Sanders on their side does not make us think any better of them to be frank about it.