Recent temporary action of Joe Biden to block vaccine components to the Serum Institute of India was a shock to many Indians across the globe.
Till date, that instance of American insensitiveness still reverberates in the mindset of millions of Indians. However, after the conversation between NSAs of both countries, viz Jack Sullivan and Ajit Doval, the public stance of Joe Biden completely changed. What was the conversation would be a guesswork of many analysts in times to come. Many Indian American organizations such as Sentinel of Dharma PAC, Indian American Advocacy groups, Indian American Hindu Coalition, Jewish Coalitions, Indian American Muslim coalition and thousands of individual Americans appealed to Joe Biden to change his stance. It is impossible to understand the mindset of Indian Americans, but in this case they spoke in unison against the Biden Administration’s insensitive decision. Due to international condemnation and fear of losing American image in the diplomatic circles, Joe Biden interfered and corrected the anomaly. Thank You President Biden for that sensible correction. But in two days when the reversal of this decision happened, a lot more damage to Indo-US relations has already happened. All Joe Biden’s supporters in Indian diplomatic circles & press weaved a sigh of relief when this reversal of decision happened.
However, Joe Biden lost a favorable public perception in India which Obama & Trump had enjoyed. It was as if 1971’s American foreign policy had returned to India. In any case, the 2020 elections in the USA were an embarrassment for the world’s oldest democracy in the international community.
Who was actually behind Joe Biden’s flip-flop? There are many theories loitering in the media and social media. When Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India, desperately tweeted directly for Joe Biden’s direct intervention to get components of Covid 19 vaccine from US manufacturers, things had already reached a tipping point and all options to procure those components had already been exhausted. That tweet was an SOS call after all American Pharma conglomerates had refused his desperate calls for help. Herein, the insecurity and political connections of American Pharma industry comes into limelight. The Godfathers of American Pharma giants sitting in the hallowed chambers of legislatures, lobbyists and media protect the profits of these multi-billion corporations. Their inventions are generally reserved for the affluent Americans or the insurance companies who can afford to pay for those drugs. These profit making corporations care less about the well being of all or even healthcare for all. Their opposition to the Serum Institute of India stems from this philosophical point.
Indian philosophy of well being for all humanity goes against this American philosophy of well being for only 300m Americans. That’s why India under the leadership of PM Modi supplied those vaccines for free to the entire world. Obamacare actually created this ecosystem to ensure higher profits for American Pharma giants.
Joe Biden’s flip flop was neither naive nor innocent. The poor Joe was just given a script to read and he just did that. The ecosystem behind this flip flop was exposed by Adar Poonawalla. There was a deep discussion amongst all stakeholders to ensure global competitiveness of American pharma giants. For Americans, Indian pharma sector is a competition. The low cost innovation which is the hallmark of Indian pharmaceutical companies is a threat to the profit margins of American corporations. After decades of losing profitability, this pandemic was a huge opportunity for the increase in operational profits of these American corporations. With Serum Institute competing with them globally with the help of Indian government, the American administration swung into action to protect the profits of their donors.
With global condemnation, strong Indian government response and a strong opposition by Indian American voters, the Biden administration had to go against the will of the American pharma corporations. That unhappiness is reflected in the latest convention of democrats in California wherein no Indian American is allowed to present their community viewpoint.
With Serum Institute securing all raw materials for their vaccines from non-American sources, there is now a potential global competitor of American pharma giants for covid 19 vaccines which was the reason why Joe Biden had disapproved sale of those components in the first place. With the second & third wave of pandemic reigning havoc in India, the American third estate led by fake news specialist CNN started showing all deaths in India to bring a bad name to PM Modi’s leadership. That was to give a face saver to Biden to build his credibility after the flip-flop while presenting a narrative to the American establishment that the Modi government is not able to manage the pandemic. For readers, it is worthwhile to mention that even the USA was not able to manage the second wave wherein India actually stepped in to help them. Everyone can recall the public appeal of the 45th President to India. Also, the media led by CNN started daily pandemic casualty counters on their portals to direct public perception against the then President Trump. The American media and their Indian stooges wanted to do the same against Indian government led by Modi, so that American Pharma is directly able to sell their vaccines in India. Given the resolve of Indian state and also Indian Americans to maintain good Indo-US relations, this flip-flop actually thwarted the American media, pharma & arm lobbies game plan of bringing the Modi government down. It is time for American administration to break their ties with Pharma and arm lobbies so that peace in the world can be maintained especially during these troubled times. Else, many new regime changing wars are going to be initiated under this new administration and America will also lose newfound allies such as India.
Today there is a need for all democracies to collaborate and cooperate to fight this global pandemic. Individual profiteering ambitions must be put for later. Let better sense prevail.