By Ben Robinson
On June 30, the US government agreed to buy 500,000 doses of remdesivir, a drug produced by the corporation Gilead, which may reduce Covid-19 recovery times. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the 500,000 treatments are all of Gilead’s projected production for July, and 90 percent for August and September.
Other countries have decried the US’s hoarding as hurting the ‘international fight against Covid-19,’ however, the US government’s actions simply reveal its role as the world’s main imperialist aggressor. The US always acts in the interest of its ruling class to maintain its role as the sole hegemonic imperialist superpower, and other imperialist nations likewise serve themselves first, even if they are temporarily allied.
In the end, it is nations oppressed by imperialism who are harmed most by both US hegemony and imperialist competition. Oppressed nations will be the last to have access to remdesivir due to the way that resources are distributed under imperialism; they are not given to those who need them most, but to those who can pay the most.
Regardless of access, the drug is not capable of solving the health and economic crises that US imperialism currently finds itself in. The Trump administration in particular has horrendously mismanaged Covid-19, and now distracts from this failure by hailing the purchase of remdesivir as an “amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorized therapeutic for Covid-19.” What they neglect to mention is that the treatment is still out-of-reach for the majority of the working class in the US as the remdesivir treatment costs thousands of dollars.
US imperialism will continue to resort to increasingly callous measures like this to the detriment of the majority of the world when faced with crises, as the capitalist healthcare system cannot and will not serve the oppressed and exploited because it is based on profit rather than the needs of the people.