Bill Gates, who has advocated for pandemic preparedness for years and even gave a famous TED talk that warned of the potentially staggering death toll a worldwide pandemic could create, is accused of withholding vaccine recipes from developing countries. During Sky News interview with Gates, Gates was asked if it would be possible to change the intellectual property law so as to enable the recipe for COVID Vaccines to be shared, he clearly denied sharing the formulas with developing nations.
Gates explained, “There’s only so many vaccine factories in the world and people are very serious about the safety of vaccines. And so moving something that had never been done, moving a vaccine, say, from a [Johnson & Johnson] factory into a factory in India, it’s novel, it’s only because of our grants and expertise that can happen at all.”
The billionaire added, “It’s not as simple as just sharing a recipe — the drug needs to be tried and tested and for this, the manufacturing process has to be done with extreme caution, “The thing that’s holding things back, in this case, is not intellectual property. It’s not like there’s some idle vaccine factory, with regulatory approval, that makes magically safe vaccines. You know, you’ve got to do the trial on these things. And every manufacturing process needs to be looked at in a very careful way.”
Gates stated that he wasn’t surprised to see rich nations prioritising the vaccine for themselves. He stated that developing nations would receive the vaccine once the developed nations are done getting vaccinated.
The Microsoft founder made his fortune largely through the intellectual property laws that turned his computer software innovations into billions of dollars of wealth. The statement from Bill Gates is drawing flak from across the world.