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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Pfizer Bullies Nations To Put Up Collateral for Lawsuits – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 9, 2021

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2021/03/08/pfizer-covid-vaccine.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Mercola.com

Story at-a-glance

  • Pfizer is demanding countries put up sovereign assets, including bank reserves, military bases and embassy buildings, as collateral for expected vaccine injury lawsuits resulting from its COVID-19 inoculation
  • Argentina and Brazil have rejected Pfizer’s demands. According to legal experts, Pfizer is abusing its power
  • In the U.S., vaccine makers already enjoy full indemnity against injuries occurring from the COVID-19 vaccine under the PREP Act. If you’re injured, you’d have to file a compensation claim with the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP), which is funded by U.S. taxpayers
  • A significant problem with the CICP is that it’s administered within the Department of Health and Human Services, which is also sponsoring the COVID-19 vaccination program. This conflict of interest makes the CICP less likely to admit fault with the vaccine
  • The maximum CICP payout you can receive — even in cases of permanent disability or death — is $250,000 per person, and you first have to exhaust your private insurance policy before the CICP kicks in

As reported by New Delhi-based World Is One News (WION),1 Pfizer is demanding countries put up sovereign assets as collateral for expected vaccine injury lawsuits resulting from its COVID-19 inoculation. In other words, it wants governments to guarantee the company will be compensated for any expenses resulting from injury lawsuits against it.

WION reports that Argentina and Brazil have rejected Pfizer’s demands. Initially, the company demanded indemnification legislation to be enacted, such as that which it enjoys in the U.S. Argentina proposed legislation that would restrict Pfizer’s financial responsibility for injuries to those resulting from negligence or malice.

Pfizer rejected the proposal. It also rejected a rewritten proposal that included a clearer definition of negligence. Pfizer then demanded the Argentinian government put up sovereign assets — including its bank reserves, military bases and embassy buildings — as collateral. Argentina refused. A similar situation occurred in Brazil. Pfizer demanded Brazil:

  1. “Waive sovereignty of its assets abroad in favor of Pfizer”
  2. Not apply its domestic laws to the company
  3. Not penalize Pfizer for vaccine delivery delays
  4. Exempt Pfizer from all civil liability for side effects

Brazil rejected Pfizer’s demands, calling them “abusive.” As noted by WION, Pfizer developed its vaccine with the help of government funding, and now it — a private company — is demanding governments hand over sovereign assets to ensure the company won’t lose a dime if its product injures people, even if those injuries are the result of negligent company practices, fraud or malice.

Some liability protection is warranted, but certainly not for fraud, gross negligence, mismanagement, failure to follow good manufacturing practices. Companies have no right to ask for indemnity for these things. ~ Lawrence Gostlin, Law Professor

Aside from Argentina and Brazil, nine other South American countries have reportedly negotiated deals with Pfizer. It’s unclear whether they actually ended up giving up national assets in return.2

Vaccine Maker Accused of Abusing Its Power

According to STAT News,3 “Legal experts have raised concerns that Pfizer’s demands amount to an abuse of power.” Lawrence Gostin, law professor at Georgetown University and director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law told STAT:4

“Pharmaceutical companies shouldn’t be using their power to limit lifesaving vaccines in low- and middle-income countries. [This] seems to be exactly what they’re doing … Some liability protection is warranted, but certainly not for fraud, gross negligence, mismanagement, failure to follow good manufacturing practices. Companies have no right to ask for indemnity for these things.”

Mark Eccleston-Turner, a lecturer in global health law at Keele University in England, added:5

“[Pfizer] is trying to eke out as much profit and minimize its risk at every juncture with this vaccine development then this vaccine rollout. Now, the vaccine development has been heavily subsidized already. So there’s very minimal risk for the manufacturer involved there.”

See the rest here

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