Somewhere

Prompt: Trust

Maria Jose Caceres

Somewhere, a child is sick and can’t breathe, can’t cry, won’t live, will surely die. Her lungs filled with fluid, she smothers herself.

Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children globally.

Somewhere a pharmaceutical company earns $6.245 billion in revenue from sales of the patented vaccine, PCV 13, that successfully treats this virus.

Somewhere a Pfizer spokesperson composes an email which reads, “Pfizer is committed to making vaccines available to as many people as possible.”

Doctors Without Borders refuse a donation by this giant pharmaceutical company. Donations of this kind, say a DWB director, “are often used as a way to make others ‘pay up.’ By giving the pneumonia vaccine away for free, pharmaceutical corporations can use this as justification for why prices remain high for others, including other humanitarian organizations and developing countries that also can’t afford the vaccine.”

Somewhere a number-cruncher calculates that Pfizer returned $13.1 billion to its shareholders.

Somewhere on the Internet, there is a summary of the annual salary, shares and bonus programs available to Pfizer executives, but I was unable to find it.

When is a seemingly generous donation actually a cynical ploy by a multinational corporation to increase profits at the expense of children drowning in their own bodily fluids?

 


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