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Vaccine Apartheid/The Voice of Corporate Crime

Ralph welcomes Peter Maybarduk director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program to explain how taxpayer supported research on Covid vaccines has been given over to Big Pharma, who are creating worldwide vaccine apartheid, and Rick Claypool, also of Public Citizen, on the US Chamber of Commerce’s tantrum over government agency efforts to crack down on their members’ criminal activity.

Peter Maybarduk is the Director of Public Citizen’s Global Access to Medicines Program. He is also on the governance board of the Medicines Patent Pool, which is a United Nations organization dedicated to increasing access to life-saving medicines to lower-income countries.

“In the end, taxpayers paid for about 99% of the development of the NIH/Moderna vaccine and paid Moderna about 10 billion dollars in public money to bring that vaccine across the line… (it’s) really been a public project through and through, even though we are privatizing the profits and not retaining for the public nearly enough say in how those vaccines are ultimately used and shared with in the world to stamp out the pandemic.”

Peter Maybarduk of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program


“Moderna and Pfizer and others have decided when to sell their vaccines to whom at what price and under what terms and conditions. And those terms and conditions they keep secret. And they retain the right to penalize governments that speak out about the terms and conditions of the contracts.”

Peter Maybarduk of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program


“The Pentagon budget is 813 billion dollars. We’re talking about in the end less than 1% of that proposed defense budget to end a pandemic that has cost so many millions of lives… in the end we couldn’t scrap together 5 billion dollars for the global response.”

Peter Maybarduk of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Program

Rick Claypool is a research director for Public Citizen’s President’s office, where he focuses on corporate crime and wrongdoing and the ways corporate power distorts democracy. Rick produces reports on a range of topics including federal enforcement against corporations, deregulation, and conflicts of interest. research that has been covered in numerous outlets, including The Washington Post, NPR, The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today), He is also an audio columnist on the political science fiction podcast If This Goes On Don’t Panic and the author of three social justice-tinged speculative fiction books (the latest being Tentacle Head, which Bear Creek Press is releasing in August).


“The Chamber (US Chamber of Commerce) is mad that these agencies (CFPB; FTC; DOJ) are cracking down on corporate lawbreakers because the Chamber represents corporate lawbreakers. That’s who pays for the Chamber to exist. That’s who it works for. It’s not a sympathetic third-party ideological think tank. It is the voice of corporate crime in Washington.”

Rick Claypool research director for Public Citizen’s President’s office


“They (US Chamber of Commerce) come across as just free enterprise champions when they are really an umbrella for criminal enterprise activities.”

Ralph Nader


  1. David Faubion says:

    In the discussion about forming an alliance of watchdog NGOs to neighborhood-watch the delinquent corporations, Ralph mentioned, near the close of the podcast extra–enlisting ethical corporations and small and medium businesses to help patrol market behavior. Clearly, commerce that plays by the rules is suffering from the loss of trade as a consequence of corporate crime. That includes price gouging. Consumers faced with sky-high prices for drugs, housing, and fuel prices are simply not buying their usual other goods and services.

    What’s nuts is that big bad pharma has shipped the production of drugs that our tax dollars created to China and India, and then ships back the end product that is absurdly overpriced, homicidally priced. People are dying for affordable drugs. So offshored pharma has got blood on its hands as they pervert the already perverse practice that is globalized production.

  2. Tina Jayroe says:

    And all the while you see accounts and statistics of the ever-increasing number of sexual assaults in the military despite decades of entities reporting on this problem. One of my neighbors, an ex-military dude, affirmed that issue is vast and serious as he had some role, he said, in working with the many victims of sexual assault in the military. So on top of all the waste and greed regarding vaccines and ‘unilateral impact generators’ … you also have an $800 billion dollar A YEAR internal violence problem!

  3. Robert Magyar says:

    Given our well established pay to play political culture here in the U.S, its miracle the large pharma firms did not just walk away and provide nothing after they received our taxpayer largesse.

    Its also a great example in seeing thru all the feel good, hey we are wonderful company in this just for you, the patient, nonsense we see all the time from these firms.