Capitalism didn’t produce the COVID vaccine on its own | Letters – Tampa Bay Times


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It’s not all capitalism

An injection of capitalism | Letters, May 2

The letter writer seems to believe that drug development is a capitalistic endeavor and that Pfizer and Moderna developed these vaccines without any input from a “socialist government.” In fact, basic research conducted at the United States’ National Institutes of Health, Defense Department, and federally funded academic laboratories has been the essential ingredient in the rapid development of vaccines in response to COVID-19. Our taxes that have supported the development of these life-saving vaccines. The government has poured an added $10.5 billion into vaccine companies since the pandemic began, to accelerate the delivery of their products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, instrumental in evaluating the preliminary research, monitored the safety of the clinical trials and approved conditional use of the drugs. The state and local government dealt with distribution. From this “socialistic” approach, we get a vaccine. In a pure capitalistic system, we would be paying a lot of money to get vaccinated.

Lynn Bosco, Clearwater

Is Social Security capitalistic?

An injection of capitalism | Letters, May 2

Like many, the writer of this letter assumes that liberals are for socialism and opposed to capitalism. This is a ridiculous notion. First of all, this black and white view seems to suggest that a society is necessarily characterized by one or the other, not both. The truth is that the United States is a capitalist country with many socialist elements. Capitalism and socialism are not mutually exclusive; they coexist. Our free public schools, Medicare system, Social Security, public fire departments, and many other programs are socialist systems. Even our great U.S. military is a socialist component of our society as it is funded and controlled by government. No, liberals are not for socialism, they are for a healthy balance where capitalism and socialistic elements work together for the betterment of society.

Glenn Poskocil, Tampa

Don’t buy the socialism propaganda

An injection of capitalism | Letters, May 2

Capitalism and government together is the most beneficial combination for the United States. Twenty years ago we doubled the investment in the National Institutes of Health so that American scientists could research vaccines that teach our cells to make the immunity proteins we need without using live virus. Scientists did not know that we would encounter this pandemic. But they were ready and they worked with private industry to develop the vaccines. The concept of “socialism” is simply propaganda. We need our government to make sure that we are safe and secure. We need the National Institutes of Health to prepare for the future.

Isabell Stawicki, Beverly Hills

Germany helped, too

An injection of capitalism | Letters, May 2

Not to question the central premise of the letter or to be argumentative, but it should be pointed out that both Pfizer and Moderna benefited from decades of government-supported research into mRNA modification, and the actual Pfizer vaccine was developed by BioNTech of Mainz, Germany, a country that some would call “socialist.” Just observing that the credit should not all go to the engine of capitalism.

Richard Theriaiult, Clearwater

A missed opportunity

Florida legislators reject landmark data privacy bill | April 30

Last Friday, our Florida Legislature failed by not passing the data privacy bill. The bill would have allowed Floridians to know what cyber information is being collected on them and how it was going to be used and by whom. More importantly, it would have allowed Floridians to opt out of such collection activities. Data mining is a multi-billion dollar a year industry that is growing by leaps and bounds. The use of artificial intelligence algorithms to predict and drive consumer purchasing directly influences the choices consumers are shown when searching the internet. Ensuring that business and big tech companies provide data security of your private information is a major concern for all Floridians. Yet businesses and big tech companies who are profiting from this type of collection complain that implementing privacy controls and data security will cost them millions of dollars. That is not an excuse or justification. It should be considered a cost of doing business on the internet. If businesses and big tech companies are going to collect our data and use it for profit, then they have an obligation to protect that data and allow us to opt out and/or control what information is collected and who it is allowed to be shared with.

Mark Khan, Tampa

The writer is a senior information assurance cybersecurity consultant.

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