THE ZIKA VIRUS: BIG MONEYMAKER FOR BIG
is a member of the Political Science Department at Moravian College
in Bethlehem, PA.
The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus
an international public health emergency and some four million
people may be infected this year. Zika may cause brain damage
and unusually small heads in newborns—called microcephaly.
Women who become infected while pregnant are at especially
Pharmaceuticals, the drug manufacturing behemoth, is frantically
attempting to vanquish rivals Novartis, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline
and others by producing a Zika vaccine. A copy of the minutes
from a recent Uppyurs Executive Board meeting was surreptitiously
obtained by the author.
to the minutes, “If everything breaks right we will have
a Zika vaccine on the market by mid-2018 and we anticipate revenues
in the range of $7.5 billion dollars. Proceeding with this is
also reveals that $78.00 for a single Zika inoculation will price
the vaccine out of reach for all but the wealthy in the world’s
35 poorest countries. One of our serious challenges is to neutralize
a guilt-ridden American public’s demand to make the vaccine
more accessible or even—God help us—free to poor people.
Our strategy includes:
Because Americans are almost pathologically compassionate, we’ve
been working on an empathy-inhibitor medication under the brand
name ClearSoul. We can report that ClearSoul has been clinically
tested on Uppyurs’s upper level management and has proven
100% effective. ClearSoul promises to be the most lucrative
product in Uppyurs’s history, if not the history of the
world. We saw a need and filled it. ClearSoul will be timed
for market release just as Zika is declared a pandemic.
Massive lobbying of Senate Foreign Relations Committee members
so any government attempting to develop an inexpensive, generic
version of the vaccine will be immediately accused of aiding
and abetting global terrorism and be targeted by the U.S. drone
attacks. We anticipate this will be an easy sell to the media
and the public.
As a distraction and to lighten the mood, we’ll prepare
a series of small-headed baby jokes such as, “Why will
Brazil’s soccer teams fail to make the World Cup after
2028? They’ll be unable to head the ball.”
Friendly media sources have agreed to “tell Uppyurs’s
story,” an inspiring narrative we’ve ghost written
and which recommends that a Nobel Prize for Selfless Giving
be created and bestowed upon Uppyurs Corporation. As a PR move,
we’ll donate the Nobel Prize cash award of $1.5 million
to the “Tiny Hoodies for Zika Victims” campaign
and emblazon them with the Red, White and Blue Uppyurs logo.
Candidly acknowledging the fact that immunizations in underdeveloped
countries now cost nearly 70 times as much as they did in 2001,
but that’s only because of supply and demand. Not enough
poor people have died off, but that should change soon.
When questioned about lowering costs for the Zika vaccine, our
standard mantra is that we need to pay huge legal fees for patenting
the manufacturing process, and who could deny the fairness of
$25 million dollar bonuses for each member of our board of directors?
Regrettably, governments of these desperately poor countries
can only afford one vaccination program, including but not limited
to Zika, whooping cough, TB, cholera, Ebola, Nipah virus, malaria,
hepatitis B and D, HIV/AIDS and dengue fever. Given the immense
profit margins for us, we’ve already bribed most public
health ministers to choose Zika. The others will be banished
from office by inventive, high profile sex and corruption scandals.
Our invariable response to all criticism will be: Maximizing
shareholder profits would be an egregious violation of our God-given,
fiduciary trust. Anything less would be both Un-American and
Finally, we’re working on an exciting new marketing slogan,
Uppyurs: Making the World Healthier for Those of Us Who Really
meeting is adjourned and, as always, “God Bless America
and God Bless Uppyurs.”
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