China will be “thrilled” over the Biden administration’s announcement it supports waiving intellectual property protections when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Thursday.
“This is a gigantic gift to the Chinese communists, the people with the biggest production facilities,” Gingrich told Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo. “Now they don’t have to steal it.”
Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a Wednesday statement the decision was made because of the global health crisis and the “extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures.”
She also said the Biden administration believes strongly in protecting intellectual property, but “in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines.”
Tai said, however, the administration will continue to ramp up efforts through the private sector and all possible partners to expand vaccine manufacturing and distribution while working to increase raw materials needed to produce vaccines.
Gingrich, though, said it is “classic socialist behavior” to steal technology, and that is why countries like Cuba and Venezuela decay rapidly.
“When you steal from all productive people, they quit being productive or move,” Gingrich said.
The administration’s move on vaccine patents will also weaken the investment in new drugs worldwide and will “cost lives,” Gingrich claimed.
“People will not have the medicines they need over the next 10 or 20 years because of this decision to steal from the investors and steal from companies,” Gingrich said.
The former speaker also spoke out against the Facebook oversight board’s decision to uphold the social media site’s ban on former President Donald Trump, calling the action “insane.”
The platform allows several Chinese communist sites and pages for Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Iranian leadership, and more, Gingrich said, adding the idea a board would keep Trump off Facebook is “startling.”
“If you want to create a lynch mob for President Trump, you recruit this board,” he said. “[They are] all left-wingers. Many of them come from countries that themselves are dictatorships. If you can censor someone who got 75 million votes, you can censor everybody.”
And that means “everybody’s freedom is at risk,” Gingrich said, adding if Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., eventually becomes House Speaker, he will “clearly bring forward a bill that will cost companies billions of dollars for basically having violated the right of free speech of Americans.”
Facebook’s Oversight Board agreed Wednesday to uphold the site’s ban on Trump but ordered a new review of the “indefinite suspension” he was placed under after the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The board, however, said it was not appropriate for the site to impose an “indeterminate and standardless penalty of indefinite suspension,” as the usual policy is either to impose a time-limited suspension or to permanently remove posts or an account deemed objectionable.
“The board insists that Facebook review this matter to determine and justify a proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of its platform,” the ruling said. “Facebook must complete its review of this matter within 6 months of the date of this decision. The board also made policy recommendations for Facebook to implement in developing clear, necessary, and proportionate policies that promote public safety and respect freedom of expression.”
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