It’s not a donation if we paid for it. Gilead says it will “give away” 1.5 million doses of remdesivir, one of the only treatments that has been shown to significantly improve outcomes in severe cases of COVID-19.2 But the fact is that Gilead has received tens of millions of public dollars from the government to develop a medication that will generate billions in private profit for its investors.

We won’t stand by while Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day profits from our desperate need for treatment. Take action to demand Gilead make its publicly-funded COVID-19 treatment free now.

We must be clear about what this means. In every state and city in the United States, Black people are the group most likely to die of COVID-19.4 And in a moment when roughly 30 million people have filed for unemployment,5 and a full third of Americans have been unable to pay their rent,6 Gilead’s leadership has made the deliberate and absurd choice to charge $2,340 for life-saving medication in the middle of a pandemic.7 Without the guarantee that they will make this treatment free, Gilead’s “donations” of remdesivir are simply a PR stunt that allows them to keep profiting from our communities’ suffering. That’s why we’re calling on Congress to ensure Gilead makes this publicly-funded COVID-19 treatment free for all.

It’s not a “donation” if we paid for it. Tell Gilead to stop with the theatrics. It’s time to make their publicly-funded COVID-19 treatment free for all.

We know better than to count on Gilead to do the right thing in the middle of a crisis because Gilead has never put the health of our people before profit. Truvada, a treatment that Gilead also developed with U.S. tax dollars that helps reduce the risk of getting HIV-1 through sex, costs about $20,000 a year here compared to generic alternatives in other countries that can cost as little as $60 a year.8 In fact, last year, the federal Department of Health and Human Services brought a rare lawsuit against Gilead for not only colluding with other companies to inflate the prices of Truvada, but for blocking other companies from competing against their treatment even after Gilead’s patents expired.9 That kind of greed is incapable of regulating itself. Black people account for a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses and people with HIV, compared to every other race in this country,10 meaning that no one has paid a higher cost for Gilead’s price-gouging of Truvada, in dollars or in loved ones lost, than we have. Why should we expect anything different from them this time around? From one public health crisis to another, Gilead continues to use our money to fund research for necessary interventions, then prices those same treatments completely out of our reach. With Black people disproportionately contracting and dying from coronavirus, and low-income Black and Latinx workers on the frontlines of essential work, unable to stay home, any attempt to keep this medication out of our reach is an all-out attack on our community. That’s why we demand that Congress ensure that Gilead makes it free for all.

This is a matter of life and death. Say no to Gilead’s pandemic profiteering by taking action today.

It’s been a long, hard summer. There are barely any of us who aren’t grieving family members and friends, coworkers and mentors. Many of us are still recovering from the virus at this very moment, while navigating an entirely new set of social, financial, and physical realities at the same time. We are tired. But what we won’t do is sit by and continue to allow corporations to turn the people we love into statistics. Multi-billion dollar companies like Gilead that have access to medication that can save lives during a public health emergency have the resources and the responsibility to make them as widely available as possible. Join us in calling on Congress to ensure that Gilead is no longer allowed to profit from the crisis facing our communities today.

The pharmaceutical industry is doing everything in its power to profit from this crisis. We can’t let them.

Until justice is real,
—Jade, Brandi, Johnny, Amanda, Samantha, Eesha, FolaSade, Marcus, Marie, Ciera, Jennette and the rest of the Color Of Change team