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QUOTE OF THE DAY: How Dare You Provide Medicine for Sick Russians

Yale University professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld said pharmaceutical companies that refuse to close their Russia operations for humanitarian reasons are “being misguided at best, cynical in the medium case, and outright deplorably misleading and deceptive.”


“Russians are put in a tragic position of unearned suffering. If we continue to make life palatable for them, then we are continuing to support the regime,” Sonnenfeld also said, according to a Kaiser Health News report published Thursday.

  • “These drug companies will be seen as complicit with the most vicious operation on the planet. Instead of protecting life, they are going to be seen as destroying life. The goal here is to show that Putin is not in control of all sectors of the economy.”
  • The Kaiser Health News report — headlined “Which Companies Aren’t Exiting Russia? Big Pharma” — focused on criticism of Big Pharma’s refusal to join other global companies, from McDonald’s to Mastercard, in suspending their Russia operations over the Ukraine war.
  • “There is a difference between a hamburger and a pill,” countered Nell Minow, an investment consultant, arguing companies should keep making essential medicines in Russia while condemning its invasion.

Dissident U.S. commentators on Twitter flagged the quotations by Sonnenfeld — who is tracking which companies have curtailed operations in Russia — saying it’s part of a worrying trend.

  • “It’s starting to feel like some people are mad at Russians for not walking into gunfire because that means they have to face Twitter criticism for not denying regular Russians of medicine,” commented Tablet editor Noam Blum.
  • Other anti-establishment voices on the right and left have criticized the mainstream media narrative about the Russia-Ukraine war as a simplistic morality play that could lead to nuclear conflict.

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