One of the most politically-connected yet scandal ridden vaccine companies in the united states, with troubling ties to the 2001 anthrax attacks and opioid crisis, is set to profit handsomely from the current coronavirus crisis.
by Whitney Webb and Raul Diego
Part 8 - Jerome Hauer’s curious past
As BioPort secured its control over the only licensed anthrax vaccine producer in the country in 1998, New York’s emergency crisis manager and bioterrorism expert, Jerome Hauer, was busy working and making doomsday contingency plans from his “bunker” on the 23rd floor of World Trade Center Building 7.
Put on the job by then-NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 1996, Hauer had previously managed worldwide emergency response for technology giant IBM. He also was an adviser to the Justice Department, had briefed President Clinton on bioterror threats and was known to “consult regularly with Scotland Yard and the Israeli military.” It was reportedly Hauer’s idea to locate the city’s emergency management office at Building 7, even though placing it there was considered controversial at the time due to the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, bombings that were later revealed to have disturbing links to the FBI.
In 1999, the New York Times would describe Hauer’s job as “sitting around all day thinking up horrifying ways for things to be destroyed and people to die.” It would also note that Hauer described his expertise regarding specific emergency situations as follows: “helicopter crash, subway fire, water main break, ice storm, heatwave, blackout, building collapse, building collapse, building collapse.” His obsession with building collapses even led him to house “trophies” of the building collapses he had overseen and responded to. How odd then that Hauer’s multi-million dollar “bunker” itself would later fall victim to building collapse, falling into its own footprint in 7 seconds on September 11, 2001.
That fateful day, Hauer was no longer with NY’s Office of Emergency Management, having left in February 2000. However, in 2001, Hauer still worked at the World Trade Center complex, running security for the buildings as managing director of Kroll Inc. Informally known as the “CIA of Wall Street”, Kroll was alleged to be an actual front for the CIA by French intelligence agencies, according to the Washington Post. Though it claimed to be mainly involved in corporate security and investigations, it also frequently investigated targets of Washington foreign policy, including Saddam Hussein. Kroll was also the company tapped to “reorganize” Enron in 2002.
Though Hauer should have been at his office at the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11, 2001, he did not show up for work that day and instead made TV media appearances, where he claimed that Osama bin Laden had been responsible for the attacks just hours after the towers collapsed in an interview with Dan Rather.
Yet, not all Kroll employees were as lucky as Hauer. John O’Neil had just begun working for Kroll and was at the World Trade Center that day, dying in the attacks. O’Neil had previously worked with the FBI and was the country’s top expert on Osama bin Laden and his activities. He had resigned in mid-2001 after his investigations into bin Laden were repeatedly blocked by his superiors, something that happened to numerous federal investigators prior to 9/11, and was subsequently offered a job at Kroll by none other than Jerome Hauer himself.
Also on the day of 9/11, Hauer had told top Bush administration officials to start taking the antibiotic Cipro to prevent infection via anthrax and Hauer would subsequently make public hints via mass media that foreign terrorists were working with Saddam Hussein to unleash an anthrax attack on the American public. All of this took place well before the first anthrax attack victim, photojournalist Robert Stevens, would even show symptoms.
Hauer had prepared for a scenario just like the anthrax attacks as part of the Dark Winter biowarfare simulation, which occurred just months prior and at a time when Hauer was a member of the Johns Hopkins Working Group on Civilian BioDefense, part of what is now the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, then led by Dark Winter co-author Tara O’Toole.
Also of note is the fact that, while working for Kroll Inc. Hauer was also working for the Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a defense and intelligence contractor. There he became a co-worker of Stephen Hatfill, who Hauer had actually met years prior. At SAIC, Hatfill worked on developing protocols for handling “anthrax hoax letters,” a phenomenon present in Dark Winter and later during the actual 2001 anthrax attacks. Hatfill would later be accused of having committed those very attacks, but was later cleared of suspicion, winning a hefty multi-million dollar settlement from the government.
In addition to his work for SAIC and Kroll as the events of September 11, 2001 transpired, Hauer was also a national security adviser to then-head of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Tommy Thompson. Hauer closely advised Thompson during the 2001 anthrax attacks and after, helping to shape HHS response and subsequent biodefense policy, which focused heavily on BioPort’s anthrax vaccine.