Behind a veil of corporate media PR, the Gates Foundation has served as a vehicle for Western capital while exploiting the Global South as a human laboratory. The coronavirus pandemic is likely to intensify this disturbing agenda.
by Jeremy Loffredo and Michele Greenstein
Part 7 - Deadly double standards
The Gates Foundation has helped engineer global health policy for poor countries for over 20 years, working mainly in Africa and South Asia. Its close relationship with the drug industry seems to have colored that work.
While the foundation’s mission statement reads, “we see equal value in all lives,” an exploration of this recent history proves otherwise. The foundation appears to see the Global South as both a dumping ground for drugs deemed too unsafe for the developed world and a testing ground for drugs not yet determined to be safe enough for the developed world.
The so-called “flagship of Bill Gates’ / WHO African vaccine program” is the diphtheria tetanus pertussis (DTP) vaccine. It is a bundle of three immunization shots given to virtually every child on the African continent, but not currently administered in the U.S. or in most other developed nations.
As far back as 1977, a study published by British medical professionals in The Lancet established that the risks of the whole-cell pertussis jab (used in the DTP vaccine) are greater than the risks associated with contracting wild pertussis. After mounting evidence linking the drug to brain damage, seizures, and even death, the U.S. and other Western countries phased it out in the 1990s and replaced it with a safer version (called DTaP) that did not contain the whole pertussis cell.
However, African nations are still being financially incentivized to continue using the out-of-date, deeply dangerous DTP vaccine, with GAVI making DTP a priority for African children.
Shockingly, a 2017 study funded by the Danish government concluded that more African children were dying at the hands of the deadly DTP vaccine than by the diseases it prevented. The researchers examined data from Guinea Bissau and concluded that boys were dying at almost quadruple (3.93) the rate of those who had not received the shot, while girls suffered almost 10 times (9.98) the death rate.
Yet these staggering numbers have not stopped the Gates Foundation from spending millions annually to push the DTP vaccine onto African healthcare systems.
There is perhaps no more famous element of the Gates Foundation’s work than its polio eradication effort. Yet once again, the polio drugs the Western world uses and the drugs given to the Global South are dramatically different.
The foundation has spent more than $1 billion distributing an oral polio vaccine (OPV) that contains a live polio virus to African and Asian countries. This live virus can replicate inside a child’s intestine and spread in places with poor sanitation and plumbing. That means people can contract the virus from the vaccine.
According to a 2017 study by the University of California San Francisco and Tel Aviv University, the polio virus used in the OPV has done just that in at least two dozen cases the researchers examined – it rapidly regained its strength and started spreading on its own.
In recent years, more children have been paralyzed by the vaccine strain of the virus in OPV than by wild polio. In an interview with NPR, professor of microbiology Raul Andino said, “It’s actually an interesting conundrum. The very tool you are using for polio eradication is causing the problem.”
Back in 2000, the U.S. halted its use of the OPV. But in the developing world, the Gates Foundation uses its instruments of influence to ensure governments continue administering it.
Polio outbreaks in both the Philippines and the Congo are the result of the OPV. In 2005, Oxford’s Clinical Infectious Diseases Periodical contended that polio outbreaks in China, Egypt, Haiti, and Madagascar were also caused by the OPV, declaring that “the time is coming when the only cause of polio is likely to be the vaccine used to prevent it.”
A few years later, the same periodical, while arguing that developing countries should shift to the Inactive Polio Vaccine (IPV) that the U.S. uses, wrote that the OPV is not only giving kids polio, but also “seems to be ineffective in stopping polio transmission” to begin with.
As the British Medical Journal reported in 2012, “the most recent mass polio vaccination programs [in India], fueled by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, resulted in increased cases [of polio].”
According to doctors in India, the OPV is also causing outbreaks of another disease called non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP). After an epidemic of NPAFP paralyzed 490,000 children between 2000 and 2017, the doctors published a report suggesting that “the increase in NPAFP and the later decrease in such cases was indeed an adverse effect of the [WHO’s] polio immunization program.”
NPAFP is “clinically indistinguishable from polio but twice as deadly.” Keith Van Haren, Child Neurologist at the Stanford School of Medicine explains that, “it actually looks just like polio, but that term really freaks out the public-health people.”
In 2012, the British Medical Journal wryly noted that polio eradication in India “has been achieved by renaming the disease.”
That same year, the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics observed both vaccine-derived polio outbreaks and the massive increase in NPAFP. It likened eradication efforts in India to the occupation of Iraq, stating: “When the U.S. was badly mired in Iraq in 2005, Joe Galloway suggested that the U.S. must simply declare victory, and then exit. Perhaps the time is right for such an honourable strategy with regard to polio eradication.”
However, the Gates Foundation and the WHO have stayed the course, distributing the OPV in countries including Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, where the foundation says the WHO is now providing “unprecedented levels of technical assistance” for polio vaccination campaigns.
In Syria, the Gates-backed GAVI pledged $25 million for polio immunization in 2016. A year later, the WHO reported that 58 children in Syria had been paralyzed by the vaccine-derived form of the virus.
Despite the scientific consensus against the OPV, and the opposition to such programs in the target countries, OPV remains administered in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia as part of “aid” programs, creating windfall profits for pharmaceutical giants who may not have been able to sell their products elsewhere.