Skip to main content

Why the Bill Gates global health empire promises more empire and less public health

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 11 - Operation Warp Speed immunizes Big Pharma from lawsuits

In mid-May, the Trump administration unveiled its new coronavirus vaccine project: Operation Warp Speed. While announcing the new project, President Trump boasted that his administration “cut through every piece of red tape to achieve the fastest-ever, by far, launch of a vaccine trial.

Like the Trump administration, Bill Gates is advocating for the acceleration of Covid-19 drug approval timeline. He writes that “governments will need to expedite their usual drug approval processes in order to deliver the vaccine to over 7 billion people quickly.” He says “there is simply no alternative” to this agenda.

In March, the U.S. passed federal regulations granting liability immunity to corporations producing coronavirus drugs, including vaccines. It also provided liability immunity to any entity distributing the drugs.

With more than 100 Covid-19 vaccines currently in development, this means products will be indemnified against lawsuits, even if they produce harmful effects.

If vaccine makers are indeed exempted by governments around the globe from legal penalties, these companies have little incentive to protect people from harmful side effects. As in the past, it seems that citizens of the world’s poorest countries are set to become “guinea pigs for the drug makers.

Bill Gates’ advocacy for legal immunity for drug manufacturers dates back to at least 2015, when he lamented during the Ebola outbreak that there was no clear process for “providing indemnity against legal liability.” He suggested that during a “global epidemic,” drug companies should be indemnified to “avert long delays.” Now, his proposal is coming to fruition.

Gates justified his position on the grounds that companies will need to produce drugs as fast as possible to save lives, and these new drugs may not always be safe. “Understanding safety… is very, very hard,” he said to CBS. “There will be some risk and indemnification needed before [getting a vaccine out] can be decided on.

Normally, a drug goes through a phase of animal testing before it gets tested on small (phase I), medium (phase II), and large numbers of people (phase III). But with Covid, Gates wants to “save time” by conducting tests on humans and animals at the same time.

Today, the U.S. is “compressing what is typically 10 years of vaccine development,” according to the head of the National Institute of Health (NIH).

This may produce some troubling effects. For one, a successful coronavirus vaccine has yet to be produced, and a new one could trigger lethal reactions. Tropical disease specialist Dr. Peter Hotez, who worked on a failed vaccine for another coronavirus (SARS), said that during experimental tests of the drug, animals fell victim to what he calls “immune enhancement.” The animals that were given the shot developed more severe (and often fatal) versions of the virus when compared with unvaccinated animals.

Hotez told Reuters, “The way you reduce that risk [for humans] is first you show it does not occur in laboratory animals.” The medical expert stated that while he understands “the importance of accelerating timelines for vaccines in general, but … this is not the vaccine to be doing it with.

Without performing the initial phase of animal testing normally required to bring a vaccine to market, a biotech company named Moderna is now conducting human trials for its Covid-19 vaccine. Moderna’s vaccine is an mRNA type which has never been approved by the FDA for use on humans. 

This technology, which contains genetically engineered cells that can permanently alter human DNA, was developed with grants from both the Gates Foundation and the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Moderna says it has a “strategic alliance” with DARPA, which gave the company $25 million in total.

Moderna’s mRNA technology has been singled out by Bill Gates as “one of the most promising options for COVID.” Gates even has a “global health project framework agreement” with Moderna to give it up to $100 million for the development of its mRNA technology, in exchange for receiving “certain non-exclusive licenses.”

Moderna’s co-founder Robert Langer has partnered with Gates in the past on projects such as the contraceptive microchip implant that can be activated wirelessly.

When Moderna announced the completion of its phase 1 safety trial May 18, corporate news outlets parroted Moderna’s “good news.” But the fine print in the release revealed that three of the 15 participants injected with the highest dose of the vaccine developed grade three systemic symptoms, which the FDA defines as “severe,” “disabling,” and requiring “hospitalization,” although “not immediately life-threatening.

On May 15, President Trump appointed Moncef Slaoui,  a board member of Moderna who until May 19 held more than $10.3 million in Moderna stock, as chief scientist of the nation’s effort to find a Covid-19 vaccine. 

Slaoui, who calls himself a “venture capitalist,” is also on the board of directors at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), a “public-private partnership” organization that has received more than $359 million from the Gates Foundation.

Slaoui also held leadership positions at GSK. While heading the company’s Research and Development, GSK pleaded guilty and paid $3 billion in what the U.S. Justice Department referred to as the “largest healthcare fraud settlement in U.S. history.The fraud included the coverup of the link between the drug Paxil and suicidal and depressive side effects (predominantly in children), the coverup of the link between the drug Avandia and heart attacks, which the FDA estimated lead to 83,000 excess heart attacks, as well several bribery and illegal kickback schemes.

While he was GSK’s chairman of vaccines, Slaoui oversaw the development of the swine flu vaccine named Pandemrix, which was rushed to market without proper testing during the swine flu outbreak. The result was an unsafe shot that left at least 800 people with brain damage, 80 percent of them children. Since GSK only agreed to give governments the vaccine on the condition that it be indemnified from liability, U.K. taxpayer money was used to pay millions of pounds in compensation to the victims. 

Slaoui was hired to be the Trump administration’s “vaccine czar” as a private contractor, not a government employee. This means, as Public Citizen explained, that Slaoui can “maintain an extensive web of conflicting financial interests without the need to divest of, recuse from, or disclose those conflicting interests.

The corporate media likes to paint the Covid-19 response as a tug of war between anti-science blowhards like Donald Trump and “champions of science” like Bill Gates. However, Slaoui’s appointment to co-direct “Operation Warp Speed” indicates that, here, the Trump administration and the Gates Foundation are on the same team.

After entering his new Trump administration role, Slaoui declared that Moderna’s clinical trial data made him confident “we will be able to deliver a few hundred million doses of vaccine by the end of 2020.

Although the U.S. government has picked Moderna as one of its five coronavirus vaccine “finalists,” financial moves by some company executives suggest Moderna’s best days might be behind them.

According to SEC filings, the company’s Chief Financial Officer Lorence Kim sold 214,000 Moderna shares on the day of the press release, immediately profiting more than $16 million.

Thomas Lys, a professor of accounting at Northwestern University, was quoted by Stat News saying this could simply be a financial decision by Moderna to get some liquidity, but that “there’s always that other possibility – that these guys really know the whole thing is bogus and they’re selling while the selling is good.

Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks, who held close to 100,000 shares of Moderna stock at the beginning of the year, started dumping shares a few days before Moderna announced its vaccine was ready for human testing, has profited more than $18 million in 2020, and now owns zero shares.

Source, links:


[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][12][13]


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Killing Gaza: Documentary by Dan Cohen & Max Blumenthal shows life under Israel's bombs and siege

The Grayzone   In the feature-length documentary film "Killing Gaza," journalists Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal documented Israel’s 2014 war on Gaza.  Yet this film is much more than a documentary about Palestinian resilience and suffering. It is a chilling visual document of war crimes committed by the Israeli military, featuring direct testimony and evidence from the survivors.  

From RussiaGate to UkraineGate: Route to Apocalypse

Corruption and supposed efforts to reduce it have become a neoconservative weapon of choice with which to operate the controls on the funding sluice gates to acolytes of the U.S.-led international neoconservative empire.   by Oliver Boyd-Barrett   Part 5 - Poroshenko and Zelensky   Ukraine’s two presidents since the 2014 coup, Petro Poroshenko (2014 to 2019) and Volodymyr Zelensky (2019 to the present), each started with strong support that quickly waned. The country has scarcely improved. Gross National Product peaked in December 2013; unemployment has increased from 7% to over 10%; Ukraine remains the second poorest country in Europe per capita. Corruption, the supposed key force behind popular support for the elections of both Poroshenko and Zelensky, continues to be rampant. Kiev’s policies of stand-off with Russia have been dramatically counter-productive and have deprived Ukraine of Crimea and control of major industrial areas of the Donbass. Some 14,000 lives have been taken, 1.

Illiberal Conservatism Comes to Greece

Under cover of the pandemic, Greece’s right-wing government has passed a slew of new measures to benefit the wealthy at the expense of workers, while massively expanding police powers. On the back of a decade of austerity, the latest laws are set to transform the country into a client state and playground for foreign tourists.   by Matthaios Tsimitakis/Mihalis Panayiotakis    Part 3 - Losing Control For more than six months now, practically all of Greece has been under strict lockdown and under curfew. Despite this, a deadly second wave mostly affecting the country’s north hit in the winter, and a third wave is now ravaging Athens, home to almost half the Greek population. Vaccination numbers remain relatively low due to the disastrous handling of vaccine procurement deals by the EU. Even now, the pandemic’s intensity shows no signs of abating. But even with the lockdowns — which offer diminishing returns and feed economic and psychological anguish — the health system remains on the ed

As the Left wins big in Chile, neoliberalism is about to suffer another decisive blow

globinfo freexchange   Sepúlveda Allende, a grandson of Chile’s legendary socialist President Salvador Allende, spoke with Ben Norton about the historic May 15/16 elections in which left-wing and independent candidates won two-thirds of the seats for a convention to rewrite the constitution, which dates back to the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.   Allende described the political situation in Chile after the fall of Pinochet's brutal regime. This is an interesting period because it  proves that what happened in the entire West, happened in Chile too.  As he pointed out: When the dictatorship ended, there was a kind of alliance made between the parties that historically had represented certain parts of the old left, like the Socialist Party of Allende. Another that was newly formed in that moment, which had not existed before the coup, called the Party for Democracy, which had (ex-President) Ricardo Lagos, and had a lot of power in that moment. There is also the C

The other epidemic killing Americans

People are dying at record rates from opioid overdoses, and harm reduction advocates are asking the Biden administration to overhaul how it deals with the crisis.   by Michelle ChenTwitt  Part 2 - Turning a Corner Though the pandemic has aggravated the opioid overdose epidemic, the Biden administration has signaled a shift in Washington’s approach to the crisis. The massive American Rescue Plan stimulus bill includes a tranche of $30 million dedicated to harm reduction services. That’s a tiny fraction of the $7.6 billion the federal government spent on the opioid overdose crisis in fiscal year 2019. But Beth Connolly, project director of the Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Initiative at Pew Charitable Trusts, said that as the first explicitly targeted federal funding for harm reduction, “ it really is a message and a step in the right direction. ”  The harm reduction provision in the relief package could boost federal support for syringe service programs (SSPs), which provide cl

Η φιλο-Ισραηλινή προπαγάνδα και οι ακροδεξιοί "τυφλοπόντικες"

globinfo freexchange   Η μονοδιάστατη κάλυψη των εγκλημάτων του Ισραήλ κατά των Παλαιστινίων στη Λωρίδα της Γάζας αλλά και στη Δυτική Όχθη από την εγχώρια μιντιακή χούντα, είναι εκκωφαντική.  Τα "Πετσωμένα" και μπουκωμένα με κυβερνητικό χρήμα συστημικά κανάλια και ιστοσελίδες, εκτός από τις επιχειρήσεις φιλοκυβερνητικής προπαγάνδας, ακολουθούν καταπόδας την φιλο-Ισραηλινή προπαγάνδα των Δυτικών ΜΜΕ.   Ο δημοσιογράφος Άρης Χατζηστεφάνου, σε πρόσφατο άρθρο του, αποκαλύπτει από πρώτο χέρι μερικά κομβικά στοιχεία της συγκεκριμένης προπαγάνδας:   Τι έχει μάθει τις τελευταίες ημέρες για τις εξελίξεις στη Μέση Ανατολή ένας ανυποψίαστος πολίτης, ο οποίος παρακολουθεί μόνο τα κυρίαρχα μέσα ενημέρωσης στην Ελλάδα και το εξωτερικό; Ότι ομάδες «Παλαιστίνιων τρομοκρατών» επιτέθηκαν με ρουκέτες εναντίον κατοικημένων περιοχών του Ισραήλ αναγκάζοντας τις ένοπλες δυνάμεις της χώρας να αμυνθούν χτυπώντας τις δυνάμεις των «τρομοκρατών» στη Λωρίδα της Γάζας. Το γεγονός ότι όλα ξεκίνησαν α

Day 785: Julian Assange still in prison

failed evolution   World's number one political prisoner, Julian Assange, still in high security prison for exposing horrendous war crimes carried out by the US imperialists and their allies.     

How Bill Gates impeded global access to Covid vaccines

Through his hallowed foundation, the world’s de facto public health czar has been a stalwart defender of monopoly medicine.  by Alexander Zaitchik Part 3 - The extent and ways intellectual property posed barriers to ramping up production Technically housed within the WHO, the ACT-Accelerator is a Gates operation, top to bottom. It is designed, managed, and staffed largely by Gates organization employees. It embodies Gates’s philanthropic approach to widely anticipated problems posed by intellectual property–hoarding companies able to constrain global production by prioritizing rich countries and inhibiting licensing. Companies partnering with COVAX are allowed to set their own tiered prices. They are subject to almost no transparency requirements and to toothless contractual nods to “equitable access” that have never been enforced. Crucially, the companies retain exclusive rights to their intellectual property. If they stray from the Gates Foundation line on exclusive rights, they are

The billionaire class is a threat to Democracy

Since the pandemic began, America’s billionaires have seen their wealth skyrocket to an amount almost equal to a fifth of US GDP. This concentration of wealth is morally unacceptable — but it also represents a mortal threat to democracy.  by Luke Savage  It’s by now widely understood that the past twelve months have been a tale of two very different pandemics. Amid the countless stories of human misery buried in monthly unemployment figures, reports of widespread hunger, and tragic (though avoidable) deaths of frontline workers, COVID-19 has been a veritable bonanza for the tiny few at the commanding heights of the hyper-financialized global economy. Recent numbers published by the Financial Times underscore just how dramatic these gains have really been:                               Over the past two decades, as the global population of billionaires rose more than fivefold and the largest fortunes rocketed past $100bn . . . The pandemic has reinforced this trend. As the virus spread

The Pentagon seriously contemplated nuking China in 1958

Newly leaked documents show that US officials in 1958 cavalierly planned a nuclear strike on China over a handful of disputed islands. As Washington once more stokes tensions with China, it’s a reminder of the callous recklessness at the heart of US foreign policy.   by Branko Marcetic  Part 2 - Destruction for Dignity The plan, approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and developed before the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis began, envisaged only two phases in the response to a Chinese attack: patrol and reconnaissance, followed by the defeat of Chinese forces, who would be “ countered by an American attack with atomic weapons against the Chinese mainland. ” The nuclear attacks would begin against Chinese air bases before moving incrementally up into the Chinese mainland as far north as Shanghai, as was discussed at one point. As the study took care to point out, the plan didn’t include any intermediate step involving conventional weapons: “ the phase immediately following patrol and reconnaiss