By Jim Campbell May 17th, 2021 Earlier today Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward noted the Maricopa Board of Supervisors (BoS) was engaging in a propaganda war against the people of Arizona and the State Senate. It didn’t take long for evidence to surface. The Board of Supervisors sends the media a copy of the 13-page […]
Due to their counterculture connotations and rigid legal status, psychedelics were once considered a highly stigmatized topic.
Over the last decade however, a steady stream of groundbreaking research has proven that these powerful substances have the potential to safely treat a wide range of diseases.
Today, attitudes toward the industry have changed, and capital is flowing- resulting in a market that analysts predict could eventually be worth $100 billion.
The graphic above from Tryp Therapeutics is the first in a two-part series that explores how psychedelics have evolved over the last 6,000 years.
From Ancient Antidote to Breakthrough Medicine
Before we dive into the history of psychedelics, it’s important to understand what they are and how they work.
Psychedelics are drugs that alter cognitive processes and produce hallucinogenic effects. Broadly speaking, there are two categories that psychedelic substances fall into: entheogens, and synthetic drugs. Entheogenic psychedelics are derived from plants, while synthetic psychedelics are created in a laboratory.
Here are some of the most well known psychedelic substances explained:
Certain psychedelics work by binding to serotonin receptors in the brain which produces psychoactive effects. Research suggests that when this happens, the structure of the brain changes—such as the number of connections between neutrons. This means that psychedelics could have the potential to rewire or repair circuits in the brain, hence their reputation for having healing powers.
While the science behind these mind-altering plants is only now beginning to become clear, they have in fact been used in rituals and ceremonies for thousands of years.
As a result, psychedelic substances have been hugely influential in shaping certain cultures and religions dating back to 4,000 BC. These cultures, particularly in the Americas, learned how to utilize psychoactive plants and mushrooms for medicinal purposes or to reach an altered state of consciousness.
With that being said, evidence of how psychedelics were used in ancient times is often anecdotal, and therefore widely debated.
The Prohibition Era
In the 1800s, scientists and psychiatrists began discovering new kinds of drugs such as psilocybin and subsequently became advocates of psychedelic medicine. Unfortunately, uncontrolled drug use for recreational purposes led to governments across the world debating their legal status, and clamping down on restrictions.
Within decades, the recreational use of psychedelics undermined promising medical discoveries, and put the future of the industry into question, eventually triggering the War on Drugs.
An Industry, Reborn
With these strict legal changes around the world, the psychedelics industry became largely inactive. But today, an explosion of unprecedented research findings surrounding the therapeutic potential of psychedelics has triggered many countries to reassess their decision to criminalize.
Now, the industry is back, and bigger than ever before. In Part 2 of The History of Psychedelics, we’ll dive into The Psychedelics Renaissance the industry is currently experiencing and discuss the exciting future of this promising sector.9,39135
Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg lashed out at members of Congress at a House Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on the Environment hearing on Thursday, telling representatives they won’t get away with ignoring the so-called climate crisis.
“I know I’m not the one who is supposed to ask questions here but there is something I really do wonder,” Thunberg, who is 18, said. “How long do you honestly believe that people in power like you will get away with it?”
“How long do you think you can continue to ignore the climate crisis, the global aspect of equity, and historic emissions without being held accountable,” Thunberg said.
The activist, who refused to fly to the United States to attend a United Nations climate change summit in 2019 and instead traveled in a sailboat made, in part, from fossil fuel products, went on to say young people like her will be in charge of politicians’ legacies.
“You get away with it now, but sooner or later, people are going to realize what you have been doing all this time,” Thunberg said. “That’s inevitable. You still have time to do the right thing and save your legacies.”
“But that window of time is not going to last for long,” Thunberg said. “What happens then?”
“We the young people are the ones who are going to write about you in the history books,’ Thunberg said. “We are the ones who get to decide how you will be remembered.”
“So my advice to you is choose wisely,” Thunberg said.
The hearing focused on how tax benefits to fossil fuel entities are hampering the fight against climate change and should be abolished. Only one witness on the five-person panel at the hearing represented the fossil fuel sector and its stakeholders.
Frank Macchiarola, senior vice president of Policy, Economics, and Regulatory Affairs of the American Petroleum Institute, took blistering questions from Democrats who support stripping tax benefits from fossil fuel entities in President Joe Biden’s plan, promoted as infrastructure legislation.
Thunberg called the need for the hearing “a disgrace.”
“The fact we are still having this discussion, and even more, that we are still subsidizing fossil fuels directly or indirectly using taxpayer money is a disgrace,’ Thunberg said.
Thunberg gained the spotlight several years ago when she founded Fridays for Future urging young people to leave school and protest on Fridays to advance the climate change agenda.
“The simple fact and uncomfortable fact is that if we are to live up to our promises and commitments in the Paris Agreement, we have to end fossil fuel subsidies, stop new exploration and extraction, completely divest from fossil fuels, and keep the carbon in the ground,” Thunberg said.
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Originally posted on Counter Information: By Dr. Joseph Mercola Global Research, March 31, 2021Mercola I’ve discussed why COVID-19 vaccines are in fact gene therapies and not vaccines in several previous articles, including “COVID-19 mRNA Shots Are Legally Not Vaccines,” “COVID-19 ‘Vaccines’ Are Gene Therapy” and “How COVID-19 ‘Vaccines’ May Destroy the Lives of Millions.” However, despite…
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Republicans “gun worshipers,” who are “shameless” because of their “huge advantage” due to the filibuster.
“You know, democracy is the balancing of interests and rights, and unfortunately at this time, the gun worshipers have a huge advantage because of the filibuster and because of their shameless exploitation of people’s unwarranted fears,” Hillary Clinton said.
“The opportunists on the other side, like Cruz and his ilk,” she continued, “they know better and they are in the position of trying to keep people really riled up and scared that sensible gun legislation like we had in the ‘90s for 10 years will somehow undermine their rights.”
The House of Representatives has proposed legislation to impose background checks on all gun sales and transfers, but the initiative has not totally satisfied Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who is an important vote in a Senate that is split 50/50 with 60 votes needed without the nullification of a filibuster or the tactic of reconciliation to circumvent the Senate Democrat’s vote shortfall.
“Background checks are important. I do believe that. But you can go too far on that ship pretty fast, too. I am for background checks. There is a caveat for handing down within the family and not requiring a background check,” Tester specified.
Even so, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Thursday he would bring up the legislation for a vote when the Senate returns April 12.
The full interview of Hillary Clinton will be released Thursday.
President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan, dubbed the American Jobs Plan, is not sufficient and “needs to be way bigger,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said on Tuesday prior to the proposal’s formal unveiling.
Biden is outlining his $2 trillion plan on Wednesday, which devotes roughly $174 billion to the electric vehicle market, $115 billion to modernize bridges, highways, and roads, $50 billion in semiconductor manufacturing and research, $25 billion in airports, $10 billion investment in enforcement to “ensure employers are providing workers with good jobs,” $10 billion investment for Civilian Climate Corps, and more, as Breitbart News highlighted.
Ocasio-Cortez, however, does not believe it is sufficient, as the $2 trillion proposal spreads out over the next decade.
“This is not nearly enough. The important context here is that it’s $2.25T spread out over 10 years,” she said. “For context, the COVID package was $1.9T for this year *alone,* with some provisions lasting 2 years.”
“Needs to be way bigger,” the New York lawmaker added:
Biden is expected to formally outline the proposal in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania sometime Wednesday afternoon. The measure, if passed, would increase the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent, soaring over the 25 percent corporate tax rate of Communist China.
Republicans do not appear to be on board with Biden’s economic proposal, particularly as the economy continues to recover from the battering it took during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic last year.
“No president has ever raised business taxes to recover from an economic crisis,” Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said. “This couldn’t come at a worse time.”
Investigation of Acute Non-viral Hepatitis Illnesses – “Real Water” Brand Alkaline Water (March 2021)
Do not drink, cook with, sell, or serve “Real Water” alkaline water
The FDA, along with the CDC and the Southern Nevada Health District, is investigating a number of reports of acute non-viral hepatitis in the state of Nevada associated with “Real Water” brand alkaline water.
On March 25, 2020, in addition to the information reported in the firm’s recall, FDA learned that that 3- and 5-gallon containers of Real Water brand drinking water were distributed in the state of Utah.
Given a lack of cooperation by the firm, FDA investigators have been unable to complete investigations at the “Real Water” Inc. facilities in Henderson, NV and Mesa, AZ and have not been provided with requested records. As a result, on March 23 and on March 25, FDA issued a Demand for Records under section 414 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
Consumption of “Real Water” brand alkaline water is the only common link identified among all of these cases to date. This brand of alkaline water is owned by Real Water Inc., headquartered in Mesa, Arizona.
Although the investigation is ongoing, current epidemiologic information indicates that this alkaline water product may be the cause of the illnesses.
As this outbreak investigation continues, the FDA will provide additional updates to this advisory as more information becomes available.
Consumers, restaurants, and retailers should not drink, cook with, sell, or serve “Real Water” alkaline water, until more information is known about the cause of the illnesses. Further, FDA advises that this water not be served to pets. These products include but are not limited to: 5-gallon and 3-gallon containers (sold through home delivery/subscription), bottles of various sizes (sold on-line and in stores), and the “Real Water” concentrate (sold on-line).
According to the firm’s press release, the recalled alkaline water products are available nationwide, however the 5-gallon containers were distributed to the following areas: greater Las Vegas, NV area, central California coastal region (North of Los Angeles, CA, and South from Santa Barbara, CA), and Phoenix, AZ.
The firm’s press release also includes 1.5 liter, 1 liter, 500 ml and 1 gallon ready-to-drink alkaline water bottles and the 4 oz. concentrate.
Symptoms of all types of hepatitis, including non-viral hepatitis, are similar and can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay or gray-colored bowel movements, joint pain, yellow eyes, and jaundice. Those experiencing these symptoms should contact their doctor.
Total Illnesses: 5 Hospitalizations: 5 Deaths: 0 Last Illness Onset Date: 11/29/2020 States with Cases: NV (5)
Press release: -Systematic shafts uncovered / -German slaughterhouse tortures animals to death / -North Rhine-Westphalia authorities fail to protect animals SOKO animal welfare investigators can use current images from the last few weeks to prove that animals were systematically slaughtered in full consciousness at the Prott meat center in Selm North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) on every […]
Following the trajectory we are on, Swan’s research suggests sperm counts could reach zero by 2045. Zero. Let that sink in. That would mean no babies. No reproduction. No more humans. Forgive me for asking: why isn’t the UN calling an emergency meeting on this right now?
The chemicals to blame for this crisis are found in everything from plastic containers and food wrapping, to waterproof clothes and fragrances in cleaning products, to soaps and shampoos, to electronics and carpeting. Some of them, called PFAS, are known as “forever chemicals,” because they don’t break down in the environment or the human body. They just accumulate and accumulate — doing more and more damage, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. Now, it seems, humanity is reaching a breaking point.
Swan’s book is staggering in its findings. “In some parts of the world, the average twenty-something woman today is less fertile than her grandmother was at 35,” Swan writes. In addition to that, Swan finds that, on average, a man today will have half of the sperm his grandfather had. “The current state of reproductive affairs can’t continue much longer without threatening human survival,” writes Swan, adding: “It’s a global existential crisis.” That’s not hyperbole. That’s just science.
As if this wasn’t terrifying enough, Swan’s research finds that these chemicals aren’t just dramatically reducing semen quality, they are also shrinking penis size and volume of the testes. This is nothing short of a full-scale emergency for humanity.
Swan’s book echoes previous research, which has found that PFAS harms sperm production, disrupts the male hormone and is correlated to a “reduction of semen quality, testicular volume and penile length”. These chemicals are literally confusing our bodies, making them send mixed messages and go haywire.
Given everything we know about these chemicals, why isn’t more being done? Right now, there is a paltry patchwork of inadequate legislation responding to this threat. Laws and regulations vary from country to country, region to region, and, in the United States, state to state. The European Union, for example, has restricted several phthalates in toys and sets limits on phthalates considered “reprotoxic” — meaning they harm the human reproductive capacities — in food production.
In the U.S., a scientific study found phthalate exposure “widespread” in infants, and that the chemicals were found in the urine of babies who came into contact with baby shampoos, lotions and powders. Still, aggressive regulation is lacking, not least because of lobbying by chemical industry giants.
In the state of Washington, lawmakers managed to pass the Pollution Prevention for Our Future Act, which “directs state agencies to address classes of chemicals and moves away from a chemical by chemical approach, which has historically resulted in companies switching to equally bad or worse substitutes. The first chemical classes to be addressed in products include phthalates, PFAS, PCBs, alkylphenol ethoxylate and bisphenol compounds, and organohalogen flame retardants.” The state has taken important steps to address the extent of chemical pollution, but by and large, the U.S., like many other countries, is fighting a losing battle because of weak, inadequate legislation.
In the U.S. today, for example, you can’t eat the deer meat caught in Oscoda, Michigan, as the health department there issued a “do not eat” advisory for deer caught near the former air force base because of staggeringly high PFOS levels in the muscle of one deer.
And, just the other week, hundreds of residents who live near Luke Air Force Base in Arizona were advised not to drink their water when tests detected high levels of toxic chemicals. Scientists have found these substances in the blood of nearly all the people they tested in the U.S. No country or region on earth is untouched by PFAS contamination. It is a global problem. PFAS has been found in every corner of the globe. It is virtually present in the bodies of every human. It’s found in fish deep in the sea, and birds flying high in the sky.
And it’s killing us, literally, by harming and attacking the very source of life: our reproductive capacities. The rapid death and decline of sperm must be addressed, and it must be addressed now. There simply is no time to lose.
Comment by Jim Campbell February 27th, 2020 Be clear, Obama was never a U.S. President he was the Manchurian Candidate, who with a great deal of help managed pull off an amazing charade. If the reader believes otherwise they haven’t done any independent research. Why did they allegedly send SEAL TEAM 6 to kill him. […]
Propaganda Crash: World Economic Forum Tweets “Lockdowns Improving Cities”, Then Deletes Admitting It Was Wrong
by Tyler DurdenSaturday, Feb 27, 2021 – 18:16
If there was any doubt that economic lockdowns supposedly inspired by the Covid pandemic are the peak in globalist propaganda, it disappeared not so “quietly” once and for all at 5:48am ET on Saturday, when the globalist organization which recently unleashed such lunatics as Klaus Schwab, best known for revealing the endgame with his book COVID-19: The Great Reset, deleted a that “Lockdowns are quietly improving cities around the world.”
Remarkably, the WEF’s propaganda tweet – which was was accompanied by a video showing deserted streets and silent factories, that noted a record drop in carbon emissions and linked to an article claiming that silent cities contributed to better detection of minor earthquakes (because millions of workers losing their jobs is clearly less important than being able to measure the next M2 quake to the 8th significant digit) – survived just a few hours following a barrage of mockery and outraged comments.
Just before 6am ET on Saturday, the WEF finally deleted the tweet, admitting in a subsequent highly ratioed tweet that “lockdowns aren’t “quietly improving cities” around the world” despite still insisting that the restrictions have been “an important part of the public health response to Covid-19.”
By this point, however, social media was in a full blown frenzy over the WEF’s admission that covid lockdowns are just peak propaganda – one which has the complicit participation of all Silicon Valley tech giants – and sparked en even louder response from an outraged non-Davos audience.
A group quickly swarmed on the corrected tweet, claiming correctly that the actual effect of lockdowns on halting the spread of the coronavirus remains a highly debated issue.
World Economic Forum@wef·We’re deleting this tweet. Lockdowns aren’t “quietly improving cities” around the world. But they are an important part of the public health response to COVID-19.cynicalcactus@cynicalcactus1Replying to @wefNow that’s 2 tweets you should delete. Lockdowns are inhuman and cause massive collateral damage to lives and livelihoods far beyond any “good” they do. They are straight from the CCP playbook.
The concession message looked like the WEF was actually “doubling down on [its] idiocy” instead of trying to do some damage control, former British MEP Martin Daubney
At the same time, the peasants demonstrated remarkable insight accusing the WEF of being “the hidden enemy of the people, worldwide. The unelected force that look to dominate our lives by influencing Governments all over the globe. It needs shutting down
Some were furious that the propaganda arm of globalists had a “RIGHT TO RULE and DECIDE WHAT IS FAIR, EQUITABLE and REASONABLE” and warned that the crowd was coming for the WEF
Others quickly saw through the propaganda flip-flopping, and straight to the heart of the WEF’s agenda, one of spreading “global socialism” which will make lives for billions of people a nightmare which making a handful of virtue signaling uber-globalists (who arrive in Davos on their private jets even as they parade with how green they are) richer than ever
Yet others had even more direct suggestions for the WEF
At the end, the catastrophic gaffe left a huge dent on what little was left of the the globalist group’s reputation, and many users argued that it should just shut up
But most importantly, the tweet confirmed once again that what until now was a “conspiracy theory” pursued with rabid fervor by such tech giants as Google, Amazon and Twitter, was fact
Hours later, as the WEF’s catastrophic fiasco spread virally across the world, the WEF decided to triple down on its peak idiocy, and instead of just forgetting all about the matter decided that it’s best to engage with random twitter economists, and blame it all on “a working human being who made a mistake.”
“We provide a wide variety of learning content, including more than 270 courses on the topics of diversity, inclusion and belonging,” Leverich said. “We will continue to add new courses to help people learn the skills they need to be more successful in their career, including the foundational skills we all need to be effective allies and help build a more equitable future.”
Coca-Cola has been criticized on social media since Friday when Karlyn Borysenko, who is an organizational psychologist and YouTube commentator, tweeted screenshots of the LinkedIn course.
Borysenko received the tip from whistleblowers at Coca-Cola who said employees were “required” to take the online course, though other companies were similarly asking their staff to engage in the course, as well.
“The real story is that Coca-Cola is one of probably thousands of companies that are having their employees do these courses,” Borysenko told Newsweek. “Why did LinkedIn produce content asking people to be less white? Why are they still hosting this? Coca-Cola is a drop in the bucket.”
Late Monday, LinkedIn said the course is no longer on its platform. LinkedIn did not say how many companies were using the lesson or how many times the controversial video had been viewed.
In four days, Borysenko’s tweet had been viewed by 23 million people while a follow-up YouTube video had more than 100,000 views.
The now-removed Confronting Racism course included a slide that instructed students to be “less white, less arrogant, less certain, less defensive, less ignorant and more humble.”
The lesson also informed viewers that “in the U.S. and other Western nations, white people are socialized to feel that they are inherently superior because they are white,” and it cites vague “research” claiming that children as young as 3 “understand that it is better to be white.”
While Coca-Cola told Newsweek that the lesson wasn’t mandatory for employees, Borysenko said multiple employees at the company say that it indeed had been—at least until Friday, and at least one employee provided her an email she says backs up the assertion.
“I can understand sometimes there’s miscommunication between management and employees … but the messaging I’ve seen does use the word ‘required.’ Everything I’ve seen says it was part of the coursework, but then it was removed over the weekend once the news broke,” Borysenko told Newsweek.
Coca-Cola told Newsweek that the video and images “are not part of the company’s learning curriculum.” Coca-Cola said it has a “Better Together” training initiative that includes access to the LinkedIn diversity lesson but that it “was not part of the company’s curriculum. We will continue to listen to our employees and refine our learning programs as appropriate.”
By: alexmark ~~~~~~~~~~~ SOCIAL DISTANCING. WHO THE FUCK CAME UP WITH THAT TERM IF NOT A PROPAGANDA SPECIALIST, LIKE AN ATTORNEY FOR EXAMPLE OR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE? WELL GUESS WHAT FOLKS, THAT TERM IS THE ANTITHESIS OF WHAT THE 4TH AMENDMENT AND THE STATE CONSTITUTIONAL COUNTER PARTS PROTECT & SECURE!!! WHAT DOES “AUTONOMY” MEAN??? THE FOLLOWING IS FROM A STANFORD LAW REVIEW ARTICLE, VOL. 25, JUNE 1973, “NONARREST AUTOMOBILE STOPS: UNCONSTITUTIONAL SEIZURES OF THE PERSON” BY CARL R. SCHENKER, JR.: B. INDIVIDUAL INTERESTS THE STATE INTERESTS IN INVESTIGATIVE AND INSPECTION STOPS MUST BE BALANCED AGAINST THE INDIVIDUAL INTERESTS AT STAKE IN AN AUTOMOBILE STOP. ANALYSIS OF FOURTH AMENDMENT CASE LAW SUGGESTS THAT AUTOMOBILE STOPS MAY IMPINGE ON AT LEAST FIVE OF AN INDIVIDUAL’S SEIZURE-RELATED FOURTH AMENDMENT INTERESTS. I. FREEDOM FROM ARBITRARY STATE INTERFERENCE. A MOTORIST HAS A FOURTH AMENDMENT INTEREST IN BEING FREE FROM ARBITRARY STATE INTERFERENCES,” AS DO NONMOTORISTS.55 ORDINARILY THIS PROTECTION IS AFFORDED BY REQUIRING THAT AN “OBJECTIVE EVIDENTIARY JUSTIFICATION””‘ SINGLE OUT AN INDIVIDUAL FOR SEIZURE.” HOWEVER, IN SOME CIRCUMSTANCES PROTECTION FROM ARBITRARY INTERFERENCE MAY BE AFFORDED IF AN OFFICER WHO CAN DEMONSTRATE THAT HIS ACTION IS LEGALLY AUTHORIZED SEIZES MEMBERS OF A CLASS ON A REGULARIZED BASIS.”‘ A MOTORIST’S INTEREST IN FREEDOM FROM ARBITRARY STATE INTERFERENCES WILL BE VIOLATED WHEN HE IS SEIZED IN CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH PROVIDE NEITHER OF THESE GUARANTEES AGAINST ABUSE OF POLICEMEN’S SEIZURE POWERS. 2. “AUTONOMOUS SELF-POSITIONING.” AN AUTOMOBILE STOP IMPINGES UPON AN INDIVIDUAL’S INTEREST IN MAKING AUTONOMOUS DECISIONS TO REMAIN WHERE HE IS OR TO GO ELSEWHERE.” TERRY HELD THAT WHENEVER AN INDIVIDUAL HAS BEEN DEPRIVED OF THIS AUTONOMY HE HAS BEEN SEIZED.” OBVIOUSLY, THIS INTEREST IS AS STRONG FOR A STATIONARY INDIVIDUAL AS FOR THE OCCUPANT OF A MOVING CAR. 3. FREE PASSAGE. A MOVING INDIVIDUAL HAS A FURTHER INTEREST IN LIBERTY OF MOVEMENT WHICH A STATIONARY INDIVIDUAL DOES NOT HAVE-THE INTEREST IN BEING ABLE TO CONTINUE HIS MOVEMENT. THE SUPREME COURT RECOGNIZED THIS INTEREST IN “FREE PASSAGE WITHOUT INTERRUPTION” IN CARROLL V. UNITED STATES.” CARROLL AROSE IN THE CONTEXT OF THE STOPPING OF AN AUTOMOBILE TO ALLOW A SEARCH,”‘ BUT IT HAS ALSO BEEN CITED BY THE COURT IN DISCUSSING STOPS TO ALLOW SEIZURES.”‘ CLEARLY ANY MOVING INDIVIDUAL HAS AN INTEREST IN FREE PASSAGE, BUT A MOTORIST’S INTEREST IS ESPECIALLY STRONG. FIRST, AN INDIVIDUAL UTILIZES A CAR SPECIFICALLY TO ENHANCE HIS PERSONAL MOBILITY. IN ADDITION, WHILE ANYONE CAN INTERRUPT THE MOVEMENT OF A SLOWLY MOVING INDIVIDUAL-FOR EXAMPLE, A PEDESTRIAN – ORDINARILY ONLY A POLICEMAN CAN STOP A MOTORIST.”‘ THUS, AS A PRACTICAL MATTER, THE OCCUPANT OF A MOVING CAR HAS GREATER EXPECTATIONS OF ACHIEVING FREE PASSAGE. THESE EXPECTATIONS HAVE CONSTITUTIONAL SIGNIFICANCE BECAUSE FOURTH AMENDMENT JURISPRUDENCE HOLDS THAT REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS OF FREEDOM FROM GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE PLAY A ROLE IN THE DELINEATION OF FOURTH AMENDMENT RIGHTS.65 4. “AUTONOMOUS OTHER-ENCOUNTERING.” AUTOMOBILE STOPS ALSO IMPINGE UPON AN INDIVIDUAL’S INTEREST IN AVOIDING THOSE WHOM HE DOES NOT WISH TO ENCOUNTER.” ALTHOUGH CLOSELY RELATED TO AND OFTEN REALIZED BY EXERCISE OF AUTONOMOUS SELF-POSITIONING, THIS INTEREST HAS DISTINCT CONTENT. THE DISTINCTION IS OBSCURED BY THE FACT THAT A POLICEMAN CAN ORDINARILY ENCOUNTER A MOTORIST ONLY BY INTERFERING WITH HIS AUTONOMOUS SELF-POSITIONING AND FREEDOM OF PASSAGE. THE DISTINCT CONTENT OF THIS INTEREST MAY BE SEEN, HOWEVER, IN THE FACT THAT A POLICEMAN CAN ENCOUNTER A STATIONARY INDIVIDUAL WITHOUT INTERFERING WITH HIS AUTONOMOUS SELF-POSITIONING.” THE INTEREST IN AUTONOMOUS OTHER-ENCOUNTERING EXISTS FOR BOTH STATIONARY AND MOVING INDIVIDUALS, BUT IT IS ESPECIALLY STRONG FOR A MOTORIST BECAUSE HE CAN ALMOST ENTIRELY AVOID UNDESIRED ENCOUNTERS WITH INDIVIDUALS OTHER THAN POLICEMEN. 5. PRIVACY RIGHTS. FINALLY, THE OCCUPANT OF A MOVING AUTOMOBILE HAS SPECIAL FOURTH AMENDMENT PRIVACY INTERESTS WHICH STEM FROM THE OPERATION OF FOURTH AMENDMENT SEARCH LAW. CASE LAW HOLDS THAT PLAIN SIGHT OBSERVATIONS BY POLICEMEN ARE NOT SEARCHES,”‘ AND THAT A POLICEMAN WHO IS JUSTIFIABLY IN A POSITION TO OBSERVE INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE IN PLAIN SIGHT” MAY ARREST ON THAT BASIS.” THUS A POLICEMAN WHO LAWFULLY” APPROACHES A VEHICLE MAY ARREST ITS OCCUPANT IF HE OBSERVES ILLEGAL ACTIVITY OR ILLEGAL OBJECTS IN PLAIN SIGHT.” ON THE OTHER HAND, SEARCH LAW GOVERNS A POLICEMAN IN SEARCHING FOR OBJECTS NOT VISIBLE FROM OUTSIDE THE CAR.
SO FUCK “SOCIAL DISTANCING”, I HAVE CLEARLY ESTABLISHED CONSTITUTIONALLY SECURED UNALIENABLE RIGHTS AND THAT’S NOT ONE OF EM! I CAN’T HELP BUT WONDER WHERE ALL THE PEOPLE ARE WHO I SENT THAT LAW REVIEW ARTICLE TO OVER THE PAST 20+ YEARS SINCE RICHARD MCDONALD PROVIDED IT TO ME. CURRENT REALITY!
— The first step in solving a problem is recognizing there is one.
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers. Thomas Pynchon
Rare, Factual Account of Telecom Industry’s Corruption and Deception
Investigative reporter Barbara Koeppel exposes how the telecom industry, with help from regulatory agencies, has deceived the public about the health hazards of wireless technology.0
By CHD 5G and Wireless Harms Project Team
“If you believe your cellphone is safe, why do you believe that? Is it a fact or based on carefully crafted messages that you’ve heard or read?”
With these simple, straightforward questions, investigative reporter Barbara Koeppel unpacks the telecom industry’s decades of deceptive public relations, capture of regulatory bodies, suppression of real science and intimidation of critics — tactics deployed by the industry in its quest to convince the public that cell phones are safe.
Those tactics have worked, Koeppel said, in her article published in The Washington Spectator:
“The industry is spectacularly successful in ensuring that its message echoes far and wide: its profoundly deep pockets purchase seats at all the right tables in the global and national watchdog agencies, media organizations, and scientific associations—which manage the misinformation. Thus, industry’s billions decide which scientists and studies get funded or defunded, which get quoted or discredited, which agency commissioners bounce back and forth from telecom companies and corporate law firms, and how dissenters—such as U.S. states and cities—are sued and usually silenced.”
So successful, Koeppel reports, that only 5% of American adults worry about their cell phones.
Koeppel reviews the numerous international studies, conducted by independent scientists who refused to be silenced by industry linking, linking cell phone use to a host of human health issues. She writes:
“For the past few decades, the telecom wireless industry and its enthusiasts have heralded cell phones as the greatest achievement of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. But as their use soars, scientists worldwide worry about their hazards and have produced over 2,000 studies that tell a darker tale. They warn that the devices and antennas that power them expose humans and wildlife to nonionizing low-frequency electromagnetic fields — also called cell phone, microwave, or radio-frequency radiation. These studies indicate that when people and animals are exposed, they can develop brain, thyroid gland, prostate gland, acoustic nerve, and breast tumors and other diseases.”
Koeppel names names — the organizations captured by industry and the key players within them hiding evidence of harm.
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It may no longer be surprising that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which regulates telecom, has been captured. But many people don’t realize that even agencies established to safeguard public health, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health (including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and even The National Cancer Institute have adopted the industry line.
When agencies like these adopt a telecom-friendly stance, it’s particularly damaging, Koeppel says, because the public perception is that these agencies are independent and objective.
Koeppel also spotlights the good guys: scientists and activists who continue to speak out, newspapers that accurately report on the industry and the health concerns associated with cell phones, countries that have enacted policies to protect their citizens (especially children), and cities that have fought back against the telecom behemoth.
“Since wireless devices are here to stay (5.2 billion people use them globally), scientists and health advocates say the best course is to limit people’s exposure. To this end, California’s Department of Public Health says people should use headsets but remove them when not talking, since they release small amounts of radiation even when not in use. Also, they should text instead of talk; carry phones away from their bodies (in backpacks, briefcases, handbags, and tote bags); keep them away from their heads when streaming; and download movies (instead of streaming).”
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.
Totilas was considered a “miracle stallion” and record breaker in dressage riding and was the most expensive dressage horse in the world. His life in equestrian sport was marked by agony and suffering. Now Totilas died on the evening of December 14, 2020, at the age of just 20 years. A painful death ends his […]
CHD Article on Big-Picture Look at Current Pandemic Beneficiaries Accepted by Peer-Reviewed Journal
An article by Children’s Health Defense on how the pandemic facilitated a financial, tech, biopharmaceutical and military-intelligence push for centralized, technocratic control has been accepted by the International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice and Research.
“Planned Surveillance and Control by Global Technocrats: A Big-Picture Look at the Current Pandemic Beneficiaries,” a peer-reviewed article by Children’s Health Defense, has been accepted for publication in the journal, International Journal of Vaccine Theory, Practice and Research. The journal was launched in 2020 by John W. Oller, Jr., Ph.D. (editor-in-chief) and Christopher A. Shaw, Ph.D. (senior editor) “to make independent research, free from constraints of monetary, political, or any other undisclosed influence, about vaccine theory and practice freely accessible.”
The Children’s Health Defense article, which will appear in the journal by year’s end, assesses how the pandemic has facilitated a financial, tech, biopharmaceutical and military-intelligence push for centralized, technocratic control.
Here’s the article:
Global financial patterns and pronouncements point to a seismic overhaul of governance and financial systems that is playing out beneath the surface of the Covid-19 pandemic, reaching far beyond the health domain. Increased centralized control has the potential to create an unbridgeable chasm between a tiny handful of winners and a majority of losers. To foster an integrated analysis of the technocratic and financial forces and agendas at play, this rapid review identifies some of the pandemic’s principal beneficiaries across the interwoven financial, tech, biopharmaceutical, and military-intelligence sectors, assessing developments in the context of the accelerating global push for technocratic consolidation and control. The evidence suggests that Trojan horse coronavirus vaccines may challenge bodily integrity and informed consent in entirely new ways, transporting invasive technologies into people’s brains and bodies. Technologies such as brain-machine interfaces, digital identity tracking devices, and cryptocurrency-compatible chips would contribute to the central banking goal of replacing currencies with digital transaction and identification systems and creating a global control grid that connects the world population to the military-pharma-intelligence cloud of the global technocrats. Moreover, using vaccines as a delivery vehicle for surveillance technologies cancels any legal liability.
Keywords: Biopharmaceuticals; central banks; Covid-19 pandemic; digital identity; Operation Warp Speed; technocracy; vaccines
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) upgraded a reportedly novel coronavirus from a global health emergency (as of January 30) to a global pandemic, having given the name “Covid-19” to the newly minted disease associated with the virus (Forster, 2020; World Health Organization, 2020a). If one examines actions taken both before and since the WHO’s March decree, it seems evident that many highly placed individuals and sectors were able to strategically position themselves to benefit from the declared crisis (Children’s Health Defense, 2020b). At the same time, with a “new form of economic shock” being imposed worldwide under cover of Covid-19 (Lagarde, 2020), it has become apparent that old-fashioned corporate profiteering is far from the whole story.
In fact, global financial patterns and pronouncements point to a seismic overhaul of governance and financial systems that is playing out beneath the surface of the pandemic, reaching far beyond the health domain. These developments highlight a disturbing push for global technocracy — a form of centralized, expert-led control over resource production and consumption that the Wall Street Journal has characterized as “anti-democratic rule by elites who think they know better” (Wood, 2018, 2020; Fitts, 2020a; Schinder, 2020; Schumacher, 2020; White, 2020). In the U.S., many of the actions unfolding behind the scenes are also benefiting from a climate of institutionalized secrecy enabled by the October 2018 adoption of a game-changing policy statement (FASAB Statement 56), which turned financial disclosure rules upside-down to allow the U.S. government and its contractors to maintain secret books (Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board, 2018; Ferri & Lurie, 2018).
As 2020’s rapid-fire events suggest, substantially increased centralized control and secrecy have the potential to create an unbridgeable chasm between a tiny handful of elite winners and a majority of upper and lower middle class losers. In early June, CNBC’s Wall Street analyst Jim Cramer heatedly pointed out the fact that the pandemic had already produced “one of the greatest wealth transfers in history” (Clifford, 2020). Others have echoed these observations, describing the “monumental transfer of wealth from the bottom of the economic ladder to the top” (Barnett, 2020; Kampf-Lassin, 2020). In comparison to the benefits flowing to large corporations and billionaires, Cramer bluntly observed that pandemic-related restrictions have had a “horrible effect” on America’s small-business economy, with a similar pattern on display outside the U.S. (Clifford, 2020). Even the World Economic Forum — which has promoted many of the structural changes now underway at its annual Davos meetings — acknowledges the “asymmetric nature” of Covid-19-related hardships and the “greater ferocity and velocity” of the pandemic’s impact on populations already under stress before 2020 (World Economic Forum, 2020).
By early fall, fifty million Americans (many with already high burdens of debt) had lost jobs; financial forecasters were issuing warnings about further layoffs; and millions of the still-employed were earning less than pre-pandemic (Andriotis, 2020). In addition, the bulk of the trillions in federal stimulus (which by early May exceeded the gross domestic product of all but six nations worldwide) had made its way to large corporations; Forbes reported that roughly 70 percent of the initial $350 billion intended for struggling small businesses went to large companies (Simon, 2020). Observers suggest that by channeling taxpayer bailouts to the companies that already had the greatest ability to withstand the shutdowns, the largest players have been able to gain even more of a “stranglehold” over the economy (Kampf-Lassin, 2020).
As U.S. billionaires’ wealth increased by almost a trillion dollars (a weekly average of $42 billion), weekly jobless claims, requests for food bank assistance, and reports of addiction, overdoses, depression, and suicide began “shatter[ing] all historical records” (Feeding America, n.d.; Alcorn, 2020; Americans for Tax Fairness, 2020; Baldor & Burns, 2020; Community FoodBank of New Jersey, 2020; Dubey et al., 2020; Ettman et al., 2020; Hollyfield, 2020; Lerma, 2020; Prestigiacomo, 2020; Schwarz, 2020; Sergent et al., 2020; Thorbecke, 2020; Wan & Long, 2020). Outside the U.S., the situation is similar (Bueno-Notivol et al., 2020). As a marker of the global surge in hunger, the Nobel Committee awarded its 2020 Peace Prize to the World Food Programme, prompting the agency’s head to warn that the world is “on the brink of a hunger pandemic” that could result in “famines of biblical proportions” in the coming year (Lederer, 2020).
In November, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data identifying over 100,000 excess U.S. deaths “indirectly” associated with the pandemic (Rossen et al., 2020), including a “stunning 26.5% jump” in excess deaths in young adults in their mid-twenties through mid-forties (Prestigiacomo, 2020). Commenting on these mortality data — which reflect “a death count well beyond what [researchers] would normally expect” (Preidt, 2020) — the former U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb voiced his suspicion that “a good portion of the deaths in that younger cohort were deaths due to despair,” including drug overdoses (Squawk Box, 2020). University researchers writing about mortality in JAMA concurred that “Excess deaths attributed to causes other than COVID-19 could reflect deaths . . . resulting from disruptions produced by the pandemic” (Woolf et al., 2020), including “spillover effects . . . such as delayed medical care, economic hardship or emotional distress” (Preidt, 2020). Multilateral entities like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) emphasize that it will be essential to assess the long-term impact of “confinement and deteriorating financial conditions” on mortality and warn that the social and economic fallout is likely to be “significant” (Morgan et al., 2020).
As an ideology, technocracy is recognized for exalting knowledge and expertise as the principal sources of legitimate power and authority and for asserting that there is “one best way” that only “the experts” (e.g., engineers, scientists, and doctors) can determine (Burris, 1989). However, critics of technocracy have long pointed out that, particularly in crisis situations, the know-how, “discretionary interventions” and seemingly “elastic” power claimed by technocrats can end up blurring the line between useful expertise and “arbitrary rule” (White, 2020). Moreover, technocrats typically resist attempts to make explicit “the non-rational attributes of technocratic decision-making” (Burris, 1989).
With the noticeable absence of any cost-benefit analysis and the increasingly “non-rational” justifications being put forth for Covid-19 restrictions (Handley, 2020; Kristen, 2020; Kulldorff et al., 2020; The Reaction Team, 2020) — as well as the economic, political, social, and cultural changes rolling out at dizzying speed — it is important to try to understand the technocratic and financial agendas at play. Three increasingly interwoven sectors (Big Finance, Big Tech, and Big Pharma) are reaping rewards from Covid-19, benefiting from close relationships with the military-intelligence apparatus (Glaser, 2020; Usdin, 2020). This rapid review seeks to (1) identify some of the pandemic’s principal beneficiaries (financial and otherwise) across these sectors, and (2) assess these parties’ actions in the context of the accelerating global push for technocratic consolidation and control through invasive surveillance.
Rapid reviews are used to synthesize evidence in a streamlined manner, abbreviating the timeline and requirements of more involved systematic reviews (Ganann et al., 2010). A rapid review is particularly well suited to emerging current event sequences, and the dynamic Covid-19-related situation certainly qualifies. Though not exhaustive, rapid reviews make it possible to quickly summarize available evidence across multiple disciplines, whether for the purpose of informing policy-making and decision-making or to identify patterns and take stock of the bigger picture.
For the purposes of this broad overview of current events, we relied primarily on the so-called grey literature as well as media accounts (from both the legacy media and independent journalists) and various online sources. We also consulted relevant peer-reviewed literature. Notably, while the peer-review process is ordinarily slow-moving, Covid-19-related studies have been making their way through the pipeline at breakneck speed (Packer, 2020).
Examples of sources consulted for this review include conventional and alternative financial commentary; webpages and communications from public health agencies, international organizations, and universities; individual blogs and commentary; and peer-reviewed studies cataloguing the impact of Covid-19 restrictions.
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Assisted by the media, commentators have had an easy time framing the events of 2020 principally as a health crisis. With each passing month, however, those claims wear thinner (Barnett, 2020). In a comprehensive analysis titled The State of Our Currencies, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Housing Catherine Austin Fitts (2020a) offers a broader and more instructive interpretation. Informed by close attention to financial patterns, Fitts asserts that the “shock doctrine” measures being imposed under cover of Covid-19 are helping lay the train tracks for a new global central banking machine and a technocratic “regulatory and economic model that permits far greater central control”.
Fitts calls attention to G7 central bankers’ August 2019 approval in Jackson Hole, Wyoming of a plan called “Going Direct” (Bartsch et al., 2019) that makes the case for a novel “blurring [of] the lines between government fiscal policy and central bank monetary policy” (Martens & Martens, 2020). Drafted months before Covid-19, the plan — co-branded by the World Economic Forum (n.d.) as “the Great Reset” — evokes the prospect of a serious economic downturn and “unusual circumstances” that could be used to justify “unprecedented” global measures (Bartsch et al., 2019).
Fitts (2020a) postulates that central bankers have both a short-term aim (to extend the existing dollar-based reserve currency system) and an ambitious longer-term goal: to implement a “new global governance and financial transaction system, and gather the power necessary to herd all parties into the new system”. Characterizing these aspirations as nothing short of ending currency as we know it, Fitts suggests that the top-down digital-currency-based model being promoted as a replacement could end up sidelining traditional intermediaries and instead directly furnish populations with something akin to a “credit at the company store”. Spelling out the implications of such a model, Fitts notes that with the help of digital surveillance and a social credit system, the central-bank-controlled “credit” could easily be “adjusted or turned off on an individual basis”. General Manager Agustín Carstens of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) — the central bank of central banks — recently acknowledged as much, stating that in stark contrast to cash, a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) would give central banks “absolute control” over CBDC use “and the technology to enforce” CBDC rules and regulations (International Monetary Fund, 2020). With a vaccine-injected digital surveillance program in individuals, the CBDC would have dictatorial power at the level of individual buying and selling.
Fitts’ analysis suggests that central bankers began laying the groundwork for the desired global transition well in advance of the coronavirus mayhem. In 2019 alone, G7 finance ministers endorsed a cryptocurrency action plan in July; in August, the G7 central bankers approved “Going Direct”; in September, the U.S. Federal Reserve (“the Fed”) started making hundreds of billions of dollars in loans “direct” to Wall Street trading houses; and in October, the BIS issued a major report on global cryptocurrencies (Bank for International Settlements, 2019; Helms, 2019; Fitts, 2020a; Martens & Martens, 2020). In the middle of the frenzy of central bank activity in October, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (along with the World Economic Forum and Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security) held the well-publicized “pandemic tabletop exercise” called Event 201, which played out a global coronavirus outbreak scenario strikingly similar to 2020’s actual events (Center for Health Security, n.d.).
In January 2020, U.S. corporations witnessed a record number of CEO departures (Ausick, 2020; Marinova, 2020) — a mass exodus that strategically allowed over 200 departing executives to sell their stock at or near the market high (see Table 1). Other wealthy and influential insiders also engaged in surprisingly well-timed stock market transactions. For example, following a late-January, behind-closed-doors briefing about the virus (which had yet to affect a single American), certain U.S. senators sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of stock, “unloading shares that plummeted in value a month later” (Lane, 2020). The world’s wealthiest person, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, sold nearly $4.1 billion over an 11-day period in early February after having also sold $2.8 billion in shares in August 2019 (Palmer, 2020).
Table 1. U.S. CEO Departures in January 2020
As the U.S. government turned on the stimulus spigot in March, the Fed sustained its irregular intervention in the U.S. economy. By the summer of 2020, the Fed had expanded its balance sheet by $2.9 trillion — much of it unaccounted for, according to Fed-watcher John Titus (2020) — and financial observers were warning that “the market is no longer the biggest factor in selecting [economic] winners and losers” (Whalen, 2020). Titus (2020) concurs with this assessment, baldly characterizing 2020’s events as a Fed-led “coup d’état”. Titus (2014) has been chronicling major financial forces and legal changes since the 2008 financial crisis, describing how central banks are not only able to “loot” the American people “in broad daylight” but can do so without fear of prosecution — probably because, as Titus and Fitts (2020a) both point out, the Department of Justice depends on Fed member banks for its financial operations.
The coronavirus stimulus has provided abundant financial opportunities advantageous to Fed member banks. Over a two-week period in April, for example, large banks earned $10 billion in fees (ranging from 1 to 5 percent) simply for processing the government’s loans to businesses (Sullivan et al., 2020). Class-action lawsuits subsequently alleged that the banks prioritized larger loans (and larger companies) in order to garner the largest fees, while shutting out “tens of thousands” of eligible but smaller businesses (Sullivan et al., 2020). Serving as lender to the parent company of a national restaurant chain, Fed member bank JPMorgan Chase (the largest and most profitable bank in the U.S.) earned a $100,000 fee for a single “one-time transaction for which it assumed no risk and could pass through with fewer requirements than for a regular loan” (Sullivan et al., 2020).
In September, Senator Marco Rubio (Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship) wrote to the JPMorgan Chase CEO expressing “alarm” about allegations that JPMorgan employees “may have been involved in potentially illegal conduct” in the distribution of Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan funds (Rubio, 2020). Bloomberg later confirmed the possibility of Covid-19-related banking abuse on a wide scale (David, 2020). Importantly, this is not a new pattern of behavior for the U.S. banking behemoth. Since 2002 (and primarily since the 2008 financial crisis), JPMorgan Chase has paid out at least $42 billion in settlements for questionable, unethical, or illegal behavior (Fitts, 2019); its public-facing Wikipedia page lists involvement in 22 different “controversies,” including the economically shattering Enron and Madoff scandals (“JPMorgan Chase”, n.d.). Nevertheless, JPMorgan continues to earn glowing accolades from the financial community. In June 2020, Forbes urged investors to “bank on the best” in the uncertain Covid-19 environment (Trainer, 2020), citing JPMorgan’s post-2009 “industry-leading profitability” and asserting that the bank is exceptionally well positioned to expand its market share both during and post-pandemic. In October, JPMorgan rolled out a new smartphone credit card reader designed to compete with Square and PayPal (Son, 2020).
By July 2020, global billionaires’ wealth had surged to an all-time high of $10.2 trillion — an increase of 27.5 percent since April, and a 41.3 percent increase for tech billionaires (Phillipps, 2020). U.S. billionaires accrued a significant share of this pandemic wealth bonus, increasing their worth by $845 billion from mid-March to mid-September and prompting the observation that “for American billionaires specifically, things have never looked better” (Lerma, 2020). As a whole, U.S. billionaires’ wealth reached the equivalent of almost one-fifth of the U.S. gross domestic product, with four tech billionaires (Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg) plus Warren Buffett seeing their total wealth climb by 59 percent (da Costa, 2020). Calling attention to Bezos, in particular, the Institute for Policy Studies described his surge in wealth as “unprecedented in modern financial history”, requiring “a real-time hour-by-hour tracker” to keep up (Collins et al., 2020).
The companies with which top-tier billionaires are affiliated include Amazon and Amazon Web Services (Bezos), Apple (Tim Cook), Facebook (Zuckerberg), Google/Alphabet (Larry Page and Sergey Brin), Microsoft (Steve Ballmer and Gates), Oracle (Larry Ellison), Zoom (Eric Yuan), and the variety of companies (including Neuralink, SpaceX, and Tesla) spearheaded by Musk (Alcorn, 2020; Collins et al., 2020; Toh, 2020). In July, as Bloomberg described these companies’ “outsized influence on U.S. markets”, it noted that they are as well-situated to profit from the U.S. shutdown as they are to take advantage of a recovering Europe and Asia — a “one-two punch” that has already increased FAANG companies’ market (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google, plus Microsoft) by 62 percent (Ritholtz, 2020). Suggesting that Silicon Valley will go down in history as “the standout sector” (Divine, 2020a), a U.S. News analyst unabashedly recommended Facebook as a 2020 “best buy” because “it’s gobbling up the world, and reasonable people could argue that if privacy is dying, individual investors may as well profit alongside Silicon Valley” (Divine, 2020b).
Covid-19 has provided Big Tech (and Big Telecom) with an opportunity to bring a range of controversial technologies further out into the open, despite many unresolved concerns about safety and ethics (Boteler, 2017; Gohd, 2017; Ross, 2018; Boyle, 2019; Feiner, 2019; Markman, 2019; Plautz, 2019; Zhang et al., 2019; Bajpai, 2020; Goodwin, 2020; Gyarmathy, 2020; McGovern, 2020; Novet, 2020; Reuters, 2020; Tucker, 2020; U.S. Department of Defense, 2020). Singly and in combination, the technologies (some of which are listed in Table 2) have the potential to usher in unprecedented societal changes, strengthening technocrats’ ability to control many facets of daily life. Artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, “smart” utility meters, and the Internet of Things (IoT), for example, are rapidly and fundamentally changing the nature of cities, businesses, and homes — what Fitts (2020a) calls the “final mile” — forming an essential part of the strategy to convert the economic model to a technocratic model that uses AI and software to achieve centrally controlled resource allocation.
Table 2. Covid-19 and the Rollout of Control Technologies
In October 2020, the World Economic Forum — the Great Reset’s front-row marketer — released a report on the future of jobs, describing the significant displacement of workers resulting from the pandemic and the related global restructuring that the organization has been taking the opportunity to promote (Petzinger, 2020). With automation and Covid-19 causing a “double-disruption” that is not only accelerating job destruction in the short term but “shrinking opportunities” in the longer term, the report solemnly pronounced a “new division of labour between humans, machines and algorithms” (World Economic Forum, 2020). Well before the pandemic, Amazon had established a robot-centric system at its fulfillment centers, with a process focused on “limit[ing] movement of people [and] let[ting] robots move everything” (Masud, 2019). This downsizing of humans has apparently served Amazon well; by May 2020, Amazon’s e-commerce business had shot up by 93 percent compared to the previous May (Klebnikov, 2020).
A September 2020 survey showed that many other companies plan to substantially boost their spending on AI and machine learning, citing Covid-19 as their rationale for prioritizing “the adoption of new technologies that enhance and enable automation” (Shein, 2020). Observers also predict, however, that the AI gold rush will lead to even more market consolidation and control by Amazon and three other big Covid-19 winners — Alphabet, Facebook, and Microsoft. These four companies, according to Forbes, have the “scale to push the envelope”, the “talent and the technology to perfect [AI]”, and the computing power to dominate the field (Markman, 2019). Amazon already controls nearly 46 percent of the worldwide public cloud-computing infrastructure that is a key backstop for AI functions such as parallel processing and the digestion of Big Data (Atlantic.Net, 2018; Nix, 2019).
Before Covid-19, consumer rejection of 5G wireless technology had been growing (Castor, 2020). However, the imposition of social distancing measures, remote learning, and online work requirements has provided the telecommunications industry with a ready-made pretext to fast-forward 5G’s deployment while attempting to burnish the industry’s unfavorable public image. Taking advantage of virus fears, Big Tech and Big Telecom are claiming that 5G can help enable “a future in which business, health care and human interaction must be at more than an arm’s length” (Wasserman, 2020). Forbes has praised communication service providers for responding to the coronavirus lockdowns “with a sense of urgency, purpose and empathy” (Wilson, 2020). Describing areas requiring more “advanced connectivity”, a technology expert at Deloitte Consulting cited the example of “cameralytics” (video surveillance) “to help worker safety and social distancing” (Howell, 2020). Whatever the rationale, the reality on the ground has been a massive increase in U.S. telecom companies’ capital spending on 5G and a “full steam ahead” rollout of spectrum and infrastructure that has placed the U.S. “ahead of schedule” (Knight, 2020; Ludlum, 2020). The European Commission is now attempting to follow the U.S.’s lead by pushing for the removal of “regulatory hurdles” and making the case that 5G will aid the region’s post-coronavirus economic recovery (McCaskill, 2020).
Covid-19 has also brought another of Big Tech’s interests into sharper focus: food. Billionaires such as Bill Gates and Peter Thiel have, for some time, been investing in biotech start-ups that aim to produce, in a lab, stem-cell-based “meat”, “fish”, “dairy”, and “breastmilk” (Kerr, 2016; Kosoff, 2017; Beres, 2020; Wuench, 2020). These start-ups and their investors have been only too happy to position the burgeoning industry as a partial solution to pandemic-related food insecurity and supply chain interruptions (Galanakis, 2020; Pereira & Oliveira, 2020; Yeung, 2020), welcoming Covid-19 as an “accelerator” as well as an opportunity to overcome consumer skepticism (Siegner, 2019; Morrison, 2020). In addition, as the coronavirus breathes new life into the term “sustainability” — long used by technocrats as a cover term for more centralized control (Wood, 2018) — global partners like the United Nations and the World Economic Forum are making the improbable claim that the complex, high-dollar, lab-created food substitutes (which require genetically stable cell lines, bioreactors, “edible scaffolds”, and cell culture media) are a “sustainable” option (Whiting, 2020). The biopharma giant Merck is also getting in on the “cultured meat” action, offering to make its “extensive knowledge of the relevant science and biotechnology” available to companies seeking to overcome “critical technological challenges” (Whiting, 2020). Merck frequently collaborates with the Gates Foundation, including in the development of Covid-19 vaccines (Lardieri, 2020).
In September 2019, an annual Gallup poll reported that the restaurant industry was America’s top-ranked and most-liked among the 25 industries regularly assessed by the polling group (McCarthy, 2019). Sadly, less than a year later the Independent Restaurant Coalition predicted the permanent demise of up to 85 percent of independent restaurants (Jiang, 2020). In contrast, the pharmaceutical industry came in “dead last” in the 2019 poll, despite $9.6 billion spent annually on direct-to-consumer advertising and another $20 billion on marketing to health professionals (McCarthy, 2019; Schwartz & Woloshin, 2019). The U.S. is one of only two countries in the world that allows drug companies to market directly to consumers and, in non-election years, roughly 70 percent of news outlets’ advertising revenues come from pharma (Solis, 2019).
The pharmaceutical industry’s history of “fraud, bribery, lawsuits and scandals” is well known (Compton, n.d.), and no less a figure than Bill Gates has suggested that the public perceives Big Pharma as “kind of selfish and uncooperative”; however, Mr. Gates and Fortune magazine propose that Covid-19 may offer the industry an opportunity for “redemption” (Leaf, 2020). The stage may have been set for Big Pharma’s year of opportunity in January, when JPMorgan Chase held its 38th annual invitation-only health care conference. The business press describes the yearly conference as “one of the biggest biotech dealmaking events, often setting the tone for funding rounds, partnerships and mergers and acquisitions” (Leuty, 2020). Thus, just when the coronavirus ball was getting rolling, the conference brought an estimated 20,000 venture capitalists, investment bankers, and drug development executives and entrepreneurs to San Francisco to hear keynote addresses by JPMorgan’s and GlaxoSmithKline’s CEOs and to stoke expectations of a strong year for the biotech-plus-pharma chimera known as “biopharma” (JPMorgan, n.d.; Leuty, 2020; Lipschultz, 2020). In 2014, McKinsey & Company described the investment opportunities in biopharmaceuticals as “big and growing too rapidly to ignore”, with an annual growth rate more than double that of conventional pharma and a 20 percent share of global pharmaceutical revenues (Otto et al., 2014).
A few weeks after the JPMorgan conference — and well before any Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. — the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) helped ensure that significant pandemic benefits would flow into the biopharma and medical space. HHS did so by issuing a declaration (on February 4) making vaccines and all Covid-19-related medical countermeasures immune from legal liability (HHS, 2020a). On March 6, roughly a week after the first reported coronavirus death, President Trump sweetened the pot by signing into law the first in a series of emergency stimulus packages, earmarking 40 percent of the $8.3-billion bill for vaccines and drugs under terms the pharmaceutical industry openly dictated (Karlin-Smith, 2020).
Following the February 4 HHS declaration eliminating legal liability, Bill and Melinda Gates instantly pledged $100 million in funding for coronavirus vaccine research and treatments, followed by another $150 million in mid-April (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2020; Voytko, 2020). When Operation Warp Speed followed, making untold billions available for research and development of therapeutics and vaccines at taxpayer expense (see Table 3), dozens of biopharma companies jumped into the fray (HHS, n.d.). Catherine Austin Fitts notes that a system that exempts from liability anything labeled as a “vaccine” amounts to “an open invitation to make billions . . . particularly where government regulations and laws can be used to create a guaranteed market through mandates” (Fitts, 2020b). Moreover, each time the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) adds a given vaccine to the CDC schedule, it is not only the equivalent of a “golden ticket” for the vaccine manufacturer but also directly benefits the CDC, which owns dozens of vaccine-related patents and routinely shares licensing agreements with manufacturers (Taylor, 2017; Children’s Health Defense, 2019).
Currently, there is one injury for every 39 vaccinations administered (2.6%), often resulting in a “disastrous outcome of life-altering iatrogenic illnesses” (Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, n.d.; Kennedy Jr., 2019; Kristen, 2019). A CDC study published in JAMA in 2016 reported that one in five young children (19.5%) under age five who were admitted to emergency rooms for drug reactions were suffering from vaccine injuries (Shehab et al., 2016). Early clinical trial results and Covid-19 vaccines’ use of an array of experimental, never-before-approved technologies suggest that comparable (or worse) levels of injury could follow the rollout of coronavirus vaccines (Children’s Health Defense, 2020a, 2020c, 2020d, 2020e). The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, for example, feature mRNA molecules that are known to be “intrinsically unstable and prone to degradation”, with an inflammatory component that risks dangerous immune reactions (Feuerstein, Garde, & Joseph, 2020; Jackson et al., 2020; Wadhwa et al., 2020). Assuming the same vaccine injury rate of 2.6 percent, Operation Warp Speed’s projected vaccination of roughly 25 million Americans per month (Owermohle, 2020b) could conceivably result in 3.9 million injuries over just the first six months. (Given that the leading vaccines will require two initial doses and probable boosters thereafter, this figure could even be an underestimate.) If Bill Gates and other technocrats succeed in their declared aspiration to manufacture billions of doses of coronavirus vaccine and “get them out to every part of the world” (Gates, 2020), the scale of injury would not only be unprecedented but could open a lucrative, long-term gateway to the wider drug market to manage the injuries (Kristen, 2019).
By mid-October, 44 candidate vaccines were in clinical evaluation worldwide, with another two hundred or so in the pipeline (Agrawal et al., 2020; World Health Organization, 2020b). Furnishing predictably uncritical coverage ensured by the pharmaceutical industry’s strategic entanglements with the media, scientists, and medical journals, the press has been telling the public that the vaccines will play “an important role in most response scenarios”, including “‘sav[ing] the world’ in worse scenarios” and serving as an “insurance policy against continued health and economic shocks” (Agrawal et al., 2020). Only a handful of journalists have called attention to Big Pharma’s pandemic profiteering, pointing out that “insiders at companies developing experimental vaccines and treatments . . . aren’t waiting until they finish the job to collect their reward” (Wallack, 2020).
An October piece in the Boston Globe cited the example of Moderna (Wallack, 2020). It took Moderna a mere three weeks after Bill Gates’ initial funding installment to send its first batch of experimental vaccine to research and patent partner, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), leading to an immediate surge in share price of 28 percent (Lee, 2020; Loftus, 2020). By early April, Moderna’s CEO had become an overnight billionaire; by October, he had sold nearly $58 million in stock, followed by another $2 million in mid-November, just ahead of the company’s intended filing for vaccine Emergency Use Authorization (Nagarajan, 2020; Tognini, 2020; Wallack, 2020). Meanwhile, Moderna’s chief medical officer has been “systematically liquidating all of his company stock” — about $70 million — “in a series of pre-planned trades that have made him roughly $1 million richer each week” (Wallack, 2020). Thus far this year, company insiders have sold $309 million in stock versus under $2 million in 2019, fueling suspicion that they may be “downplaying possible obstacles to goose stock prices — and increase their personal profits” (Wallack, 2020). Also among those selling Moderna stock options is Moncef Slaoui, the former Moderna board member and former GlaxoSmithKline executive who now heads up Operation Warp Speed (Rozsa & Spencer, 2020).
From Moderna’s perspective, the Covid-19 vaccine represents a lifeline, rescuing the company from a shaky bottom line due to its prior inability to bring any products to market (Garde, 2017; Nathan-Kazis, 2020). Other biopharma companies formerly on the skids are likewise poised to make record profits from the coronavirus (Webb & Diego, 2020). Characterizing the business model for Covid-19 (and other) vaccines as a “great scheme” — particularly given the HHS-guaranteed, risk-free environment — a watchdog group spokesman told the Boston Globe, “Taxpayers cover the upfront investment costs and shoulder any downside, while their [biopharma’s] executives and shareholders can capture the upside if their drugs pan out and are shoveling obscene amounts of money into their pockets throughout the process” (Wallack, 2020). In the words of a business school professor, “You announce a sliver of positive hope about a product and your stock price goes up,” even though “the chances of that product panning out might be relatively low” (Wallack, 2020). In 2020, the company Vaxart saw its per-share stock price rise from 27 cents to a high of $17.49 (Wallack, 2020).
Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi (2020) describes Covid-19 as “the ultimate cash cow”, a “subsidy-laden scam”, and a legal opportunity for “giant-scale gouging”, quoting a legislator who admits that while the public is paying for the research and manufacturing, “the profits will be privatized”. Writing in August about how the government-subsidized business model played out for Gilead’s drug remdesivir, Taibbi (2020) recounted: “Gilead, a company with a market capitalization of more than $90 billion, making it bigger than Goldman Sachs, develops an antiviral drug with the help of $99 million in American government grant money. Though the drug may cost as little as $10 per dose to make, and is being produced generically in Bangladesh at about a fifth of the list price, and costs about a third less in Europe than it does in the U.S., Gilead ended up selling hundreds of thousands of doses at the maximum conceivable level, i.e., the American private-insurance price — which, incidentally, might be about 10 times what it’s worth, given its actual medical impact”.
Always a major lobbying presence on Capitol Hill, the pharmaceutical industry has been more lavish than usual with its political spending in 2020, donating over $11 million to individual candidates involved with health care policy and related political action committees (Facher, 2020a). Although the overall amounts represent a pittance for companies earning tens of billions a year, pharma and its lobbying groups recognize that “small chunks of corporate change”, when strategically allocated, “can have a significant impact” (Facher, 2020b). Coronavirus vaccine frontrunner Pfizer, the second-largest drug and biotech company in the world and the fourth-highest earner of vaccine revenues (Statista, n.d.; Hansen, 2020), has been the top political spender, likely laying the groundwork for its November 20 filing for Emergency Use Authorization for its coronavirus vaccine (Chander, 2020; Children’s Health Defense, 2020d). Pfizer has also benefited from repeated endorsements from the financial community and self-proclaimed spokesmen like Bill Gates (Speights, 2020a, 2020b).
The Military-Intelligence Complex
Traditional vaccines have their fair share of safety problems, but coronavirus and other 21st-century vaccines promise to challenge bodily integrity and informed consent in entirely new ways, particularly given their strong reliance on various forms of nanotechnology (Health and Environment Alliance, 2008; Li et al., 2009; Chauhan et al., 2020; Children’s Health Defense, 2020a). Many of the technologies being rolled into Covid-19 vaccines and their delivery systems originated in the military sphere or benefited from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funding. DARPA has had a Biological Technologies Office since 2014 and, since the emergence of Covid-19, has specifically directed many of its pandemic-related efforts toward coronavirus therapeutics and vaccines (Gallo, 2020). Far from being suspect, the military’s role has been celebrated. A BioCentury report optimistically suggested in March that as an agency “that specializes in turning science fantasies into realities”, DARPA might offer the “best hopes” for Covid-19 biotech solutions due to its willingness to pursue “high-risk, high-reward technologies”, set goals “that defy conventional wisdom”, and go after its goals with a “laser” focus (Usdin, 2020).
One of the principal DARPA-incubated vaccine technologies to gain prominence in the Covid-19 era are the nucleic acid (mRNA and DNA) vaccines that turn the human body into its own “bioreactor” (Ghose, 2015; Usdin, 2020). Vaccines using mRNA (such as Moderna’s and Pfizer’s) — which developers compare to “software” (Garde, 2017) and praise for their “programmability” (Al-Wassiti, 2019) — target the cell’s cytoplasm and rely on delivery technologies such as lipid nanoparticles to “ensure stabilization of mRNA under physiological conditions” (Wadhwa et al., 2020). DNA vaccines (such as Inovio’s) are intended to penetrate all the way into a cell’s nucleus and come with the risk of “integration of exogenous DNA into the host genome, which may cause severe mutagenesis and induced new diseases” (Zhang, Maruggi, Shan, & Li, 2019). Describing the scientific community’s early doubts about nucleic acid vaccines — arising from the potential for “many things” to go wrong — a DARPA program manager recently noted, “It was something that was much too risky for groups like the NIH to fund” (Usdin, 2020).
Risks aside, DARPA and vaccine manufacturers are attracted to one chief benefit of nucleic acid vaccines: They can be developed much more quickly and cheaply. Other military-initiated technologies are also coming into view with Covid-19 vaccines. These include electroporation, which applies a high-voltage electrical pulse to make cell membranes permeable to a vaccine’s foreign DNA (Inovio Pharmaceuticals, 2020); syringe-injected biosensors that enable continuous wireless monitoring of vital signs and body chemistry (Peer, n.d.; Profusa, n.d.; Diego, 2020b; Tucker, 2020); and the quantum-dot-based infrared detectors that are under discussion as a tool for tracking vaccination status (Johnson, 2011; Trafton, 2019). DARPA has also played a leading role in developing and funding technologies that “blur the lines between computers and biology”, including brain-machine interfaces and neuromonitoring and mind-reading devices (CB Insights, 2019; Gent, 2019; Tullis, 2019).
Some of Moderna’s earliest funding came from DARPA, which awarded the company $25 million in 2013 to develop the mRNA platform that has become a key feature of its coronavirus vaccine (Usdin, 2020). Other DARPA beneficiaries now involved in efforts to develop Covid-19 vaccines or therapeutics include AbCellera Biologics, CureVac, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and Vir Biotechnology; some of AbCellera’s partners include major players like Pfizer and Gilead (Usdin, 2020).
The Pentagon’s involvement in coronavirus-related efforts goes well beyond DARPA-funded research. Four-star General Gustave Perna is serving as chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed alongside chief advisor Moncef Slaoui. General Perna, in charge of U.S. Army Materiel Command, oversees the global supply chain for over 190,000 U.S. Army employees (HHS, 2020b). For the first time ever, the distribution of the eventual coronavirus vaccines is being planned as a “joint venture” between the CDC and the Pentagon, with the latter overseeing “all the logistics of getting the vaccines to the right place, at the right time, in the right condition” (Owermohle, 2020a). In a CBS “60 Minutes” appearance in early November, General Perna indicated that Operation Warp Speed already had doses of (currently unapproved) vaccine and syringes stockpiled and protected by armed guards, and intends to get them out the door “within 24 hours” of vaccine approval and delivered “to every zip code in this country” (Martin, 2020).
The Pentagon has indicated that private-sector involvement could be a key feature of the distribution strategy, and the private sector is positioning itself to participate. Merck, for example, is testing drone delivery of vaccines in partnership with Volansi, Inc., a company that provides “on-demand” drone services for the military (Landi, 2020; Simmie, 2020). In July, Merck’s CEO set the stage for its logistics involvement by describing vaccine distribution as “even a harder problem” than the “scientific conundrum of coming forward with a vaccine that works” (Murray & Griffin, 2020).
Outside the pharmaceutical arena, technological transformations that are speeding the world toward more centralized control also reveal the influence of the military-intelligence sector. For example, Amazon Web Services has held cloud-computing contracts with the CIA since 2013, with the original $600 million contract extending to all 17 intelligence agencies (Konkel, 2014). In October of 2019, the Department of Defense awarded the $10 billion JEDI cloud computing contract to Microsoft, a decision that Amazon has unsuccessfully disputed in court (Sandler, 2020). In early 2020, the U.S. Navy awarded a cloud computing contract to Leidos (Leidos, 2020).
5G, too, relies in part on the high-range millimeter-wave spectrum previously used almost entirely by the military for “non-lethal” crowd dispersal weapons (Joint Intermediate Force Capabilities Office, n.d.). In October, the Department of Defense announced it would spend $600 million to test “dual-use” applications of 5G to enhance the U.S. military’s “leap-ahead capabilities”, including applications such as 5G-enabled augmented/virtual reality, 5G-enabled “smart” warehouses, and 5G technologies “to aid in Air, Space, and Cyberspace lethality” (U.S. Department of Defense, 2020).
Both 5G and cloud computing are critical components of the Big Data and IoT build-out that is enabling the conversion of individual data into the “new oil” (Fitts, 2020a), and both have exploded in 2020 (Howell, 2020; Klebnikov, 2020). The technologies are essential to the “centrally controlled digital financial transaction systems” envisioned by central bankers, who plan to rely on seamless data flows to and from “every smartphone, community, and home without exception” (Fitts, 2020a).
As more individuals and organizations connect the technocratic dots and look beneath the coronavirus pandemic’s seductively simple surface, it should become increasingly apparent that the pandemic profiteers do not have people’s best interests at heart. In The State of Our Currencies and other pandemic-related writings, Catherine Austin Fitts (2020a, 2020b) strongly emphasizes the importance of accepting that what is transpiring in the financial, tech, biopharmaceutical, and military-intelligence sectors is interconnected. Part of this involves recognizing that the coronavirus vaccines currently dominating the headlines represent something likely to go far beyond the simple health intervention being held out by scientists and officials as a panacea. Instead, the evidence suggests that Covid-19 vaccines are intended to serve as a Trojan horse to transport invasive technologies into people’s brains and bodies. These technologies could include brain-machine interface nanotechnology, digital identity tracking devices, technology that can be turned on and off remotely, and cryptocurrency-compatible chips (Fitts, 2020b).
In Fitts’ (2020a, 2020b) view, this type of intimate access — achieved “without notice, disclosure, or compensation” — represents the “final inch” of interest to technocrats. Together with external technologies to control behavior (Max, 2020), such access could permit the achievement of several goals: (1) replacing currencies with a digital transaction system, digital identification, and tracking (an “embedded credit card system”); (2) creating a global control grid that connects the population to the military-intelligence clouds; and (3) obtaining continuous access to valuable individual data on a 24/7 basis (Fitts, 2020b). Countries in West Africa are already piloting a venture by the Gates Foundation, the Gates-funded GAVI vaccine alliance, and Mastercard that “marks a novel approach towards linking a biometric digital identity system, vaccination records, and a payment system into a single cohesive platform” (Diego, 2020a). As Fitts (2020b) summarizes, “Just as Gates installed an operating system in our computers, now the vision is to install an operating system in our bodies and use ‘viruses’ to mandate an initial installation followed by regular updates”. The “neat trick”, as Fitts sees it, is that the use of vaccines as the delivery vehicle cancels out legal liability.
It is noteworthy that Bill Gates announced that he was stepping down from the Microsoft board of directors on March 13 — the same day that President Trump declared the pandemic a national emergency (Haselton & Novet, 2020). That same month, the Pentagon reaffirmed its intention for the JEDI cloud-computing contract to go to Microsoft (Rash, 2020; Sun, 2020). By distancing himself from the appearance of conflicts of interest with Microsoft’s Defense Department commitments and the Pentagon’s subsequent role in Operation Warp Speed, Mr. Gates had more freedom to make the rounds and begin promoting worldwide vaccination and digital certificates (Haggith, 2020). Gates has been less successful in distracting attention from other potential conflicts of interest. An exposé by The Nation (ironically also published in March) showed that the Gates Foundation gives billions to corporations in which the foundation holds stocks and bonds — including all of the major pharmaceutical companies — creating a “welter of conflicts of interest” (Schwab, 2020). A dozen years ago, around the time of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the Los Angeles Times outlined the Gates Foundation’s numerous holdings in a number of notoriously “destructive or unethical” companies (Piller et al., 2007).
Mr. Gates is not the only party strenuously promoting digital IDs and “no-escape” financial tracking (marketed under the benevolent guise of “financial inclusion”). In October, Kristalina Georgieva, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) Managing Director, evoked “a world in which digital is the way in which financial transactions take place” and made it clear that she views universal digital IDs as a non-negotiable requirement for moving in the “right direction” (International Monetary Fund, 2020). Georgieva has, not unhappily, described Covid-19 as a “once in a lifetime pandemic” (Bello, 2020).
Georgieva’s remarks should be examined in the context of a proposal by the U.S. House of Representatives to bestow the IMF with $3 trillion “no-strings-attached” U.S. dollars as “coronavirus relief aid” (Huessy, 2020; Roberts, 2020). A U.S. taxpayer-funded gift of this magnitude would be unprecedented and would increase the IMF’s lending resources (called Special Drawing Rights or SDRs) by as much as 10-fold (Roberts, 2020). 2020’s events (including global debt entrapment and actual or potential food shortages) and the IMF’s bullying track record (Bello, 2020) suggest that the IMF could then wield the $3 trillion as a weapon, strong-arming countries into accepting an array of unwanted measures such as digital identities, forced vaccination, and eventually (as the World Economic Forum predicts), the relinquishment of private property (World Economic Forum, 2016). As a step in this general direction, the IMF has strongly praised India’s leadership in biometric identification systems. It celebrates the “delivery of social benefits through direct electronic payments to eligible bank account holders”, but glosses over the systems’ vulnerability to “unauthorized access” and the data breaches that are already rampant (Jha, 2018).
While current prospects for ordinary citizens certainly appear challenging, nothing is a foregone conclusion. Large-scale protests against the curtailment of civil rights have occurred and continue to occur in many countries, most notably in Germany (Depuydt, 2020). The Great Barrington Declaration — a statement crafted by public health scientists from Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford — has garnered signatures from over 12,000 scientists, over 35,000 medical practitioners, and nearly 639,000 citizens from around the world, all concerned about “the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies” (Kulldorff et al., 2020). Similarly, an Appeal authored in May by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, gathered 40,000 signatures within a few days, with the signatories (religious leaders, doctors, journalists, lawyers, and other professionals) all seeking to draw attention to the threats to sovereignty and freedom that pandemic-related mandates have unleashed (Tosatti, 2020). Archbishop Viganò has also penned severe critiques of the Great Reset, describing its architects as “a global elite that wants to subdue all of humanity, imposing coercive measures [and a health dictatorship] with which to drastically limit individual freedoms and those of entire populations” (Viganò, 2020).
One of the signatories of Archbishop Viganò’s Appeal is attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., founder and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense, an organization dedicated to ending childhood epidemics by working to eliminate harmful exposures, holding those responsible accountable, and establishing stronger safeguards. In late October, Kennedy recorded a 19-minute video message to people around the world, describing the “coup d’état by big data, by big telecom, by big tech, by the big oil and chemical companies and by the global public health cartel” (Kennedy Jr., 2020). In his closing remarks, Kennedy also indicated that citizens who wish to maintain their freedoms cannot afford to remain complacent: “You are on the front lines of the most important battle in history, and it is the battle to save democracy, and freedom, and human liberty, and human dignity from this totalitarian cartel that is trying to rob us simultaneously, in every nation in the world, of the rights that every human being is born with.”
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Whistleblower: FDA Failed to Address ‘Biohazard Nightmare’ at Merck Vaccine Plant
A former FDA employee-turned-whistleblower says the agency downgraded his report on safety violations at a Merck vaccine plant. The allegation raises questions about how the FDA will monitor safety of COVID vaccine manufacturers.
A former employee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) whose job it was to inspect vaccine manufacturing plants told Vanity Fair last week that when the FDA ignored his allegations of gross safety violations at a Merck vaccine plant, he blew the whistle — only to be ignored.
Coming amid growing concerns over the safety of COVID vaccines, which are being rushed to market at unprecedented speed, the newly revealed allegations raise questions about how the FDA will oversee safety at COVID vaccine manufacturing operations.
According to Vanity Fair, “the unprecedented effort to actually make the more than 300 million doses that a successful national vaccination effort will require has gotten less attention” than issues related to the safety and efficacy of the actual vaccines themselves.
“Vital questions about the FDA’s inspections of vaccine plants have slipped under the radar,” the magazine reported.
Vanity Fair, the first to report on the whistleblower complaint, focused on concerns related exclusively to the manufacturing process. The article dismissed concerns about the actual safety of the vaccine.
In an interview after her article was published, reporter Katherine Eba told PBS NewsHour the “last thing she wanted to do” was contribute to “vaccine hesitancy.”
“You know, the issues we raised in this story have nothing to do with the anti-vaxxer position. They have to do with whether the FDA is doing the job it is supposed to do, which is ensuring that all these manufacturing plants follow good manufacturing practices.”
But many people, including doctors and scientists, have raised a multitude of concerns about the safety of the leading COVID vaccine candidates. In fact, polls consistently show that more people than not, including healthcare workers, won’t sign up, at least not right away, for the vaccines.
Compounding concerns about the safety of the vaccines themselves, are concerns about the FDA’s process for emergency authorization — will the agency prioritize public safety over pharmaceutical industry profits?
According to Arie Menachem, the whistleblower who told his story to Vanity Fair, that’s not been his experience with the FDA, at least not when it comes to the safety of vaccine manufacturing.
Menachem — who according to Vanity Fair holds a master’s degree in biochemistry and worked for 13 years in quality assurance and compliance at several pharmaceutical companies before joining the FDA in 2014 — was a member of the FDA’s Team Biologics.
The “elite” team’s 14 members were responsible for inspecting 280 manufacturing plants that make vaccines and blood products for U.S. patients.
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In November 2018, Menachem filed a whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel after his initial report detailing a host of disturbing safety violations at a Merck vaccine plant was downgraded by FDA officials.
Menachem’s report — based in part on information provided to him by whistleblowers within the company — included this, according to Vanity Fair:
“The allegations described a biohazard nightmare. Workers appeared to be defecating and urinating in their uniforms, and feces had been found smeared on the floor of the plant’s production area, the letter alleged. In a sterile manufacturing plant, bathroom breaks can be difficult to take because they require additional time, which could serve as one possible explanation for the events inside the Merck plant. Ungowning can take 15 minutes, regowning can take 15 minutes, and on a night shift, there may be no one else to cover an essential worker during that time, Menachem said.”
Vanity Fair said the magazine confirmed Menachem’s account, as well as his description of conflict inside Team Biologics, “through interviews with four current or former FDA employees, including Menachem, a detailed review of documents, and an analysis of Team Biologics inspection data.”
Merck isn’t the only drugmaker whose manufacturing operations have been called into question. As Children’s Health Defense previously reported, Eli Lilly, which has been working on a COVID therapeutic drug, recently had a run-in with the FDA over problems with one of its manufacturing plants. Reuters reported that the FDA had cited “serious quality control problems” at an Eli Lilly plant working on an antibody therapy.
A former associate counsel at the FDA told Reuters the violations were “serious enough and have a significant enough impact on the public health that something needs to be fixed.”
When it comes to COVID vaccines, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, vice dean for public health practice and community engagement at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told Vanity Fair, “There is not a lot of room for error on a COVID vaccine.”
But as Vanity Fair and Bloomberg pointed out, if the FDA, as it’s expected to, grants emergency use authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine, “it is not even clear whether the FDA will require full inspections of manufacturing plants” because transparency has been “notably absent in Operation Warp Speed,” the public-private partnership launched by the Trump administration to rapidly develop and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine.
Sausage Making at FDA: How Human Cancer Cells Got Into Vaccines
In a 2012 meeting, the FDA voted to allow the use of human fetal cells and adult human tumor cells in vaccines, despite acknowledging the many risks, including that vaccine recipients might later develop cancer.
“If the American people knew some of the things that went on at the FDA, they’d never take anything but Bayer aspirin.” — Len Lutwalk, FDA scientist
“The FDA, by spinelessly knuckling under to every whim of the drug companies, has thrown away its high reputation, and in doing so, forfeited our trust.” — Drummond Rennie, deputy editor of JAMA
“[The] honest employee fears the dishonest employee. There is also irrefutable evidence that managers at CDER (Center for Drug Evaluation and Research of the FDA) have placed the nation at risk by corrupting the evaluation of drugs and by interfering with our ability to ensure the safety and efficacy of drugs. While I was at FDA, drug reviewers were clearly told not to question drug companies and that our job was to approve drugs … If we asked questions that could delay or prevent a drug’s approval — which of course was our job as drug reviewers — management would reprimand us, reassign us, hold secret meetings about us or worse … When you are able to dig in, if you found issues that would make you turn down a drug, you could be pressured to reverse your decision, or the review would then be handed off to someone who would simply copy and paste whatever claims the company made in the summary document … I believe I also have documentation of falsification of documents, fraud, perjury and widespread racketeering, including witnesses tampering and witness retaliation.” — Ronald Kavanagh, Ph.D., pharmacist who reviewed medications for the FDA from 1998 to 2008
Vaccines and related biological products advisory committee today
Today — Thursday, Dec. 10 — the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), which is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) internal panel that licenses new vaccines as “safe and effective,” will meet to consider Pfizer’s COVID vaccine. VRBAC will meet in one week, Dec. 17, to consider approval of the Moderna vaccine.
The damning safety studies in Pfizer’s late release clinical trial data dump, and the severe (life-threatening) allergic reactions that bedeviled the vaccine’s UK rollout, have raised red flags and public anxiety about the safety of the companies’ mRNA vaccines. Anthony Fauci has addressed growing skepticism about COVID vaccines and the Operation Warp Speed program, by reassuring the public that “VRBPAC” is an “independent panel of leading experts” whom the public can absolutely trust to assure vaccine safety.
In order to help you make your own conclusion about how reliably VRBPAC will protect your health, I excerpt below the transcripts from the cavalier, ignorant and astonishingly unethical deliberations during the 2012 VRBPAC meeting where panelists voted unanimously to allow use of human tumor cells in vaccines. I urge you to read and make up your own mind whether you want to place your health — and perhaps your life — in the hands of these reckless charlatans and irresponsible clowns.
How FDA originally approved use of fetal cells in vaccines
FDA allows both human fetal cells and adult human tumor cells in vaccines. Both types have cancer risks. While both Pfizer and Moderna tested their mRNA vaccine using fetal cells, there are no fetal cells, cell debris or DNA in their final products.
However, according to company documents, Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) and Altimmune’s COVID vaccines are manufactured in the human fetal cell line PER-C6, and thus the final vaccine products will contain cellular debris and DNA fragments from these cells. Researchers harvested these cell lines from the eyeball of an 18-week-old human fetus aborted in 1985, and then rendered them immortal by making them cancerous.
The AstraZeneca, Cansino, Gamayela, Vaxart, LongComm and Upitt vaccines are manufactured in the human fetal cell line HEK293, and thus the final vaccine products will contain cellular debris and DNA fragments from the fetal HEK-293 cell line. Scientists harvested this cell line from the kidney of a female Dutch fetus legally aborted in 1973 and then immortalized the cells by rendering them cancerous.
Normal primary cells, which are unable to replicate indefinitely, ultimately die. Immortalized cell lines are derived from known malignant cancer cells such as those obtained from Henrietta Lacks (HeLa) or created in the laboratory by introducing viral oncogenes or chemical exposures capable of mutating normal primary cells into immortal tumor cells.
According to FDA’s “The Pink Sheet” dated Nov. 29, 1999, for two decades the agency has been acutely aware of the inherent risks of using immortalized cell lines for vaccine development. The FDA CBER Director Dr. Peter Patriarca, M.D. explained that continuous cell lines are used for their ability to self-propagate, making them an ideal substrate on which to grow viruses, “the worst thing we are concerned about is … malignancy, because some of these continuous cells have the potential for growing tumors in laboratory animals.”
Patriarca further conceded that “the technology to make these vaccines actually exceeds the science and technology to understand how these vaccines work and to predict how they will work.” This dire “black box” conundrum that Patriarca described in 1999 is even more acute today with the urgent pressure to develop COVID vaccines before manufacturers have tested them in animals or subjected them to long-term safety studies.
We call vaccines “biologics” because vaccinologists have traditionally grown their antigens on biological substrates — usually animal tissue. Competing companies culture COVID vaccines on a variety of animal strata. The Merck and IAVA COVID vaccines are manufactured in vero monkey cells, and thus contain cellular debris and DNA fragments from vero monkeys in the final product. The Sanofi, GSK, and Novavax COVID jabs are manufactured in insect cells and thus contain insect cellular debris and DNA fragments in the final products.
Public health advocates criticize the use of animal tissues in vaccines due to risks that they carry endogenous viruses, microbes, parasites and lack safety testing. (Plague of Corruption, Mikovits 2020).The first use of human fetal cells in vaccines occurred around 60 years ago, but the practice is increasingly popular. It was always controversial. Immunologists long considered using cells from aborted human fetuses in vaccines to be a high-risk gambit; human DNA debris is much more likely to infiltrate cells in vaccinated individuals than insect or monkey DNA.
Researchers and regulatory agencies have worried for more than 50 years about the potential for injected DNA to cause cancer. According to Dr. Theresa Deisher, a research scientist, primitive (unmethylated) DNA chains from human fetuses have the ability to 1) activate immune receptors that could lead to autoimmune attacks in susceptible individuals who have genetic predispositions that cause their own DNA to be under-methylated, or 2) insert into cells where they could combine with host DNA and cause mutations.
Regulators have in the past predicted that the odds of that happening were less than 1 in a trillion. However, in early gene therapy trials this event did indeed occur in 4 of 9 boys, 1 of whom died from the leukemia the insertions caused.
“Researchers have long observed that when introduced DNA enters a cell, it chooses a region of the cell that gives it a survival advantage. These could be the regions that are most likely to produce long-living cancer cells,” Dr. Deisher told me. FDA has never made any effort to test the safety of this practice or to determine whether the epidemic of soft-tissue cancers is “vaccine-generation” children is related to the use of cancerous fetal cells in vaccines. Even worse, in 2002, FDA green-lighted vaccine companies to use cancerous tumor cells from adults in vaccines.
FDA as an arm of Big Pharma
Before reviewing the shocking transcript of the FDA meeting that approved this dubious practice, we need to understand the conflicts and corruption that pervade this rogue agency. If we are to ever develop safe, effective COVID vaccines, we need first to stop thinking of the FDA as a regulatory agency; it is an arm of the notoriously corrupt pharmaceutical industry.
According to a 2017 Emory University study entitled “Thick as Thieves? Big Pharma Wields Its Power with the Help of Government Regulation,” FDA bureaucrats act as “enablers, or perhaps worse still, [they are] complicit in questionable or ethically unsound activity as a result of being driven by self-serving motives ….” A 1992 law that allows drugmakers to buy fast-track approvals for new products from FDA has poured concrete on a regulatory dynamic already corrupted by all the ubiquitous mechanisms of “agency capture.”
No one at FDA wins kudos for slowing down those money flows. To the contrary, according to FDA’s own employees, drug company payments bias regulators, with “an inclination toward approval.”
According to Dr. Michael Carome, a former Health and Human Services (HHS) official and a director of the advocacy group Public Citizen, “Instead of a regulator and a regulated industry, we now have a partnership … That relationship has tilted [the FDA] away from a public health perspective to an industry friendly perspective.”
Corrupt vaccine approval panels
But as corrupt as FDA is, the internal panels — VRBAC — that approve new vaccines make the rest of the agency look like a Sunday church picnic.
In 2003, following a 3-year investigation, the United States Congress’s House Oversight Committee found VRBAC was completely dominated by the vaccine industry.
According to findings of the congressional investigation, VRBAC’s “independent” vaccine panel members often share vaccine patents with the pharmaceutical companies whose products they are evaluating. They “own stock in those vaccine companies, receive payment from those companies for research and paid speeches. They occupy consulting lofty and powerful sinecures and accept payments to monitor vaccine trials and funding for their academic departments.”
The 2000-2003 U.S. House Government Reform Committee’s investigation of VRBPAC found that: (1) “The overwhelming majority of members, both voting members and consultants, have substantial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.” (2) “Conflict of interest rules employed by the FDA … have been weak, enforcement has been lax and committee members with substantial ties to pharmaceutical companies have been given waivers to participate in committee proceedings … In many cases, significant conflicts of interest are not deemed to be conflicts at all.”
Congressional investigators offered a typical example of the sort of financial entanglements that put VRBPAC under Pharma’s slavish control. That example was the December 12, 1997, VRBPAC meeting that approved Wyeth’s (now Pfizer’s) rotavirus vaccine, Rotashield.
The Congressional investigators detailed the committee’s cozy nepotism with vaccine makers.
“Examples of Conflicts of Interest:
“For instance, 3 out of 5 FDA advisory committee (VRBPAC) members who voted to approve the rotavirus vaccine in December 1997 had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies that were developing different versions of the vaccine.
“One out of five voting members’ employer had a $9,586,000 contract for a rotavirus vaccine.
“One out of five voting members was the principal investigator for a Merck grant to develop a rotavirus vaccine.
“One out of five voting members received approximately $1 million from vaccine manufacturers toward vaccine development.”
Congressional investigators concluded that, “Altogether, four out of the five committee members had conflicts of interest that required waivers, and their recommendation for approval of the vaccine was unanimous.”
Here’s what happened at the 2012 FDA meeting on fetal cells
HHS acknowledges that the FDA and Centers for Disease Control committees that contract and review new vaccines have historically not used “evidence-based medicine.” To illustrate what this means, one only need read (below) the astonishing transcript of the 2012 panel that first approved the use of adult cancer tumor cells in vaccines.
This transcript shows what the public is never supposed to see: the behind-the-scenes sausage-making of federal vaccine approvals. Here, you will read for yourself how the “independent,” “gold standard” panelists entrusted with protecting your children made monumentally consequential decisions, not on evidence-based science, but by rolling the dice and taking what they knew was a horrendously risky bet on public health
In any other realm, this transcript would be proof of negligent homicide. The sickening side-view of VRBAC’s deliberations reveals FDA’s “trusted experts” for what they are; sadistic boys in lab coats giddily discussing the removal of wings from flies. We are all lab rats in their high-risk population-wide experiment. At FDA’s vaccine division, that sort of reckless decision-making is routine.
In 2012, most live virus vaccines were from animal tissue and the idea of putting potentially cancerous tumor cells from adult “donors” in vaccines was still a daring and audacious gamble. That September, the FDA VRBPAC committee met to discuss this risky innovation. The transcript of that meeting — showing captive FDA officials considering a proposal by the pharma cabal to allow the use of human cancer cells (HeLa) to replace animal tissue in the manufacture of vaccines — is proof of reckless criminal conduct.
The HeLa cells are well known to cause cancer in animals, but Big Pharma wanted to lower production costs of vaccines and this method is cheaper and faster than using animal tissue for the cultivated media. The obvious question of whether such vaccines might induce cancer in recipients was on the top of the VRBPAC agenda. Health authorities and vaccine manufacturers blatantly acknowledged their uncertainty regarding the safety of vaccines made from HeLa cancer tumors as they voted to make a dangerous high-stakes gamble that would lower costs for vaccine makers
Unbelievably, FDA voted to allow pharmaceutical companies to produce vaccines using human cells without reviewing a single scientific study to determine if the outcome would be safe.
Before, I quoted some of the criminally reckless statements from the meeting directly. A more detailed account appears in this article.
This was a full meeting of FDA’s VRBPAC in 2012 to decide on the use of human tumor cell lines for the production of vaccines. I list these speakers and their titles at that time:
Dr. Philip Krause, Acting Deputy Director of OVRR (Office of Vaccine Research and Review) and FDA’s CBER (Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research). Also, Principal Investigator for Vaccine Safety: Virus Detection and Latency.
Dr. Doug Lowy, Director of the National Cancer Institute of the NIH.
Dr. Robert Daum, Chair of the VRBPAC.
Donald W. Jehn M.S., Designated Federal Officer for VRBPAC.
Keith Peden, PhD, Chief of LDNAV, DVP/OVRR/CBER.
Dr. Marion Gruber, Director of the FDA’s Office of Vaccines.
Dr. Nathanial Brady, a self-described clinician.
Dr. Pamela McInnes, a vaccine development expert and the Director of the Division of Extramural Research at the NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and previously a Deputy Director under Anthony Fauci at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Pharma knew that their tumorigenic vaccines might cause tumors in recipients.
Dr. Philip Krause acknowledged the risks when he said: “We have really identified three major factors that could potentially convey risk from tumor-derived cells. And these include the cells themselves … and if they were tumor-derived cells then maybe they themselves could form tumors in a vaccine recipient.”
Government regulators acknowledged that tumor cell lines can cause tumors.
Dr. Doug Lowy acknowledged this when he said: “What I think is qualitatively different about the tumor cell lines is the fact that they can cause tumors.”
FDA officials knew that tumors might occur decades after vaccination.
Dr. James Cook acknowledged this when he commented: “But certainly, if you are going to address this question about tumor risk from vaccines made in tumor cell lines, it’s going to have to be a decade’s question.”
FDA openly acknowledged that its primary objective was not to assure public safety but to help vaccine manufacturers.
Dr. Robert Daum, the leader of the meeting, commented: “ …but we are here to consider the issues that we would like to advise the agency to consider in helping the company continue the manufacturing process, what should they be concerned about, what should they be watching for.”
FDA officials knew that they could not prove vaccine safety using test animals to assess oncogenicity.
Dr. Keith Peden acknowledged this fact when he said: “I’m not optimistic that we’re going to find animal models to assess oncogenicity of DNA. That’s why I’m feeling that maybe it’s the clearance aspect that we have to deal with, with respect to DNA.”
FDA officials deliberately terminated animal safety tests too early in order to conceal consequences.
Dr. Robert Daum acknowledged this fact when he said: “Are they watching these animals long enough? Should it be longer?”
Dr. Keith Peden acknowledged this fact when he said: “Is it relevant to safety that a cell forms a tumor after a year, a year-and-a-half?”
FDA decided to keep the tumor cell lines secret, because doctors and the public may be alarmed and say “Oh, my God!” if they knew the truth.
Dr. Nathanael Brady acknowledged this when he said: “How is this group (of vaccines) going to be able to be accepted by the consumers … As soon as you hear “a tumor-derived cell line,” how do you explain that, put the public at ease?”
Dr. Robert Daum further acknowledged these facts: “ …the practicing medical community and also the lay public. They are going to hear that we are recommending, or that the manufacturers are making, vaccines with tumorigenic cell lines and say, ‘Oh, my God,’ even if there’s no scientific basis to say, ‘Oh, my God.’”
FDA decided to use deceptive language to convince doctors and the public that the vaccines were safe even when they, themselves, were unconvinced of safety.
Dr. Philip Krause acknowledged this when he said: “… because it’s a discussion of how one communicates these issues and how the public will perceive them. But I’m not completely sure that we have a complete answer on the fundamental scientific question. So how can you communicate a scientific consensus that the product is safe unless we’re sure that you, the experts we are asking to advise us, are convinced that it’s safe?”
FDA decided to hide information about their use of tumor cells and omit it from package inserts.
Dr. Marion Gruber proposed this deception when he said: “The minute you describe something in the package insert in terms of potential clinical safety concerns, I think that really precludes using these cell substrates.”
Dr. James Cook agreed to the deception when he said: “When it gets right down to what’s in the vial and what the patient is going to ask me about, whether it’s safe, I’m not going to say, well, you know, HeLa cells kill nude mice.”
Dr. Robert Daum acknowledged the deception when he said: “I don’t know that our charge is to micromanage the package insert today. I think that’s a new discussion, with lots of issues that we haven’t really aired completely.”
Health authorities were skeptical about safety of the tumor lines, but they decided to subject the public to the risk, so that they could perform a global population-wide live human experiment.
Dr. Robert Daum agreed to conduct the mass human experiment with the following statement: “So I’m not sure that we can give a certainty there’s no risk — don’t worry about this … It’s sort of a brave new world. We’re all doing it together. But I think that you are doing a beautiful job.”
FDA officials opted to toss the dice, perform the population-wide human experiment, and learn about the risks as time goes by.
FDA officials even cast this experiment as a noble venture in the quest for scientific knowledge. Dr. Pamela McInnes made this stunning appeal to her colleagues: “… even though there are challenges [risks to humans] to using the new technologies, they have to be embraced and we have to continue to try to learn from them and struggle through that learning curve.”
In the end, FDA decided to take the risks. The leader of the committee says, “I’m a vaccine guy,” then urged his cronies to approve.
Dr. Robert Daum said: “I’m a vaccine guy. They are wonderful to prevent infectious diseases … I hope that I’m speaking for everybody when I say that’s the answer to your question. If not, please chime in now.”
The committee formally approves the method of making vaccines from human cancer tumors.
Dr. Robert Daum said: “To come back to the agency’s question of whether this committee believes it’s correct scientifically to go forward with the development of these vaccines, our answer is yes.”
Prior to voting to go forward, the committee made the following conclusions:
Making vaccines with cells that are directly derived from human cancer tumors is faster and cheaper than breeding animals for the culture media.
Millions of potentially cancer-causing vaccines will be produced.
The vaccines may possibly cause genetic mutations.
Millions of dollars will be made by vaccine promoters.
The health of millions of consumers may be jeopardized.
Information about how vaccines are made will be hidden from doctors and consumers.
This 2012 VRBPAC meeting perfectly illustrates the reckless, malevolent and murderous zeitgeist underlying the Pharma/HHS partnership. VRBPAC’s “devil-may-care” decision-making allowed pharmaceutical companies to use potentially cancerous fetal cells to make millions of vaccines.
Since that meeting, vaccines containing cancerous cells and DNA strands from aborted fetuses have become pervasive among the 72 doses of vaccines that FDA has approved, and CDC “recommends” for American children. Today, the vaccines for chickenpox, MMR, hepatitis A and shingles contain fetal DNA.
There is little chance of consequence to vaccine makers from making this reckless choice, and much potential benefit. The 1986 National Vaccine Injury Act makes pharmaceutical companies immune from negligence claims and from product defect lawsuits by injured plaintiffs. Since cancer takes years to develop, causation is virtually impossible for injured petitioners to prove in the Federal Vaccine Court where HHS is the defendant.
Furthermore, by the time a tumor develops, the three-year statute of limitations for the vaccine injury has long expired. Pharma is therefore recklessly and pathologically bold about putting carcinogens in vaccines.
RFK, Jr. Warned FDA Three Months Ago About Ingredient in Pfizer COVID Vaccine That Likely Caused Life-Threatening Reaction in Two UK Healthcare Workers
An investigation this week identified polyethylene glycol (PEG) as the likely reason two people in the UK suffered anaphylaxis after receiving Pfizer’s COVID vaccine. In September, CHD Chairman RFK, Jr. warned the FDA that PEG in COVID vaccines could lead to severe allergic reactions.
On Dec. 2, Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) became the first in the world to approve a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Germany’s BioNTech and Pfizer.
A mass vaccination campaign that targeted frontline workers to receive the vaccine began on Dec. 8. Within 24 hours of launching the campaign, MHRA acknowledged two reports of anaphylaxis and one report of a possible allergic reaction.
Imperial College London’s Paul Turner, an expert in allergy and immunology who has been advising the MHRA on its revised guidance, told Reuters: “The ingredients like PEG which we think might be responsible for the reactions are not related to things which can cause food allergy. Likewise, people with a known allergy to just one medicine should not be at risk.”
The statements by Turner that “PEG is not in other types of vaccines” and that people with allergies to “just one medicine should not be at risk” are a failed attempt to provide false assurances and are patently untrue.
Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech and Arcturus Therapeutics COVID vaccines all utilize a never-before-approved messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, an experimental approach designed to turn the body’s cells into viral protein-making factories. This technology involves the use of lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) that encapsulate the mRNA to protect them from degradation and promote cellular uptake.
The LNP formulations in the three COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are “PEGylated,” meaning that the vaccine nanoparticles are coated with a synthetic, non-degradable and increasingly controversial PEG.
COVID mRNA vaccines are not the only vehicle for PEG involvement in COVID-19 vaccine production. Researchers at Germany’s Max Planck Institute report developing a process for COVID-19 vaccine production to purify virus particles at “high yield.” The process involves adding PEG to a virus-containing liquid and passing the liquid through membranes.
On Sept. 25, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel for Children’s Health Defense (CHD), notified the Steven Hahn, director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Peter Marks director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research and Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, of the serious and possibly life-threatening anaphylactic potential of PEG.
CHD received the following response from the FDA, on Dec. 2, but has not yet received a response from Fauci.
In earlier communications with Moderna scientists regarding the controversial use of PEG in the company’s COVID-19 vaccine due to the potential for life-threatening anaphylaxis and need for pre-screening for PEG antibodies prior to vaccine administration, they insisted that the existence of PEG antibodies was purely hypothetical and underserving of concern:
“Pre-screening populations based on hypothesized biomarkers, such as anti-PEG antibodies, is not a strategy currently employed in our clinical trials.”
Given the recent evidence of PEG anaphylaxis in Pfizer mRNA vaccine recipients, I wonder if FDA and vaccine manufacturers will now reconsider their position.
An extensive review of PEG therapeutics, published in 2013, documented adverse effects of PEGylation and questioned the wisdom behind the continued use of PEG in drug development. The authors concluded that “the accumulating evidence documenting the detrimental effects of PEG on drug delivery make it imperative that scientists in this field break their dependence on PEGylation.”
The statement by Turner that “people with a known allergy to just one medicine should not be at risk,” is also not true.
A 2018 study, “Immediate Hypersensitivity to Polyethylene Glycols and Polysorbates: More Common Than We Have Recognized” reports there are more than 1,000 products, including prescription drugs, that contain PEG. (See chart below for detailed descriptions of PEG containing drugs.)
The decision to allow people with other medication allergies to receive vaccines that utilize PEG in the manufacturing or delivery of the vaccine is a very risky proposition — especially given that Pfizer has said people with a history of severe adverse allergic reactions to vaccines or the candidate’s ingredients were excluded from their late stage trials.
We have no idea what the incidence of allergy or anaphylactic reactions will be once Pfizer begins global distribution of the vaccine, without such exclusions.
A 2016 study reported detectable and sometimes high levels of anti-PEG antibodies in approximately 72% of contemporary human samples and about 56% of historical specimens from the 1970s through the 1990s. The population’s increased exposure to PEG-containing products since the 1990’s makes it natural to assume that anti-PEG antibodies will continue to be widespread.
As approval of PEGylated mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 occurs, the uptick in exposure to injected PEG products will be unprecedented and potentially disastrous.
While four out of five doctors regularly prescribe PEGylated drugs, only one out of five are aware of the potential for anti-PEG antibody responses. And only a third even know that PEG is in the drugs that they are prescribing.
A Vanderbilt University researcher agrees that there is a widespread lack of recognition that PEG hypersensitivity is possible, much less that it manifests on a regular basis. While it has been recommended to screen patients for anti-PEG antibody levels “prior to administration of therapeutics containing PEG” such testing is currently only available in research settings.
In a declaration effective Feb. 4, the Secretary of Health and Human Services invoked the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) and declared Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) to be a public health emergency warranting liability protections for covered countermeasures, including vaccines.
The fact that the FDA has abdicated its responsibility for assuring the safety of COVID vaccines to vaccine manufacturers means we are on our own to study the science, and weigh the benefits and risks of all drugs and vaccines.
CHD will continue to monitor this important safety issue in an effort to keep you well informed on the science and public policies surrounding COVID-19 vaccine development.
Descriptions of PEG containing drugs:
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.SUGGEST A CORRECTION
Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.
If you are considering traveling for Thanksgiving, here are some important questions to ask yourself and your loved ones beforehand. These questions can help you decide what is best for you and your family.
Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Keep hand sanitizer with you and use it when you are unable to wash your hands.
Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Attending a Gathering
Celebrating virtually or with the people you live with is the safest choice this Thanksgiving.
If you choose to attend a gathering, make your celebration safer. In addition to following the steps that everyone can take to make Thanksgiving safer, take these additional steps if attending a Thanksgiving gathering:
Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups, and utensils.
If celebrating indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible. You can use a window fan in one of the open windows to blow air out of the window. This will pull fresh air in through the other open windows.
Limit the number of people in food preparation areas.
Have guests bring their own food and drink.
If sharing food, have one person serve food and use single-use options, like plastic utensils.
Consider Other Thanksgiving Activities
Host a virtual Thanksgiving meal with friends and family who don’t live with you
Schedule a time to share a meal together virtually.
Have people share recipes and show their turkey, dressing, or other dishes they prepared.
Watch television and play games with people in your household
Watch Thanksgiving Day parades, sports, and movies at home.
Find a fun game to play.
Shop online sales the day after Thanksgiving and days leading up to the winter holidays.
Use contactless services for purchased items, like curbside pick-up.
Shop in open air markets staying 6 feet away from others and wear a mask.
Safely prepare traditional dishes and deliver them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others (for example, leave them on the porch).
Participate in a gratitude activity, like writing down things you are grateful for and sharing with your friends and family.
MASKS ARE CAUSING IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE The rebreathing of our exhaled air will, without a doubt create oxygen deficiency and a flooding of carbon dioxide. We know that the human brain is very sensitive to oxygen deprivation. There are nerve cells for example in the hippocampus, that can’t be longer than 3 minutes without oxygen – […]
DEKALB COUNTY BOARD OF HEALTH OFFERS FLU SHOTS TO THE PUBLIC AT ITS HEALTH CENTERS.
WHY GET THE FLU SHOT?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone aged 6 months and over receive the flu shot each year. Getting a flu shot this year is more important than ever because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Protect yourself against the flu.
IS IT SAFE TO GET A FLU SHOT DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC?
The safety of our patients and our staff is our top priority. All staff will be wearing masks, gloves, and eye protection. Patients and visitors are required to wear face coverings, complete a COVID-19 questionnaire, and a thermal temperature screen. We have implemented social distancing in our health centers.
HOW MUCH DOES THE FLU SHOT COST?
Flu shots are FREE for Medicare recipients, children enrolled in Medicaid, and are available at no cost with most private insurance*. If you are not insured or your plan doesn’t cover the flu shot, it’s available for a low cost.
WHAT FLU SHOTS ARE AVAILABLE?
We provide standard flu vaccine, FluMist, Flublok (which is not egg-based), and the high dose flu vaccine. The high dose flu vaccine …individuals 65 years and oldera better immune response and better protection against the flu.
Our experienced nurses are available and can help you decide which flu shot is right for you.
WHEN AND WHERE CAN I GET A FLU SHOT?
Flu shots are available Monday – Friday 8:15 a.m. until 5 p.m. at one of our health centers. Please call the health center closest to you to schedule your flu shot:
We can also come to you! If you’re interested in setting up a mobile flu clinic for your business/organization (minimum 25 people), we can schedule a date and time and have our experienced team come to you. Please submit your request by clicking here.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING TO MY APPOINTMENT?
Bring your insurance information and photo ID. Download and complete the top section only of the intake form in advance and bring it with you to the health center to save time. If you’re not able to do so, don’t worry. You can fill it out at the health center.
What if I have more questions?
For questions about the flu, please click here. For additional information, call us at (404) 294-3700.
*Cost may be covered by insurance. We accept Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Cigna, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, Medicaid, Medicare Part B, Peachcare for Kids, and State Health Benefit Plan (excluding Kaiser Permanente). Payments Accepted: Credit/Debit Card (NO CASH).
For individuals 65 and older, they want to give you the super-duper flu shot. I guess they didn’t kill enough of us off with the COVID hoax that they are still cramming down our throats, they want us to get the super-duper shot. Hhhummmm wonder why that sounds like an oxy-moron to me?
The devil whispered to me, “I’m coming for you.” I whispered back, “Bring pizza.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ME: (sobbing my heart out, eyes were swollen, nose red)…I can’t see you anymore. I am not going to let you hurt me like this again! TRAINER: It was a sit up. You did one sit up.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Having plans sounds like a good idea until you have to put on clothes and leave the house.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It’s weird being the same age as old people.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When I was a kid, I wanted to be older…. this is not what I expected.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Chocolate is God’s way of telling us he likes us a little bit chubby.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It’s probably my age that tricks people into thinking I’m an adult.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ MARRIAGE COUNSELOR: Your wife says you never buy her flowers. Is that true? HIM: To be honest, I never knew she sold flowers.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Never sing in the shower! Singing leads to dancing, dancing leads to slipping, and slipping leads to paramedics seeing you naked. So remember…Don’t sing!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I don’t think the therapist is supposed to say “wow,” that many times in your first session but here we are…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So if a cow doesn’t produce milk, is it a milk dud or an udder failure?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If you can’t think of a word say “I forgot the English word for it.” That way people will think you’re bilingual instead of an idiot.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I’m at a place in my life where errands are starting to count as going out.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I’m at that age where my mind still thinks I’m 29, my humor suggests I’m 12, while my body mostly keeps asking if I’m sure I’m not dead yet.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Don’t be worried about your smartphone or TV spying on you. Your vacuum cleaner has been collecting dirt on you for years.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I’m getting tired of being part of a major historical event.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I don’t always go the extra mile, but when I do it’s because I missed my exit.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ How many of us have looked around our family reunion and thought “Well aren’t we just two clowns short of a circus?”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ At what point can we just start using 2020 as profanity? As in: “That’s a load of 2020.” or “What in the 2020.” or “abso-2020-lutely.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ You don’t realize how old you are until you sit on the floor and then try to get back up.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We all get heavier as we get older, because there’s a lot more information in our heads. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Broward Attorneys Accused Of Foreclosure Scheme With Convicted Felons
The four are accused of working together to claim surplus foreclosure funds held by the clerk of court
By Tony Pipitone • Published October 6, 2020 • Updated on October 7, 2020 at 9:55 am
Two Broward County attorneys found themselves on the wrong side of the jailhouse wall this week after the sheriff’s…
Two Broward County attorneys found themselves on the wrong side of the jailhouse wall this week after the sheriff’s office alleged they were part of a scheme with convicted felons to steal up to $742,000 in foreclosure sale proceeds.
The four are accused of working together to claim surplus foreclosure funds held by the clerk of court, money left over after a foreclosed property is sold and the lender is paid what is owed.
The attorneys took “those foreclosures surplus checks by filing fraudulent pleadings with the court, basically lying to judges in Broward County, saying they were representing the rightful recipients of those dollars,” said sheriff’s spokesman Carey Codd.
Attorney Rashida Overby remained in custody Tuesday, until she could post nearly $140,000 in bond with money she can prove was not fruit of the 29 counts she faces, including alleged theft and money laundering.
Attorney Ria Sankar-Balram was free on $57,000 bond, charged with seven counts, including money laundering, stemming from the alleged theft of $78,000.
Also charged were Patricia and Illya Tinker, a married couple convicted last year of another real estate scam. Patricia is serving a 35-year sentence and her husband 177 years after a jury convicted them of dozens of charges.
Sankar-Balram assisted the defense, taking notes, during that trial, she told NBC 6, while declining to comment on the current charges.
“We have multiple victims in this case and they did target deceased individuals and to the tune of approximately $750,000 dollars,” Codd said of what the sheriff’s office dubbed Operation Claim Game.
Among those deceased, Joanne Weaver, who died in 2018 at age 88.
“I’m only the voice for Joanne because she can’t talk for herself any more,” said a longtime friend who assisted the investigation. “I won’t let them do this to someone else.”
When Joanne Weaver died, she still owed some money on a mortgage for her share of her house in Dania Beach. The bank foreclosed, the property sold and $97,000 in excess funds was deposited with the clerk of the court.
Then someone named Barbara Weaver stepped forward to say the money was hers. The only problem, the sheriffs office says: there is no Barbara Weaver.
The sheriff’s complaint alleges attorney Rashida Overby filed fraudulent documents with the court claiming to represent a fictional Barbara Weaver and then cashed the $97,000 check.
I never thought I’d see the day when publicly wearing a muzzle would constitute a proof of virtue in the same country whose government, less than twenty years ago, rationalized the bloody invasion of Afghanistan as a way of saving women from veiling their faces.
But then, I never thought I’d hear American liberals proudly denounce supporters of the US Constitution as a “death cult,” nor that I’d actually start to find Donald Trump sounding almost reasonable.
But at least there’s one thing we can all be sure about: “mainstream” news media, busily cheerleading for the death of freedom, will continue to gush with absurdities, self-contradictions and victim-shaming memes in their propaganda war to Keep America Gagged. The Bill of Rights (in case you haven’t noticed) is history; today, we demonstrate our patriotism by creeping around hiding our faces. Dissenters need not apply.
If you think I’m exaggerating, I suspect you haven’t been paying attention. Recently I had the poor judgment to turn on National Public Radio for about an hour, under the impression that I was going to learn something about the day’s news.
I could have saved myself the trouble. During the hour in question, I learned nothing at all about the presidential election campaign (now in its final months), nothing about the tens of millions of my fellow citizens whose jobs have been snatched away by government fiat, nothing about climate change, nuclear arms buildups, international refugees or growing worldwide poverty – nothing even about the intensification of air and water pollution authorized by recent federal regulation, although pollution kills an estimated 100,000 Americans every year.
No – for a solid hour, I heard the following: that COVID19 – in reality, at most, a moderately serious flu virus – is the worst medical threat the United States has ever faced; that this “deadly” virus (the word “deadly” was repeated obsessively, even though the disease is fatal in a tiny percentage of cases) has been empowered by a conspiracy of Republican politicians serving the arch-demon Donald Trump; that recent data showing the rapid decline in deaths attributable to the virus may have been faked, because the numbers aren’t what the “experts” want them to be; and that a massive increase in COVID19 tests – primarily among people between 20 and 40 years of age who are subjected to swabbing because their employers demand it, not because they’re in any danger – cannot possibly have anything to do with a rise in the number of reported infections, and that anyone who dares to suggest otherwise is “putting lives at risk.”
But the real theme of the hour was masks, masks, masks: how to make them, how to wear them, their different types, who doesn’t seem to have enough of them, and why muffling our faces (even though no such thing was ever demanded of us during dozens of past viral outbreaks) is absolutely, positively good for us all.
I waited in vain for some mention of the fact that every single order requiring the wearing of muzzles in the US is probably unconstitutional, a matter that National Public Radio – which once prided itself on its legal affairs reporting – might have been expected to care about.
No, facts would only have complicated matters. After all, we already knew what good little boys and girls were expected to do with those muzzles. At the close of each weather forecast, just in case anyone had missed the point, the reporter said cheerily, “And when you go out – put on a mask.” “And drink milk with every meal,” I half expected him to add, but I guess self-conscious condescension would have spoiled the effect.
Put on a mask.
In well over half a century, I cannot remember a weather report that ended with a brisk piece of non-meteorological advice, let alone a patently silly one – after all, if these magical masks were to make any difference, their greatest usefulness would have been at the beginning of the outbreak, not on its heels.
Yet throughout March, while police-state fever prompted the suspension of democracy in some 40 states and most of the US population was being hustled into virtual house arrest, the pro-incarceration crowd’s loudest voices unanimously insisted that masks were of no practical value.
[t]here’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think it is. And often there are unintended consequences – people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.”
That was how things stood when the epidemic was new and all stops were out. And now? Contemplating the lockdown-lovers’ belated fetish for surgical gear, one can only imagine the US Navy ceremoniously issuing an air-raid warning at Pearl Harbor a hundred days or so after the Japanese attack had wiped out much of the fleet.
But you’ve got to hand it to the mask-maniacs. No matter how many of their excuses for muzzling the population go the way of the Great Auk, they keep the new ones tumbling out so fast you can hardly keep track.
Here’s one peddled on July 14 in the Los Angeles Times: even though the masks won’t really prevent infection, they may reduce the amount of the virus you breathe in – that is, just in case you happen to come across an infected person who somehow manages to breathe into your (masked) face from a very short distance and for an extended period. (No one cited in the article bothers to discuss how often such a scenario is likely to occur.) According to a Dr. Monica Gandhi:
[t]here is this theory that facial masking reduces…disease severity.”
In other words, you’ll get COVID19 with or without a mask, but the effects will probably be milder if you muffle your face.
But wait a minute – even if “this theory” is correct (note that it contradicts everything the propagandists have been telling us about masks for the last three months), wasn’t it always the case that the overwhelming majority of those who catch COVID19 have very mild symptoms, or no symptoms at all?
So what’s the big advantage of the mask? The article is silent on that point – and Dr. Gandhi herself ultimately admits that her “theory” remains unproven. But that doesn’t stop the Times from lambasting a few local California officials who have raised inconvenient questions about mandatory muzzling.
“This anti-mask rhetoric is mind-blowing, dangerous, deadly and polarizing,” the article quotes Dr. Peter Chin-Hong as responding. Why? Because masks prevent infection? No. Because they save lives? No. Criticizing the muzzle mandate is “deadly” because – wait for it – because:
[t]here is no evidence that [wearing a mask] is dangerous.”
Well, actually, there is such evidence; Anthony Fauci admitted as much to 60 Minutes in March.
But the main problem with this retort is that it misses the point: people are being forced to mask their faces in public without any evidence that it’s dangerous not to.
Dr. Chin-Hong’s implicit confession that this is so knocks the stuffing out of the mandate – and the Times’ rationale. But to say so openly is “dangerous, deadly [there’s that favorite adjective again] and polarizing.” It’s no accident that the symbol of submission currently in vogue is one that covers the mouth. The real message of the mask-maniacs is that we have no right to say what we think.
And speaking of “polarizing,” what about the personal viciousness to which mask-mania so frequently descends? I have lost track of the number of videos circulated by so-called news outlets that depict frustrated shoppers losing their cool over being forced to dress like mummies.
Apparently this is supposed to be cute – as in, “Get a load of that stupid, Trump-supporting bitch having a public meltdown.” Myself, I feel sorry for these people; I share their exasperation, and I empathize with them over the invasion of their privacy.
As for the propagandists who peddle Schadenfreude in support of governors-turned-dictators – I indict them as heartless hypocrites, who claim to value our collective welfare and prove it by publicly humiliating their victims. Would they take similar pleasure, I wonder, in mocking the reaction of a black shopper who’d just been called “nigger”?
And it gets worse. In the upside-down world of COVID19 media values, even death is no protection from victim-shaming. Recently, American news organizations “reported” the death of an Ohio man who had the misfortune to die on July 4 of what they gleefully called “complications of COVID-19.”
More than two months earlier, the victim had posted a comment on social media saying he wasn’t going to “buy a mask.” The articles – which even named the deceased (a combat veteran) – practically salivated over the fact that he had had the audacity to go to a swimming pool in mid-June, where he may have contracted the virus. You see? screamed the reporters’ moralizing subtext. The maskless, self-indulgent right-wing bastard got what he deserved!
Just for the record, let me note that there are a number of things we don’t know. We don’t know whether the poor man actually wore a mask or not. (He wrote in late April that he didn’t intend to buy one, but that’s really not the same thing.) We don’t know how he actually caught the virus. We don’t know whether he could have been saved with better treatment; it’s even possible he waited too long to seek medical help.
Given his youth and the apparently lightning pace of his descent into serious illness, his death from COVID19 is so highly unusual that its medical significance amounts to another thing we don’t know.
Most important, we don’t know whether wearing or not wearing a mask had anything at all to do with his death. (If he was infected while at a swimming pool, I doubt even the mask-maniacs would insist that he should have worn it in the water.)
What we do know is that he was targeted for savage personal attacks after he died, first on social media and now in the press.
“[P]eople have come out of the woodworks, posting nasty, hateful comments about a man they knew nothing about,” one of his friends has said. “Most of it crossed the line into harassment. When reported to Facebook, nothing was taken down nor was there ANY action taken,” he added, while “[t]hose that defended [him] faced consequences from Facebook in way of bans.”
Well, at least the pattern of the propaganda makes sense, in a way: slander the nonconformist and you can get away with murder; defend him, you’re silenced.
Even the New York Times’ resident faux progressive, Michelle Goldberg, has taken up the cry. Another “Trump fan,” she sniffed on July 14, has become a “macabre cliché” by dying of a disease she blames him for contracting.
I wonder whether Ms. Goldberg would be smirking about a woman who was raped some two months after posting a comment to the effect that “I’ll go wherever I want and dress however I like.” My guess is that the analogy hasn’t occurred to her; she knows her job, and it’s about propaganda, not consistency.
And the propaganda’s bottom line is as clear as it is grim. Forget about your personal liberties. Forget about the democracy you thought you were living in. The mask – the symbol of fear, of arbitrary rule, of the abolition of normal social life, of voiceless submission – isn’t going away any time soon.
It’s clear that we are having a significant resurgence of cases in the summer, and they’ll get bigger. And it’ll keep going until we lock things down again.”
And how long before the cycle of incarceration really ends? “[S]everal years,” Toner says blandly, adding the sinister afterthought that people who resist being muzzled “will get over it.… It’s just a question of how many people get sick and die before they get over it.”
Makes you feel kind of warm and protected, doesn’t it? Thank heaven people like Toner know our needs so much better than we do.
The media ubiquity of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security is another ominous feature of the current wave of propaganda.
Last October, the Center ran a coronavirus pandemic “simulation” in New York City – cosponsored by the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – for an assembly of powerful people in business and government, after which its members openly speculated about the possible need for “censoring social media content” on the theory that “[m]isinformation and disinformation are likely to be serious threats during a public health emergency.”
These facts obviously bear on the organization’s motives and credibility, at the very least. But you won’t hear them mentioned when the Center’s data are repeated as fact in mainstream media, nor when its members assure us that if we don’t wear masks for the next two years we’ll all drop dead.
Is it unreasonable to hope that reporters might want to explore why “health security” is presumed to entail censorship? Or whether the huge investment of the Gates Foundation in vaccine development has any influence on its partner organization’s bleak predictions for escaping the coronavirus without a new vaccine? Or whether, having insisted first on devastating lockdowns and now on worthless face masks, the Center will use its political leverage to demand mandatory vaccination when the time comes?
Professor Lawrence Gostin is another worrisome presence in the media, including Michelle Goldberg’s recent sanctimonious outburst in the New York Times – where, pretending to describe the consequences of the virus, she catalogs the devastation of the lockdowns instead:
[A] record 5.4 million people lost their health insurance between February and May. A generation of American kids will have their educations derailed, and many parents who don’t lose their jobs due to the economic crisis will see their careers ruined by the demands of child care […] The psychological consequences alone will be incalculable. Even before the coronavirus, researchers spoke of loneliness as its own epidemic in America. A March article in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry attributed 162,000 deaths a year to the fallout of social isolation. Now people are being told that they can socialize only under the most stringent conditions. Much of what makes life sweet is lost to us, not for days or weeks, but months or years.
As I said, this is a chillingly accurate summary of the consequences of the mass incarceration foisted on us by more than 40 state governors, most of them Democrats, beginning in early March – when each one, with a unilateral declaration of a “health emergency,” seized quasi-dictatorial powers, shunted aside the Constitution and bankrupted the citizenry. Those “emergency” powers have not been relinquished to this day.
But neither Goldberg nor her hero, Professor Gostin, offers a single word of criticism for any of those governors, and certainly not for the Democratic Party leadership that has backed this democracy-destroying, economy-wrecking madness at every step. For them, everything is the exclusive fault of one man: Donald Trump.
Coming from Goldberg, that might be just another election-year screed against an incumbent the Times dislikes. But what about Gostin? Well, although Goldberg never mentions it, Professor Gostin just happens to be the author of the model version of the Emergency Health Powers Act, the adoption of which in all fifty states (if in somewhat different versions) made possible the coup the governors pulled off by claiming “emergencies” several months ago.
It’s worth remembering that Gostin’s proposed bill was sharply criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union back in 2001 as “replete with civil liberties problems” and “a throwback to a time before the legal system recognized basic protections for fairness.”
In fact, some of its specific objections to the EHPA deserve quoting at length, in light of where the Act’s reckless application has brought us today:
It fails to include basic checks and balances. The Act would grant extraordinary emergency powers, but that kind of authority should never go unchecked. Public health authorities make mistakes, and politicians abuse their powers…The lack of checks and balances could have serious consequences for individuals’ freedom, privacy, and equality. The Act lets a governor declare a state of emergency unilaterally and without judicial oversight, fails to provide modern due process procedures for quarantine and other emergency powers…and contains no checks on the power to order forced treatment and vaccination.
It goes well beyond bioterrorism. The act includes an overbroad definition of “public health emergency”…that clearly do[es] not justify quarantine, forced treatment, or any of the other broad emergency authorities that would be granted under the Act.
It lacks privacy protections. The Act requires the disclosure of massive amounts of personally identifiable health information to public health authorities, without requiring basic privacy protections and fair information practices…. That not only threatens to violate individuals’ medical privacy but undermines public trust in government activities.
It’s not hard to see why Ms. Goldberg is reluctant to give us the accurate back story for her star witness. The ACLU’s list of warnings about the potential abuses of the law Gostin drafted is a near-perfect précis of what has actually happened: unilateral declarations of an “emergency,” state by state, where none really existed; the seizure by each governor of almost unlimited power to order quarantines and forced vaccinations; the elimination of “due process” restrictions on mass confinement; the dismantling of privacy protections along with basic rights.
I don’t intend to sing the praises of the ACLU, which – like so many other liberal institutions in the US – has been missing in action since the actual coup began last March. But no one can deny the prescience of its critique. And Goldberg knows her readers aren’t stupid: once they are aware of the role Gostin played in orchestrating the overthrow of their freedoms, they’re not likely to grant him the pied piper status Goldberg wants him to have.
Why does she cite Gostin? First, to “prove” – like Eric Toner in another context – that the COVID19 outbreak, the current excuse for the denial of our liberties, will last another two years; amazingly, Goldberg claims this while insisting simultaneously that the same outbreak is practically over in New Zealand, Taiwan and Italy after just a few months.
But she also needs him to explain, albeit in somewhat indirect language, why democracy isn’t good for us.
According to Gostin, the coronavirus has proved that “health system capacity alone is almost useless unless you have a government that can unleash that capacity promptly and consistently.” Obviously, we can’t do that if we have to bother with pesky constraints like representative government or the public will. And from Gostin’s perspective, we’ve been dabbling in the utopianism of democracy for too long as it is: “It’s going to take several years for us to be able to come out of all of the trauma that we’ve had,” he warns.
And I think that suggests the real message Goldberg and the other propagandists are keen on peddling. They didn’t do this to us. It’s not that we’ve been lied to and illegally confined. It’s not that our state executives have defied their oaths of office. It’s not that their media mouthpieces have offered us one swindle after another: lockdowns, business closings, job losses, muzzling, scare-mongering, the destruction (as Goldberg herself admits) of “much of what makes life sweet” – theater, cinema, public discussion, time shared with friends.
The problem is us. We’ve been clinging to dreams of freedom – and that will cost us. The lockdown-lovers are going to punish us for our wrongheaded attachment to notions of individual rights, and they will punish us still more for continuing recalcitrance. But note this: they can only get away with it by selling us one more lie – namely, that what they’re doing to us is really the work of a disease beyond anyone’s control.
“The coronavirus is a natural disaster,” Goldberg writes.
No, it isn’t.
The coronavirus is just another flu. The real disaster has been the work of human beings. Resisting it must be, too.
Federal lawsuit calls Tulsa’s mask ordinance unconstitutional and unhealthy for citizens First amended complaint attached – read my http://www.Virus-Lies.com for more info http://tulsabeacon.com/mask-lawsuit/ (Masks cause hypoxia by reducing Oxygen below 19.5% – in violation of OSHA directions – causes headaches, dizzyness, etc) Doctor Robert Zoellner, Clay Clark, Doctor James Meehan, MD, and several Tulsa-based business […] […]
Photo by John E. Marriott Last week, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported a 13% increase in the number of wolves in the state over the last year, bringing the estimated total to just over 1000. The annual count, from April 2019 to April 2020, is primarily conducted over the winter when tracking…
Bill Gates, chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in 2019. Samuel Habtab/AP Photo
Last August, NPR profiled a Harvard-led experiment to help low-income families find housing in wealthier neighborhoods, giving their children access to better schools and an opportunity to “break the cycle of poverty.” According to researchers cited in the article, these children could see $183,000 greater earnings over their lifetimes—a striking forecast for a housing program still in its experimental stage.
If you squint as you read the story, you’ll notice that every quoted expert is connected to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which helps fund the project. And if you’re really paying attention, you’ll also see the editor’s note at the end of the story, which reveals that NPR itself receives funding from Gates.
NPR’s funding from Gates “was not a factor in why or how we did the story,” reporter Pam Fessler says, adding that her reporting went beyond the voices quoted in her article. The story, nevertheless, is one of hundreds NPR has reported about the Gates Foundation or the work it funds, including myriad favorable pieces written from the perspective of Gates or its grantees.
And that speaks to a larger trend—and ethical issue—with billionaire philanthropists’ bankrolling the news. The Broad Foundation, whose philanthropic agenda includes promoting charter schools, at one point funded part of the LA Times’ reporting on education. Charles Koch has made charitable donations to journalistic institutions such as the Poynter Institute, as well as to news organizations such as the Daily Caller News Foundation, that support his conservative politics. And the Rockefeller Foundation funds Vox’s Future Perfect, a reporting project that examines the world “through the lens of effective altruism”—often looking at philanthropy.
As philanthropists increasingly fill in the funding gaps at news organizations—a role that is almost certain to expand in the media downturn following the coronavirus pandemic—an underexamined worry is how this will affect the ways newsrooms report on their benefactors. Nowhere does this concern loom larger than with the Gates Foundation, a leading donor to newsrooms and a frequent subject of favorable news coverage.
I recently examined nearly twenty thousand charitable grants the Gates Foundation had made through the end of June and found more than $250 million going toward journalism. Recipients included news operations like the BBC, NBC, Al Jazeera, ProPublica, National Journal, The Guardian, Univision, Medium, the Financial Times, TheAtlantic, the Texas Tribune, Gannett, Washington Monthly, Le Monde, and the Center for Investigative Reporting; charitable organizations affiliated with news outlets, like BBC Media Action and the New York Times’ Neediest Cases Fund; media companies such as Participant, whose documentary Waiting for “Superman” supports Gates’s agenda on charter schools; journalistic organizations such as the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the National Press Foundation, and the International Center for Journalists; and a variety of other groups creating news content or working on journalism, such as the Leo Burnett Company, an ad agency that Gates commissioned to create a “news site” to promote the success of aid groups. In some cases, recipients say they distributed part of the funding as subgrants to other journalistic organizations—which makes it difficult to see the full picture of Gates’s funding into the fourth estate.
The foundation even helped fund a 2016 report from the American Press Institute that was used to develop guidelines on how newsrooms can maintain editorial independence from philanthropic funders. A top-level finding: “There is little evidence that funders insist on or have any editorial review.” Notably, the study’s underlying survey data showed that nearly a third of funders reported having seen at least some content they funded before publication.
Gates’s generosity appears to have helped foster an increasingly friendly media environment for the world’s most visible charity. Twenty years ago, journalists scrutinized Bill Gates’s initial foray into philanthropy as a vehicle to enrich his software company, or a PR exercise to salvage his battered reputation following Microsoft’s bruising antitrust battle with the Department of Justice. Today, the foundation is most often the subject of soft profiles and glowing editorials describing its good works.
During the pandemic, news outlets have widely looked to Bill Gates as a public health expert on covid—even though Gates has no medical training and is not a public official. PolitiFact and USA Today (run by the Poynter Institute and Gannett, respectively—both of which have received funds from the Gates Foundation) have even used their fact-checking platforms to defend Gates from “false conspiracy theories” and “misinformation,” like the idea that the foundation has financial investments in companies developing covid vaccines and therapies. In fact, the foundation’s website and most recent tax forms clearly show investments in such companies, including Gilead and CureVac.
In the same way that the news media has given Gates an outsize voice in the pandemic, the foundation has long used its charitable giving to shape the public discourse on everything from global health to education to agriculture—a level of influence that has landed Bill Gates on Forbes’s list of the most powerful people in the world. The Gates Foundation can point to important charitable accomplishments over the past two decades—like helping drive down polio and putting new funds into fighting malaria—but even these efforts have drawn expert detractors who say that Gates may actually be introducing harm, or distracting us from more important, lifesaving public health projects.
From virtually any of Gates’s good deeds, reporters can also find problems with the foundation’s outsize power, if they choose to look. But readers don’t hear these critical voices in the news as often or as loudly as Bill and Melinda’s. News about Gates these days is often filtered through the perspectives of the many academics, nonprofits, and think tanks that Gates funds. Sometimes it is delivered to readers by newsrooms with financial ties to the foundation.
The Gates Foundation declined multiple interview requests for this story and would not provide its own accounting of how much money it has put toward journalism.
In response to questions sent via email, a spokesperson for the foundation said that a “guiding principle” of its journalism funding is “ensuring creative and editorial independence.” The spokesperson also noted that, because of financial pressures in journalism, many of the issues the foundation works on “do not get the in-depth, consistent media coverage they once did.… When well-respected media outlets have an opportunity to produce coverage of under-researched and under-reported issues, they have the power to educate the public and encourage the adoption and implementation of evidence-based policies in both the public and private sectors.”
As CJR was finalizing its fact check of this article, the Gates Foundation offered a more pointed response: “Recipients of foundation journalism grants have been and continue to be some of the most respected journalism outlets in the world.… The line of questioning for this story implies that these organizations have compromised their integrity and independence by reporting on global health, development, and education with foundation funding. We strongly dispute this notion.”
The full scope of Gates’s giving to the news media remains unknown because the foundation only publicly discloses money awarded through charitable grants, not through contracts. In response to questions, Gates only disclosed one contract—Vox’s—but did describe how some of this contract money is spent: producing sponsored content, and occasionally funding “non-media nonprofit entities to support efforts such as journalist trainings, media convenings, and attendance at events.”
In the same way that the news media has given Gates an outsize voice in the pandemic, the foundation has long used its charitable giving to shape the public discourse on everything from global health to education to agriculture.
Over the years, reporters have investigated the apparent blind spots in how the news media covers the Gates Foundation, though such reflective reporting has waned in recent years. In 2015, Vox ran an article examining the widespread uncritical journalistic coverage surrounding the foundation—coverage that comes even as many experts and scholars raise red flags. Vox didn’t cite Gates’s charitable giving to newsrooms as a contributing factor, nor did it address Bill Gates’s month-long stint as guest editor for The Verge, a Vox subsidiary, earlier that year. Still, the news outlet did raise critical questions about journalists’ tendency to cover the Gates Foundation as a dispassionate charity instead of a structure of power.
Five years earlier, in 2010, CJR published a two-part series that examined, in part, the millions of dollars going toward PBS NewsHour, which it found to reliably avoid critical reporting on Gates.
In 2011, the Seattle Times detailed concerns over the ways in which Gates Foundation funding might hamper independent reporting:
To garner attention for the issues it cares about, the foundation has invested millions in training programs for journalists. It funds research on the most effective ways to craft media messages. Gates-backed think tanks turn out media fact sheets and newspaper opinion pieces. Magazines and scientific journals get Gates money to publish research and articles. Experts coached in Gates-funded programs write columns that appear in media outlets from The New York Times to The Huffington Post, while digital portals blur the line between journalism and spin.
These stories offered compelling evidence of Gates’s editorial influence, but they didn’t attempt to investigate the full scope of the foundation’s financial reach into the fourth estate. (For perspective, $250 million is the same amount that Jeff Bezos paid for the Washington Post.)
When Gates gives money to newsrooms, it restricts how the money is used—often for topics, like global health and education, on which the foundation works—which can help elevate its agenda in the news media.
For example, in 2015 Gates gave $383,000 to the Poynter Institute, a widely cited authority on journalism ethics (and an occasional partner of CJR’s), earmarking the funds “to improve the accuracy in worldwide media of claims related to global health and development.”
Poynter senior vice president Kelly McBride said Gates’s money was passed on to media fact-checking sites, including Africa Check, and noted that she is “absolutely confident” that no bias or blind spots emerged from the work, though she acknowledged that she has not reviewed it herself.
I found sixteen examples of Africa Check examining media claims related to Gates. This body of work overwhelmingly seems to support or defend Bill and Melinda Gates and their foundation, which has spent billions of dollars on development efforts in Africa. The only example I found of Africa Check even remotely challenging its patron was when a foundation employee tweeted an incorrect statistic—that a child dies of malaria every 60 seconds, instead of every 108.
Africa Check says it went on to receive an additional $1.5 million from Gates in 2017 and 2019.
“Our funders or supporters have no influence over the claims we fact-check…and the conclusions we reach in our reports,” said Noko Makgato, executive director of Africa Check, in a statement to CJR. “With all fact-checks involving our funders, we include a disclosure note to inform the reader.”
Earlier this year, McBride added NPR public editor to her list of duties, as part of a contract between NPR and Poynter. Since 2000, the Gates Foundation has given NPR $17.5 million through ten charitable grants—all of them earmarked for coverage of global health and education, specific issues on which Gates works.
NPR covers the Gates Foundation extensively. By the end of 2019, a spokesperson said, NPR had mentioned the foundation more than 560 times in its reporting, including 95 times on Goats and Soda, the outlet’s “global health and development blog,” which Gates helps fund. “Funding from corporate sponsors and philanthropic donors is separate from the editorial decision-making process in NPR’s newsroom,” the spokesperson noted.
NPR does occasionally hold a critical lens to the Gates Foundation. Last September, it covered a decision by the foundation to give a humanitarian award to Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, despite Modi’s dismal record on human rights and freedom of expression. (That story was widely covered by news outlets—a rare bad news cycle for Gates.)
On the same day, the foundation appeared in another NPR headline: “Gates Foundation Says World Not on Track to Meet Goal of Ending Poverty by 2030.” That story cites only two sources: the Gates Foundation and a representative from the Center for Global Development, a Gates-funded NGO. The lack of independent perspectives is hard to miss. Bill Gates is the second-richest man in the world and might reasonably be viewed as a totem of economic inequality, but NPR has transformed him into a moral authority on poverty.
Given Gates’s large funding role at NPR, one could imagine editors insisting that reporters seek out financially independent voices or include sources who can offer critical perspectives. (Many NPR stories on Gates don’t: here, here, here, here, here, here.) Likewise, NPR could seek a measure of independence from Gates by rejecting donations that are earmarked for reporting on Gates’s favored topics.
Even when NPR publishes critical reporting on Gates, it can feel scripted. In February 2018, NPR ran a story headlined “Bill Gates Addresses ‘Tough Questions’ on Poverty and Power.” The “tough questions” NPR posed in this Q&A were mostly based on a list curated by Gates himself, which he previously answered in a letter posted to his foundation’s website. With no irony at all, reporter Ari Shapiro asked, “How do you…encourage people to be frank with you, even at risk of perhaps alienating their funder?”
In the interview, Gates said that critics are voicing their concerns and the foundation is listening.
In 2007, the LA Timespublished one of the only critical investigative series on the Gates Foundation, part of which examined the foundation’s endowment holdings in companies that hurt those people the foundation claimed to help, like chocolate companies linked to child labor. Charles Piller, the lead reporter on the series, says he made strenuous efforts to get responses from the Gates Foundation during the investigation.
“For the most part they were unwilling to engage with me. They were unwilling to answer questions and pretty much refused to respond in any sort of way, except in the most minimal way, for most of my stories,” Piller said.“That’s very, very typical of big companies, government agencies—to try to hope that whatever controversial issues have been raised in reporting will have limited shelf life, and they’ll be able to go back to business as usual.”
Asked about the dearth of hard reporting on Gates, Piller says the foundation’s funding may prompt newsrooms to find other targets.
“I think they would be kidding themselves to suggest that those donations to their organizations have no impact on editorial decisions,” he says. “It’s just the way of the world.”
Two journalists who have investigated Gates more recently cite what appear to be more explicit efforts by the foundation to exercise editorial influence.
Writing in De Correspondent, freelance journalists Robert Fortner and Alex Park examined the limitations and inadvertent consequences of the Gates Foundation’s relentless efforts to eradicate polio. In HuffPost, the two journalists showed how Gates’s outsize funding of global health initiatives has steered the world’s aid agenda toward the foundation’s own goals (like polio eradication) and away from issues such as emergency preparedness to respond to disease outbreaks, like the Ebola crisis. (This narrative has been lost in the current covid-19 news cycle, as outlets from the LA Times to PBS to STAT have portrayed Gates as a visionary leader on pandemics.)
During the course of Fortner and Park’s reporting these two stories, the foundation went over their heads to seek an audience with their editors. Editors at both publications say this raised questions about Gates attempting to influence editorial direction on the stories.
“They’ve dodged our questions and sought to undermine our coverage,” says Park.
During Park and Fortner’s investigation for De Correspondent, the head of Gates’s polio communications team, Rachel Lonsdale, made an unusual offer to the duo’s editor, writing, “We typically like to have a phone conversation with the editor of a publication employing freelancers we are engaging with, both to fully understand how we can help you with the specific project and to form a longer term relationship that could transcend the freelance assignment.”
The news outlet said it rejected the proposition because of its potential to compromise the independence and integrity of its journalistic work.
In a statement, the foundation said Lonsdale “was conducting normal media relations work as part of her role as a senior program officer. As we wrote to Tim in December 2019, ‘As with many organizations, the foundation has an in-house media relations team that cultivates relationships with journalists and editors in order to serve as a resource for information gathering and to help facilitate thorough and accurate coverage of our issues.’ ”
Park says his editors stood behind his work on both stories, but he doesn’t discount the foundation’s efforts to put “a wedge between us and the publication…if not to assert influence outright, to give themselves a channel through which they could assert influence later.”
Fortner, meanwhile, says he mostly avoids pitching articles to Gates-funded news outlets because of the conflict of interest this presents. “Gates funding, for me, makes a good-faith pitching process impossible,” he says.
Fortner, who authored CJR’s 2010 story on Gates’s journalism funding, self-published a follow-up in 2016 that examined how Gates funding is not always disclosed in news articles, including fifty-nine news stories the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting funded in part with Gates’s money. The center also declined to tell Fortner which fifty-nine articles had Gates’s funding.
If critical reporting about the Gates Foundation is rare, it is largely beside the point in “solutions journalism,” a new-ish brand of reporting that focuses on solutions to problems, not just the problems themselves. That more upbeat orientation has drawn the patronage of the Gates Foundation, which directed $6.3 million to the Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) to train journalists and fund reporting projects. Gates is the largest donor to SJN—supplying around one-fifth of the organization’s lifetime funding. SJN says more than half of this money has been distributed as subgrants, including to Education Lab, its partnership with the Seattle Times.
SJN acknowledges on its website “that there are potential conflicts of interest inherent” in taking philanthropic funding to produce solutions journalism, which SJN cofounder David Bornstein elaborated on in an interview. “If you are covering global health or education and you are writing about interesting models,” Bornstein said, “the chances that an organization [you are covering] is getting money from the Gates Foundation are very high because they basically blanket the whole world with their funding, and they’re the major funder in those two areas.” Asked if he could provide examples of any critical reporting about Gates emerging from SJN, Bornstein took issue with the question. “Most of the stories that we fund are stories that look at efforts to solve problems, so they tend to be not as critical as traditional journalism,” he said.
That is also the case for the journalism Bornstein and fellow SJN cofounder Tina Rosenberg produce for the New York Times. As contract writers for the “Fixes” opinion column, the two have favorably profiled Gates-funded education, agriculture, and global health programs over the years—without disclosing that they work for an organization that receives millions of dollars from Gates. Twice in 2019, for example, Rosenberg’s columns exalted the World Mosquito Project, whose sponsor page lands on a picture of Bill Gates.
“We do disclose our relationship with SJN in every column, and SJN’s funders are listed on our website. But you are correct that when we write about projects that get Gates funding, we should specifically say that SJN receives Gates funding as well,” Rosenberg noted in an email. “Our policy going forward with the NY Times will be clearer and will ensure disclosures.”
My cursory review of the Fixes column turned up fifteen installments where the writers explicitly mention Bill and Melinda Gates, their foundation, or Gates-funded organizations. Bornstein and Rosenberg said they asked their editors at the Times to belatedly add financial disclosures to several of these columns, but they also cited six they thought did not need disclosure. Rosenberg’s 2016 profile of Bridge International Academies, for example, notes that Bill Gates personally helps fund the project. The writers argue that SJN’s ties are to the Gates Foundation, not to Bill Gates himself, so no disclosure is needed.
“This is a significant distinction,” Rosenberg and Bornstein stated in an email.
Months after Bornstein and Rosenberg say they asked their editors to add financial disclosures to their columns, those pieces remain uncorrected. Marc Charney, a senior editor at the Times, said he wasn’t sure if or when the paper would add the disclosures, citing technical difficulties and other newsroom priorities.
Likewise, NPR said it would add a financial disclosure to a 2012 story it published on the Gates Foundation, but did not follow through. (In the vast majority of articles about Gates, NPR makes disclosures.)
Even perfect disclosure of Gates funding doesn’t mean the money can’t still introduce bias. At the same time, Gates funding, alone, doesn’t fully explain why so much of the news about the foundation is positive. Even news outlets with no obvious financial ties to Gates—the foundation isn’t required to publicly report all of the money it gives to journalism, making the full extent of its giving unknown—tend to report favorably on the foundation. That may be because Gates’s expansive giving over the decades has helped influence a larger media narrative about its work. And it may also be because the news media is always, and especially right now, looking for heroes.
A larger worry is the precedent the prevailing coverage of Gates sets for how we report on the next generation of tech billionaires–turned-philanthropists, including Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg. Bill Gates has shown how seamlessly the most controversial industry captain can transform his public image from tech villain to benevolent philanthropist. Insofar as journalists are supposed to scrutinize wealth and power, Gates should probably be one of the most investigated people on earth—not the most admired.
Reporting for this piece was supported by a fellowship from the Alicia Patterson Foundation.
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NOTIFIED: Sept. 21, 2020
Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that it made a mistake when it posted new guidance online citing “growing evidence” that COVID-19 is airborne, sending health experts and the public scrambling to determine if schools and business should rethink mitigation steps to prevent the spread of the virus.
The misstep is one of several in recent weeks in which the CDC has left the public scratching its head.
Since July, the agency has flip-flopped on its guidance on testing people who don’t show symptoms, finally settling on the recommendation that it’s a good idea.
“A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency’s official website. CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Once this process has been completed, the update language will be posted,” the CDC stated Monday.
How long the virus lingers in the air and how far it travels after someone sneezes or coughs has been the subject of much speculation since the beginning of the pandemic. On Friday, the CDC quietly updated a page on its website on how the virus spreads.
“There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes). In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk,” the CDC stated on Friday in a post that has since been taken down.MORE: In stunning reversal, CDC abruptly changes position on when to get tested
That assessment raised serious questions about whether such practices as attending school or dining indoors were safe because people would might remove their masks if there is enough social distance. School districts have long been sounding the alarm on the lack of ventilation, including old buildings and windows that won’t open.
A general view of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, on September 30, 2014.
But soon after the CDC change was noticed by media outlets, the CDC removed the posting. It remains unclear what CDC might post, if anything, on the matter. The White House task force on coronavirus stopped holding regular briefings on the pandemic, and CDC does not host press conferences.
The White House had no comment on the unexplained CDC action.
President Donald Trump has publicly challenged the CDC’s findings on the virus, oftentimes refusing to wear a mask and pressing the agency to reframe its guidance on schools to favor reopening. In recent months, the White House installed a press secretary at Health and Human Services who frequently disparaged CDC researchers.
The CDC caused alarm last August when it released guidance suggesting people didn’t necessarily need to get tested for the virus even if they were exposed. The agency last week walked that back and returned to its guidance from earlier in the summer that anyone who has been exposed needs to be tested.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield holds up his mask as he speaks at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Sept. 16, 2020, in Washington.
Similarly, Trump last week insisted the agency’s director, Robert Redfield, made a “mistake” when he predicted that most Americans wouldn’t have access to a vaccine until the middle of next year.
Redfield’s spokesman initially issued a statement that appeared to realign himself with the president, but then retracted the statement, leaving it unclear whether Redfield agreed with the president.
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has addressed the matter in recent weeks, the virus is believed to spread both through droplets by talking, sneezing or coughing, but also smaller droplets that linger in the air.
In a recent JAMA interview, Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said the degree of aerosolization is still being researched.
“We need to pay a little more attention now to the recirculation of air indoors,” he said.
ABC News’ Eric Strauss, Sony Salzman and Stephanie Ebbs contributed to this report.