The Good Billionaire: Self-appointed Health Tsar

This is Section E of IWNSPTB XI: The Good Billionaire.

Gates’ fingerprints are all over public health. Yet Gates is unelected; and having tons of money is not a qualification. His efforts are dedicated to causes he – an insanely wealthy, privileged, American male – deems fit to focus on. You will notice that these initiatives make him – and his business connections – a lot of money. The Lancet put it so: “The first guiding principle of the [Bill & Melinda Gates] Foundation is that it is driven by the interests and passions of the Gates family.”

Public Health Monopoly

Through philanthropic narrative shaping, Gates seems to have bought a name for himself as an infectious disease expert. Despite having no education or training as such. Yet, it is said: “Behind a veil of corporate media PR, the Gates Foundation has served as a vehicle for Western capital while exploiting the Global South as a human laboratory.”

Direct and indirect funding to public health institutions – such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE), Imperial College and John Hopkins University – gives “the non-governmental international empire unparalleled influence over one the world’s most important multilateral organizations.”

WHO adopted the Global Vaccine Plan that was co-authored by BMGF. BMGF is the biggest funder of vaccines in the world. The foundation’s website declares a mission to pursue “mutually beneficial opportunities” with (for-profit) vaccine manufacturers. Likewise, BMFG co-founded and funds the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI) which invests in vaccine technologies and platforms. There’s also Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI): a “public-private partnership” that facilitates bulk sales of vaccines to poor countries. GAVI is another medium through which BMGF funds and directs the WHO. GAVI discloses that BMGF plays a major role in efforts to “shape vaccine markets.” Critics say GAVI follows a “Gates-approach” on global health challenges, “focusing on disease-specific vertical health interventions (through vaccines), instead of horizontal and holistic approaches (e.g., health system strengthening).” There have been calls for GAVI to exclude pharmaceutical companies from their board of directors in order to reduce conflicts of interest. GAVI’s overall impact appears to have increased vaccine costs by 68% between 2001 and 2014. While American’s beg for support from their government’s Coronavirus stimulus bill, GAVI scored an extra 4 billion dollars.

Half of the 15-member SAGE board – a principal advisory group to the WHO for vaccines – listed BMGF connections as possible conflicts of interest. It is said, “Moreover, the Gates Foundation invests in these corporations directly. […] A recent investigation by The Nation revealed that the Gates Foundation currently holds corporate stocks and bonds in drug companies like Merck, GSK, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Novartis, and Sanofi.” BMGF’s tax forms also show investments in Gilead and CureVac.

Dr David Legge says, “Gates’ financial ‘donations’ are actually a mechanism for agenda setting. […] his massive contributions totally distort the kind of budget priorities that the World Health Assembly would wish to see.” This makes Gates “an unofficial – albeit unelected – leader at the organization.” UK-based NGO Global Justice Now says, “the Foundation’s influence is so pervasive that many actors in international development which would otherwise critique the policy and practice of the Foundation are unable to speak out independently as a result of its funding and patronage.” Global Health Watch says, “other global health actors are accountable to the Gates Foundation, but not the other way round.” An article in Politico says, “Gates’ priorities have become the WHO’s.” Another says, “The people at WHO seem to have gone crazy. It’s ‘yes sir’, ‘yes sir’, to Gates on everything.”

A brief side note on the WHO (1, 2, 3, 4): reports quote sociologist Allison Katz, who worked for 18 years in the WHO headquarters. Katz says that the WHO “has become a victim of neoliberal globalization.” Katz wrote an open letter to then-WHO Director-General Margaret Chan in 2007, criticizing public bodies that “go begging to the private sector [and] to the foundations of celebrity ‘philanthropists’ with diverse agendas, from the industry.” For example, the “Gates Foundation’s contributions to the WHO are earmarked, the WHO doesn’t decide how these funds are spent – the foundation does.” Chan herself once said that the WHO budget is highly-earmarked, driven by “donor interests.” Most of WHO’s money comes with strings attached; 80% of the WHO’s budget is earmarked contributions. In 2018, WHO took in over 70 million dollars from the pharmaceutical industry. BMGF is said to have “provided Big Pharma with the perfect vehicle for influencing the WHO.” Current WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, not a medical doctor himself, was previously on the board of two organizations Gates founded and funds. Politico reported that prior to Tedros being selected for the WHO position, Gates was accused of supporting Tedros and using his influence to help him win the nomination. Some delegates feared that BMGF’s money comes from “big business” which could “serve as a Trojan horse for corporate interests to undermine WHO’s role in setting standards and shaping health policies.”

Many outlets report that Bill Gates is the first private individual to keynote WHO’s general assembly of member countries. One delegate remarked, “He is treated like a head of state, not only at the WHO, but also at the G20.” BMGF is compared to “a massive, vertically integrated multinational corporation (MNC), controlling every step in a supply chain that reaches from its Seattle-based boardroom, through various stages of procurement, production, and distribution, to millions of nameless, impoverished ‘end-users’ in the villages of Africa and South Asia.”

Rob Flynn, of PBS NewsHour, is quoted as saying “there are not a heck of a lot of things you could touch in global health these days that would not have some kind of Gates tentacle.” Foreign Affairs says that few policies or standards are announced by the WHO before they have been “casually, unofficially vetted” by BMGF staff. Professor of global public health, Dr David McCoy says that BMGF “operates through an interconnected network of organizations and individuals across academia and the NGO and business sectors” which allows Bill Gates to leverage influence in a kind of “group think.”

“The Gates Foundation has already effectively privatized the international body charged with creating health policy, transforming it into a vehicle for corporate dominance. It has facilitated the dumping of toxic products onto the people of the Global South, and even used the world’s poor as guinea pigs for drug experiments.”

Michele Greenstein and Jeremy Loffredo (The Grayzone)

We’re also asked to consider “the revolving door between the Gates Foundation and Big Pharma.” The Grayzone report names four personnel who were former employees at pharmaceutical companies that now work at BMGF. It is said that the “examples are almost endless.”

Gates writes that “there is simply no alternative” to accelerating the Covid-19 drug approval timeline. Gates wants to save time by conducting trials on animals and humans simultaneously. Biotech company Moderna, backed by both BMGF and Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), conducted human trials for its Covid-19 vaccine without prior animal testing. Dr Peter Hotez says that an experimental mRNA vaccine for a coronavirus is not the vaccine to be doing this with. BMGF granted 100 million dollars to Moderna in exchange for “certain non-exclusive licences.” Moderna is projected to make more than 10 billion dollars from its vaccine next year. It is said that many shareholders dumped their Moderna stock upon hearing the company named a vaccine finalist. Meanwhile, Moderna executives saw their net worth skyrocket during the pandemic.

Pfizer, another BMGF-backed vaccine producer, has already made an estimated 975 million dollars from its Covid-19 vaccine this year, with an expectation of another 19 billion dollars in 2021. Pfizer’s profit margin on the vaccine is estimated at between 60 and 80 percent. Covid-19 vaccines are estimated to draw in over 100 billion dollars in sales. Gates, via BMGF, GAVI and CEPI, is already financing the next-generation Covid-19 vaccines saying that “we still have a long way to go” before things return to normal.

New regulations grant liability immunity to corporations producing coronavirus drugs; the products will be indemnified against lawsuits, even if they produce harmful effects. Drug companies exempted from legal penalties have little incentive to protect people from dangerous side effects. Gates has advocated for legal immunity for drugmakers since at least 2015.

Trump-appointed chief scientist for finding a Covid-19 vaccine, Moncef Slaoui, is a Moderna board member. Slaoui is on the board of directors at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), a “public-private partnership” organization that has received more than 359 million dollars from BMGF. Slaoui, employed as a private contractor, can, according to Public Citizen, “maintain an extensive web of conflicting financial interests without the need to divest of, recuse from, or disclose those conflicting interests.” As The Grayzone puts it, “The corporate media likes to paint the Covid-19 response as a tug of war between anti-science blowhards like Donald Trump and ‘champions of science’ like Bill Gates. However, Slaoui’s appointment to co-direct ‘Operation Warp Speed’ indicates that, here, the Trump administration and the Gates Foundation are on the same team.”

In 2015, Gates gave a TED Talk on how a pandemic would be the next crisis humanity faces. Gates has associations with John Hopkins University, Imperial College, SAGE, WHO, Dr Antony Fauci, drugmakers (1, 2), et al. – nearly every party involved in the global response to Covid-19, granting one man outsize, unchallenged influence over humanity’s response despite glaring conflicts of interest.

It is reported that two research groups were crucial in shaping the decision of the U.K. and U.S. governments to implement wide-ranging lockdowns: “Imperial College COVID-19 Research Team, issued a report on March 16th that predicted up to 500,000 deaths in the UK and 2.2 million deaths in the US unless strict government measures were put in place. The second group, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation [IHME] in Bill Gates’ home state of Washington, helped provide data that corroborated the White House’s initial estimates of the virus’ effects, estimates that have been repeatedly downgraded as the situation has progressed.” By 2020, the Gates Foundation had already given 79 million dollars to Imperial College, and in 2017 the Foundation announced a 279 million dollar investment into the IHME.

Many policy measures implemented today emerged out of Event 201, a pandemic exercise conducted in October 2019. The simulation was a joint effort between BMGF, the World Economic Forum (WEF), and some of the institutions and companies mentioned above. In other words, Gates was set to gain tremendous financial and political capital from the current pandemic. It is said that BMGF “clearly has the ability to shape the decisions made by some of the institutions they fund, including when these decisions go against the desires of the masses they claim to be helping.”

(Source: TLAV)

Today, Gates continues to call for self-serving lockdowns, until 2022, despite the widespread collateral damage. You must recognize that Gates calling for mass vaccination, lockdowns and health passports, given his bought influence and funding of all the coronavirus bigshots, represents a serious conflict of interest.

One of the outcomes of Event 201 was a recommendation to stockpile vaccines. Here we have drug companies and their investors recommending the production of a global vaccine repository, stressing that a “collaboration between the WHO and the private sector is necessary.” Legge says that BMGF’s global health president Chris Elias’ suggestion would further increase the influence of for-profit pharmaceutical corporations, and make “WHO dependent on the goodwill of Big Pharma.”

Gates has advocated for military involvement from the likes of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to distribute vaccines. Gates has also urged that low-income countries be the first to receive the Covid-19 vaccine; with NATO involved, this could be weaponized to further a Western military agenda.

The Grayzone summarizes: “While maintaining relationships with government organizations and the profit-driven private sector, the Gates Foundation has become perhaps the most influential player in the global Covid-19 response. So if the foundation’s work has favored Western multinationals at the expense of public health in the past, why should anyone expect a different result this time?”

Associated Press reported South Africans protesting the phase III AstraZeneca clinical trials in Johannesburg. Demonstration organizer Phapano Phasha said, “I’m not against vaccinations, I’m against profiteering.” Phasha was right; we now endure Vaccine Apartheid as trial nations battle to secure stocks after drugmakers capitalized on cost savings and third-world desperation. Likewise, wealthy nations have opposed waiving intellectual property rights that would enable local production. Financing the purchase of vaccines – beyond the limited funds of COVAX Advance Market Commitment – can be achieved with loans from the World Bank, an element of U.S. imperialism. It is said that GAVI will never call out vaccine nationalism because its biggest donors are the most powerful members of their board.

For over 20 years, BMGF’s close relationship with the drug industry has “colored their work” in engineering global health policy for poor countries. It is said, “The foundation appears to see the Global South as both a dumping ground for drugs deemed too unsafe for the developed world and a testing ground for drugs not yet determined to be safe enough for the developed world.”

As Corbett puts it, “In effect, Gates has merely used the wealth from his domination of the software market to leverage himself into a similar position in the world of global health.”

One paper ends saying, “Bill Gates has informed the people of his plans for their future, but the people have yet to be heard from.”

Public Health Transgressions

A 2018 study highlights the lack of accountability of NGOs, focusing on BMGF. It says, “Ultimately, these health campaigns, under the guise of saving lives, have relocated large scale clinical trials of untested or unapproved drugs to developing markets where administering drugs is less regulated and cheaper.”

The BMGF-prescribed diphtheria tetanus pertussis (DTP) vaccine administered in Africa is not administered in any developed nation. The vaccine’s risks outweigh wild pertussis. Mounting evidence links the drugs used in these vaccines to brain damage, seizures and death. Western nations phased it out in the 90s while African nations are being financially-incentivised, by the likes of GAVI, to administer the out-of-date, dangerous DTP vaccine. A Danish study said that more Africans die at the hands of the vaccine than by the diseases it is meant to prevent. Regardless, it is said that “these staggering numbers have not stopped the Gates Foundation from spending millions annually to push the DTP vaccine onto African healthcare systems.”

Likewise, the polio drugs used in the Western world differ dramatically from those administered in the Global South. BMGF has spent more than 1 billion dollars distributing an Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) in African and Asian countries. Since the vaccine contains a live polio virus, people can contract the virus from the vaccine. More children have been paralyzed by the OPV strain than by wild polio. Professor of Microbiology Raul Andino says, “The very tool you are using for polio eradication is causing the problem.” In 2000, the U.S. halted using OPV but BMGF “uses its instruments of influence to ensure governments [in the developing world] continue administering it.” Africa is said to have eradicated wild polio but is now suffering from vaccine-derived strains. Polio outbreaks due to OPV have been reported in the Philippines, Congo, China, Egypt, Haiti, and Madagascar. WHO themselves have said that once the wild virus is gone, countries must stop administering OPV. Likewise, there’s been circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) outbreaks in Chad and Sudan. WHO’s 30-year, 16 billion dollar polio eradication plan failed to meet its deadline; as of 2019, almost four times as many cases exist in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran compared to 2018. Oxford’s Clinical Infectious Diseases Periodical says, “the time is coming when the only cause of polio is likely to be the vaccine used to prevent it.”

Furthermore, the British Medical Journal, in 2012, said that BMGF-fueled vaccination programs in India resulted in increased cases of polio. Doctors in India blame OPV for another disease called non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP) which paralyzed 496,000 children in 17 years. The Indian government dialled back BMGF’s vaccine regimen in 2017. A 25 million dollar, BMGF-backed polio immunization program in Syria left 58 children paralyzed a year later. In 2009, Ethiopia’s government ordered the destruction of 57,000 vials of oral polio vaccine following an outbreak of vaccine-induced polio. The Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, having observed both vaccine-derived polio outbreaks and the massive increase in NPAFP, is quoted as saying, “Perhaps the time is right for such an honourable strategy with regard to polio eradication.” Regardless, OPV remains administered in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, which is said to be “creating windfall profits for pharmaceutical giants who may not have been able to sell their products elsewhere.”

There’s also long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), which is often administered to women without informed consent. The contraceptive Norplant was pulled from the U.S. market in 2002 after 50,000 women filed lawsuits about severe side effects; rebranded as Jadine – and still not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – it is being promoted in Africa by BMGF. Pfizer’s injectable contraceptive Depo-Provera – protested by 70 Indian feminist groups, and whose active ingredient is associated with side effects such as blood clots and breast cancer – was supplied and introduced into the healthcare systems of countries including Uganda, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, Bangladesh, and India by BMGF. This earned Pfizer between 14 and 36 billion dollars. Senegal’s government was strong-armed into changing its laws to allow untrained health workers to administer another Pfizer contraceptive, Sayana Press. This drug is said to include side effects such as bone density loss. The FDA requires U.S. women to be informed of this fact but African women are kept in the dark. Like the statement by protestors of Depo-Provera says, “there are risks that the women are not given enough information to make an informed choice of contraceptive method.”

Drug companies avoid high phase III trial costs by conducting these trials in developing nations, facilitated by BMGF. Like The Times Live says, “We are guinea pigs for the drugmakers.” An example often cited is the first malaria vaccine by GSK. Phase III clinical trials took place in seven African countries. GSK’s data showed that females taking part in the non-control group were dying at twice the rate, facing 10 times the risk of meningitis. Yet the WHO, on advice from another BMGF-aligned institution SAGE, still coordinates the administration of the drug to hundreds of thousands of children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi. WHO claims consent is implied yet parents aren’t always given enough information to make that decision. The British Medical Journal says that “recipients of the malaria vaccine are not being informed that they are in a study.”

Another example is the clinical trial of GSK and Merck’s Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. The pros and cons were not duly communicated to parents of the 23,000 girls in India who took part in the study. McGoey says that most of the vaccines were given to girls in boarding schools for tribal children, side-stepping parental consent. The BMGF-backed Program for Appropriate Health and Technology (PATH), who administered the trial, was taken to court by the Indian Committee on Health and Family Welfare for a violation of human rights and child abuse. India’s parliamentary committee said that the sole aim of the BMGF-funded project was to promote “commercial interests of the HPV vaccine manufacturers, who would have reaped windfall profits if PATH had been successful in getting the HPV vaccine included in the universal immunization program of the Country.” The editor emeritus of the National Medical Journal of India wrote that this was an “obvious case where Indians were being used as guinea pigs.”

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