Dr. Anthony Fauci’s relationship with a billionaire whose money could buy influence on global health, a federal agency with too cozy a relationship with pharmaceutical firms, and the doctor’s public statements that helped a company in the federal vaccine trials make millions raise ethics and safety questions, say advocates concerned about vaccine efficacy.
There are also charges that Dr. Fauci, President Trump’s infectious disease expert and director of the federal National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stands to gain financially from creating a vaccine to combat the Covid-19 virus. The Final Call was unable to confirm the charge at press time but other concerns and worries about conflicts of interest abound.
“When you look at Tony Fauci, you look at things that set off red flags,” said Del Bigtree, an advocate for safe vaccines and producer of “Vaxxed,” a documentary that focuses on the hazards of unsafe vaccines.
“He immediately rejects treatment approaches … he goes out of his way to say these approaches need serious studies. Why is he so confident that treatments will never work but vaccines will?” asked Mr. Bigtree.
“Such a vaccine for covid has been attempted for 20 years and failed. That to me says there is an agenda behind it. Just as you can come up with a vaccine you can come up with a treatment and we are all out of this and you don’t have to inject every healthy person that is not being affected,” argued Mr. Bigtree.
“There must be an agenda. We have drugs for everything in the world. You don’t think we can find a drug ahead of time. Why are you talking about one approach and not the other. That smacks of an agenda and it’s the reason we need to add investigation to the list,” he added. Mr. Bigtree is part of what is often referred to as the anti-vaxxer movement. But many involved, like Robert Kennedy, Jr. of Children’s Health Defense, say they aren’t anti-vaccine but want safe vaccines.
He and others fear a financial interest involving the federal National Institutes of Health, which includes the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and vaccine makers has led to corruption.
They question whether lucrative payments taint any watchdog role and tie agency financial success to making and marketing vaccines.
Some of the problematic links between government oversight and possible profits from vaccines have been uncovered.
“New documents obtained by Axios and Public Citizen suggest that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) owns half the key patent for Moderna’s controversial COVID vaccine and could collect half the royalties. Also, four NIH scientists have filed their provisional patent application as co-inventors. Little known NIH regulations let agency scientists collect up to $150,000 annually in royalties from vaccines upon which they worked. These rules are recipes for regulatory corruption,” Mr. Kennedy wrote recently.
“The National Institutes of Health appears to have a financial stake in the Moderna vaccine, but it’s unclear how much that stake is,” reported Axios, an online news site.
Axios found that a disclosure in a pending scientific paper revealed four NIH scientists filed a provisional patent application for a “2019-nCoV vaccine.”
“A statement the NIH sent to Axios said that the scientists’ contribution to the vaccine was creat[ing] stabilized coronavirus spike proteins for the development of vaccines against coronavirus,” said the online outlet. Mr. Fauci was not among the four scientists named in the paper which included Kizzmekia S. Corbett, Nianshuang Wang, Jason S. McLellan, and Barney S. Graham. While these four NIH scientists may receive royalties from a vaccine, federal law prevents their compensation from exceeding $150,000 a year.
Mr. Kennedy added, “Anthony Fauci arranged a $483 million grant to Moderna from a sister NIH agency, BARDA, even though Moderna has never brought a product to market or gotten approval.”
Dr. Fauci recently told CNBC he is “not particularly concerned” about the safety risk of a potential coronavirus vaccine by Moderna (which has been fast-tracked and a part of the federal Operation Warp Speed vaccine trials), even though it uses new technology to fight the virus.
The vaccine, which entered a large phase-three human trial in July, uses messenger ribonucleic acid, or mRNA molecules, to provoke an immune response to fight the virus. While early studies show promise, mRNA technology has never been used to make a successful vaccine before.
In the past, Dr. Fauci has received payments for vaccines he has developed. The BMJ, a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal, reported that Dr. Fauci put his name on the patent for the development of interleukin 2 and was also required by law to receive part of the government’s payment for the use of the patent. Dr. Fauci said that he felt it was inappropriate to receive payment and donated the entire amount to charity. He told Associated Press that he had been concerned about an apparent conflict of interest “for some time before the agency’s story appeared.”
Company cashes in on cheerleading
According to Investment.com, Dr. Fauci’s cheerleading for Moderna has not been lost on the stock market where shares have more than tripled in 2020.
NPR reported, “Whether the coronavirus vaccine developed by Moderna succeeds or not, executives at the small biotech company have already made tens of millions of dollars by cashing in their stock. An NPR examination of official company disclosures has revealed other irregularities and potential warning signs. Since January, CEO Stéphane Bancel has sold roughly $40 million worth of Moderna stock held by himself or associated investment funds; Chief Medical Officer Tal Zaks has sold around $60 million. President Stephen Hoge has sold more than $10 million.”
Mr. Kennedy observed, “Fauci painted lipstick on that lame donkey (Moderna), and now he’s trying to convince everyone it’s a thoroughbred.”
Just News reported, “Dr. Anthony Fauci offered a pointed response to those who have challenged his stewardship of the pandemic as the nation’s infectious disease chief: ‘I think you can trust me,’ he declared, citing his long record of service in government medicine.”
“That is exactly what Fauci’s National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) agency declared years ago to foster children in New York, Illinois, and elsewhere, many of whom were enrolled in an AIDS drug trial without the promised patient protections. An investigation concluded the NIAID’s AIDS research division that reported to Fauci had failed in many cases to provide patient advocates to monitor the foster kids’ health as promised, and in some cases, as required by law,” said Just News.
There are also other problems:
• The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases failed to police two conflicts of interest in a vaccine experiment. A 2004 internal NIH review that concluded Dr. Fauci’s AIDS research division was a “troubled organization” where managers were creating a hostile atmosphere with “sexually explicit and colorful language” and “seemingly being unaware of the need for appropriate behavior, decorum, and enforcement of good management practices and rules of supervision.”
• A pregnant Tennessee woman died in 2003 after she enrolled in NIH-funded research to save her soon-to-be-born son from getting AIDS. A review found that doctors continued to administer an experimental drug regimen despite signs of liver failure.
• At least 10 children in a pediatric AIDS drug study died in what an investigation concluded was a death toll “significantly higher” than expected and unexplained.
• An Office of Government Ethics investigation cited the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for failing to review and clear two-thirds of its workers moonlighting in private industry for possible ethical conflicts.
National Institutes of Health-sponsored AIDS drug trials in Africa in 2002 were discovered to have notable reporting lapses; specifically, the NIH failed to tell then-President Bush that research into the AIDS drugs he authorized to send to Uganda had failed federal safety rules. However, the officials did notify authorities in Uganda before beginning the trials.
Government officials at the time “recognized the enormity that this decision could have on the worldwide use of nevirapine to interrupt mother-baby transmission,” NIH’s chief AIDS researcher told Dr. Fauci in a March 2004 email. “Doctors at the time were experimenting to see if nevirapine could be used by pregnant women to blunt the AIDS disease so that it was not passed on to their children during birth,” Just News reported.
The Gates connection
Others say just as or more troubling is the connection between Dr. Fauci and billionaire Bill Gates. “Along with his wife Melinda, Bill Gates has donated more than $350 million to the fight against the pandemic through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” reported Yahoo Finance. “He said he speaks with Fauci about the funding of vaccines in coordination with the National Institutes of Health, or NIH.
“ ‘The U.S. government and the Gates Foundation are the two largest funders of coronavirus interventions,’” Gates said, according to the news site.
“ ‘Dr. Fauci and I talk regularly about the U.S. innovation pipeline and how our foundation and NIH are funding both the first wave of vaccines and then a second wave of vaccines,’ ” Yahoo Finance reported.
Mr. Gates has given hundreds of millions of dollars to the National Institutes of Health and other health organizations. Many feel his “donations” mean a rich, private citizen is having outsized influence in global public health strategies and decisions.
Dr. Fauci serves on the Leadership Council of the Decade of Vaccines Collaboration sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It has developed a Global Vaccine Action Plan to guide discovery, development, and delivery of vaccines to the most vulnerable populations in the poorest countries over the next decade.
“In essence, Bill Gates is in charge of the world’s health. The application of his massive wealth, and his rallying of others to do the same, puts him in an unparalleled position of impact. However, his influence is enormous enough that it may silence the scrutiny he would otherwise receive. Gates’ philanthropy on health care is driven by his perspective that population control is key,” observed the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, a Canadian public policy think tank.
There is added concern about vaccine safety with President Trump’s reelection-driven predictions of a Covid-19 vaccine by November elections—and pressure on researchers and federal officials to give the president what he wants. While Dr. Fauci and others insist any vaccine will be safe, millions of Americans polled say they won’t take a vaccine and that politics not science is driving the process. And the commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration, which approves vaccines, is a political appointee, not a career civil service professional.
Del Bigtree, CEO of the Informed Consent Action Network, told The Final Call in a telephone interview, “I know there is absolutely no way to say that any of these vaccines are going to be safe if delivered by next year. There is no way because we are talking about mRNA vaccines that manipulate your RNA, DNA, cells. We have never made a vaccine like this before. It is brand new. Before a vaccine of this magnitude can be brought to market, a true safety trial must be performed to ensure that we don’t have long term autoimmune and neurological disorders caused by these vaccines. The only way you can do that is to have trials that are compared to a placebo group and follow them for a least two to three years.”
Even the head of the American Medical Association thought having a vaccine as soon as November was a pipe dream.
Susan Bailey, MD, president of the American Medical Association, told MedPage Today that finishing a phase III trial of a Covid-19 vaccine by November is an overly optimistic timeline.
She discussed Moderna’s phase III trial—with a goal of 30,000 people participating. “If we had 30,000 people enrolled today—which we don’t—90 days takes us to the first of November,” Dr. Bailey said. “That’s incredibly, incredibly optimistic, and it will be a challenge to make that happen.”
Asked whether three months would be long enough to determine the vaccine’s long-term efficacy, she said it would not. “That’s one reason phase III trials have to last long enough to get you the data that you need,” she explained.
“We just saw two injuries from the Astral Zeneca trials,” Mr. Biggtree pointed out. “They do their own investigation. What manufacturer is going to walk away from a $750 billion payout? It’s akin to the fox guarding the henhouse. That’s why you need regulatory agencies involved. You cannot put this in the hands and trust the scientists and the companies that stand to make billions of dollars. We have to have an independent body that gets involved with these things.”
Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad had a personal interaction with Dr. Fauci in 1992 when he went before the NIH advocating for Alpha Interferon to treat HIV. Dr. Muhammad told The Final Call he found Dr. Fauci dishonest. “I challenged Fauci in 1992 to produce a vaccine for HIV. He hasn’t produced it yet. Nor will he produce one for Covid-19. When you look at the news, it’s a vaccine race, a competition between corporations to see who will come up with a viable vaccine. Moderna is in the lead. Do the research. This is total corruption from the top down with genocidal implications,” he said.
“The association of Fauci, Gates, and Moderna is pure corruption. Science is a search for the truth. When you corrupt the scientific process, then you deny people access to the truth. We need to know the truth about the Covid virus; we need to know the truth about all of these things because lives are at stake. This is not a game,” Dr. Alim Muhammad continued.
“There is no evidence that vaccines have helped anybody except the pharmaceutical industry. Then here comes a make believe vaccine that might be here at the end of the year. This is just lying, spiritual wickedness in high places. This is scientific wickedness in high places,” he said. “The Honorable Elijah Muhammad described these people as being wickedly wise. So everyone lines up, no one has to be examined. It saves money; no diagnosis has to be confirmed. We line everybody up like cattle and give them whatever is in the vaccine.
“Vaccines are used for human engineering; medicine is used for human healing. There already are a whole lot of people who have been damaged by vaccines,” Dr. Muhammad concluded.
(Final Call staff contributed to this report.)