quarta-feira, 10 de junho de 2020

«Teorias da conspiração» ou lobbies à solta?

«Teorias da conspiração» ou lobbies à solta? (1)
“Conspiracy theories” or lobbies on the loose? (1)

Cada vez vêm ao de cima mais factos e declarações de responsáveis que lançam uma luz sinistra sobre as manobras imperiais, em particular das grandes farmacêuticas neoliberais, no aproveitamento da pandemia. Entre os factos, avulta a espantosa premonição revelada por um CEO de uma grande farmacêutica americana de que tinham começado a desenvolver a vacina contra o coronavírus meses antes da famosa simulação (o bem-conhecido Event201) de 18 de Outubro de 2019!!! As peças do puzzle começam a encaixar-se.

Convidamos o leitor a ler aqui sobre este tema o artigo António Abreu com o título supracitado publicado em AbrilAbril, um site a não perder, com artigos feitos com responsabilidade que quebram o silêncio e as fake news da informação dominante. (Este artigo tem a anotação “(1)” pelo que devemos estar atentos à sua continuação.)
More and more facts and statements from officials are coming to the fore that shed a sinister light on imperial maneuvers, in particular of the big neoliberal pharmaceutical companies taking advantage of the pandemic. Among the facts, stands out the amazing premonition revealed by a CEO of a large American pharmaceutical company that they had started to develop the vaccine against the coronavirus months before the famous simulation (the well-known Event201) of 18 October 2019!!! The pieces of the jigsaw start fitting together.

We present below a translation of an article on this topic by António Abreu, with the aforementioned title. The article was published by AbrilAbril, a site that is an antidote against the silence and the fake news of the mainstream information. (The title bears the notation “(1)” so we’ll keep an eye on its continuation.)

“Conspiracy theories” or lobbies on the loose? (1)

By António Abreu

AbrilAbril, June 7, 2020

Big Pharma, Big Data: powerful lobbies that condition decisions by public or private institutions in illegitimate ways. What if they had a monopoly on a vaccine against the new coronavirus?

Big Pharma, Big Data, are designations that refer to powerful lobbies that condition decisions of public or private institutions in illegitimate ways. Perhaps not paradoxically, the environmentalists who surrendered to the concubinage with Wall Street gave their credit to Big Green. We will talk about them in the second part of this work. Their decision-makers, in order to avoid the legitimacy of their pressure operations on those institutions to suffer any blemish, usually qualify their critics of indeed being the authors of "conspiracy theories" with the intention of discrediting them. This is not a new technique and was preceded by the ability of these and other Big Ones to purely and simply silence the critical voices. Today this is more difficult to carry out and hence the trick of the malicious "theories".

Let us start with Big Pharma, at European level, on account of the fact that Lusa [the largest news agency in Portugal] divulged on May 25 two reports from non-governmental organizations, Global Health Advocates (GHA) and the Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO). These two bodies have now expressed their indignation for having found evidence that the European pharmaceutical industry lobby, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), “not only did not consider bioprevention funding (that is, to be prepared to respond to epidemics, such as the one caused by SARS-CoV-2 at the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis), as it also opposed to it being included in the work of the Medical Innovation Initiative (MII) when this possibility was raised by the European Commission in 2018.”

According to the two reports [1]:

-- the necessary research has always been "more private than public" with the big pharmaceutical companies dominating the Medical Innovation Initiative (MII);

-- the pharmaceutical industry received € 2.6 billion from the EU's public research budget between 2008 and 2020 from the MII.

The GHA and the CEO indicated that, among the disregarded areas that needed major funding, were "the prevention of epidemics (including those caused by coronaviruses), HIV / AIDS, and tropical poverty-related diseases", and that, instead, "the pharmaceutical industry mainly used the budget to finance projects in areas that were commercially more profitable".

One of the CEO's researchers, Martin Pigeon, considered that "it is time for the EU's research and innovation policy to receive the political scrutiny and debates it deserves", in the public interest. Also according to this researcher, "what is at stake here is the capture, by large private companies, of large areas of EU research policy and respective budgets, to the detriment of public needs, our health and nature," he stressed.

Already during the Ebola epidemic in 2014, the pharmaceutical industry only invested in research after the epidemic was declared. It is well known, even before the Ebola case, that interventions when an epidemic is already underway are much less useful than the type of "bioprevention" that the industry has been shirking from.

Donald Trump: taking out from WHO to give Big Pharma

With regard to the United States, now that Trump decided to leave the World Health Organization (WHO), where will go the annual state contribution of around $ 450 million that he withdrew?

When he announced the leaving, he said that these funds would be "redirected to other public health needs", to anyone who could use that money in a better way than WHO was doing...

Days earlier, he had already announced that the US government would support pharmaceutical companies to guarantee supplies when a solution to the pandemic was discovered.

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) came then out on the stage  to "federate" all applicants for funding. CEPI was founded in August 2016 by the government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, the World Economic Forum in Davos, and the Department of Biotechnology of India.

One of the most paradigmatic cases of how the health business in the USA works, was mentioned on May 23 by the New York Times in connection with the desperate search for treatments and vaccines for COVID-19. It reveals well how researchers, regulators and pharmaceutical companies like Moderna, its investors and the journalism that serves their interests, behave in this situation.

When the company announced the positive results of a small preliminary test of its coronavirus vaccine on the morning of the 18th, the company's medical director described the news as a "triumphant day for us".

At the same time, they triggered “information” in medical journals and in company and university press releases, from “articles” published on so-called pre-print websites of studies that are not reviewed and certified by specialists, unlike articles in the main medical and scientific journals – the latter with another credibility.

Moderna's stock price jumped up to 30%. The announcement had leveraged the stock market and that was the subject of further news, including from the New York Times itself.

Nine hours after its initial press release, after the markets had closed, the company announced an offer of shares with the aim of raising more than $ 1 billion to help finance vaccine development. This offer had not been mentioned in Moderna's investor and journalist briefings that morning, and the company's chairman said later that it had been decided... just that afternoon.

Moderna's preliminary results inspired confidence. However, the company did not provide essential details for public credibility, such as graphs and values ​​of several indicators. In spite of that, Trump allocated it $ 500 million (a sum similar to what he withdrew from the WHO…).

In the "race" are also other drug manufacturers such as Pfizer Inc, Johnson & Johnson, or Sanofi, which are at various stages of vaccine development.

The CEO from CEPI, Richard Hackett, confirmed that the project to develop a vaccine started not only before the discovery and identification of the coronavirus (January 2020), but several months before the October 18, 2019 simulation exercise... [2] And he stressed that it was important to have large producers on the table.

The vaccine race and China's role

Trump hinted that he wanted to guarantee exclusive access to a vaccine that would be in development, under the auspices of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been part of a working group created at the White House to deal with the pandemic.

Recalling that the European Union (EU) has already made available up to 80 million euros to CureVac AG, a company in Tübingen, Germany, Ursula von der Leyen stated, in a video on Twitter, on 17 March, to hope that, with this support, it is possible to have a vaccine on the market perhaps by the end of the year.

On the other hand, the American administration has accused China of stealing information related to the research of its companies when… since the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic, several Chinese pharmaceutical companies have started, among other things, to develop a vaccine. And at least three of them have already started clinical trials in humans.

But China has assured, through its president, that if any of the vaccines under development and testing in China becomes effective against COVID-19, its country will make it available to the world as a public good, thus ensuring that it becomes accessible and viable in the developing countries.

Currently, there are still no approved vaccines or treatments for COVID-19, contracted with governments, drug manufacturers and researchers working on around 100 vaccine programs. And experts continue to predict that a safe and effective vaccine can take 12 to 18 months to develop.

As for the treatment of the disease, Gilead announced on 29 April that it had "positive data" about Remdesivir's performance. A few hours later, in the Oval Office of the White House, Fauci, who, as we said, also has his company, said that the drug could modestly speed recovery in patients and that the drug could become a standard of treatment.

However, Lusa reported that on 25 May, in Spain, an international trial with this medicine, coordinated by the Hospital Can Ruti, in Badalona, Barcelona, revealed that the antiviral Remdesivir is effective against COVID-19 only for patients who need mechanical ventilation.

The Cuban antiviral Iterferon Alfa 2B was one of the drugs used in China at the beginning of the pandemic, which motivated at least 15 countries in South America, Africa and Asia to request information or supply it.

Without providing specific figures, the state drug group BioCubaFarma assured that it had sufficient stock of retrovirals to cover demand inside and outside the country.

On the other hand, Cuba is developing a version of the Kaletra antiviral, with "satisfactory" preliminary results, with the aim of eliminating imports and ensuring a stable supply of the drug, created to treat HIV-AIDS and used now in COVID-19 patients.

Chloroquine or a less toxic derivative, hydroxychloroquine, is being used to treat patients in Europe and North America.

The result of one of the main investigations into the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treatment was published on May 11, in the scientific journal JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association). The study, carried out by researchers at the University of Albany, in the state of New York, found no relationship between the use of the drug and the reduction in mortality from the disease. 1,438 coronavirus-infected patients were analyzed in 25 New York hospitals.

As for pandemic vaccines, remember the 2009 H1N1 swine flu case, when the Obama Council of Science and Technology Advisers compared the H1N1 pandemic to the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, assuring that it would be more deadly. Based on incomplete and scarce data, the WHO Director-General then predicted with her authority that: "up to 2 billion people could be infected in the next two years" -- (ie, almost a third of the world population ... ).

And the Obama administration has assured that "swine flu could reach 40% of the Americans in the next two years and hundreds of thousands of people could die if a vaccine campaign and other measures don't work" (Obama administration official statement, Associated Press, 24 July 2009).

It was a billion dollar bonanza for Big Pharma, supported by the then Director-General of WHO, Margaret Chan.

But the pandemic did not reach those 2 billion people and millions of doses of the vaccine, ordered by many governments from Big Pharma, ended up being destroyed, including in Portugal.

According to recent data released on June 2  by the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 133 potential vaccines against COVID-19 at that date (under investigation around the world), and it was also revealed that 10 of them already had received approval to proceed to clinical trials on humans.

During the months of April to June, laboratory interventions have multiplied, with the support of large pharmaceutical groups, which in turn sponsored journals that were losing their scientific character and became direct or indirect supports of the various projects, giving credibility or discrediting drugs being used to treat the disease (Chloroquine, Remdesivir and others). Gilead is one of the most powerful groups, known for producing the most expensive and often the least effective drugs in the world. Donald Rumsfeld, a specialist in wars and medicines, has been there for a time.

The journal Lancet, for example, lost its scientific credibility by fighting Didier Raoult's project -- which proved highly successful with infected patients, from its avant-garde institute in Marseille --, publishing a «study» paving the way for Gilead’s Remdesivir. Lancet is published by the largest scientific, technical and medical editorial group in the world -- the Elsevier group. It is not the first time that the giant ReeLX [3] has been caught in reprehensible practices.

[See on the Lancet scandal: O Arrependimento da Lancet (Lancet’s Expression of Concern); Rush to trash hydroxychloroquine based on faulty Surgisphere data; A Study Out of Thin Air; "A ciência fez uma viragem para o obscurantismo" citing the Lancet’s editor, Richard Horton, who in his article of the Lancet sates: “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue . Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyzes, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.” -- JMS]

And it [Lancet --JMS] accepted [for its “study” -- JMS] the "data" of an almost unknown Surgisphere company that claims "to have one of the largest and fastest databases in the world" ... and to have created its immense databases using artificial intelligence. Leaving both Big Pharma and Big Data lobbies uncovered...

The Guardian investigated and Público on 4 June provides clarifying details. As a result, the WHO, which had suspended clinical trials based on hydroxychloroquine, ended up reversing its decision. Our interested readers can also find in Germinal an interesting discussion about this.

What if Big Pharma had the monopoly on selling a vaccine after it was patented? First, it would be necessary to estimate the "needs" of each country (God knows how). Then it would be a new big multimillion dollar business in which many governments would be forced to pay a lot of money to guarantee stocks to be supplied to the population at symbolic prices or free of charge. After China's declaration, there seems to be a consensus, among many countries, not to allow this to happen again.

[1] A summary of the reports, in English, French, Spanish and German, can be obtained here.

[2] This is the controversial Event 201, described by the organizers as “a high level pandemic exercise” consisting of the “simulation of an outbreak of a new coronavirus” worldwide in which, “as the cases and deaths occur the consequences become more and more serious «due to« the exponential growth week by week». See José Goulão, «The prophets of the virus», in AbrilAbril, March 26, 2020.

[3] Current designation of the group, as a result of successive mergers of the Dutch company Elsevier, English company Reeds Publishing, and American company Lexis Nexis. In 2018 it had a turnover of 5.28 billion US dollars, according to Books and Publishing.