“So it’s definitely not from nature and it’s definitely not an accident come out in a lab. Also, it starts from Wuhan and the Wuhan Institute of Virology get involved but I need to tell people that this is not an accident. Because I work in that lab I know how safe it is and the lab actually can never cause big pandemic world-wide and this is intentionally bring out of the lab and released in the community. And there are a lot of motives behind that but the most important thing is Chinese Communist Government develop this and they want to use it to destroy the world order. And I think that because it’s out of control we never saw it out of control in Wuhan.”
The Chinese virologist came to several conclusions about the virus, chiefly that it could, despite claims, travel between humans, that it had no animal host, and that it was lab-created.
She fled China after her discovery that the virus was produced in a lab and that Beijing was covering it all up.
What would China have to gain from this virus? Disruption of the western world order.
The western world was brought to an absolute stall by COVID-19, as economies shut down and elections were disrupted. When the virus was first released, we had a booming economy and a fantastic president, and many other western nations were doing well. Within a year, the “leader” of the US is an incompetent fool and the economy was a wreck. The rest of the free world experienced similar levels of disruption.
China, did, however, overestimate their ability to control the virus. Or perhaps, they simply didn’t care how many of their own citizens it affected.
!n video footage shared on social media, Chinese law enforcement officials in hazmat suits are seen scuffling with outraged residents after they were forced to surrender their homes.
Authorities began the forced evictions on in Shanghai on Thursday, the Guardian reports.
“Authorities began ordering 39 households in one housing complex to move so that patients with Covid could be housed there ‘in order to meet the needs of epidemic prevention and control,’ as government officials rush to construct tens of thousands of beds to house patients with Covid,” the publication notes. “China’s internet censors quickly stepped in to scrub evidence of the clash from Chinese social media sites – as they did with several other videos that have appeared over the last few weeks – with search results for the name of the apartment complex disappearing from Weibo by Friday morning.”
Angry residents in Shanghai are heard crying and screaming at law enforcement officials after being evicted from their homes.
Police in retaliation begin beating and arresting the demonstrators before hauling them into trucks in footage published by Chinese journalist Jennifer Zeng, who regularly documents the inhumane conditions in China.
As the Gateway Pundit has reported, the communist Chinese government is also using the COVID-19 pandemic to starve its people.
China’s financial capital, Shanghai, began what was announced to be an eight-day lockdown on March 28, but has since enforced an indefinite citywide quarantine.
Chinese citizens are desperate for food and other basic necessities.
In China’s state-run wards, where food and resources are also scarce where patients are held like inmates and fight over water, food, and limited supplies.
In addition to being food-deprived, those held hostage in the isolation facilities are subject to hazardously unsanitary conditions.
One of the primary vehicles for kickbacks and fraud seems to be foundations associated with federal agencies. The reason they’re so frequently used for questionable transactions is because foundations are private entities and not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests and other open records laws
The board of directors of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) is heavily populated with Big Pharma players. This raises serious questions about conflicts of interest, as the foundation oversees the distribution of hundreds of millions of dollars — unregulated funds that typically go right back into the coffers of the drug industry
This conflict of interest also, at least in part, helps explain the actions of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and now-retired director of the NIH, Dr. Francis Collins. Both have gone out of their way to protect the makers of COVID shots and dismiss evidence that SARS-CoV-2 was created in and escaped from a lab
Dr. Julie Gerberding became the FNIH CEO March 1, 2022. She was formerly director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After leaving the CDC, she became the executive vice president of strategic communications at Merck
The FNIH’s board of directors includes seven current or former drug company executives, the FDA, the Sackler family (notorious for its creation of a deadly opioid epidemic), Johns Hopkins (co-sponsor of Event 201, which “predicted” COVID-19 and the subsequent destruction of human rights), and two major investment bankers, Goldman Sachs and BlackRock
One of the primary vehicles for kickbacks and fraud seems to be foundations associated with federal agencies. This article will highlight and expose yet another way we are being conned and manipulated by examining the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health1 (FNIH), whose board is plastered with major Big Pharma players.
This raises serious questions about conflicts of interest, seeing how the foundation oversees the distribution of hundreds of millions of dollars — unregulated funds that typically go right back into the coffers of the drug industry. It’s a very clever strategy to extract even more funds from the American taxpayers.
This conflict of interest also, at least in part, helps explain the actions of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and now-retired director of the NIH, Dr. Francis Collins.2 Both have gone out of their way to protect the makers of COVID shots and dismiss evidence that SARS-CoV-2 was created in and escaped from a lab.
FNIH Board — A Who’s Who of Big Pharma
In 2020, Fauci received the FNIH’s Charles A. Sanders MD Partnership Award for his leadership and support of “FNIH programs propelling research in lethal infectious diseases.”3
Dr. Charles Sanders was the FNIH chairman between 1996 and 2016. Before that, he was the chairman and CEO of Glaxo Inc. He also spent eight years with Squibb Corp., where he held several positions, including CEO of the Science and Technology Group.4 He’s currently a member of the FNIH board of directors.
In the video above, Fauci is interviewed by Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall about his career, his achievements and the public-private partnerships that allowed for the creation of Operation Warp Speed and the rapid deployment of a COVID-19 jab. Lewis-Hall is a former chief medical officer and executive vice president at Pfizer. She is also a current board member of the FNIH.
Another striking member of the FNIH’s board is Dr. Julie Gerberding. If you have a sharp memory for details, you may recall she served as director of the CDC from 2002 to 2009.
After resigning from the CDC, she entered the express revolving door between industry and government and was hired by Merck as their vice president in charge of vaccines. Imagine that — the head of the government agency responsible for policing vaccines is hired by one of the world’s largest producers of vaccines.
Sadly, it’s all perfectly legal. Later, she oversaw global public policy and strategic communications at Merck, followed by a position as chief patient officer and executive vice president for population health and sustainability.5 Gerberding has now taken her nefarious behavior to an entirely new level. She’s slid back through yet another revolving door and is the CEO of FNIH as of March 1, 2022.6 Other FNIH board members include:
Chairman Dr. Steven Paul, CEO and chairman of Karuna Therapeutics
Marijn Dekkers, Ph.D., chairman of Novalis LifeSciences
Paul Herrling, Ph.D., chairman for the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases
Dr. Paul Stoffels, vice chairman of the executive committee and chief scientific officer for Johnson & Johnson
Jillian Sackler, president and CEO of the Dame Jillian and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler Foundation for the Arts, Sciences and Humanities
Dr. Elias Zerhouni, Professor Emeritus, Johns Hopkins University
James Donovan, a Goldman Sachs partner
Russel Steenberg, managing director and global head of BlackRock Private Equity Partners
The two non-voting directors are Collins and Dr. Stephen Hahn, the current commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. This is quite the list.
We’ve got seven current or former drug company executives, the CDC, the FDA, the Sackler family (notorious for its creation of a deadly opioid epidemic), Johns Hopkins (co-sponsor of Event 201, which “predicted” COVID-19 and the subsequent destruction of human rights), and two major investment bankers, Goldman Sachs and BlackRock.
The inclusion of BlackRock is particularly interesting, and disturbing, considering they have a hidden monopoly on global asset holdings. Together with Vanguard,BlackRock has ownership in some 1,600 American firms, which in 2015 had combined revenues of $9.1 trillion. If you add in the third-largest global asset holder, State Street, their combined ownership encompasses nearly 90% of all S&P 500 firms.7 Just what is BlackRock doing on the FNIH’s board of directors?
Who Funds the FNIH?
Then there are the donors. The largest donor to the FNIH is none other than Bill Gates. According to the FNIH’s 2020 statutory report,8 The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donated $96,981,262 that year, accounting for 15% of the Foundation’s annual revenue.9
In 2019, the Gates Foundation’s contribution of $49,827,480 accounted for 35% of the annual revenue.10,11,12 As the top donor, it’s not farfetched to assume Gates might have significant leverage over the direction of the foundation and its funds. GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, Pfizer and Wellcome also donated between $5 million and $10 million each in 2020.13 FNIH programs funded by the Gates Foundation include but are not limited to:
Combining Epitope Based Vaccine Design with Informatics-Based Evaluation
Global collaborative for Coordination of Gene Drive Research and Development
The Partnership to Accelerate Novel TB Regimens
mRNA encoded HIV Env-Gag Virus-like-particle Vaccines
The last program on the list — the creation of novel mRNA-based HIV vaccines — is described14 as a project to “test a new HIV vaccine concept in animals using noninfectious ‘virus-like particles’ encoded by an RNA vaccine with the goal of inducing protective antibody responses.”
The initial request for collaboration came from the NIAID at the end of July 2020. In August 2020, the FNIH Portfolio Oversight Committee approved the project, “contingent upon a commitment of full funding in the amount of $1.45 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.”
The Gates Foundation fulfilled that commitment in October 2020. A memorandum of understanding between the FNIH and the NIAID was finalized in early 2021. A sub-award was granted to the University of Montreal (CHUM), and Bioqual was given a service agreement to manage the clinical trial.
Bill Gates also contributes to the FNIH through Gates Ventures,15 a rapidly growing venture capital and investment firm that works side by side with the Gates Foundation’s program teams “to identify investment opportunities.”16 Specifically, Gates Ventures is an organizational donor to the FNIH’s Biomarkers Consortium (BC), a cancer steering committee, alongside a long list of drug companies.
Congress Seeks Greater Transparency
As mentioned earlier, all of this can help explain Fauci’s and Collins’ behavior during the COVID pandemic. Collins is a board member, Fauci got the foundation’s top reward for support in 2020, and money flows into the foundation from drug companies and Gates, all of whom have vested interests in making sure that whatever the NIH does and recommends to the public, it will produce profits for them.
According to its 2020 Statutory Report,17 the FNIH has raised more than $1.2 billion, and as mentioned earlier, most of that money goes right back to the drug industry, without Congressional appropriation or oversight. While the whole thing reeks of conflicts of interest, it may be difficult to get to the bottom of because, as a 501c3, the FNIH is cleverly exempt from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
Nonprofits are considered private entities, and therefore not subject to FOIA and other open records laws.18,19 However, the NIH is subject to FOIA since it’s a government agency, and the funds raised go to the NIH. Basically, it’s a system set up to bypass oversight, and the U.S. Congress is responsible for creating this fraud-fraught system.
Congress Created This Fraud-Fraught System
Congress is responsible for the oversight of federal agencies, but in the early 1990s, it created what sure looks like a pay-to-play system. Not only did Congress create the FNIH, they also set up the CDC Foundation,20 which funnels millions of dollars from drug companies and vaccine makers into the CDC.21
This explains the CDC’s highly irrational and harmful COVID recommendations. The fact that the CDC lies about its pharma funding only makes it all the more suspicious. The CDC has long fostered the perception of independence by stating it does not accept funding from special interests.
In disclaimers peppered throughout the CDC’s website22 and in its publications, it says the agency “does not accept commercial support” and has “no financial interests or other relationships with the manufacturers of commercial products.” With the information exposed in this article it is obvious that this is a cleverly obfuscated pack of lies — all possible through sheer semantics, as the funds are diverted through the foundation rather than going straight to the CDC.
In 2019, several watchdog groups — including the U.S. Right to Know (USRTK), Public Citizen, Knowledge Ecology International, Liberty Coalition and the Project on Government Oversight — petitioned23 the CDC to stop making these false disclaimers24 because, in reality, the CDC receives millions of dollars each year from commercial interests through its government-chartered foundation, the CDC Foundation, which funnels those contributions to the CDC after deducting a fee.25
On the CDC Foundation’s website, you’ll find a long list26 of “corporate partners” that have provided the CDC with funding over the years. The CDC even accepts money earmarked for specific studies or programs aimed at expanding corporate profits or reducing drug companies’ liability exposure.27
As just one example, in 2018, Collins ended up canceling a $100 million study to assess the effects of moderate alcohol consumption after it was discovered that the NIH had inappropriately solicited money for the study directly from the spirits industry, and had designed the study “to satisfy industry interests.”28 Collins also had to ditch a $400 million study into opioid dependency after an independent panel warned there were potential conflicts of interest.29
In 2018, a congressional spending panel also warned the FNIH and the CDC Foundation that their disclosures of financial donations were inadequate. As reported by Science at the end of June 2018:30
“Congress created the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) and the CDC Foundation … to raise private funds to support federal biomedical and health research.
It hoped to encourage transparency and prevent potential conflicts of interest by specifying in the law that the foundations had to report ‘the source and amount of all gifts’ they receive, as well as any restrictions on how the donations could be used.
But last week, legislators on the House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee that oversees NIH and CDC expressed concern that the foundations may not be following those disclosure rules …
A report accompanying a 2019 spending bill moving through Congress reminds the foundations to abide by the PHSA when writing their annual reports … The lawmakers also say it’s not OK to hide the identity of donors who have attached strings to their gift by labeling them as ‘anonymous.’
The language ‘is a marker that we want more transparency,’ says one House appropriations staffer, speaking on background because of committee rules on who can speak to the press. ‘We’d like to see [the foundations] go further, and this language is meant to start a conversation.’”
Among “anonymous” donors to the FNIH in 2016 were the Gates Foundation, despite having given a sizeable $19.1 million grant.31 While the financial statements of these foundations may have improved since 2018, the system itself, which gives private industry the power to influence regulatory agencies through unregulated funding, remains unchanged.
Globalists Aim to Take Over Health Systems Worldwide
The reason for having a BlackRock representative on the FNIH’s board of directors could potentially have something to do with the globalists’ plan to monopolize health systems worldwide — a plan that is taking shape as we speak.
In June 2021, Gerberding, now head of the FNIH, wrote a Time article32 laying out the framework for an international pandemic-surveillance network, which would include threat prediction and preemption as well. While Gerberding did not name the World Health Organization, we now know that’s the organization designated as the top-down ruler, not only of all things related to pandemics but also health in general. I’ll have an entire article detailing this in tomorrow’s newsletter.
It’s important to realize that unless we can somehow prevent the WHO from acquiring this power, it will be able to dictate things like mandatory vaccinations and health passports moving forward, and its dictates would supersede all national and state laws. We simply cannot let this happen.
At the same time, we need to realize just how bought and paid for our U.S. regulatory agencies are, and figure out a way to clean up that mess. There’s been a revolving door between government and private industry for decades, which is how we got here in the first place. Closing that door might be a first step in the right direction, but it’s not going to be enough by itself.
The NIH, CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are all so thoroughly infiltrated by industry, restoring them to their intended functions is no easy task. Disturbingly, the same technocratic powers that are working to give the WHO global power over global health have also infiltrated these U.S. agencies. As a result, they’re unlikely to push back. They’re going to be more than willing to take orders from the WHO.
Dr. Andrew Huff, vice president of EcoHealth Alliance, is claiming that the firm’s president, Dr. Peter Daszak, who helped fund dangerous gain of function research at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, told him that he works for the Central Intelligence Agency and that the company is a “front” for the CIA.
According to a report detailed on Substack by an independent journalist called Kanekoa, Huff earned his Ph.D in environmental health with a specialty in emerging diseases before he became associate vice president of EcoHealth Alliance. While working for the firm, he says he was tasked with finding “novel methods of bio-surveillance, data analytics, and visualization for disease detection.”
The company, which is led by Daszak, receives funding from a number of U.S. government agencies including the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is led by Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
EcoHealth Alliance, Kanekoa notes, partnered with Dr. Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina as well as Dr. Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Institute of Virology to conduct gain of function research on bat-borne viruses found in China before the COVID-19 pandemic initially began.
The report said that Daszak led the screening of “thousands of bat samples for novel coronaviruses,” which also involved “screening people who work with live animals.”
These new revelations add to the growing body of evidence that COVID-19 was created at the Wuhan lab and either ‘escaped’ somehow or was developed as a bioweapon and intentionally released, likely to occupy then-President Donald Trump with something other than continuing to punish China with tariffs in a bid to level the playing field when it came to bilateral trade.
It seems that throughout the pandemic the English-speaking countries of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have been in competition to see which respective government can impose the most restrictive, liberty-suffocating Covid measures on its population – all ironically in the name of “health” and “public safety”.
Anyone with friends or family in major cities of Canada, for example, might be used to picking up the phone and hearing stories of Canadians having to sneak out of their homes in the dead of night just to visit in-laws or grandparents under cover of darkness, on fear of getting ticketed by authorities for a lockdown violation. And recall, as another example among a seeming myriad of absurdities, that New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern less than two months ago actually addressed whether citizens were allowed to use the restroom in the homes of friends or neighbors.
As we’ve said over and over, just when you think Covid-lunacy has reached its peak… enter a new insane policy cooked up by a neurotic and despotic government somewhere, typically in the West. And of course the latest is out of Canada: “The Canadian province of Quebec will charge a health tax to residents who are not vaccinated against Covid-19,”BBC reports.
Canadian armed forces – Twitter
Ostensibly this is health authorities’ “response” to the soaring case numbers, which of course begs the question: why is highly-vaxxed Canada seeing record Covid-related deaths and a bump in confirmed infections in the first place? Apparently, the answer is that when the vaccine is in doubt, double-down: More vaccines, more regulations, take away more freedoms.
The Brave New World/1984/Animal Farm/Hunger Games [insert any dystopian book title here] “health tax” will be the first of its kind in the nation, or we might add anywhere in the world – given authorities vow the monetary penalty will be steep and “significant” – and of course Quebec officials are positively boasting about this fact: “On Tuesday, the premier announced that it would be the first in the nation to financially penalize the unvaccinated.” They are calling ita “health contribution” tax.
But the BBC follows by stating another fact: “Only about 12.8% of Quebec residents are not vaccinated, but they make up nearly a third of all hospital cases,” and more: “According to federal data, just over 85% of Quebec residents had received at least one vaccine dose by 1 January.”
Put another way, about two-thirds of all hospital cases in Quebec are individuals who have been vaccinated. Ah yes, time to target the unvaxxed…
Here is Premier Legault in English on the upcoming “health contribution” that any adult Quebecer who is not vaccinated will have to pay.
Speaking of popular fiction and dystopian terminology, Legault’s announcement sounded like he’s looking for tributes à la Hunger Games…per the BBC:
Premier Francois Legault said during a news conference that people who have not received their first dose of vaccine will have to pay a “contribution”.
The fee has not yet been decided, but will be “significant”, he said.
“I think right now it’s a question of fairness for the 90% of the population who made some sacrifices,” Mr Legault said. “I think we owe them this kind of measure.”
…a “contribution” for the sake of those who made “sacrifices”.
This as Montreal hospitals at the start of the week were said to be nearing capacity, and as stringent measures have already been imposed, such as a new curfew (for the second time since the start of the pandemic), which runs from 10pm to 5am each day, encompassing all activities with the exception of “essential workers”.
Prior to the announcement of new “health tax” – which is likely be paid possibly weekly or monthly, though the precise details were not immediately stipulated, in the 24 hours prior there were a recorded 62 deaths attributed to Covid-19.
But again, raising the question of the real efficacy of the vaccines, BBC underscores that “The daily figure represents a similar rate to January 2021, before widespread vaccinations had begun in the province.”
The ruling Communist regime in Cuba committed more than 9,700 repressive actions against its own civilians in 2021, marking the worst year in two decades for human rights in the island nation, according to a report from the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH).
The Cuban regime violently cracked down on anti-government protests that broke out across the country in July.
The 9,705 repressive actions recorded by ODCH include 2,717 arbitrary arrests and 3,743 illegal home detainments. Protesters in Havana, Santiago de Cuba and Villa Clara faced the brunt of repression according to the report.
At least 1,001 political prisoners remained incarcerated by the Communist government at the end of the year.
“As its decline deepens, the regime intensifies its repression. Thousands of repressive actions, hundreds of political prisoners and a worsening of the living conditions of Cubans have marked the reality of the island in 2021. Unfortunately, we do not observe elements that indicate that this situation will change in the new year,” the OCDH stated.
While the protests died out during the summer, in December alone ODCH recorded at least 498 repressive actions, including 56 arrests.
The OCDH on Monday filed a complaint with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Children’s Fund. The group stated that 39 people under the age of 21 are imprisoned for peaceful protest in Cuba. An additional 107 young people “face criminal measures for the simple exercise of rights,” OCDH states.
Dr. Anthony Fauci and GOP Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday clashed again over the Biden administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Republican lawmaker also accusing President Biden’s top medical adviser of conspiring to silence critics.
Paul, in a Senate hearing at which Fauci testified, introduced an email exchange between Fauci and former National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins, in which Collins suggested “creating a quick and devastating public takedown” of several epidemiologists from Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford, who apparently held opinions about COVID with which Francis and Fauci disagreed.
“In an email exchange with Dr. Collins, you conspire, and I quote here directly from the email, to ‘create a quick and devastating published takedown’ of three prominent epidemiologists from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford,” Paul said.
Paul also said: “A planner who believes he is ‘the science’ leads to an arrogance that justifies, in his mind, using government resources to smear and to destroy the reputations of other scientists who disagree with him.”
Fauci, also director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, contested Paul’s claims, which included that Fauci promptly agreed to Collins’ plan.
“In usual fashion, senator, you are distorting everything about me,” Fauci said. “You do the same thing every hearing.”
To be sure, Paul, also a doctor, has been among Fauci’s most vocal critics since the early stages of the pandemic and has called for him to fired from his government post.
Their heated exchange Tuesday appeared to peak when Fauci pulled out photographs from the senator’s campaign website with the words “Fire Dr. Fauci” beside a picture of the doctor and an option to donate to the Paul’s reelection campaign.
Fauci also repeatedly accused Paul of attacking him for political gain.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky; acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock; and Dawn O’Connell, the Department of Health and Human Services’ assistant secretary for preparedness and response, also testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on the pandemic response and the surge in COVID cases as a result of the highly contagious Omicron variant.
Questions about confusing communication efforts from the government to the American people about things like booster shots, test availability, and CDC guidelines quickly devolved into emotional, political sparring when Paul was given the floor.
The lawmaker opened his questioning period by calling Fauci a scientist who “rules by mandate” but often makes mistakes.
Committee Chairwoman Democratic Sen. Patty Murray briefly allowed Fauci to respond to some of Paul’s remarks, during which time he discussed the recent arrest of a man Iowa who was allegedly on his way to Washington, D.C., with an AR-15 weapon in his car to kill him.
Fauci said such accusations from Paul “kindle the crazies out there” to behave in way that could be harmful and dangerous to him and his family.
Paul, in 2017, was attacked on his own lawn by a neighbor who ran onto the lawmaker’s property and tackled him. As a result of the attack, Paul suffered five rib fractures and later required medical attention for pneumonia.
The House Republican Oversight Committee members released never before seen emails showing Dr. Fauci “may have” concealed information about COVID-19 originating from the Wuhan lab and then intentionally downplaying the lab leak theory publicly.
This is on top of the evidence we already have on Fauci and the lab leak.
From earlier today.
Here is a copy of their letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.
page 3 of 3
The House Oversight Republicans posted the emails on the web.
Here is one email from former NIH Director Dr. Collins to Fauci and others.
It’s clear they are trying to “put down” the accusations. He even says it!
A federal judge in Texas on Thursday ordered the Food and Drug Administration to make public the data it relied on to license Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, imposing a dramatically accelerated schedule that should result in the release of all information within about eight months.
That’s roughly 75 years and four months faster than the FDA said it could take to complete a Freedom of Information Act request by a group of doctors and scientists seeking an estimated 450,000 pages of material about the vaccine.
The court “concludes that this FOIA request is of paramount public importance,” wrote U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman in Fort Worth, who was appointed to the bench by former President Donald Trump in 2019.
The FDA didn’t dispute it had an obligation to make the information public but argued that its short-staffed FOIA office only had the bandwidth to review and release 500 pages a month.
While Pittman recognized “the ‘unduly burdensome’ challenges that this FOIA request may present to the FDA,” in his four-page order, he resoundingly rejected the agency’s suggested schedule.
Rather than producing 500 pages a month — the FDA’s proposed timeline — he ordered the agency to turn over 55,000 a month. That means all the Pfizer vaccine data should be public by the end of the summer rather than, say, the year 2097.
Even if the FDA may not see it this way, I think Pittman did the agency — and the country — a big favor by expediting the document production.
I’ve been chronicling this fight since November and have heard from dozens of readers who said they felt something was suspicious, even nefarious, in the FDA’s proposed slo-mo timeline. Making the information public as soon as possible may help assuage the concerns of vaccine skeptics and convince them the product is safe.
Pittman in his order nodded to this as well, including a quote from the late senator John McCain, who said that excessive administrative secrecy “feeds conspiracy theories and reduces the public’s confidence in the government.”
Still, the FDA is likely to be hard-pressed to process 55,000 pages a month.
The office that reviews FOIA requests has just 10 employees, according to a declaration filed with the court by Suzann Burk, who heads the FDA’s Division of Disclosure and Oversight Management. Burk said it takes eight minutes a page for a worker “to perform a careful line-by-line, word-by-word review of all responsive records before producing them in response to a FOIA request.”
At that rate, the 10 employees would have to work non-stop 24 hours a day, seven days a week to produce the 55,000 pages a month (and would still fall a bit short).
But as lawyers for the plaintiffs Public Health and Medical Professionals for Transparency pointed out in court papers, the FDA as of 2020 had 18,062 employees. Surely some can be dispatched to pitch in at the FOIA office.
Aaron Siri of Siri & Glimstad, who represents the plaintiffs, in an email said the decision “came down on the side of transparency and accountability.”
His clients — a group that includes more than 200 doctors, scientists, professors and public health professionals, including some who have publicly questioned the efficacy of lockdown policies, mask mandates and the vaccine itself — have pledged to publish all the information they receive from the FDA on their website.
The Justice Department, which represented the FDA in the litigation, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday evening. Pfizer, not a party to the suit, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Pittman in his order made clear that the FOIA request, even if burdensome, has to be a priority for the FDA.
Quoting from remarks made during the hearing before him on December 14, he wrote that “there may not be a ‘re important issue at the Food and Drug Administration . . . than the pandemic, the Pfizer vaccine, getting every American vaccinated,” and assuring the public that the vaccine was not “‘rush[ed] on behalf of the United States.'”
Amid the Omicron Covid variant spread, and despite an emerging consensus that this latest variant is not very severe in terms of individual impact and hospitalizations, lockdowns are returning to much of Europe, but so are fierce protests.
Remember,all of this is for your “safety”…
Chaotic and disturbing scenes are coming out of Sunday’s large anti-restriction protests near the National Museum in Amsterdam. The protest had been declared illegal by authorities, but a huge crowd showed up anyway, and that’s when police in riot gear attempted to disperse thousands.
Among many scenes of people being beaten with police batons, dogs were also unleashed on the demonstrators, including in the above video which shows a man being mauled by a police dog who wouldn’t let go of his arm – even as he was prone on the ground at one point. It’s unclear if the officers were wanting the dog to release after clearly injuring the man, or if they wanted the animal to continue biting him.
Just before the police unleashed violent tactics on the crowd, the anti-lockdown protesters surrounded the anti-riot force and their vans, presumably there to make mass arrests.
“The Netherlands went into a sudden lockdown on December 19, with the government ordering the closure of all but essential stores, as well as restaurants, hairdressers, gyms, museums and other public places until at least January 14,” CNN writes of the new controversial lockdown. “Public gatherings of more than two people are prohibited under the current set of restrictions.”
The protest looked to be at least in the tens of thousands, and possibly bigger:
Clearly citizens in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe are furious over this climate of the ‘never-ending pandemic’ and corresponding lockdowns which governments seem to now impose with ease.
Angry crowds go after riot control police in The Netherlands this weekend:
“As far as I'm concerned, it's a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity.” -Hunter Thompson