MORSELS of information are now coming to light in the MSM which hint at the involvement of US defence and military planners in the Covid-19 vaccine development. For example in June the Sunday Times headlined ‘What really went on inside the Wuhan Lab weeks before Covid erupted’, though it was little more than a rehash of an officially sanctioned US account blaming China. However TCW writer Paula Jardine was on the case long before and in a series earlier this year she gave chapter and verse on the anatomy of the US ‘Manhattan Project’ for biodefence (later renamed Operation Warp Speed) which culminated in the Covid project and the creation of its goal: an otherwise unobtainable commercial market for mRNA gene therapy vaccines that a small group of powerful men and women – obsessed with viruses, vaccines and the idea of a war against microbes – were so desperate for. We are repeating the series, and Paula Jardine will add an update at the conclusion. Click on the numbers to see Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4. This article was first published on March 10, 2023.
IN APRIL 2017, three months after the Davos launch of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), an opinion piece appeared in the Harvard Business Review arguing that the world needed a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) style programme to prevent pandemics.
It was co-written by Dante Disparte, later a member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Council and of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Digital Currency Governance Consortium, and Governor Tom Ridge, a Vietnam veteran who was the first US Secretary of Homeland Security. Ridge co-chairs Dr Robert Kadlec’s Biodefense Commission, a private entity whose funders include the smallpox and anthrax vaccine manufacturers Bavarian Nordic and Emergent Biosolutions, and the Hudson Institute, co-founded in 1961 by Herman Kahn, the Rand Corporation pioneer of situational simulations (like the ones so loved by Kadlec) who was satirised by Stanley Kubrick as Dr Strangelove.
The co-authors wrote: ‘In public health, it is much easier to play offense than it is to play defense. Playing offense well, however, is going to require a lot more co-ordination – both internationally and within national borders. We believe an important first step in this effort is for the United States and governments around the world to develop an equivalent to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that focuses cross-sector efforts on advancing biological and pandemic risk readiness.’
Kadlec’s Covid-19 Manhattan Project, reported on here, which was rolled out as Operation Warp Speed in the US and spearheaded internationally by CEPI, an organisation that is the international equivalent to DARPA for vaccines, did just that. The aim was operationalising DARPA’s Pandemic Prevention Platform (P3) programme through a network of public-private partnerships. DARPA says P3 aims ‘to support military readiness and global stability through pursuit of novel methods to dramatically accelerate discovery, integration, pre-clinical testing, and manufacturing of medical countermeasures against infectious diseases‘.
Dr Michael Callahan, the man hired by Kadlec to investigate the Covid-19 outbreak on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, which purported to prove that SARS-CoV2 spread asymptomatically, is a physician scientist who managed DARPA’s biodefence ‘therapeutic’ programmes between 2005 and 2012. It was part of DARPA’s ‘super soldier’ project, the aim of which was to create ‘kill proof’ soldiers with an unfair advantage over enemy troops. Inner Armour was the name Callahan gave to the programme to develop advanced genetic vaccines against infectious diseases, now commercialised by Moderna and BioNTech. If conventionally developed vaccines are conceived of as the regular troops routinely deployed in the War on Microbes, the new genetic rapid response vaccines DARPA wanted were meant to be the guerilla fighters, ‘bushwhackers’ as the Americans call them, to be used as an interim firewall.
The objective behind the kill-proofing programme was to make American soldiers deployable anywhere in the world on short notice. Callahan told Wired magazine in 2007: ‘As of today, our soldiers are vulnerable to diseases to which the enemy is immune. When a single soldier is infected, the mission is jeopardized and often terminated.’
During Callahan’s time in charge of the biodefence therapeutics programme, its annual budget ballooned from $61million to $260million. The portfolio involved eight programmes that generated nine investigational new drugs (INDs) and three new drug applications with products in the market. Callahan also launched the Department of Defense Icon programme Accelerated Manufacture of Pharmaceuticals (AMP) which generated emergency use pandemic swine flu (H1N1) vaccine, and ZMapp, an experimental monoclonal antibody developed by Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory and the US Army Medical Research Institute of Disease to treat Ebola. ZMapp is ‘pharmed’ in tobacco plants grown by a subsidiary of British American Tobacco and was tested on 200 people during the 2014 West African Ebola outbreak without having previously undergone any human clinical trials for safety or effectiveness.
The genetic vaccine programme called ADEPT: PROTECT is part of the Pandemic Platform Program (P3) launched in 2011. Its focus is on developing ‘rapid discovery, characterisation, production, testing, and delivery of efficacious DNA- and RNA-encoded medical countermeasures’.
Notably absent from this shopping list is the word ‘safe’. This programme is the genesis of the mRNA gene therapy vaccines catapulted on to the pharmaceutical market by Moderna and BioNTech via the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wired magazine first reported the US military’s desire for these genetic vaccines in 1996, but until the appearance of Covid-19 little substantive progress had been made in developing them to the point of commercialisation via normal regulatory approval pathways. Regardless, the ambition to see this ‘rapid response’ technology authorised for use remained undented.
In 2017, the P3 Manager Matt Hepburn, another one of Kadlec’s Red Dawn Wolverines, said: ‘DARPA’s goal is to create a technology platform that can place a protective treatment into health providers’ hands within 60 days of a pathogen being identified, and have that treatment induce protection in patients within three days of administration. We need to be able to move at this speed considering how quickly outbreaks can get out of control. The technology needs to work on any viral disease, whether it’s one humans have faced before or not.‘
SARS-CoV-2, the vehicle that finally delivered this vaccine technological revolution (through regulatory wormholes at warp speed into countless arms), appears itself to be a by-product of other US government programmes intended to achieve the Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine, articulated by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) in Rebuilding America’s Defenses. Biodefense was a single throw-away line in the PNAC document. Though Kadlec, Tara O’Toole and their associates attempted to focus the attention of defence planners on bioweapons via the June 2001 Dark Winter table-top simulation of a smallpox bioweapon attack, it was not until the anthrax attacks that followed 9/11 three months later that this received the attention they desired. Again, despite the FBI coming to believe the so-called Amerithrax attacks were an inside job, the War on Microbes had arrived.
Full Spectrum Dominance in the War on Microbes entails predicting pathogen evolution, attempting to pre-empt it and, finally, defending against it. Since the early 1960s, the US military has been cataloguing pathogens around the world as part of its operational preparedness efforts in order to develop vaccines to defend its personnel. In 2009, USAID, a US government agency that is known to act as a front for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), launched an Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) programme to target the early detection of new disease threats in the developing world. This virus surveillance programme was called PREDICT. Its aim was to identify the animal sources of coronaviruses, influenza viruses and filoviruses such as Ebola and mitigate the epidemic risk ‘by minimising those practices and behaviours that trigger the spill-over and spread of new pathogens from animal reservoirs to humans’.
Five years into the EPT programme, a non-profit organisation called EcoHealth Alliance, whose president is Dr Peter Daszak, a British zoologist with an interest in disease ecology, joined an international consortium working on the PREDICT programme. Originally called the Wildlife Trust, EcoHealth Alliance was founded in 1971 by the British naturalist Gerald Durrell as a conservation organisation. It has evolved a long way from its original aims.
Dr William Karesh, EcoHealth Alliance’s Executive Vice President for Health and Policy, is a member of Kadlec’s Biodefense Commission who participated in the 2014 workshops that produced the Biodefense Commission’s ‘National Blueprint for Biodefense’. He is also a consultant to the World Health Organization and is credited with coining the term ‘One Health’ used to describe the interdisciplinary approach promoted by EcoHealth Alliance which says that the health and wellness of all living things on the planet is interconnected. The One Health ‘philosophy’ has been adopted by the WHO and the US government.
In 2016, interested parties gathered at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Conference Center in Italy ‘to develop a vision on the importance and feasibility of the Global Virome Project in building a world safe from the threat of emerging viral diseases’. Karesh was there. So was Dr George Gao, then Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control. Under the One Health rationale, once viruses have been identified and catalogued, all creatures, human, or animal are candidates for vaccination, for the good of their health. Last month Sir Jeremy Farrar, the WHO’s incoming Chief Scientist, called for governments to invest in developing vaccines for all known animal influenzas just in case they caused a human outbreak. In the War on Microbes there are countless enemies and corresponding opportunities for pharma-profit churning.
The PREDICT consortium contracted out surveillance work on coronaviruses to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). In 2018, EcoHealth Alliance announced that the WIV had found viruses closely related to SARS in bat caves and that they were capable of infecting humans. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Dr Daszak was involved with Dr Baric, Sir Jeremy Farrar and Dr Anthony Farrar in the email chain concerning what’s become known as ‘the proximal origin discussion’ to quash any suggestion of a lab origin for SARS-CoV-2.
Once an animal viral reservoir is identified, another DARPA programme called PREMPT, to ‘pre-empt pathogens’ emergence with preventive vaccine’, is meant to activate. This programme, which Michael Callahan also once oversaw, aims to preserve military readiness to deploy to remote locations by protecting against infectious disease threats by targeting the animal hosts of the viruses with self-spreading vaccines.
Not even wild animals fall outside the scope of America’s Full Spectrum Dominance ambitions. In March 2018,EcoHealth Alliance submitted a PREMPT funding proposal to DARPA called DEFUSE which proposed to reverse-engineer a bat coronavirus vaccine.
DARPA rejected it over concerns that it violated a moratorium imposed by the Obama administration in October 2014 on risky gain-of-function research that might make coronaviruses and influenza viruses more pathogenic or transmissible. This was not, tragically, enough to halt the research.
This series concludes tomorrow.