Wednesday, December 1, 2021
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Sage’s covert coup

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NEVER have statisticians, mathematical biologists, psychologists, anthropologists, behavioural scientists and a few epidemiologists dictated government policy to such an extreme degree as over the past year.

On March 25, 2020, the Coronavirus Act received Royal Assent having been fast-tracked through Parliament in four working days. The Act contained emergency powers to enable public bodies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, or Sage, and its subcommittees became the de facto leader of the operation. This was the point at which the UK ceased to be governed by elected representatives.

To this day, Sage do not answer to the public – they don’t even answer to the government. They ‘advise’ the government on all things Covid, and the government is then led by the ‘data’ to implement the most draconian restrictions on freedom in our nation’s history. Sage are accountable to no one. In my opinion, Sage have staged a covert coup and hardly anybody has taken notice, let alone the mainstream media.

Below is a list of attendees from one of the early March Sage meetings just before the first lockdown. I’ve highlighted the key members.

Patrick Vallance (Government Chief Scientific Adviser), Chris Whitty (Chief Medical Officer), Jonathan Van-Tam (Deputy Chief Medical Officer), Steve Powis (NHS), Charlotte Watts (Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for International Development), Angela McLean (Chief Scientific Adviser MoD), John Aston (Chief Scientific Adviser, Home Office), Sharon Peacock (Public Health England), Graham Medley (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), Neil Ferguson (Imperial College), Brooke Rogers (King’s College), James Rubin (King’s College), Jeremy Farrar (Wellcome), David Halpern (Behavioural Insights Team) Ian Diamond (Office for National Statistics), Tom Rodden (Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport), Aidan Fowler (NHS), Maria Zambon (PHE), Phil Blythe (Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Transport), Wendy Barclay (Imperial College), Peter Horby (Oxford University), John Edmunds (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), Carole Mundell (Chief Scientific Adviser, Foreign and Commonwealth Office).

If you take a closer look at the key ‘experts’, they have all had connections in some way with either Big Pharma, Big Tech or the Big NGOs, such as GAVI-The Vaccine Alliance, World Health Organisation, World Economic Forum, World Bank, Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Many have had their research funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust. In fact, the UK is the biggest beneficiary of university grants given by the Gates Foundation with $744million disbursed to 38 universities, the top beneficiaries being Imperial College London, University College London, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LHSTM), King’s College London and Oxford University.

Many of the key Sage members have held senior positions in the pharmaceutical industry before being government advisers and some hold shares in the pharmaceutical companies they worked for.

In September 2020 the Telegraph revealed that Sir Patrick Vallance, Government Chief Scientific Adviser, had £600,000 worth of shares in GlaxoSmithKline, which was contracted to develop a coronavirus vaccine. In December 2020 the British Medical Journal wrote that ‘by July the UK government had signed a coronavirus vaccine deal for an undisclosed sum with GlaxoSmithKline, securing 60million doses of an untested treatment that was still being developed.’ If this is not a blatant conflict of interest, I don’t know what is.

Vallance not only held GSK shares but was also president of research and development at GSK from 2012-2017. It was while he was president, in 2013, a partnership between GSK and the Gates Foundation was announced to ‘accelerate research into vaccines for global health needs’.

As a researcher at the LHSTM, Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty received £31million in funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for malaria research.

His deputy, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, joined the pharmaceutical industry as an associate director at SmithKline Beecham (now GSK) in 2000. Van-Tam was Head of Medical Affairs at Roche in 2001 and then went to work at Aventis Pasteur MSD as the UK medical director the following year.

Van-Tam chaired the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) expert advisory group on H5N1 vaccines and advised the WHO during the H5N1 influenza (bird flu) outbreak in 2009- 2010. The WHO in turn triggered countries around the world, including the UK, to buy enormous quantities of the drug oseltamivir (brand name: Tamiflu) produced by the pharmaceutical companies Roche and GSK, former employers of Van-Tam.

An investigation by the BMJ and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, reported by Deborah Cohen and Philip Carter, said some of the experts advising WHO on the pandemic had ‘declarable financial ties with drug companies that were producing antivirals and influenza vaccines. As an example, WHO’s guidance on the use of antivirals in a pandemic was authored by an influenza expert who at the same time was receiving payments from Roche, the manufacturer of oseltamivir (Tamiflu), for consultancy work and lecturing.’

The BBC ran an article stating that ‘hundreds of millions of pounds may have been wasted on a drug for flu that works no better than paracetamol, a landmark analysis has said’. This was based on The Cochrane Collaboration (a global non-profit organisation of 14,000 academics) review on Tamiflu. Professor Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence-based Medicine, University of Oxford, stated that the side effects of Tamiflu ‘included serious psychiatric adverse events, renal and metabolic adverse events’.

In the second part of this report tomorrow I will take a close look at Sage’s sub-committees which play a vital role in how it functions.

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Sonia Elijah
Sonia Elijah has a background in Economics. She's a former BBC researcher and now works as an investigative journalist. Follow her on Twitter @sonia_elijah.

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