Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomeCOVID-19South Africa’s brutal lockdown 2: Vaccine guru’s conflicts of interest

South Africa’s brutal lockdown 2: Vaccine guru’s conflicts of interest


Yesterday’s first part of this account of South Africa’s disastrous lockdown identified the man most responsible for the decision, a scientist at the centre of the network of funding that his own lucrative charity and academic posts depend on. Today, Karen Harradine details his multiple government appointments that despite clear conflict of interests allowed him to dictate South Africa’s Covid policy.

THE charity at the centre of the spider’s web of ‘health’ interests in South Africa is the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa’s (CAPRISA), run by Professor Salim S Abdool Karim. One of its ‘partners’, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), co-ordinates with the Department of Health on the key Covid policy-making unit, the South African Covid-19 Modelling Consortium (SACMC). It was SACMC that, in March 2020, informed the government that if the country didn’t lock down, between 87,900 and 351,000 would die from Covid-19, and the health system would be overwhelmed

This fearmongering was based entirely on SACMC’s flawed National Covid-19 Epi Model (NCEM). It was the sole basis of media reports at the time that the virus was ‘far more contagious and deadly than the flu’. 

Two years later, after the destruction of millions of livelihoods, having urged the government to implement authoritarian anti-science lockdowns based on this disastrous model, SACMC now claims its modelling projections need to be treated with ‘caution’. 

SACMC is not the only COVID-19 propagandist to admit now that its data for the virus might not be accurate. The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) has also revealed that its weekly death rates for Covid-19 are ‘scaled up’.  It raises the question of whether both SACMC and SAMRC tweaked their modelling assumptions to achieve desired results, to the point that it would be fair to describe these as politicised weapons?

SAMRC is something of a family affair. Karim served as SAMRC’s president and CEO between 2012 and 2014. His wife, Quarraisha Abdool Karim, is deputy chair of SAMRC’s Council Board. This love-in between it and their charity CAPRISA extends to funding. SAMRC, together with the government, pays CAPRISA to run multiple drug and vaccine trials. 

Like most scientific institutions that promote Covid-19 restrictions and vaccines, SAMRC is in receipt of funding from vaccine enthusiasts, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – over $23million since 2006, including $3.7million committed since June 2021. I further analyse this funding in Part Three of this report. 

No wonder SAMRC is so heavily involved in promoting vaccines. In February 2021, SAMRC joined forces with CAPRISA, the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation, Janssen and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to run a trial for the latter’s Covid-19 vaccine. Called the Sisonke Study, this vaccine trial was outsourced to none other than CAPRISA by Professor Glenda Gray, the president and CEO of SAMRC. 

Health care workers are the prime experimental subjects for the Sisonke Study. Gray is another avid vaccine promoter who collaborated with the then Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize, to purchase half a million doses of the J&J vaccine. A month later, the government bought a further 31million doses of the same vaccine, as well as 20million Pfizer vaccines. Boom time for vaccine manufacturers, and those running their trials, as South Africans starve from economic carnage caused by the lockdowns. 

Thanks to the Sisonke Study, South Africans are now guinea pigs for a vaccine known to cause such serious side effects, including blood clots, that the European Union (EU) halted its distribution in April 2021. Yet the Sisonke Study continues to release data giving the J&J vaccine a positive spin while underplaying its brutal side effects. 

The organisations connected to the Sisonke Study appear to exist in a vaccine echo chamber, dismissing those, including scientists and doctors, who raise legitimate concerns as ‘anti-vaxxers’. 

There are certainly bonuses for conforming to the vaccine ideology dictated by funders. The Karims have won countless awards and prizes from organisations funding CAPRISA directly or indirectly. In 2015, the African Union awarded Karim its prestigious African Union Science Prize during a lavish ceremony. Five years later, a CAPRISA vaccine team won a Best Overall Performance Award, presented to them by Gray. Last year, Karim won a Lifetime Achievement Award from SAMRC. 

In February, Gray and Karim were appointed by Joe Phaahla, South Africa’s Minister of Health, to sit on a high-profile adjudication panel deciding on Covid-19 vaccinations for children. In July, another CAPRISA employee, Dr Nonhlanhla Yende-Zuma, was invited to sit on the Scientific Advisory Board, part of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, a research institute propped up by pharmaceutical companies. Yende-Zuma also worked as a primary statistician for the Sisonke Study. 

This is but a snapshot of the prizes and prestigious board positions benefiting a closed circle of back-slapping scientists, an incestuous club that denies entry to any dissenters.

Karim, an overly enthusiastic supporter of the Covid-19 vaccines, was chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on Covid-19, and an ‘observer’ for the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) on Covid-19 Vaccines since it was created by the government in September 2020. His involvement in the latter means he is not only partly responsible for advising on and approving vaccines, but also through CAPRISA, responsible for testing them – a direct conflict of interests.

The Vaccine MAC is desperate to inject South Africans with a vaccine most don’t need or want. Last November, Phaahla launched the infantile-sounding but in fact chilling ‘Vax Champ’ initiative, a scheme encourages which citizens to snitch to the authorities. 

Karim himself is a hardline medical apartheid advocate who’s inflicted financial punishment on the unvaccinated by insisting that they take frequent expensive Covid-19 tests, and pushed for widespread mandatory vaccination, in breach of the Nuremberg Code. Created after the Holocaust, the Code says that informed consent is required for any medical treatment. 

South Africa’s Covid-19 hysteria has proved very lucrative for China. In 2020, Chinese factories exported $52billion worth of face masks, and other personal protective equipment costing $100billion, to the rest of the world. Karim, true to his authoritarian form, has a fondness for enforcing face masks despite their proven uselessness in preventing the spread of Covid-19. Accusing scientists who question their effectiveness as having a ‘colonial mentality’ he silences his opponents through character assignation

He has also put his weight behind PCR test imposition, proven to be faulty in detecting the virus, but another money-making venture for the CCP.   

(The British government essentially handed the CCP a monopoly by exempting Chinese manufacturers from strict laws governing privately sold tests.) Karim, like his British counterparts, must have been aware of the ineffectiveness of tests and mask mandates. His championing of them, and by doing so shilling for the CCP, is deeply concerning. Yet as South Africa’s anointed Covid-19 guru, he is worshipped and unstoppable, not only prominent in his own country, and the African continent, but on a global stage too.

In Part Three tomorrow I show how Karim and his wife have been further rewarded for disseminating COVID-19 propaganda.

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Karen Harradine
Karen Harradine
Karen is an anthropologist and freelance journalist. She writes on anti-Semitism, Israel and spirituality. She is @KarenH777on Twitter.

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