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What did they know and when did they know it?

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WHEN the public awakens to the great betrayal of both health and science surrounding the handling of Covid, it will be important not to let anger run riot. After all, the mistakes have taken place on a global scale, even leading a nation such as Australia, which we previously thought of as civilised and sensible, to behave like a despotic banana republic both towards its own citizens and in ill-treating unvaccinated tennis players wanting to enter the country. 

But that doesn’t mean we should hold back in our efforts to understand and deal with this disastrous aberration in human consciousness, whose dire consequences have been spelled out comprehensively by public health specialist Dr Alan Mordue

One root of the global nature of the crisis, now more and more coming to light, is the extraordinary power wielded by a tiny group of scientists to dictate World Health Organisation (WHO) policy, from which the rest of the world took its lead.  

Email disclosures show not only a deliberate plot to hide the laboratory origin of SARS-CoV-2, making it out to have jumped naturally from bats into humans, but how a WHO inquiry was rigged to reach the same conclusion. 

This issue has immense implications. If the virus really did make a random ‘jump’ across species, we could be at risk of similar future events. Pleas to provide billions in public funds for research and development of more drugs and vaccines could be justified to help prepare for such threats to global health security. 

Uncertainty arising from such a freak of nature would also justifiably have been used to argue for at least temporary measures of draconian control, to protect health services until the true threat could be assessed. 

If on the other hand the virus was a laboratory escapee resulting from ‘gain-of function’ research by American and Chinese scientists – now as good as proven – would governments and the public have been so ready to trust the scientists with even more money and power? Or ‘trust the science’, as the Prime Minister kept telling us?   

Jeremy Farrar, boss of the UK’s Wellcome Trust, wrote to US health chiefs Francis Collins and Tony Fauci on February 5, 2020 – almost two years ago, just after WHO had declared Covid a global health emergency – to explain how the WHO inquiry would be staffed to support the animal origin theory.

A few days earlier, Farrar had emailed Fauci and Patrick Vallance, the UK Government’s chief scientific adviser, copying in six others including Paul Schreier, Wellcome’s chief operating officer, about a teleconference called to discuss the virus’s provenance. His email said: ‘Information and discussion is shared in total confidence and not to be shared until agreement on next steps.’

That followed a late-night warning by immunologist Kristian Anderson of the Scripps research Institute in California that the virus had features which might make it look as if it had been genetically engineered in a laboratory. Anderson sent that email to Fauci on the evening of January 31, the day WHO announced an emergency, copying in only one other person – Jeremy Farrar. 

As I reported last week, despite knowing a laboratory origin was likely, the group was anxious not to weaken confidence in science by allowing that possibility to reach the public. Dr Francis Collins, director of the US National Institutes of Health at the time, told Farrar: ‘I share your view that a swift convening of experts in a confidence-inspiring framework is needed or the voicers of conspiracy will quickly dominate, doing great potential harm to science and international harmony.’ 

So to protect the good name of science, the group chose a strategy that was the opposite of scientific, in that it suppressed rather than encouraged open investigation and rational discussion of evidence.

But did the motives run deeper than that?

Robert Kennedy Jr, an American lawyer and environmental activist, made the case in a recent book that a web of corruption has been polluting medical science internationally for decades, fuelled by massive misuse of public funds. As director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci dispenses more than $6billion a year in taxpayer funds for research, and Kennedy says he uses this to ruin, advance or reward the careers and institutions of thousands of doctors and scientists. 

As part of what Kennedy calls a ‘vaccines cartel’, Fauci also partners Bill Gates, who uses tax-deductible dollars to fund research from which the investment arm of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gains massively – including a big stake in Pfizer. 

Gates has huge influence over WHO as its second-biggest funder after the US administration. That influence also extends into the heart of the British medical and scientific establishment. It includes working closely with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the British pharmaceutical giant, for which Vallance was previously a top executive. 

The Gates foundation has also given more than $250million to media companies around the world, most of whom have given unquestioning support to the Covid vaccine rollout and discriminatory, fear-inducing policies aimed at encouraging its take-up, despite its experimental nature. 

Media beneficiaries in the UK include the BBC, Guardian and Financial Times. Incredibly, the UK’s Medicine & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which approved the Covid jabs – even for children – has also received several million pounds. 

A similar strategy to Gates’s has enriched and empowered Farrar’s Wellcome Trust, which distributes £1billion annually for global health research. It has an investment portfolio of nearly £30billion, growing at about 12 per cent per annum over the past decade.

Farrar was a senior member of Sage, the UK Government’s advisory body on Covid, until last October, and is a founding member of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which gave $1billion to help Covid vaccine development. 

The Wellcome Trust’s website claims to offer ‘a collection of quick and simple resources on how Covid-19 vaccines work, how we know they’re safe, and how they can be distributed to everyone around the world’.

In March last year, the British Medical Journal reported that the trust stood to gain financially from the pandemic through its investments, raising questions about transparency and accountability. A trust spokesman disputed this, saying they ‘would never make decisions or advise others about the pandemic response for a reason other than public health’.

But according to Mordue, a retired consultant in public health medicine, the public’s health has suffered immensely from the policies the UK pursued. He mourns the lack of relevant expertise among government and media spokesmen; the ‘inadequate and inaccurate’ case definition; the false ‘worst-case’ scenarios produced by modellers; the failure to protect the most vulnerable; the lack of cost-benefit analysis that would have kept society, the education system and the economy functioning while protecting the most vulnerable; and the failure to follow the principle ‘first do no harm’ in the mass rollout of an experimental vaccine. He also deplores the way a Sage sub-group deliberately sought to heighten fear and alarm as a means of driving compliance with Covid measures.

‘What has happened amounts to a betrayal of the specialty of public health and all the principles and values it used to stand for, and a betrayal of the health of the population,’ he writes. 

‘What mystifies me is why my former colleagues and the UK professional body charged with developing and maintaining standards in the public health specialty, namely the Faculty of Public Health, have been so quiet through the whole of this pandemic.’

Vallance’s involvement in those crucial early decisions on how SARS-CoV-2 was to be handled, with their subsequent impact on public health decisions globally, raises questions about his fitness to continue in such a vital role as chief scientific officer for the UK. 

He was revealed by the Telegraph back in in 2020 to have a £600,000 shareholding in GSK, having already cashed in more than £5million worth of shares received during his tenure at GSK as president of research and development. Claims of a conflict of interest, because of GSK’s own Covid drug and vaccine research and development, were denied by Matt Hancock, Health Secretary at the time. 

Leaving aside his financial interest and affiliation to Big Pharma, it was his duty to offer rigorously objective scientific advice to the Government at a time of such crisis. Did that happen? That’s a central question that the forthcoming public inquiry into the pandemic, announced last month, will need to answer. 

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Neville Hodgkinson
Neville Hodgkinson
Neville Hodgkinson is a former medical and science correspondent at the Sunday Times and the author of AIDS: The Failure of Contemporary Science, published in 1996 by Fourth Estate.

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