Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Fort Detrick' is associated with 33 posts.

FTR #1137 Lyme Disease and Biological Warfare, Part 3

Fur­ther devel­op­ing the links between bio­log­i­cal war­fare research and the Lyme Dis­ease estab­lish­ment, we review infor­ma­tion from FTR #585.

At every turn, Lyme dis­ease research is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with bio­log­i­cal war­fare research. Divid­ed into the “Steere” and “ILADS” camps, the Lyme dis­ease research com­mu­ni­ty is split between the view that the dis­ease is “hard-to-catch, easy-to-cure” and the dia­met­ri­cal­ly opposed view that the dis­ease is very seri­ous and pro­duces long-term neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­or­der. The Steere camp dimin­ish­es the sig­nif­i­cance of the dis­ease and is close­ly iden­ti­fied with bio­log­i­cal war­fare research. At the epi­cen­ter of Lyme dis­ease research (and the Steere camp) are mem­bers of the Epi­dem­ic Intel­li­gence Ser­vice, or EIS. EIS per­son­nel are to be found at every bend in the road of Lyme dis­ease research.

The Bor­re­lia genus has long been researched as a bio­log­i­cal war­fare vec­tor. Note that Unit 731 per­son­nel and their files were put to work for the Unit­ed States after World War II, much like the Project Paper­clip sci­en­tists from Ger­many. ” . . . bor­re­lia were known for their abil­i­ty to adopt dif­fer­ent forms under con­di­tions of stress (such as expo­sure to antibi­otics). Shed­ding their out­er wall, (which is the tar­get of peni­cillin and relat­ed drugs), they could ward off attack and con­tin­ue to exist in the body.  . .”

Much of the pro­gram is devot­ed to excerpt­ing and analy­sis of a 2013 post­ing by Ele­na Cook. This dis­cus­sion of “Spiro­chete War­fare,” in turn, makes lib­er­al use of mate­r­i­al from a 1944 text about Japan’s bio­log­i­cal war­fare pro­gram. This book “Japan’s Secret Weapon,” con­tains a great deal of infor­ma­tion about Japan­ese pio­neer­ing of the use of spiro­chetes as bio­log­i­cal war­fare organ­isms.

This mate­r­i­al is to be con­sid­ered in the his­tor­i­cal and polit­i­cal con­text of the incor­po­ra­tion of the key per­son­nel and files of the noto­ri­ous Japan­ese Unit 731 bio­log­i­cal war­fare divi­sion into the U.S. BW pro­gram after World War II.

Appar­ent­ly decades ahead of their Allied coun­ter­parts, Japan­ese use of spiro­chetes encom­passed a num­ber of impor­tant points to con­sid­er.

1.–The Japan­ese under­stood that “cell-wall defi­cient spiro­chetes, ” “gran­ule” and “L‑forms” had tremen­dous sig­nif­i­cance for bio­log­i­cal war­fare. ” . . . This WW2-era book helps to con­firm what some inves­ti­gat­ing the his­to­ry of Lyme dis­ease have long sus­pect­ed; that the offi­cial denial of the dev­as­tat­ing path­o­gen­ic nature of the gran­ule and oth­er ‘L‑forms’(1) of Lyme-caus­ing Bor­re­lia, is relat­ed to their bio­log­i­cal war­fare sig­nif­i­cance. . .”
2.–” . . . To put it blunt­ly, New­man’s book pro­vides cogent cir­cum­stan­tial evi­dence that many Cell-wall defi­cient forms of Bor­re­lia are in fact weaponized spiro­chetes, nur­tured, cul­tured and opti­mized for aerosol deliv­ery. . .” 
3.–According to author Bar­clay New­man, a com­bined Japan­ese and Nazi bio­log­i­cal war­fare offen­sive against Hawaii using the spiro­chetal dis­ease lep­tospiro­sis against Hawaii two or three years before the attack on Pearl Har­bor: ” . . . . ‘Nazi and Japan­ese sci­en­tists coop­er­at­ed in war­fare against or with spiro­chetes — in Hawaii.’ (orig­i­nal author’s ital­ics). What he is refer­ring to is an excep­tion­al­ly vir­u­lent out­break of the spiro­chetal dis­ease lep­tospiro­sis, also known as Weil’s dis­ease, and known at the time in Ger­many as ‘slime fever’. With offi­cial reports of 44% mor­tal­i­ty from the out­break, New­man states: Con­sult the author­i­ties, and you will find out that, very def­i­nite­ly, so high a mor­tal­i­ty is attained only by Japan­ese strains of spiro­chetes of slime fever. . . .”
4.–According to New­man, the Japan­ese had con­clud­ed that spiro­chetes, although very close to bac­te­ria in form, were not actu­al­ly bac­te­ria and there­fore: ” . . . . a spiro­chete can also break itself into many tiny gran­ules, each as small as the invis­i­ble mol­e­cule of a virus, and each capa­ble of recre­at­ing a new spiro­chete. . . .”
5.–Again, accord­ing to New­man: ” . . . The Japan­ese have report­ed that you can increase the vir­u­lence, or killing pow­er, of these spi­rals by grow­ing them in flesh and blood, of guinea pig or man. . .” This is inter­est­ing to con­sid­er in light of the evi­dence of Lyme Dis­ease as the prod­uct of bio­log­i­cal war­fare. Might some of the “tests” have had the goal of “grow­ing” such organ­isms in humans? ” . . . The resis­tance of many spiro­chetes, includ­ing bor­re­lia, to cul­ture in vit­ro remains a prob­lem for lab sci­en­tists even today. . .”
6.–The “gran­ule” spiro­chete form was found by the Japan­ese to have great val­ue for aerosolized BW appli­ca­tions: ” . . . Ina­da has report­ed that the Japan­ese know how to get virus-like, quite invis­i­ble par­ti­cles or spiro­chete-frag­ments from spe­cial cul­tures of spiro­chetes of infec­tious jaun­dice. The Japan­ese say that such infin­i­tes­i­mals can be used to infect ani­mals and men, by spray­ing droplets con­tain­ing these spiro­chete-cre­at­ing bits into the air, or spread­ing them through water, or scat­ter­ing them in mud or damp soil. . . .”
7.–The above-men­tioned lep­tospiro­sis or “slime fever” may have been used as a “soft­en­ing-up” agent pri­or to Japan­ese inva­sions in World War II” ” . . . ‘Imme­di­ate­ly before the Japan­ese inva­sions of Chi­na, Indo-Chi­na, the Dutch East Indies, and the Malay States, and short­ly before the Japan­ese inva­sion of India and the Japan­ese strokes at Aus­tralia, the very first out­breaks of slime fever were report­ed from every one of these areas’ . . .”
8.–The Japan­ese had dis­cov­ered the appli­ca­tion of infec­tion via mul­ti­ple pathogens. This may have fig­ured into the devel­op­ment of Lyme Dis­ease as well. ” . . . Fuji­mori (sic) was test­ing out the effects of spread­ing two dif­fer­ent par­a­sites into the same guinea pig at the same time. The Japan­ese dis­cov­ered that one par­a­site pro­motes the lethal action of the oth­er. . . .”
9.–The Japan­ese devel­oped with spread­ing spiro­chetal dis­ease via spray­ing droplets into the eyes of tar­gets. We won­der if Willy Burgdor­fer­’s pos­si­ble Lyme infec­tion from dis­eased Rab­bit-urine may have stemmed from this tech­nol­o­gy? This is dis­cussed below. ” . . . ‘Some­times the Japan­ese think up the damnedest exper­i­ments, such as the trans­mis­sion of syphilis by spray­ing the spiro­chetes into the air or into the eyes of ani­mals or vol­un­teers. Infec­tion is thus accom­plished. . . . if you want to spec­u­late fur­ther about the pos­si­bil­i­ties of spiro­chete war­fare, you can be sure that the Japan­ese know how to spread any spiro­chete dis­ease . . . by spray­ing droplets laden with spe­cial­ly cul­tured spiro­chetes. . . .”
10.-Among the dis­eases appar­ent­ly har­nessed for BW use by the Japan­ese was African relaps­ing fever. Willy Burgdor­fer did his grad­u­ate the­sis about this tick-borne spiro­chetal dis­ease and it was researched at length by his men­tor Rudolf Geigy. (Geigy’s pos­si­ble role as an I.G. Far­ben intel­li­gence agent and Paper­clip recruiter is dis­cussed in FTR #1135. Note that some forms of Bor­re­lia Burgdorferi–a pri­ma­ry causative agent of Lyme Disease–resemble the spiro­chete that caus­es relaps­ing fever. ” . . . Relaps­ing fever is caused by the Bor­re­lia genus of bac­te­ria, and is gen­er­al­ly trans­mit­ted to man either by lice, or by the bite of a tick. It is worth not­ing, too, that recent inves­ti­ga­tions into the genet­ic make-up of Lyme bor­re­lia have found some strains appar­ent­ly more close­ly relat­ed to relaps­ing fever Bor­re­lia than to Bor­re­lia burgdor­feri, long con­sid­ered the only bor­re­lia capa­ble of caus­ing Lyme dis­ease. . . .”

Next, the pro­gram details Rudolf Geigy’s work on relaps­ing fever. We sus­pect that his inter­est in such afflic­tions was not as benign and altru­is­tic as his defend­ers main­tain. As men­tioned above, Lyme Dis­ease “dis­cov­er­er” and bio­log­i­cal war­fare vet­er­an Willy Burgdor­fer did his grad­u­ate the­sis on relaps­ing fever.

Again, as men­tioned above, Willy Burgdor­fer con­tract­ed what he felt was Lyme Dis­ease after urine from an infect­ed rab­bit splashed into his eyes. We won­der if some of the tech­niques of using aerosolized spiro­chete gran­ules might have been involved in Willy’s acci­den­tal infec­tion? ” . . . .While he was rins­ing off one of the trays in the sink, Lyme-infect­ed rab­bit urine splashed into his eyes. A few weeks lat­er, on April 13, he noticed five Lyme bul­l’s-eye rash­es under his armpit and on his tor­so. . . .”

In an unpub­lished man­u­script, Willy Burgdor­fer not­ed not only the per­sis­tence of Lyme Dis­ease but its abil­i­ty to remain dor­mant in the ner­vous sys­tem: “. . . . It is now clear that Bor­re­lia burgdor­feri can per­sist with­in the ner­vous sys­tem for years, caus­ing pro­gres­sive ill­ness, and increas­ing evi­dence sug­gests also that the spiro­chete can remain latent there for years before pro­duc­ing clin­i­cal symp­toms. . . .”

Lyme dis­ease is dif­fi­cult to diag­nose, anoth­er fac­tor that makes it ide­al for BW use. Might the Japan­ese Unit 731 research into spiro­chetal war­fare described by Bar­clay New­man have fig­ured into some of the boil­er-plate research that went into the devel­op­ment of Lyme Dis­ease? ” . . . Lyme’s abil­i­ty to evade detec­tion on rou­tine med­ical tests, its myr­i­ad pre­sen­ta­tions which can baf­fle doc­tors by mim­ic­k­ing 100 dif­fer­ent dis­eases, its amaz­ing abil­i­ties to evade the immune sys­tem and antibi­ot­ic treat­ment, would make it an attrac­tive choice to bioweaponeers look­ing for an inca­pac­i­tat­ing agent. Lyme’s abil­i­ties as ‘the great imi­ta­tor’ might mean that an attack could be mis­in­ter­pret­ed as sim­ply a rise in the inci­dence of dif­fer­ent, nat­u­ral­ly-occur­ring dis­eases. . . .”

There is exper­i­men­tal evi­dence that infec­tion with Bor­re­lia burgdor­feri can pro­duce the amy­loid plaques symp­to­matic of Alzheimer’s Dis­ease. ” . . . Here is hypoth­e­sized a tru­ly rev­o­lu­tion­ary notion that round­ed cys­tic forms of Bor­re­lia burgdor­feri are the root cause of the round­ed struc­tures called plaques in the Alzheimer brain. Round­ed “plaques’ in high den­si­ty in brain tis­sue are emblem­at­ic of Alzheimer’s dis­ease (AD). . . .”

The pro­gram con­cludes with more exper­i­men­tal evi­dence of the pro­duc­tion of amy­loid deposits char­ac­ter­is­tic of Alzheimer’s Dis­ease: ” . . . To deter­mine whether an anal­o­gous host reac­tion to that occur­ring in AD could be induced by infec­tious agents, we exposed mam­malian glial and neu­ronal cells in vit­ro to Bor­re­lia burgdor­feri spiro­chetes . . . Mor­pho­log­i­cal changes anal­o­gous to the amy­loid deposits of AD brain were observed fol­low­ing 2–8 weeks of expo­sure to the spiro­chetes. . . These obser­va­tions indi­cate that, by expo­sure to bac­te­ria or to their tox­ic prod­ucts, host respons­es sim­i­lar in nature to those observed in AD may be induced. . . .”


FTR #1136 Lyme Disease and Biological Warfare, Part 2

A recent book about Lyme Dis­ease sets forth cred­i­ble infor­ma­tion that the dis­ease is an out­growth of U.S. bio­log­i­cal war­fare research.

Bit­ten, The Secret His­to­ry of Lyme Dis­ease and Bio­log­i­cal Weapons chron­i­cles the career of Willy Burgdor­fer, a Swiss-born expert on tick and flea-borne dis­eases who spent most of his career research­ing those areas as a U.S. bio­log­i­cal war­fare sci­en­tist.
” . . . . if Willy’s claim was true, a crime against human­i­ty had been com­mit­ted by the U.S. gov­ern­ment, and then cov­ered up. . . ” “Bit­ten,” p. 103.

Lis­ten­ers are emphat­i­cal­ly encour­aged to pur­chase and read this book, as well as shar­ing it with oth­ers.

Author Kris New­by presents sub­stan­tive evi­dence that the dis­ease stems from BW research done by Burgdor­fer and asso­ciates. (Burgdor­fer was the sci­en­tist who “dis­cov­ered” the organ­ism that caus­es Lyme Dis­ease.)

 NB: The mate­r­i­al in this broad­cast is delib­er­ate­ly over­lapped with that in the last pro­gram.

In this post, we high­light infor­ma­tion about what Willy termed “the Swiss Agent”–a rick­ettsia that was present in the vast major­i­ty of Lyme suf­fer­ers test­ed ear­ly in research into the dis­ease.

Even­tu­al­ly, dis­cus­sion of the pos­si­ble role of Swiss Agent dropped out of dis­cus­sion. The dis­ap­pear­ance of the Swiss Agent from the sci­en­tif­ic ana­lyt­i­cal lit­er­a­ture coin­cid­ed with Willy’s tele­phone con­ver­sa­tions with bio­log­i­cal war­fare research vet­er­ans.

Key points of dis­cus­sion:

1.–” . . . . I would engage the sci­en­tif­ic part of his brain in answer­ing my two ques­tions: why the Lyme dis­cov­ery files were miss­ing from the Nation­al Archives, and why images of the organ­ism labeled ‘Swiss Agent’ were locat­ed in the archive fold­ers in the time-frame where one would expect the Lyme spiro­chete pic­tures to be. . . .”
2.–” . . . . He told me that in late 1979, he had test­ed ‘over one hun­dred ticks’ from Shel­ter Island, locat­ed about twen­ty miles from the Lyme out­break, and all but two had an uniden­ti­fied rick­ettsial species inside. It looked like Rick­ettsia mon­tana (now called Rick­ettsia mon­ta­nen­sis) under a micro­scope, a non-dis­ease-caus­ing cousin of the dead­ly Rick­ettsia rick­et­sii, but it was a dif­fer­ent species. . . .”
3.–” . . . .‘You say they’re not look­ing for it any­more?’ I asked. ‘They prob­a­bly paid peo­ple off,’ he said. ‘There are folks up there who have a way to enable that.’ . . .”
4.–” . . . . Next, I showed Willy an unla­beled image of a microbe and asked him what it was. ‘That is a Swiss Agent,’ said Willy. I asked him a series of ques­tions on this microbe and he recit­ed what seemed like well-rehearsed lines: the Swiss Agent is a Rick­ettsia mon­tana-like organ­ism found in the Euro­pean sheep tick, Ixodes Rici­nus, and it doesn’t cause dis­ease in humans. . . .”
5.–” . . . . Then I asked him why he brought sam­ples of it from Switzer­land back to his lab. He replied with the response that he often used when he seemed to know the answer but wasn’t going to divulge it: ‘Ques­tion mark.’. . .”
6.–” . . . . The real ‘smok­ing gun,’ though, was Willy’s hand­writ­ten lab notes on the patient blood tests from the dis­ease out­break in Con­necti­cut. These tests showed the proof-of-pres­ence of what I named ‘Swiss Agent USA,’ the mys­tery rick­ettsia present in most of the patients from the orig­i­nal Lyme out­break, a fact that was nev­er dis­closed in jour­nal arti­cles. It didn’t take a PhD in micro­bi­ol­o­gy to see that almost all the patient blood had react­ed strong­ly to an anti­gen test for a Euro­pean rick­ettsia that Willy had called the Swiss Agent. . . .”
7.–” . . . . In March, he wrote to Ander­son and Steere again: ‘Most spec­i­mens, with a few excep­tions, react­ed only against anti­gens pre­pared from the Swiss Agent.’ In short, the dis­ease clus­ters in Con­necti­cut and Long Island seemed to have been caused by Swiss Agent USA. Then, in April, the Swiss Agent USA rick­ettsia van­ished. It was nev­er again men­tioned in talks, let­ters, inter­views, or jour­nal arti­cles. . . .  There is, with­out a doubt, some­thing sus­pi­cious about the sud­den dis­ap­pear­ance of the Swiss Agent USA from all cor­re­spon­dence. . . .”
8.–The dis­ap­pear­ance of the Swiss Agent USA from the lit­er­a­ture on Lyme Dis­ease cor­re­spond­ed with an impor­tant con­ver­sa­tion that Willy had: ” . . . . It was in the begin­ning of 1980—two years before the first Lyme spiro­chetes were found—that the Swiss Agent USA dis­ap­peared. This about-face coin­cid­ed with a series of dis­cus­sions Willy had with old bioweapons devel­op­ers on the Rick­ettsial Com­mis­sion of the Armed Forces Epi­demi­o­log­i­cal Board, as record­ed in his per­son­al phone log. These sci­en­tists were most cer­tain­ly famil­iar with the secret his­to­ry of inca­pac­i­tat­ing rick­ettsial and viral agent test­ing, and they may have dis­cussed with Willy the pos­si­bil­i­ty of there hav­ing been an undis­closed field test in the Long Island region. . . .”
9.–Roundworms sim­i­lar to organ­isms stud­ied by Willy at the Naval Research Unit in Cairo turned up in some of the ticks: ” . . . . That’s when Willy found par­a­sitic round­worm lar­vae in the main body cav­i­ty of two of the ticks. They were sim­i­lar to the deer worms he’d found in ticks on his 1978 trip to Switzer­land, and sim­i­lar to the round­worms that he, Sonen­shine, and the Naval Research Unit in Cairo had worked with for a project explor­ing the ‘rel­a­tive­ly new field of endo-par­a­sitic trans­mis­sion of dis­ease agents.’ In these exper­i­ments, mul­ti­ple dis­ease agents were put inside mos­qui­to-borne round­worms, accord­ing to an NIH research report from 1961. . . .”
10.–Numerically, it appears that the Swiss Agent rick­ettsias out­num­bered the spiro­chetes that ulti­mate­ly were tabbed as the causative agent for Lyme Dis­ease: ” . . . . When Willy dis­sect­ed 124 more Shel­ter Island deer ticks, 98 per­cent had the new rick­ettsias in them and only 60 per­cent car­ried the new spiro­chetes. Willy thought that either microbe might be caus­ing Lyme dis­ease, but, for unknown rea­sons, this alter­na­tive the­o­ry fell into a black hole. . . .”

Piv­ot­ing to dis­cus­sion of the pol­i­tics of Lyme Dis­ease treat­ment, we note that legal and reg­u­la­to­ry rul­ings have enabled the patent­ing of liv­ing organ­isms and that has exac­er­bat­ed the mon­e­tiz­ing of Lyme Dis­ease treat­ment. That mon­e­ti­za­tion, in turn, has adverse­ly affect­ed the qual­i­ty of care for afflict­ed patients. As we will see lat­er, Willy Burgdor­fer was not the only Lyme Dis­ease researcher to become involved with bio­log­i­cal war­fare research. ” . . . . All of a sud­den, the insti­tu­tions that were sup­posed to be pro­tec­tors of pub­lic health became busi­ness part­ners with Big Phar­ma. The uni­ver­si­ty researchers who had pre­vi­ous­ly shared infor­ma­tion on dan­ger­ous emerg­ing dis­eases were now delay­ing pub­lish­ing their find­ings so they could become entre­pre­neurs and prof­it from patents through their uni­ver­si­ty tech­nol­o­gy trans­fer groups. We essen­tial­ly lost our sys­tem of sci­en­tif­ic checks and bal­ances. And this, in turn, has under­mined patient trust in the insti­tu­tions that are sup­posed to ‘do no harm.’ . . .”

Ms. New­by went up against the “Lyme Dis­ease estab­lish­ment” in an attempt to find out why the dis­ease was being mis-diag­nosed and inef­fec­tive­ly treat­ed. Strik­ing­ly, a FOIA suit she filed was stonewalled for five years, before final­ly yield­ing the doc­u­ments she had so long sought.

The “experts” and their agen­da was neat­ly, and alarm­ing­ly, summed up by Ms. New­by: ” . . . . The emails revealed a dis­turb­ing pic­ture of a nonof­fi­cial group of gov­ern­ment employ­ees and guide­lines authors that had been set­ting the nation­al Lyme dis­ease research agen­da with­out pub­lic over­sight or trans­paren­cy. . . . Bot­tom line, the guide­lines authors reg­u­lar­ly con­vened in gov­ern­ment-fund­ed, closed-door meet­ings with hid­den agen­das that lined the pock­ets of aca­d­e­m­ic researchers with sig­nif­i­cant com­mer­cial inter­ests in Lyme dis­ease tests and vac­cines. A large per­cent­age of gov­ern­ment grants were award­ed to the guide­line authors and/or researchers in their labs. Part of the group’s stat­ed mis­sion, culled from these FOIA emails, was to run a covert ‘dis­in­for­ma­tion war’ and a ‘sociopo­lit­i­cal offen­sive’ to dis­cred­it Lyme patients, physi­cians, and jour­nal­ists who ques­tioned the group’s research and motives. In the FOIA-obtained emails, Lyme patients and their treat­ing physi­cians were called ‘loonies’ and ‘quacks’ by Lyme guide­lines authors and NIH employ­ees. . . .”

Fur­ther devel­op­ing the links between bio­log­i­cal war­fare research and the Lyme Dis­ease estab­lish­ment, we review infor­ma­tion from FTR #585.

At every turn, Lyme dis­ease research is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with bio­log­i­cal war­fare research. Divid­ed into the “Steere” and “ILADS” camps, the Lyme dis­ease research com­mu­ni­ty is split between the view that the dis­ease is “hard-to-catch, easy-to-cure” and the dia­met­ri­cal­ly opposed view that the dis­ease is very seri­ous and pro­duces long-term neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­or­der. The Steere camp dimin­ish­es the sig­nif­i­cance of the dis­ease and is close­ly iden­ti­fied with bio­log­i­cal war­fare research. At the epi­cen­ter of Lyme dis­ease research (and the Steere camp) are mem­bers of the Epi­dem­ic Intel­li­gence Ser­vice, or EIS. EIS per­son­nel are to be found at every bend in the road of Lyme dis­ease research.

The Bor­re­lia genus has long been researched as a bio­log­i­cal war­fare vec­tor.

” . . . . The Bor­re­lia genus of bac­te­ria, which encom­pass­es the Bor­re­lia burgdor­feri species-group (to which Lyme dis­ease is attrib­uted), was stud­ied by the infa­mous WW2 Japan­ese biowar Unit 731, who car­ried out hor­rif­ic exper­i­ments on pris­on­ers in Manchuria, includ­ing dis­sec­tion of live human beings. [iii] Unit 731 also worked on a num­ber of oth­er tick-borne pathogens. . . . . bor­re­lia were known for their abil­i­ty to adopt dif­fer­ent forms under con­di­tions of stress (such as expo­sure to antibi­otics). Shed­ding their out­er wall, (which is the tar­get of peni­cillin and relat­ed drugs), they could ward off attack and con­tin­ue to exist in the body. . . .”

Note that Unit 731 per­son­nel and their files were put to work for the Unit­ed States after World War II, much like the Project Paper­clip sci­en­tists from Ger­many.


Lyme Disease and Biological Warfare, Part 4: Physicians [Financially] Healing Themselves

“Bit­ten, The Secret His­to­ry of Lyme Dis­ease and Bio­log­i­cal Weapons” chron­i­cles the career of Willy Burgdor­fer, a Swiss-born expert on tick and flea-borne dis­eases who spent most of his career research­ing those areas as a U.S. bio­log­i­cal war­fare sci­en­tist. Author Kris
New­by presents sub­stan­tive evi­dence that the dis­ease stems from BW research done by Burgdor­fer and asso­ciates. Lis­ten­ers and read­ers are emphat­i­cal­ly encour­aged to pur­chase and read her book. In this post, we present dis­cus­sion of Ms. New­by’s expose of the insti­tu­tion­al­ly and finan­cial­ly inces­tu­ous rela­tion­ship between bureau­crat­ic and cor­po­rate enti­ties that both reg­u­late, and prof­it from, Lyme Dis­ease. Key “experts” involved with diag­nos­ing and treat­ing the afflic­tion run inter­fer­ence for the sta­tus quo. The “experts” and their agen­da were neat­ly, and alarm­ing­ly, summed up by Ms. New­by: ” . . . . The emails revealed a dis­turb­ing pic­ture of a nonof­fi­cial group of gov­ern­ment employ­ees and guide­lines authors that had been set­ting the nation­al Lyme dis­ease research agen­da with­out pub­lic over­sight or trans­paren­cy. . . . Part of the group’s stat­ed mis­sion, culled from these FOIA emails, was to run a covert ‘dis­in­for­ma­tion war’ and a ‘sociopo­lit­i­cal offen­sive’ to dis­cred­it Lyme patients, physi­cians, and jour­nal­ists who ques­tioned the group’s research and motives. In the FOIA-obtained emails, Lyme patients and their treat­ing physi­cians were called ‘loonies’ and ‘quacks’ by Lyme guide­lines authors and NIH employ­ees. . . .”


FTR #‘s 1135, Lyme Disease and Biological Warfare, Part 1

” . . . . if Willy’s claim was true, a crime against human­i­ty had been com­mit­ted by the U.S. gov­ern­ment, and then cov­ered up. . . ” Bit­ten, p. 103.

A recent book about Lyme Dis­ease sets forth cred­i­ble infor­ma­tion that the dis­ease is an out­growth of U.S. bio­log­i­cal war­fare research.

Bit­ten, The Secret His­to­ry of Lyme Dis­ease and Bio­log­i­cal Weapons chron­i­cles the career of Willy Burgdor­fer, a Swiss-born expert on tick and flea-borne dis­eases who spent most of his career research­ing those areas as a U.S. bio­log­i­cal war­fare sci­en­tist.

Author Kris New­by presents sub­stan­tive evi­dence that the dis­ease stems from BW research done by Burgdor­fer and asso­ciates. (Burgdor­fer was the sci­en­tist who “dis­cov­ered” the organ­ism that caus­es Lyme Dis­ease.)

In past dis­cus­sion of Lyme Dis­ease, we have explored the incor­po­ra­tion of Nazi sci­en­tists via Oper­a­tion Paper­clip into the Amer­i­can bio­log­i­cal war­fare pro­gram and pos­si­ble links between their work and the spread of the dis­ease in Con­necti­cut, across Long Island Sound from Plum Island.

(FTR #‘s 480 and 585 high­light dis­cus­sion about Lyme Dis­ease and bio­log­i­cal war­fare.)

Burgdor­fer­’s entree into the Amer­i­can bio­log­i­cal war­fare pro­gram result­ed from his pro­fes­sion­al rela­tion­ship with long time men­tor and patron Rudolf Geigy. Geigy belonged to a fam­i­ly whose busi­ness, J.R. Geigy AG, was a Swiss chem­i­cal firm mar­ket­ing dyes and insec­ti­cides.

Sig­nif­i­cant­ly, J.R. Geigy, Ciba and San­doz com­prised a Swiss chem­i­cal car­tel formed in the after­math of World War I to com­pete with the I.G. Far­ben car­tel.

(Today, the three com­pa­nies have coa­lesced as the Swiss phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal giant Novar­tis.)

Even­tu­al­ly, the Swiss con­sor­tium was absorbed into, and became a key com­po­nent of, the I.G. Far­ben car­tel. They read­i­ly col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Third Reich:

1.–” . . . . The chap­ters on Switzer­land’s chem­i­cal indus­try are the most embar­rass­ing sec­tion of the com­mis­sion’s report. It is now clear that the direc­tors of Swiss com­pa­nies in Basel were very well aware what was going on at the time in Ger­many and had knowl­edge of the coerced employ­ment of forced labor­ers in their branch plants in Ger­many as well as of the fact that forced labor­ers died as a result of the con­di­tions in which they were held. . . .”
2.–” . . . . sev­er­al lead­ing Swiss chem­i­cal firms — includ­ing JR Geigy, Ciba, San­doz and Hoff­mann-La Roche — put their own inter­ests ahead of human­i­tar­i­an con­cerns in their deal­ing with the Nazis. . . .”
3.–” . . . .The ICE [Inde­pen­dent Com­mis­sion of Experts] con­clud­ed that the chem­i­cal firms’ boss­es in Switzer­land ‘pos­sessed a high lev­el of detailed knowl­edge about the polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic sit­u­a­tion in Nazi Ger­many... [and] incor­po­rat­ed their knowl­edge... into their eco­nom­ic plan­ning and used it as a basis for deci­sion-mak­ing’ . . . .”
4.–” . . . . ‘Geigy main­tained par­tic­u­lar­ly good rela­tions with Claus Unge­wit­ter, the Reich com­mis­sion­er for chem­i­cals.’ . . .”
5.–” . . . . Dur­ing the war, it [Geigy] pro­duced insec­ti­cides and, most notably, the icon­ic ‘polar red’ dye that col­ored the back­ground of Nazi swasti­ka flags. . . .”

All three Swiss firms [Geigy, San­doz and Ciba] were indict­ed in the Unit­ed States in 1942 because of their col­lab­o­ra­tion with I.G. Far­ben and the Third Reich.

1.–” . . . . Those indict­ed includ­ed duPont; Allied Chem­i­cal and Dye; and Amer­i­can Cyanamid; also Far­ben affil­i­ates the Amer­i­can Ciba, San­doz and Geigy. . . .”
2.–” . . . . A long list of oth­er co-con­spir­a­tors includ­ed the Swiss Ciba, San­doz and Geigy com­pa­nies with Cincin­nati Chem­i­cal works, their joint­ly owned Amer­i­can con­cern . . . .”
3.–” . . . . When Sec­re­tary of War Stim­son and Attor­ney Gen­er­al Bid­dle agreed to post­pone the tri­al until it would not inter­fere with war pro­duc­tion, one Jus­tice Depart­ment offi­cial was quot­ed as say­ing sourly, ‘First they hurt the war effort by their restric­tive prac­tices, and then if caught they use the war effort as an excuse to avoid pros­e­cu­tion.’ . . .”

Use­ful back­ground research with which to flesh out under­stand­ing of the tit­il­lat­ing infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed by Ms. New­by con­cern­ing Geigy and his activ­i­ties can be obtained by read­ing some of the many books avail­able for down­load on this web­site.

Numer­ous pro­grams present research on the top­ic, includ­ing FTR #511.

A key foun­da­tion­al ele­ment for the dis­cus­sion of Bit­ten is the Pen­tagon’s decades-long research into the genet­ic manip­u­la­tion of micro­bial pathogens.

1.–Nobel Prize win­ner Joshua Leder­berg warned of the con­se­quences for human­i­ty of this work: ” . . . .‘The large-scale deploy­ment of infec­tious agents is a poten­tial threat against the whole species: mutant forms of virus­es could well devel­op that would spread over the earth’s pop­u­la­tion for a new Black Death,’ said Leder­berg in a Wash­ing­ton Post edi­to­r­i­al on Sep­tem­ber 24, 1966. He added, ‘The future of the species is very much bound up with the con­trol of these weapons. Their use must be reg­u­lat­ed by the most thought­ful recon­sid­er­a­tion of U.S. and world pol­i­cy.’ . . .”
2.–The Pen­ta­gon was dis­mis­sive of the warn­ing: ” . . . . A month lat­er, the army’s Bio­log­i­cal Sub­com­mit­tee Muni­tions Advi­so­ry Group thumbed its nose at this ‘nation­al pro­nounce­ment made by promi­nent sci­en­tists.’ . . . The advi­so­ry group then con­tin­ued dis­cussing its plans for genet­ic manip­u­la­tion of microbes, new rick­ettsial and viral agents, and the devel­op­ment of a bal­anced pro­gram for both inca­pac­i­tat­ing and lethal agents. . . .”
3.–By 1962, the mil­i­tary’s plans for devel­op­ment of genet­i­cal­ly mod­i­fied microbes were devel­op­ing in earnest. ” . . . . Fort Detrick’s direc­tor of bio­log­i­cal research, Dr. J.R. Good­low, on Feb­ru­ary 16, 1962 . . . added, ‘Stud­ies of bac­te­r­i­al genet­ics are also in progress with the aim of trans­fer­ring genet­ic deter­mi­nants from one type of organ­ism to another.‘The goal of these exper­i­ments was to make bio­log­i­cal agents more vir­u­lent and resis­tant to antibi­otics. . . .”

The Pen­tagon’s genet­ic manip­u­la­tion of microor­gan­isms for bio­log­i­cal war­fare pur­pos­es involved the Rocky Moun­tain Lab and Willy Burgdor­fer.

1.–” . . . . Bioweapons researchers such as Willy knew that infect­ing large pop­u­la­tions would require expos­ing peo­ple to agents for which they had no nat­ur­al immu­ni­ty. And to do this, researchers would have to import and/or invent new microbes. They were, in essence, play­ing God, cre­at­ing ‘bac­te­ri­o­log­i­cal freaks or mutants,’ by using chem­i­cals, radi­a­tion, ultra­vi­o­let light, and oth­er agents, wrote mod­ern inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ism pio­neer Jack Ander­son in a Wash­ing­ton Post col­umn on August 27, 1965. . . .”
2.–” . . . . Willy had already been con­duct­ing a tri­al-and-error style of genet­ic manip­u­la­tion in the same way that a corn farmer or a hog grow­er selec­tive­ly breeds strains that result in desired out­comes. He was grow­ing microbes inside ticks, hav­ing the ticks feed on ani­mals, and then har­vest­ing the microbes from the ani­mals that exhib­it­ed the lev­el of ill­ness the mil­i­tary had request­ed. . . .”
3.–” . . . . He was also simul­ta­ne­ous­ly mix­ing bac­te­ria and virus­es inside ticks, lever­ag­ing the virus’s innate abil­i­ty to manip­u­late bac­te­r­i­al genes in order to repro­duce, and thus accel­er­at­ing the rate of muta­tions and desir­able new bac­te­r­i­al traits. In 1966, Fort Detrick’s Bio­log­i­cal Sub­com­mit­tee Muni­tions Advi­so­ry Group put this emerg­ing research area at the top of its pri­or­i­ties, describ­ing it as ‘Research in micro­bial genet­ics con­cerned with aspects of trans­for­ma­tion, trans­duc­tion, and recom­bi­na­tion.’ . .”

 Inter­viewed by an indie film­mak­er named Tim Grey, Willy Burgdor­fer dis­cussed the devel­op­ment of Lyme Dis­ease as a bio­log­i­cal war­fare weapon. It was Burgdor­fer who “dis­cov­ered” the spiro­chete that caused Lyme Dis­ease in 1982. As we will see lat­er, it appears that more than one organ­ism is involved with Lyme Dis­ease.

1.–” . . . . Willy paused, then replied, ‘Ques­tion: Has [sic] Bor­re­lia Burgdor­feri have the poten­tial for bio­log­i­cal war­fare?’ As tears welled up in Willy’s eyes, he con­tin­ued, ‘Look­ing at the data, it already has. If the organ­ism stays with­in the sys­tem, you won’t even rec­og­nize what it is. In your lifes­pan, it can explode . . . We eval­u­at­ed. You nev­er deal with that [as a sci­en­tist]. You can sleep bet­ter.’ . . .”
2.–” . . . . Lat­er in the video, Grey cir­cled back to this top­ic and asked, ‘If there’s an emer­gence of a brand-new epi­dem­ic that has the tenets of all of those things that you put togeth­er, do you feel respon­si­ble for that?’ ‘Yeah. . . .’ ”
3.–” . . . . Grey asked him the one ques­tion, the only ques­tion, he real­ly cared about: ‘Was the pathogen that you found in the tick that Allen Steere [the Lyme out­break inves­ti­ga­tor] gave you the same pathogen or sim­i­lar, or a gen­er­a­tional muta­tion, of the one you pub­lished in the paper . . . the paper from 1952?’ ”
4.–” . . . . The left side of his mouth briefly curled up, as if he is think­ing, ‘Oh, well.’ Then anger flash­es across his face. ‘Yah,’ he said, more in Ger­man than Eng­lish. . . .”
5.–” . . . . It was a stun­ning admis­sion from one of the world’s fore­most author­i­ties on Lyme dis­ease. If it was true, it meant that Willy had left out essen­tial data from his sci­en­tif­ic arti­cles on the Lyme dis­ease out­break, and that as the dis­ease spread like a wild­fire in the North­east and Great Lakes regions of the Unit­ed States, he was part of the cov­er-up of the truth. . . It had been cre­at­ed in a mil­i­tary bioweapons lab for the spe­cif­ic pur­pose of harm­ing human beings. . . . ”

To con­clude the pro­gram, we high­light infor­ma­tion about what Willy termed “the Swiss Agent”–a rick­ettsia that was present in the vast major­i­ty of Lyme suf­fer­ers test­ed ear­ly in research into the dis­ease. Note that this ele­ment of analy­sis will be con­tin­ued in our next pro­gram.

Even­tu­al­ly, dis­cus­sion of the pos­si­ble role of Swiss Agent dropped out of dis­cus­sion. The dis­ap­pear­ance of the Swiss Agent from the sci­en­tif­ic ana­lyt­i­cal lit­er­a­ture coin­cid­ed with Willy’s tele­phone con­ver­sa­tions with bio­log­i­cal war­fare research vet­er­ans.

Key points of dis­cus­sion:

1.–” . . . . I would engage the sci­en­tif­ic part of his brain in answer­ing my two ques­tions: why the Lyme dis­cov­ery files were miss­ing from the Nation­al Archives, and why images of the organ­ism labeled ‘Swiss Agent’ were locat­ed in the archive fold­ers in the time-frame where one would expect the Lyme spiro­chete pic­tures to be. . . .”
2.–” . . . . He told me that in late 1979, he had test­ed ‘over one hun­dred ticks’ from Shel­ter Island, locat­ed about twen­ty miles from the Lyme out­break, and all but two had an uniden­ti­fied rick­ettsial species inside. It looked like Rick­ettsia mon­tana (now called Rick­ettsia mon­ta­nen­sis) under a micro­scope, a non-dis­ease-caus­ing cousin of the dead­ly Rick­ettsia rick­et­sii, but it was a dif­fer­ent species. . . .”
3.–” . . . .‘You say they’re not look­ing for it any­more?’ I asked. ‘They prob­a­bly paid peo­ple off,’ he said. ‘There are folks up there who have a way to enable that.’ . . .”
4.–” . . . . Next, I showed Willy an unla­beled image of a microbe and asked him what it was. ‘That is a Swiss Agent,’ said Willy. I asked him a series of ques­tions on this microbe and he recit­ed what seemed like well-rehearsed lines: the Swiss Agent is a Rick­ettsia mon­tana-like organ­ism found in the Euro­pean sheep tick, Ixodes Rici­nus, and it doesn’t cause dis­ease in humans. . . .”
5.–” . . . . Then I asked him why he brought sam­ples of it from Switzer­land back to his lab. He replied with the response that he often used when he seemed to know the answer but wasn’t going to divulge it: ‘Ques­tion mark.’. . .”
6.–” . . . . The real ‘smok­ing gun,’ though, was Willy’s hand­writ­ten lab notes on the patient blood tests from the dis­ease out­break in Con­necti­cut. These tests showed the proof-of-pres­ence of what I named ‘Swiss Agent USA,’ the mys­tery rick­ettsia present in most of the patients from the orig­i­nal Lyme out­break, a fact that was nev­er dis­closed in jour­nal arti­cles. It didn’t take a PhD in micro­bi­ol­o­gy to see that almost all the patient blood had react­ed strong­ly to an anti­gen test for a Euro­pean rick­ettsia that Willy had called the Swiss Agent. . . .”


Lyme Disease and Biological Warfare, Part 3: The “Swiss Agent”

“Bit­ten, The Secret His­to­ry of Lyme Dis­ease and Bio­log­i­cal Weapons” chron­i­cles the career of Willy Burgdor­fer, a Swiss-born expert on tick and flea-borne dis­eases who spent most of his career research­ing those areas as a U.S. bio­log­i­cal war­fare sci­en­tist. Author Kris
New­by presents sub­stan­tive evi­dence that the dis­ease stems from BW research done by Burgdor­fer and asso­ciates. Lis­ten­ers and read­ers are emphat­i­cal­ly encour­aged to pur­chase and read her book. In this post, we high­light infor­ma­tion about what Willy termed “the Swiss Agent”–a rick­ettsia that was present in the vast major­i­ty of Lyme suf­fer­ers test­ed ear­ly in research into the dis­ease. The dis­ap­pear­ance of the Swiss Agent USA from the lit­er­a­ture on Lyme Dis­ease cor­re­spond­ed with an impor­tant con­ver­sa­tion that Willy had: ” . . . . It was in the begin­ning of 1980—two years before the first Lyme spiro­chetes were found—that the Swiss Agent USA dis­ap­peared. This about-face coin­cid­ed with a series of dis­cus­sions Willy had with old bioweapons devel­op­ers on the Rick­ettsial Com­mis­sion of the Armed Forces Epi­demi­o­log­i­cal Board, as record­ed in his per­son­al phone log. These sci­en­tists were most cer­tain­ly famil­iar with the secret his­to­ry of inca­pac­i­tat­ing rick­ettsial and viral agent test­ing, and they may have dis­cussed with Willy the pos­si­bil­i­ty of there hav­ing been an undis­closed field test in the Long Island region. . . .”


Lyme Disease and Biological Warfare, Part 2

“Bit­ten, The Secret His­to­ry of Lyme Dis­ease and Bio­log­i­cal Weapons” chron­i­cles the career of Willy Burgdor­fer, a Swiss-born expert on tick and flea-borne dis­eases who spent most of his career research­ing those areas as a U.S. bio­log­i­cal war­fare sci­en­tist. Author Kris
New­by presents sub­stan­tive evi­dence that the dis­ease stems from BW research done by Burgdor­fer and asso­ciates. Lis­ten­ers and read­ers are emphat­i­cal­ly encour­aged to pur­chase and read her book. A key foun­da­tion­al ele­ment for the dis­cus­sion of “Bit­ten” is the Pen­tagon’s decades-long research into the genet­ic manip­u­la­tion of micro­bial pathogens. Nobel Prize win­ner Joshua Leder­berg warned of the con­se­quences for human­i­ty of this work: ” . . . .‘The large-scale deploy­ment of infec­tious agents is a poten­tial threat against the whole species: mutant forms of virus­es could well devel­op that would spread over the earth’s pop­u­la­tion for a new Black Death,’ said Leder­berg in a Wash­ing­ton Post edi­to­r­i­al on Sep­tem­ber 24, 1966. . . .” Dr. Leder­berg’s warn­ing went unheed­ed: ” . . . . Fort Detrick’s direc­tor of bio­log­i­cal research, Dr. J.R. Good­low, on Feb­ru­ary 16, 1962 . . . added, ‘Stud­ies of bac­te­r­i­al genet­ics are also in progress with the aim of trans­fer­ring genet­ic deter­mi­nants from one type of organ­ism to another.‘The goal of these exper­i­ments was to make bio­log­i­cal agents more vir­u­lent and resis­tant to antibi­otics. . . .” Lyme Dis­ease “dis­cov­er­er” Willy Burgdor­fer focused on genet­ic manip­u­la­tion: ” . . . . He was also simul­ta­ne­ous­ly mix­ing bac­te­ria and virus­es inside ticks, lever­ag­ing the virus’s innate abil­i­ty to manip­u­late bac­te­r­i­al genes in order to repro­duce, and thus accel­er­at­ing the rate of muta­tions and desir­able new bac­te­r­i­al traits. In 1966, Fort Detrick’s Bio­log­i­cal Sub­com­mit­tee Muni­tions Advi­so­ry Group put this emerg­ing research area at the top of its pri­or­i­ties, describ­ing it as ‘Research in micro­bial genet­ics con­cerned with aspects of trans­for­ma­tion, trans­duc­tion, and recom­bi­na­tion.’ . .”


Lyme Disease and Biological Warfare

“Bit­ten, The Secret His­to­ry of Lyme Dis­ease and Bio­log­i­cal Weapons” chron­i­cles the career of Willy Burgdor­fer, a Swiss-born expert on tick and flea-borne dis­eases who spent most of his career research­ing those areas as a U.S. bio­log­i­cal war­fare sci­en­tist. Author Kris
New­by presents sub­stan­tive evi­dence that the dis­ease stems from BW research done by Burgdor­fer and asso­ciates. Lis­ten­ers and read­ers are emphat­i­cal­ly encour­aged to pur­chase and read her book. Inter­viewed by an indie film­mak­er named Tim Grey, Willy Burgdor­fer dis­cussed the devel­op­ment of Lyme Dis­ease as a bio­log­i­cal war­fare weapon. It was Burgdor­fer who “dis­cov­ered” the spiro­chete that caused Lyme Dis­ease in 1982. As we will see lat­er, it appears that more than one organ­ism is involved with Lyme Dis­ease. ” . . . . Final­ly, after three hours and four­teen min­utes, Grey asked him the one ques­tion, the only ques­tion, he real­ly cared about: ‘was the pathogen that you found in the tick that Allen Steere [the Lyme out­break inves­ti­ga­tor] gave you the same pathogen or sim­i­lar, or a gen­er­a­tional muta­tion, of the one you pub­lished in the paper . . . the paper from 1952?’ In response, Willy crossed his arms defen­sive­ly, took a deep breath, and stared into the cam­era for forty-three seconds—an eter­ni­ty. Then he looked away, down and to the right; he appeared to be work­ing through an inter­nal debate. The left side of his mouth briefly curled up, as if he is think­ing, ‘Oh, well.’ Then anger flash­es across his face. ‘Yah,’ he said, more in Ger­man than Eng­lish. . . . It was a stun­ning admis­sion from one of the world’s fore­most author­i­ties on Lyme dis­ease. . . . He seemed to be say­ing that Lyme wasn’t a nat­u­ral­ly occur­ring germ. . . .”


FTR #1134 Bio-Psy-Op Apocalypse Now, Part 9: Covid-19 Updates

As indi­cat­ed by the title of the pro­gram, this broad­cast updates var­i­ous arti­cles and book excerpts con­cern­ing Covid-19.

A Dai­ly Mail Online [UK] arti­cle sets forth two bogus papers con­tend­ing that the SARS CoV‑2 virus was genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered by the Chi­nese as a bioweapon in a lab­o­ra­to­ry and that it “escaped.” Note the cham­pi­oning of one of the papers by a for­mer head of MI6 and the author­ship of the sec­ond by The Epoch Times, the paper of the Falun Gong cult. Linked to CIA, Steve Ban­non’s anti-Chi­na milieu and the Trump admin­is­tra­tion, the orga­ni­za­tion is a fas­cist mind con­trol cult dis­cussed in numer­ous shows, includ­ing FTR #‘s 1089 and 1090. 

1.–“A for­mer MI6 chief was yes­ter­day accused by Gov­ern­ment offi­cials of ped­dling ‘fan­ci­ful claims’ that coro­n­avirus was acci­den­tal­ly cre­at­ed in a Chi­nese lab­o­ra­to­ry. British secu­ri­ty agen­cies believe Covid-19 is not a man-made virus and is ‘high­ly like­ly’ to have occurred nat­u­ral­ly and spread to humans through ani­mals. And Health Sec­re­tary Matt Han­cock has said there is ‘no evi­dence’ to back up the the­o­ry that it orig­i­nat­ed in a lab­o­ra­to­ry. But Sir Richard Dearlove, who was head of the MI6 from 1999 to 2004, cit­ed a recent report claim­ing the dis­ease was acci­den­tal­ly man­u­fac­tured by Chi­nese sci­en­tists.
2.–“ ‘I do think that this start­ed as an acci­dent,’ Sir Richard told The Dai­ly Telegraph’s ‘Plan­et Nor­mal’ pod­cast. ‘It rais­es the issue: if Chi­na ever were to admit respon­si­bil­i­ty, does it pay repa­ra­tions? I think it will make every coun­try in the world rethink how it treats its rela­tion­ship with Chi­na.’ He added: ‘Look at the sto­ries... of attempts by the [Bei­jing] lead­er­ship to lock down any debate about the ori­gins of the pan­dem­ic and the way peo­ple have been arrest­ed or silenced.’ . . . . The paper – co-authored by Pro­fes­sor Angus Dal­gleish, a renowned oncol­o­gist and vac­cine researcher who works at St George’s Hos­pi­tal, Uni­ver­si­ty of Lon­don, and Birg­er Sorensen, a Nor­we­gian virol­o­gist – con­tains none of the stark alle­ga­tions that orig­i­nal­ly stunned its review­ers.
3..–“The ini­tial paper that trig­gered wild rumours failed strin­gent tests of ver­i­fi­ca­tion and is under­stood to have been reject­ed in April by emi­nent inter­na­tion­al jour­nals such as Nature and the Jour­nal of Virol­o­gy. Bio­med­ical experts from the Fran­cis Crick Insti­tute and Impe­r­i­al Col­lege Lon­don are said to have refut­ed its con­clu­sions. Then one of the paper’s co-authors, Dr John Fredrik Moxnes, chief sci­en­tif­ic advis­er to the Nor­we­gian mil­i­tary, asked for his name to be with­drawn. This week, after numer­ous rewrites, the paper was pub­lished by the Quar­ter­ly Review of Bio­physics Dis­cov­ery. And those orig­i­nal world-shak­ing con­clu­sions have now with­ered to innu­en­do. No accu­sa­tion of Chi­nese manip­u­la­tion appears. . . .”
4.–”. . . . Back in April, a slick­ly pro­duced inves­tiga­tive doc­u­men­tary, Track­ing Down The Ori­gin Of The Wuhan Coro­n­avirus, was released online. It claimed con­clu­sive proof that the Covid-19 virus had been cre­at­ed as a bio­log­i­cal ‘weapon of mass destruc­tion’ in a Chi­nese lab. . . .”
5.–“At first sight, it seemed a shock­ing­ly con­vinc­ing piece of jour­nal­ism. On behalf of this news­pa­per, I cross-checked every claim: The experts it cit­ed and the fac­tu­al evi­dence unearthed. I also researched the back­grounds of its mak­ers. I then approached some of the world’s best inde­pen­dent sci­en­tif­ic author­i­ties to ask their opin­ion. They all agreed – this entic­ing­ly spicy sto­ry just did­n’t stand up.”
6.–“It had been pro­duced by a US based anti-Chi­nese gov­ern­ment media organ­i­sa­tion called the Epoch Times. Its ‘experts’ were vet­er­an hard-Right­ists. Most damn­ing­ly, its sci­en­tif­ic ‘facts’ were twist­ed out of shape.So much, then, for the Chi­nese-man­u­fac­tured coro­n­avirus con­spir­a­cy . . .”

Steve Ban­non is at the epi­cen­ter of the anti-Chi­na effort and–to no one’s surprise–never real­ly left the Trump White House.

When assess­ing Ban­non as a polit­i­cal ani­mal, one should nev­er for­get that among the impor­tant ide­o­log­i­cal influ­ences on him is Julius Evola, an Ital­ian fas­cist who found Mus­soli­ni too mod­er­ate and ulti­mate­ly took his cues from the Nazi SS, who were financ­ing his work by the end of World War II.

” . . . . Don­ald Trump’s light­ning-rod 2016 cam­paign boss and for­mer White House chief strate­gist who was ban­ished from the West Wing in 2017 has qui­et­ly crept back into 1600 Penn­syl­va­nia Ave., reestab­lish­ing ties to staffers, par­tic­u­lar­ly with regard to his pet issues of Chi­na and immi­gra­tion. . . . Anoth­er for­mer admin­is­tra­tion offi­cial told The Post that Ban­non nev­er real­ly left the White House after he was fired, main­tain­ing con­tacts and keep­ing up reg­u­lar chan­nels of com­mu­ni­ca­tions with offi­cials there. . . .”

In addi­tion, as dis­cussed in FTR #‘s 1111 and 1112, Ban­non is part of a net­work that includes J. Kyle Bass and Tom­my Hicks, Jr. This nexus involves asym­met­ri­cal invest­ing with regard to the Hong Kong and Chi­nese economies and the inter-agency gov­ern­men­tal net­works involved in both overt and covert anti-Chi­na poli­cies imple­ment­ed by Team Trump. As will be seen below, they also are net­work­ing with the mis-named “Sci­en­tists to Stop Covid-19.” In that regard, they are also help­ing steer pol­i­cy that con­trols devel­op­ment of treat­ment and vac­cines for Covid-19. The man­age­ment of drug and vac­cine devel­op­ment, in turn, dou­bles back to mar­ket-dri­ving invest­ment dynam­ics.

An inter­est­ing sum­ma­tion of char­ac­ter­is­tics of a “delib­er­ate” epi­dem­ic are eval­u­at­ed against the find­ing that New York City was the epi­cen­ter of the U.S. Covid-19 out­break: 

Bit­ten: The Secret His­to­ry of Lyme Dis­ease and Bio­log­i­cal Weapons by Kris New­by; Harper­Collins [HC]; Copy­right 2019 by Kris New­by; ISBN 9780062896728; p. 185.

Poten­tial epi­demi­o­log­i­cal clues to a delib­er­ate epi­dem­ic:

Clue no. 1–A high­ly unusu­al event with large num­bers of casu­al­ties: Check!

Clue no. 2–Higher mor­bid­i­ty or mor­tal­i­ty than is expect­ed. Check!

Clue no. 3–Uncommon dis­ease. Check!

Clue no. 4–Point-source out­break. Check!

Clue no. 5–Multiple epi­demics. Check! (Glob­al pan­dem­ic)

                      –Z. F. Dem­bek, et al., “Dis­cern­ment Between Delib­er­ate and Nat­ur­al Infec­tious Dis­ease Out­breaks”

The pre­vail­ing view of the Covid-19 out­break con­tends that the Amer­i­can out­break spread out­ward from New York City. The strain of SARS CoV‑2 that appeared in New York came, in turn, from Europe. 

This does­n’t make sense. There were con­firmed cas­es of the virus on the West Coast that did not come from New York. A Euro­pean strain of the virus trans­mit­ted to New York City would have come in via air. In such an event, there would have been a well-doc­u­ment­ed out­break of Covid-19 among flight atten­dants, who oper­ate in close con­tact with pas­sen­gers in cramped cir­cum­stances, as well as expe­ri­enc­ing jet lag, which com­pro­mis­es the immune sys­tem.

Next, we review an aspect of the 2001 anthrax attacks. We high­light­ed the 2001 anthrax attacks in con­nec­tion with the Covid-19 out­break in New York City in FTR #1128.

We note that the Anthrax attacks appear to have oper­at­ed in over­lap­ping con­texts, includ­ing jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for the war in Iraq. 

The 2001 anthrax attacks appear to have served as a provo­ca­tion that jus­ti­fied a ten-fold increase in spend­ing for bio­log­i­cal war­fare devel­op­ment. The num­ber of BSL‑4 labs (hav­ing dual civil­ian and mil­i­tary use) increased from two in 2001, to a dozen in 2007.

This increase occurred while Don­ald Rums­feld was George W. Bush’s sec­re­tary of defense. He went to that posi­tion from being Chair­man of the Board of Direc­tors for Gilead Sci­ences, the man­u­fac­tur­er of remde­sivir.

We will delve into the pol­i­tics of the anthrax attacks in the future.

In the con­text of the above arti­cle, note that the Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health have also part­nered with CIA and the Pen­ta­gon, as under­scored by an arti­cle about a BSL‑4 lab at Boston Uni­ver­si­ty. Note that Europe and the U.S. have twelve BSL4 labs apiece. Tai­wan has two. Chi­na has one:

1.–As the arti­cle notes, as of 2007, the U.S. had “more than a dozen” BSL4 labs–China com­mis­sioned its first as of 2017. a ten­fold increase in fund­ing for BSL4 labs occurred because of the anthrax attacks of 2001. Those attacks might be seen as some­thing of a provo­ca­tion, spurring a dra­mat­ic increase in “dual use” biowar­fare research, under the cov­er of “legit­i­mate” medical/scientific research. In FTR #1128, we hypoth­e­sized about the milieu of Stephen Hat­fill and apartheid-linked inter­ests as pos­si­ble authors of a vec­tor­ing of New York City with Sars COV2: ” . . . . Before the anthrax mail­ings of 2001, the Unit­ed States had just two BSL4 labs—both with­in the razor-wire con­fines of gov­ern­ment-owned cam­pus­es. Now, thanks to a ten­fold increase in funding—from $200 mil­lion in 2001 to $2 bil­lion in 2006—more than a dozen such facil­i­ties can be found at uni­ver­si­ties and pri­vate com­pa­nies across the coun­try. . . .”
2.–The Boston Uni­ver­si­ty lab exem­pli­fies the Pen­ta­gon and CIA pres­ence in BSL‑4 facil­i­ty “dual use”: ” . . . . But some sci­en­tists say that argu­ment obscures the true pur­pose of the cur­rent biode­fense boom: to study poten­tial bio­log­i­cal weapons. ‘The uni­ver­si­ty por­trays it as an emerg­ing infec­tious dis­ease lab,’ says David Ozonoff, a Boston Uni­ver­si­ty epi­demi­ol­o­gist whose office is right across the street from the new BSL4 facil­i­ty. ‘But they are talk­ing about study­ing things like small pox and inhala­tion anthrax, which pose no pub­lic health threat oth­er than as bioweapons.’ . . . The orig­i­nal NIH man­date for the lab indi­cat­ed that many groups—including the CIA and Depart­ment of Defense—would be allowed to use the lab for their own research, the nature of which BU might have lit­tle con­trol over. . . .”

Piv­ot­ing to dis­cus­sion and review of the polit­i­cal, finan­cial and cor­po­rate con­nec­tions to the devel­op­ment of med­i­c­i­nal treat­ments for, and vac­cines to pre­vent, Covid-19, we recap details rel­e­vant to the extra­or­di­nary tim­ing of a 4/29 announce­ment of favor­able results for a tri­al of remde­sivir. That announce­ment drove equi­ties mar­kets high­er and was ben­e­fi­cial to the stock of Gilead Sci­ences.

We present a Stat News arti­cle on the inter­nal delib­er­a­tions behind the deci­sions to mod­i­fy the NIAID study. Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance is the DSMB delib­er­a­tion. Note the time­line of the DSMB delib­er­a­tion, com­bined with the announce­ment on 4/29 that drove the mar­kets high­er.

1.–The deci­sion was made to cut it short before the ques­tion of remdesivir’s impact on mor­tal­i­ty could be answered: ” . . . .The Nation­al Insti­tute of Aller­gy and Infec­tious Dis­eases has described to STAT in new detail how it made its fate­ful deci­sion: to start giv­ing remde­sivir to patients who had been assigned to receive a place­bo in the study, essen­tial­ly lim­it­ing researchers’ abil­i­ty to col­lect more data about whether the drug saves lives — some­thing the study, called ACTT‑1, sug­gests but does not prove. In the tri­al, 8% of the par­tic­i­pants giv­en remde­sivir died, com­pared with 11.6% of the place­bo group, a dif­fer­ence that was not sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant. A top NIAID offi­cial said he had no regrets about the deci­sion. ‘There cer­tain­ly was una­nim­i­ty with­in the insti­tute that this was the right thing to do,’ said H. Clif­ford Lane, NIAID’s clin­i­cal direc­tor. . . .”
2.–In addi­tion, patients sched­uled to receive place­bo received remde­sivir, instead. ” . . . . Steven Nis­sen, a vet­er­an tri­al­ist and car­di­ol­o­gist at the Cleve­land Clin­ic, dis­agreed that giv­ing place­bo patients remde­sivir was the right call. ‘I believe it is in society’s best inter­est to deter­mine whether remde­sivir can reduce mor­tal­i­ty, and with the release of this infor­ma­tion doing a place­bo-con­trolled tri­al to deter­mine if there is a mor­tal­i­ty ben­e­fit will be very dif­fi­cult,’ he said. ‘The ques­tion is: Was there a route, or is there a route, to deter­mine if the drug can pre­vent death?’ The deci­sion is ‘a lost oppor­tu­ni­ty,’ he said. . . .”
3.–Steven Nis­sen was not alone in his crit­i­cism of the NIAID’s deci­sion. ” . . . .Peter Bach, the direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Health Pol­i­cy and Out­comes at Memo­r­i­al Sloan Ket­ter­ing Can­cer Cen­ter, agreed with Nis­sen. ‘The core under­stand­ing of clin­i­cal research par­tic­i­pa­tion and clin­i­cal research con­duct is we run the tri­al rig­or­ous­ly to pro­vide the most accu­rate infor­ma­tion about the right treat­ment,’ he said. And that answer, he argued, should ide­al­ly have deter­mined whether remde­sivir saves lives. The rea­son we have shut our whole soci­ety down, Bach said, is not to pre­vent Covid-19 patients from spend­ing a few more days in the hos­pi­tal. It is to pre­vent patients from dying. ‘Mor­tal­i­ty is the right end­point,’ he said. . . .”
4.–Not only was the admin­is­tra­tion of remde­sivir instead of place­bo pri­or­i­tized, but the NIAID study itself was atten­u­at­ed! ” . . . . But the change in the study’s main goal also changed the way the study would be ana­lyzed. Now, the NIAID decid­ed, the analy­sis would be cal­cu­lat­ed when 400 patients out of the 1,063 patients the study enrolled had recov­ered. If remde­sivir turned out to be much more effec­tive than expect­ed, ‘inter­im’ analy­ses would be con­duct­ed at a third and two-thirds that number.The job of review­ing these analy­ses would fall to a com­mit­tee of out­side experts on what is known as an inde­pen­dent data and safe­ty mon­i­tor­ing board, or DSMB. . . .”
5.–The per­for­mance of the DSMB for the remde­sivir study is note­wor­thy: ” . . . . But the DSMB for the remde­sivir study did not ever meet for an inter­im effi­ca­cy analy­sis, Lane said. All patients had been enrolled by April 20. The data for a DSMB meet­ing was cut off on April 22. The DSMB met and, on April 27, it made a rec­om­men­da­tion to the NIAID. . . .”
The DSMB meet­ing on 4/27 deter­mined the switch from place­bo to remde­sivir. Of para­mount impor­tance is the fact that this was JUST BEFORE the 4/29 announce­ment that drove the mar­kets high­er and the same day on which key Trump aide–and for­mer Gilead Sci­ences lob­by­ist Joe Gro­gan resigned! ” . . . . . That deci­sion, Lane said, led the NIAID to con­clude that patients who had been giv­en place­bo should be offered remde­sivir, some­thing that start­ed hap­pen­ing after April 28. . . .”
6.–Dr. Ethan Weiss gave an accu­rate eval­u­a­tion of the NIAID study: ” . . . . ‘We’ve squan­dered an incred­i­ble oppor­tu­ni­ty to do good sci­ence,’ [Dr. Ethan] Weiss said. ‘If we could ever go back and do some­thing all over, it would be the infra­struc­ture to actu­al­ly learn some­thing. Because we’re not learn­ing enough.’ . . . .”

The remark­able han­dling of the NIAID study, the tim­ing of the announce­ment of the alto­geth­er lim­it­ed suc­cess of the atten­u­at­ed tri­al and the rise in equi­ties as a result of the announce­ment may be best under­stood in the con­text of the role played in Trump pan­dem­ic deci­sion-mak­ing by an elite group of bil­lion­aires and scientists–including con­vict­ed felon Michael Milken (the “junk bond king”).

1.–” . . . . Call­ing them­selves ‘Sci­en­tists to Stop COVID-19,’ the col­lec­tion of top researchers, bil­lion­aires and indus­try cap­tains will act as an ‘ad hoc review board’ for the tor­rent of coro­n­avirus research, ‘weed­ing out’ flawed data before it reach­es pol­i­cy­mak­ers, the Wall Street Jour­nal report­ed on Mon­day. They are also act­ing as a go-between for phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies seek­ing to build a com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nel with Trump admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials. The group . . . . has advised Nick Ayers, an aide to Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence, as well as oth­er agency heads, in the past month. Pence is head­ing up the White House coro­n­avirus task force. . . .”
2.–” . . . The brainy bunch is led by Thomas Cahill, a 33-year-old doc­tor who became a ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist . . . . Cahill’s clout comes from build­ing con­nec­tions through his invest­ment firm, New­path Part­ners, with Sil­i­con Valley’s Peter Thiel, the founder of Pay­Pal, and bil­lion­aire busi­ness­men Jim Palot­ta and Michael Milken. . . .”

Note that Peter Thiel played a dom­i­nant role in bankrolling New­path Part­ners, and the oth­er finan­cial angel who ele­vat­ed Cahill–Brian Sheth–introduced him to Tom­my Hicks, Jr., the co-chair­man of the RNC. In FTR #‘s 1111 and 1112, we looked at Hicks’ net­work­ing with Steve Ban­non asso­ciate J. Kyle Bass, as well as his role in the inter-agency net­works dri­ving the anti-Chi­na effort.

” . . . . At the helm of the effort: The 33-year-old and very-much-under-the-radar ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist Tom Cahill, who leads life sci­ences-focused New­path Part­ners. Cahill com­plet­ed his M.D. and PhD at Duke Uni­ver­si­ty a mere two years ago before land­ing at blue-chip invest­ment firm Rap­tor Group through a friend. He went on to found New­path with some $125 mil­lion after impress­ing well-con­nect­ed names like ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist Peter Thiel and Vista Equi­ty Part­ners co-founder Bri­an Sheth. . . . It was through Sheth, for exam­ple, that Sci­en­tists to Stop Covid-19 con­nect­ed with the co-chair­man of the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee, Thomas Hicks Jr. . . .”

The fed­er­al gov­ern­men­t’s extreme focus on remde­sivir has been shaped, in large mea­sure, by the influ­ence of “Sci­en­tists to Stop COVID-19”:

1.–“Scientists to Stop Covid-19” is shep­herd­ing remde­sivir: ” . . . . Sci­en­tists to Stop COVID-19 rec­om­mends that in this phase, the U.S. Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion (FDA) should work to coor­di­nate with Gilead phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals to focus on expe­dit­ing the results of clin­i­cal tri­als of remde­sivir, a drug iden­ti­fied as a poten­tial treat­ment for COVID-19. The group also rec­om­mends admin­is­ter­ing dos­es of the drug to patients in an ear­ly stage of infec­tion, and notes remde­sivir will essen­tial­ly be a place­hold­er until a more effec­tive treat­ment is pro­duced.
2.–The group is doing so by atten­u­at­ing the reg­u­la­to­ry process for coro­n­avirus drugs: “Gov­ern­ment enti­ties and agen­cies appear to adhere to the rec­om­men­da­tions out­lined by the group, with the Jour­nal report­ing that the FDA and the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Affairs (VA) have imple­ment­ed some of the sug­ges­tions, name­ly relax­ing drug man­u­fac­tur­er reg­u­la­tions and require­ments for poten­tial coro­n­avirus treat­ment drugs. . . .”

We con­clude dis­cus­sion of the remde­sivir machi­na­tions with a piece about the tim­ing of the announce­ment of Grogan’s depar­ture.

” . . . . Gro­gan has served as the direc­tor of the White House Domes­tic Pol­i­cy Coun­cil since Feb­ru­ary 2019, over­see­ing a broad array of pol­i­cy issues includ­ing health care and reg­u­la­tion. . . . Gro­gan was one of the orig­i­nal mem­bers of the White House coro­n­avirus task force launched in late Jan­u­ary. . . . Gro­gan worked as a lob­by­ist for drug com­pa­ny Gilead Sci­ences before join­ing the Trump admin­is­tra­tion. . . .”

The depar­ture was announced in the Wall Street Jour­nal on the morn­ing of Wednes­day, April 29, the same day we got our first pub­lic reports of the NIAID clin­i­cal tri­al of remde­sivir that was pos­i­tive enough to show it short­ened the time to recov­ery and the same day the FDA grant­ed remde­sivir emer­gency use sta­tus. 

Note, again, the tim­ing of the DSM­B’s actions, as well as the influ­ence of “Sci­en­tists to Stop Covid-19.”

In FTR #1130, we not­ed that Mon­cef Slaoui–formerly in charge of prod­uct devel­op­ment for Moderna–was cho­sen to head Trump’s “Oper­a­tion Warp Speed.” He will be work­ing with Four-Star Gen­er­al Gus­tave Per­na, cho­sen by Chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen­er­al Mark Mil­ley.

Even after agree­ing to sell his Mod­er­na stock, Mon­cef Slaoui’s invest­ments raise alarm­ing questions–note that he is a “ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist” and a long­time for­mer exec­u­tive at Glaxo-Smithk­line:

The cir­cum­stances of his appoint­ment will per­mit him to avoid scruti­ny: ” . . . . In agree­ing to accept the posi­tion, Dr. Slaoui did not come on board as a gov­ern­ment employ­ee. Instead, he is on a con­tract, receiv­ing $1 for his ser­vice. That leaves him exempt from fed­er­al dis­clo­sure rules that would require him to list his out­side posi­tions, stock hold­ings and oth­er poten­tial con­flicts. And the con­tract posi­tion is not sub­ject to the same con­flict-of-inter­est laws and reg­u­la­tions that exec­u­tive branch employ­ees must fol­low. . . .”
He will retain a great deal of Glaxo-Smithk­line stock: ” . . . . He did not say how much his GSK shares were worth. When he left the com­pa­ny in 2017, he held about [500,000 in West­ern Print Edi­tion] 240,000 shares and share equiv­a­lents, accord­ing to the drug company’s annu­al report and an analy­sis by the exec­u­tive com­pen­sa­tion firm Equi­lar. . . .”
Fur­ther analy­sis of Slaoui’s posi­tion deep­ens con­cern about the integri­ty of the process: ” . . . . ‘This is basi­cal­ly absurd,’ said Vir­ginia Can­ter, who is chief ethics coun­sel for Cit­i­zens for Respon­si­bil­i­ty and Ethics in Wash­ing­ton. ‘It allows for no pub­lic scruti­ny of his con­flicts of inter­est.’ Ms. Can­ter also said fed­er­al law barred gov­ern­ment con­trac­tors from super­vis­ing gov­ern­ment employ­ees. . . . Ms. Can­ter, a for­mer ethics lawyer in the Oba­ma and Clin­ton admin­is­tra­tions, the Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion and oth­er agen­cies, point­ed out that GSK’s vac­cine can­di­date with Sanofi could wind up com­pet­ing with oth­er man­u­fac­tur­ers vying for gov­ern­ment approval and sup­port. ‘If he retains stock in com­pa­nies that are invest­ing in the devel­op­ment of a vac­cine, and he’s involved in over­see­ing this process to select the safest vac­cine to com­bat Covid-19, regard­less of how won­der­ful a per­son he is, we can’t be con­fi­dent of the integri­ty of any process in which he is involved,’ Ms. Can­ter said.In addi­tion, his affil­i­a­tion with Medicxi could com­pli­cate mat­ters: Two of its investors are GSK and a divi­sion of John­son & John­son, which is also devel­op­ing a poten­tial vac­cine. . . .”

Next, we turn to Mod­er­na’s ani­mal tri­al for the mes­sen­ger RNA vac­cine it is devel­op­ing. There are sev­er­al con­sid­er­a­tions to be weighed in con­nec­tion with the Mod­er­na vac­cine.

1.–Again, the chair­man of Trump’s “Warp Speed” vac­cine devel­op­ment program–Moncef Slaoui–was in charge of Mod­er­na’s prod­uct devel­op­ment oper­a­tion.
2.–Moderna’s tri­al with mice was pos­i­tive with regard to gen­er­at­ing anti­body lev­els high enough to pre­vent ADE.
3.–Antibody Depen­dent Enhance­ment (ADE),  is a phe­nom­e­na where low lev­els of inef­fec­tive anti­bod­ies latch onto the virus and exac­er­bate an over­ac­tive immune response that leads to the dead­liest symp­toms likes cytokine-storms. This dan­ger was seen with SARS and attempts to cre­ate a SARS vac­cine so it’s a rea­son­able fear with SARS-CoV­‑2.
4.–The Phase III (human) tri­al is going to be start­ed in July, involv­ing 30,000 peo­ple. Alarm­ing­ly, those 30,000 peo­ple will all be receiv­ing the exact same dosage, 100 micro­grams, and that means the phase III tri­al won’t be test­ing sub-opti­mal dosages. The big Phase III tri­al won’t be test­ing for ADE in humans. 
5.–We may have a night­mare sit­u­a­tion where polit­i­cal pres­sure gives undo weight to ani­mal safe­ty results, leapfrog­ging over the neces­si­ty of test­ing for side effects. 
6.–The ani­mal tri­als have been severe­ly crit­i­cized: ” . . . . ‘This is the barest begin­ning of pre­lim­i­nary infor­ma­tion,’ said Dr. Gre­go­ry Poland, an immu­nol­o­gist and vac­cine researcher at the Mayo Clin­ic who has seen the paper, which has yet to under­go peer-review. Poland said the paper was incom­plete, dis­or­ga­nized and the num­bers of ani­mals test­ed were small. . . . Poland, who was not involved with the research, said the paper leaves out ‘impor­tant para­me­ters’ that could help sci­en­tists judge the work. . . .”
7.–We MIGHT cre­ate a vac­cine that pro­tects those who get a strong immune response while endan­ger­ing those with sub-pro­tec­tive responses–a “eugenic” vac­cine.
8.–The ani­mal tri­als have been severe­ly crit­i­cized: ” . . . . ‘This is the barest begin­ning of pre­lim­i­nary infor­ma­tion,’ said Dr. Gre­go­ry Poland, an immu­nol­o­gist and vac­cine researcher at the Mayo Clin­ic who has seen the paper, which has yet to under­go peer-review. Poland said the paper was incom­plete, dis­or­ga­nized and the num­bers of ani­mals test­ed were small. . . . Poland, who was not involved with the research, said the paper leaves out ‘impor­tant para­me­ters’ that could help sci­en­tists judge the work. . . .”
9.–The phase II clin­i­cal tri­als on humans are still under­way and won’t be com­plet­ed before Novem­ber.  Phase III is going to be get­ting under­way in July. The Human clin­i­cal tri­als are already under­way at the same time the ani­mal safe­ty tri­als have yet to be com­plet­ed.
10.–Side effects can take a while to man­i­fest.

We pro­vid­ed detailed crit­i­cal com­ments on Mod­er­na’s Phase I tri­al in FTR #1132.

We con­clude with a New York Times arti­cle sets forth a “Vac­cine Octo­ber Sur­prise” sce­nario for this fall.

” . . . . In a des­per­ate search for a boost, he could release a coro­n­avirus vac­cine that has not been shown to be safe and effec­tive as an Octo­ber sur­prise. Oct. 23, 2020, 9 a.m., with 10 days before the elec­tion, Fox New releas­es a poll show­ing Pres­i­dent Trump trail­ing Joe Biden by eight per­cent­age points. Oct. 23, 2020, 3 p.m., at a hasti­ly con­vened news con­fer­ence, Pres­i­dent Trump announces that the Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion has just issued an Emer­gency Use Autho­riza­tion for a coro­n­avirus vac­cine. Mr. Trump declares vic­to­ry over Covid-19, demands that all busi­ness­es reopen imme­di­ate­ly and pre­dicts a rapid eco­nom­ic recov­ery. Giv­en how this pres­i­dent has behaved, this incred­i­bly dan­ger­ous sce­nario is not far-fetched. In a des­per­ate search for a polit­i­cal boost, he could release a coro­n­avirus vac­cine before it had been thor­ough­ly test­ed and shown to be safe and effec­tive. . . .”


The Deep Politics of Lyme Disease

“Bit­ten, The Secret His­to­ry of Lyme Dis­ease and Bio­log­i­cal Weapons” chron­i­cles the career of Willy Burgdor­fer, a Swiss-born expert on tick and flea-borne dis­eases who spent most of his career research­ing those areas as a U.S. bio­log­i­cal war­fare sci­en­tist. Author Kris
New­by presents sub­stan­tive evi­dence that the dis­ease stems from BW research done by Burgdor­fer and asso­ciates. (Burgdor­fer was the sci­en­tist who “dis­cov­ered” the organ­ism that caus­es Lyme Dis­ease.) Burgdor­fer­’s entree into the Amer­i­can bio­log­i­cal war­fare pro­gram result­ed from his pro­fes­sion­al rela­tion­ship with long time men­tor and patron Rudolf Geigy. Geigy belonged to a fam­i­ly whose busi­ness, J.R. Geigy AG, was a Swiss chem­i­cal firm mar­ket­ing dyes and insec­ti­cides. ” . . . . Dur­ing the war, it [Geigy] pro­duced insec­ti­cides and, most notably, the icon­ic ‘polar red’ dye that col­ored the back­ground of Nazi swasti­ka flags. . . .” The pos­si­bil­i­ty that Geigy was an oper­a­tive of the far-flung I.G. Far­ben espi­onage appa­ra­tus is one to be seri­ous­ly con­tem­plat­ed. His role in plac­ing young sci­en­tists in orga­ni­za­tions that were part of the U.S. BW pro­gram also sug­gests a pos­si­ble role as an agent of Paper­clip. ” . . . . ‘The Swiss are above sus­pi­cion,’ said Geigy, who lat­er in his life wrote a thin­ly fic­tion­al­ized novel­la, ‘Siri, Top Secret’, that describes the spy activ­i­ties he observed dur­ing his trav­els. It’s not known if Geigy par­tic­i­pat­ed in these activ­i­ties, but he did help place young researchers in insti­tu­tions that sup­port­ed the U.S. bioweapons pro­grams. . . .”
In 2001, a Swiss com­mis­sion found deep com­plic­i­ty on the part of Geigy and its car­tel part­ners: ” . . . .The ICE [Inde­pen­dent Com­mis­sion of Experts] con­clud­ed that the chem­i­cal firms’ boss­es in Switzer­land ‘pos­sessed a high lev­el of detailed knowl­edge about the polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic sit­u­a­tion in Nazi Ger­many... [and] incor­po­rat­ed their knowl­edge... into their eco­nom­ic plan­ning and used it as a basis for deci­sion-mak­ing’ . . . ‘Geigy main­tained par­tic­u­lar­ly good rela­tions with Claus Unge­wit­ter, the Reich com­mis­sion­er for chem­i­cals.’ . . .“All three Swiss firms [Geigy, San­doz and Ciba] were indict­ed in the Unit­ed States in 1942 because of their col­lab­o­ra­tion with I.G. Far­ben and the Third Reich. ” . . . . Those indict­ed includ­ed . . . . Far­ben affil­i­ates the Amer­i­can Ciba, San­doz and Geigy. . . A long list of oth­er co-con­spir­a­tors includ­ed the Swiss Ciba, San­doz and Geigy com­pa­nies with Cincin­nati Chem­i­cal works, their joint­ly owned Amer­i­can con­cern . . . .”


FTR #1132 Bio-Psy-Op Apocalypse Now, Part 8: Remdesivir Uber Alles

This broad­cast details the process of vet­ting the anti-Covid-19 drug remde­sivir, high­light­ing the insti­tu­tion­al short­cuts tak­en in test­ing the prod­uct, as well as the dubi­ous nature of the bil­lion­aires net­work­ing with offi­cials involved in the approval process.

Before ana­lyz­ing remde­sivir, how­ev­er, we update dis­cus­sion about the SARS CoV‑2 virus hav­ing been engi­neered, not­ing joint U.S.-Chinese projects in which bat-borne coro­n­avirus­es were genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered. The process­es used to mod­i­fy the virus­es would not show any overt evi­dence of human manip­u­la­tion.

Most impor­tant­ly, these projects received financ­ing from insti­tu­tions with doc­u­ment­ed links to U.S. intel­li­gence and mil­i­tary inter­ests.

Research into the his­to­ry of GOF (gain-of-func­tion) work on bat coro­n­avirus­es at the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy indi­cates mul­ti­ple areas of U.S. intel­li­gence pres­ence in that work. 

It was pub­licly dis­closed in a 2017 paper that the US and Chi­na col­lab­o­rat­ed on “gain-of-func­tion” research on bat coro­n­avirus­es to infect humans and that the work received fund­ing from the Unit­ed States Agency for Inter­na­tion­al Development–a fre­quent cut-out for the CIA.

In addi­tion, the work was also fund­ed in part by the Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health, which have col­lab­o­rat­ed with both CIA and the Pen­ta­gon in BSL‑4 (Bio-Safe­ty-Lev­el 4) projects. 

The Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy has also part­nered with the USAMRIID since the mid-1980’s.

Impor­tant to note is the fact that it was pub­lic infor­ma­tion that some of this work was done in a biosafe­ty-lev­el 2 lab­o­ra­to­ry, giv­ing an observ­er intent on under­tak­ing a bio­log­i­cal war­fare covert oper­a­tion against Chi­na use­ful field intel­li­gence about the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty of WIV for such an “op.”

1.–The inves­ti­ga­tion of infec­tiv­i­ty used unde­tectable meth­ods, negat­ing arti­cles claim­ing the virus could not have been genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered: ” Evi­dence has emerged that researchers at the Wuhan Insti­tute of Virol­o­gy (WIV) in Chi­na, work­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with sci­en­tists in the USA, have been genet­i­cal­ly engi­neer­ing bat virus­es for the past sev­er­al years to inves­ti­gate infec­tiv­i­ty – using unde­tectable meth­ods. . . . The evi­dence rebuts claims by jour­nal­ists and some sci­en­tists that the SARS-CoV­‑2 virus respon­si­ble for the cur­rent COVID-19 pan­dem­ic could not have been genet­i­cal­ly engi­neered because it lacks the ‘signs’ or ‘sig­na­tures’ that sup­pos­ed­ly would be left behind by genet­ic engi­neer­ing tech­niques. . . .”

2.–Dr. Richard Ebright not­ed that the research was joint­ly fund­ed by the U.S. and Chi­na, that Peter Daszak (about whom we have voiced reser­va­tions in the past) was one of the Amer­i­can col­lab­o­ra­tors. Fur­ther­more, the research was fund­ed in part by USAID, a com­mon U.S. intel­li­gence cut-out. ” . . . . Dr Richard Ebright, an infec­tious dis­ease expert at Rut­gers Uni­ver­si­ty (USA), has alert­ed the pub­lic to evi­dence that WIV and US-based researchers were genet­i­cal­ly engi­neer­ing bat virus­es to inves­ti­gate their abil­i­ty to infect humans, using com­mon­ly used meth­ods that leave no sign or sig­na­ture of human manip­u­la­tion. Ebright flagged up a sci­en­tif­ic paper pub­lished in 2017 by WIV sci­en­tists, includ­ing Shi Zhengli, the virol­o­gist lead­ing the research into bat coro­n­avirus­es, work­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Peter Daszak of the US-based Eco­Health Alliance. Fund­ing was shared between Chi­nese and US insti­tu­tions, the lat­ter includ­ing the US Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health and USAID. The researchers report hav­ing con­duct­ed virus infec­tiv­i­ty exper­i­ments where genet­ic mate­r­i­al is com­bined from dif­fer­ent vari­eties of SARS-relat­ed coro­n­avirus­es to form nov­el ‘chimeric’ ver­sions. This formed part of their research into what muta­tions were need­ed to allow cer­tain bat coro­n­avirus­es to bind to the human ACE2 recep­tor – a key step in the human infec­tiv­i­ty of SARS-CoV­‑2. . . .”

3.–Furthermore, the researchers used a type of genet­ic engi­neer­ing that leaves no sig­na­ture of human manip­u­la­tion: ” . . . . The WIV sci­en­tists did this, Ebright points out, ‘using ‘seam­less lig­a­tion’ pro­ce­dures that leave no sig­na­tures of human manip­u­la­tion’. This is note­wor­thy because it is a type of genet­ic engi­neer­ing that Ander­sen and his team exclud­ed from their inves­ti­ga­tion into whether SARS-CoV­‑2 could have been engi­neered – and it was in use at the very lab that is the prime sus­pect for a lab escape. . . .”

4.–In addi­tion, Ebright high­lights the 2015 work done by Ralph Bar­ic in col­lab­o­ra­tion with WIV’s Shi Zhengli–a project we have dis­cussed at length in the past: ” . . . . A group of sci­en­tists from the Uni­ver­si­ty of North Car­oli­na in the USA, with the WIV’s Shi Zhengli as a col­lab­o­ra­tor, pub­lished a study in 2015 describ­ing sim­i­lar exper­i­ments involv­ing chimeric coro­n­avirus­es, which were also cre­at­ed using stan­dard unde­tectable genet­ic engi­neer­ing tech­niques. . . .”

5.–Ebright also cites work done in a bio-safe­ty lev­el 2 lab­o­ra­to­ry. : ” . . . . Ebright points out that the paper states, ‘All work with the infec­tious virus was per­formed under biosafe­ty lev­el 2 con­di­tions’. This lev­el is suit­able for work involv­ing agents of only ‘mod­er­ate poten­tial haz­ard to per­son­nel and the envi­ron­ment’. . . .But they are not at fault in fail­ing to use BSL‑4 for this work, as SARS coro­n­avirus­es are not aerosol-trans­mit­ted. The work does, how­ev­er, fall under biosafe­ty lev­el 3, which is for work involv­ing microbes that can cause seri­ous and poten­tial­ly lethal dis­ease via inhala­tion. . . .”

6.–Dr. Jonathan Lath­am under­scored the reser­va­tions expressed by many con­cern­ing “gain-of-func­tion” exper­i­ments on these kinds of coro­n­avirus­es: ” . . . . The bio­sci­en­tist Dr Jonathan Lath­am crit­i­cised the kind of research on bat coro­n­avirus­es that has been tak­ing place in Wuhan and the USA as ‘pro­vid­ing an evo­lu­tion­ary oppor­tu­ni­ty’ for such virus­es ‘to jump into humans’. Lath­am, who has a doc­tor­ate in virol­o­gy, argues that this kind of work is sim­ply ‘pro­vid­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for con­t­a­m­i­na­tion events and leak­ages from labs, which hap­pen on a rou­tine basis’. . . .”

U.S. Army Med­ical Research Insti­tute of Infec­tious Disease–located at Ft. Det­rick and closed by the CDC for safe­ty vio­la­tions in August, 2019.

Note, again, that the whole world was informed back in 2017 that  dan­ger­ous research involv­ing the cre­ation of bat coro­n­avirus­es to infect humans was being car­ried out in Chi­na.  Note again, that the research was fund­ed in part by the US, includ­ing USAID–a fre­quent U.S. intel­li­gence cut-out; the NIH–which has active­ly col­lab­o­rat­ed with both CIA and Pen­ta­gon. The WIV has also part­nered with the USAMRIID.

Flash for­ward a cou­ple of years and we have a night­mare virus that ini­tial­ly appeared to pop up near­by the WIV, with the Trump admin­is­tra­tion aggres­sive­ly push­ing the idea that it escaped from that lab.

In that con­text, we note the fol­low­ing:

1.–In 2017, Chi­na got approval for its first BSL‑4 lab in Wuhan, the first of sev­er­al planned BSL‑4 labs. “A lab­o­ra­to­ry in Wuhan is on the cusp of being cleared to work with the world’s most dan­ger­ous pathogens. The move is part of a plan to build between five and sev­en biosafe­ty level‑4 (BSL‑4) labs across the Chi­nese main­land by 2025, and has gen­er­at­ed much excite­ment, as well as some con­cerns. . . . Some sci­en­tists out­side Chi­na wor­ry about pathogens escap­ing, and the addi­tion of a bio­log­i­cal dimen­sion to geopo­lit­i­cal ten­sions between Chi­na and oth­er nations. . . .”

2.–As will be seen below, the pro­lif­er­a­tion of BSL‑4 labs has sparked wor­ries about “dual use” tech­nol­o­gy: ” . . . . The expan­sion of BSL-4-lab net­works in the Unit­ed States and Europe over the past 15 years — with more than a dozen now in oper­a­tion or under con­struc­tion in each region — also met with resis­tance, includ­ing ques­tions about the need for so many facil­i­ties. . . .”

3.–The above-men­tioned Richard Ebright notes that the pro­lif­er­a­tion of BSL‑4 labs will spur sus­pi­cion of “dual use” tech­nol­o­gy, in which osten­si­ble med­ical research masks bio­log­i­cal war­fare research: ” . . . . But Ebright is not con­vinced of the need for more than one BSL‑4 lab in main­land Chi­na. He sus­pects that the expan­sion there is a reac­tion to the net­works in the Unit­ed States and Europe, which he says are also unwar­rant­ed. He adds that gov­ern­ments will assume that such excess capac­i­ty is for the poten­tial devel­op­ment of bioweapons. ‘These facil­i­ties are inher­ent­ly dual use,’ he says. . . .”

In the con­text of the above arti­cles, note that the Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health have also part­nered with CIA and the Pen­ta­gon, as under­scored by an arti­cle about a BSL‑4 lab at Boston Uni­ver­si­ty. Note that the U.S. and Europe have twelve BSL4 labs apiece, Tai­wan has two, while Chi­na has one:

1.–As the arti­cle notes, as of 2007, the U.S. had “more than a dozen” BSL4 labs–China com­mis­sioned its first as of 2017. a ten­fold increase in fund­ing for BSL4 labs occurred because of the anthrax attacks of 2001. Those attacks might be seen as some­thing of a provo­ca­tion, spurring a dra­mat­ic increase in “dual use” biowar­fare research, under the cov­er of “legit­i­mate” medical/scientific research. In FTR #1128, we hypoth­e­sized about the milieu of Stephen Hat­fill and apartheid-linked inter­ests as pos­si­ble authors of a vec­tor­ing of New York City with Sars COV2: ” . . . . Before the anthrax mail­ings of 2001, the Unit­ed States had just two BSL4 labs—both with­in the razor-wire con­fines of gov­ern­ment-owned cam­pus­es. Now, thanks to a ten­fold increase in funding—from $200 mil­lion in 2001 to $2 bil­lion in 2006—more than a dozen such facil­i­ties can be found at uni­ver­si­ties and pri­vate com­pa­nies across the coun­try. . . .”

2.–The Boston Uni­ver­si­ty lab exem­pli­fies the Pen­ta­gon and CIA pres­ence in BSL‑4 facil­i­ty “dual use”: ” . . . . But some sci­en­tists say that argu­ment obscures the true pur­pose of the cur­rent biode­fense boom: to study poten­tial bio­log­i­cal weapons. ‘The uni­ver­si­ty por­trays it as an emerg­ing infec­tious dis­ease lab,’ says David Ozonoff, a Boston Uni­ver­si­ty epi­demi­ol­o­gist whose office is right across the street from the new BSL4 facil­i­ty. ‘But they are talk­ing about study­ing things like small pox and inhala­tion anthrax, which pose no pub­lic health threat oth­er than as bioweapons.’ . . . The orig­i­nal NIH man­date for the lab indi­cat­ed that many groups—including the CIA and Depart­ment of Defense—would be allowed to use the lab for their own research, the nature of which BU might have lit­tle con­trol over. . . .”

Note, also that:

1.–The WIV has part­nered with the U.S. Army’s Med­ical Research Insti­tute of Infec­tious Dis­eases, locat­ed at Ft. Det­rick.

2.–In ear­ly August of 2019, short­ly before the record­ed start of the out­break in Wuhan, Chi­na, the U.S. Army Med­ical Research Insti­tute of Infec­tious Dis­eases at that facil­i­ty was closed down by the CDC due to mul­ti­ple safe­ty violations.“All research at a Fort Det­rick lab­o­ra­to­ry that han­dles high-lev­el dis­ease-caus­ing mate­r­i­al, such as Ebo­la, is on hold indef­i­nite­ly after the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion found the orga­ni­za­tion failed to meet biosafe­ty stan­dards. . . . The CDC sent a cease and desist order in July. After USAMRIID received the order from the CDC, its reg­is­tra­tion with the Fed­er­al Select Agent Pro­gram, which over­sees dis­ease-caus­ing mate­r­i­al use and pos­ses­sion, was sus­pend­ed. That sus­pen­sion effec­tive­ly halt­ed all bio­log­i­cal select agents and tox­in research at USAMRIID . . . .”

Fol­low­ing the update on the WIV and BSL‑4 lab­o­ra­to­ries, we piv­ot to analy­sis of the ele­va­tion of remde­sivir as the “go-to” treat­ment du jour for Covid-19. Of para­mount impor­tance is the remark­able time­line: The DSMB (data safe­ty and mon­i­tor­ing board) ” . . . . the DSMB for the remde­sivir study did not ever meet for an inter­im effi­ca­cy analy­sis, Lane said. All patients had been enrolled by April 20. The data for a DSMB meet­ing was cut off on April 22. The DSMB met and, on April 27, it made a rec­om­men­da­tion to the NIAID. . . . That deci­sion, Lane said, led the NIAID to con­clude that patients who had been giv­en place­bo should be offered remde­sivir, some­thing that start­ed hap­pen­ing after April 28. . . .” 

As will be seen, it was on 4/29 that Joe Gro­gan resigned. (See below.)

When pos­i­tive news on a NIAID study on the drug remde­sivir were released–on 4/29–it drove broad gains in the stock mar­ket. In FTR #1131, we not­ed that dis­clo­sures con­cern­ing pos­i­tive news about Mod­er­na’s exper­i­men­tal Covid-19 vac­cine also proved to be a sim­i­lar dri­ver of the stock mar­ket, as well as of Mod­er­na’s stock.

Dis­cus­sion of the hard details of sev­er­al remde­sivir tri­als begins with dis­cus­sion of an NIAID tri­al that helped move the mar­kets, as seen above. The tri­al was a mod­est suc­cess, indi­cat­ing that recov­ery for recent­ly infect­ed patients was about 31% faster than for place­bo. There was no sig­nif­i­cant sta­tis­ti­cal dif­fer­ence in mortality–the most impor­tant mea­sure of effec­tive­ness accord­ing to many experts.

” . . . . Dur­ing an appear­ance along­side Pres­i­dent Trump in the Oval Office, Antho­ny Fau­ci, the direc­tor of NIAID, part of the Nation­al Insti­tutes of Health, said the data are a ‘very impor­tant proof of con­cept’ and that there was rea­son for opti­mism. He cau­tioned the data were not a ‘knock­out.’ At the same time, the study achieved its pri­ma­ry goal, which was to improve the time to recov­ery, which was reduced by four days for patients on remde­sivir. The pre­lim­i­nary data showed that the time to recov­ery was 11 days on remde­sivir com­pared to 15 days for place­bo, a 31% decrease. The mor­tal­i­ty rate for the remde­sivir group was 8%, com­pared to 11.6% for the place­bo group; that mor­tal­i­ty dif­fer­ence was not sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant. . . .”

Next we present a Stat News arti­cle on the inter­nal delib­er­a­tions behind the deci­sions to mod­i­fy the NIAID study. Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance is the DSMB delib­er­a­tion. Note the time­line of the DSMB delib­er­a­tion, com­bined with the announce­ment on 4/29 that drove the mar­kets high­er.

1.–The deci­sion was made to cut it short before the ques­tion of remdesivir’s impact on mor­tal­i­ty could be answered: ” . . . .The Nation­al Insti­tute of Aller­gy and Infec­tious Dis­eases has described to STAT in new detail how it made its fate­ful deci­sion: to start giv­ing remde­sivir to patients who had been assigned to receive a place­bo in the study, essen­tial­ly lim­it­ing researchers’ abil­i­ty to col­lect more data about whether the drug saves lives — some­thing the study, called ACTT‑1, sug­gests but does not prove. In the tri­al, 8% of the par­tic­i­pants giv­en remde­sivir died, com­pared with 11.6% of the place­bo group, a dif­fer­ence that was not sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant. A top NIAID offi­cial said he had no regrets about the deci­sion. ‘There cer­tain­ly was una­nim­i­ty with­in the insti­tute that this was the right thing to do,’ said H. Clif­ford Lane, NIAID’s clin­i­cal direc­tor. . . .”

2.–In addi­tion, patients sched­uled to receive place­bo received remde­sivir, instead. ” . . . . Steven Nis­sen, a vet­er­an tri­al­ist and car­di­ol­o­gist at the Cleve­land Clin­ic, dis­agreed that giv­ing place­bo patients remde­sivir was the right call. ‘I believe it is in society’s best inter­est to deter­mine whether remde­sivir can reduce mor­tal­i­ty, and with the release of this infor­ma­tion doing a place­bo-con­trolled tri­al to deter­mine if there is a mor­tal­i­ty ben­e­fit will be very dif­fi­cult,’ he said. ‘The ques­tion is: Was there a route, or is there a route, to deter­mine if the drug can pre­vent death?’ The deci­sion is ‘a lost oppor­tu­ni­ty,’ he said. . . .”

3.–Steven Nis­sen was not alone in his crit­i­cism of the NIAID’s deci­sion. ” . . . .Peter Bach, the direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Health Pol­i­cy and Out­comes at Memo­r­i­al Sloan Ket­ter­ing Can­cer Cen­ter, agreed with Nis­sen. ‘The core under­stand­ing of clin­i­cal research par­tic­i­pa­tion and clin­i­cal research con­duct is we run the tri­al rig­or­ous­ly to pro­vide the most accu­rate infor­ma­tion about the right treat­ment,’ he said. And that answer, he argued, should ide­al­ly have deter­mined whether remde­sivir saves lives. The rea­son we have shut our whole soci­ety down, Bach said, is not to pre­vent Covid-19 patients from spend­ing a few more days in the hos­pi­tal. It is to pre­vent patients from dying. ‘Mor­tal­i­ty is the right end­point,’ he said. . . .”

4.–Not only was the admin­is­tra­tion of remde­sivir instead of place­bo pri­or­i­tized, but the NIAID study itself was atten­u­at­ed! ” . . . . But the change in the study’s main goal also changed the way the study would be ana­lyzed. Now, the NIAID decid­ed, the analy­sis would be cal­cu­lat­ed when 400 patients out of the 1,063 patients the study enrolled had recov­ered. If remde­sivir turned out to be much more effec­tive than expect­ed, ‘inter­im’ analy­ses would be con­duct­ed at a third and two-thirds that number.The job of review­ing these analy­ses would fall to a com­mit­tee of out­side experts on what is known as an inde­pen­dent data and safe­ty mon­i­tor­ing board, or DSMB. . . .”

5.–The per­for­mance of the DSMB for the remde­sivir study is note­wor­thy: ” . . . . But the DSMB for the remde­sivir study did not ever meet for an inter­im effi­ca­cy analy­sis, Lane said. All patients had been enrolled by April 20. The data for a DSMB meet­ing was cut off on April 22. The DSMB met and, on April 27, it made a rec­om­men­da­tion to the NIAID. . . .”

6.–The DSMB meet­ing on 4/27 deter­mined the switch from place­bo to remde­sivir. Of para­mount impor­tance is the fact that this was JUST BEFORE the 4/29 announce­ment that drove the mar­kets high­er and the same day on which key Trump aide–and for­mer Gilead Sci­ences lob­by­ist Joe Gro­gan resigned! ” . . . . . That deci­sion, Lane said, led the NIAID to con­clude that patients who had been giv­en place­bo should be offered remde­sivir, some­thing that start­ed hap­pen­ing after April 28. . . .”

7.–Dr. Ethan Weiss gave an accu­rate eval­u­a­tion of the NIAID study: ” . . . . ‘We’ve squan­dered an incred­i­ble oppor­tu­ni­ty to do good sci­ence,’ [Dr. Ethan] Weiss said. ‘If we could ever go back and do some­thing all over, it would be the infra­struc­ture to actu­al­ly learn some­thing. Because we’re not learn­ing enough.’ . . . .”

Next, we ana­lyze a STAT News excerpt that goes into more of the con­cerns about the Gilead study design.

The Gilead study was designed with­out any con­trol group, so the ques­tion of how much remde­sivir actu­al­ly helps sick patients (or doesn’t help) can’t be defin­i­tive­ly answered by that study.

The arti­cle also gives Gilead’s expla­na­tion for why they left out a con­trol group: due to the lim­it­ed sup­plies of the drug the com­pa­ny decid­ed to pri­or­i­tize on pro­duc­ing more of the drug itself rather than a place­bo con­trol. It’s an expla­na­tion that only makes sense if pro­duc­ing place­bo dos­es was some­how a sig­nif­i­cant tech­ni­cal chal­lenge, which seems dubi­ous.

Due to a lack of a con­trol group, the study instead focus­es on answer­ing the ques­tion of whether or not the recov­ery times for patients dif­fers between groups receiv­ing a 10-day course of the drug vs a 5‑day course. The patients were severe­ly ill but not on ven­ti­la­tors when enrolled in the study (so the patients that need the drug most weren’t test­ed). The pre­lim­i­nary results released Wednes­day sug­gest there is no dif­fer­ence between the recov­ery times for the two groups.

1.–The Gilead study lacked a con­trol group: ” . . . .  But out­side experts in clin­i­cal tri­al design wor­ry that the results, instead of lead­ing to a clear pic­ture of whether the med­i­cine is effec­tive, will instead mud­dy the waters fur­ther. The main con­cern, they say, stems from the fact that the Gilead tri­al expect­ed to read out this week, which was con­duct­ed among patients with severe dis­ease, lacks a con­trol group — that is, patients who are ran­dom­ly assigned to receive the best treat­ment avail­able, but not remde­sivir. As designed, the only ran­dom­iza­tion is the dura­tion of treat­ment: either five days or 10 days of drug. With­out a true con­trol group of patients, many experts say, it will be dif­fi­cult to deter­mine whether remde­sivir is effec­tive. . . .”

2.–The above-men­tioned Steven Nis­sen summed up the use­ful­ness of the Gilead tri­al. ” . . . . ‘The over­all study itself has lit­tle or no sci­en­tif­ic val­ue since all patients are receiv­ing the drug,’ said Steven Nis­sen, the chief aca­d­e­m­ic offi­cer at the Cleve­land Clin­ic and lead inves­ti­ga­tor of many tri­als for heart drugs that have been approved by the Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion. ‘The study, as designed, is essen­tial­ly use­less and can­not be used by the FDA for con­sid­er­a­tion of remde­sivir for approval to treat coro­n­avirus,’ Nis­sen said. . . .”

3.–Gilead’s spokesper­son alleged that the com­pa­ny had a lim­it­ed sup­ply of place­bo and remde­sivir. ” . . . . ‘In the ear­ly stages of the pan­dem­ic, we not only had a lim­it­ed sup­ply of remde­sivir but also a lim­it­ed sup­ply of the matched place­bo required for place­bo-con­trolled stud­ies,’ said Amy Flood, a Gilead spokesper­son. ‘We chose to pri­or­i­tize man­u­fac­tur­ing active drug over place­bo, and we pro­vid­ed our sup­ply of place­bo to Chi­na and NIAID for their stud­ies of remde­sivir.’ . . .”

5.–A num­ber of crit­ics shared Steven Nis­sen’s opin­ion about the sci­en­tif­ic val­ue of the study. ” . . . . Crit­ics point to Gilead’s deci­sion to com­pare two groups giv­en remde­sivir for either five days or 10 days. The prob­lem with this strat­e­gy, they say, is that an inef­fec­tive drug that did noth­ing and a very effec­tive drug that con­sis­tent­ly helped patients over­come the virus would look the same in such a study. Only if the 10-day course were more effec­tive, or if it was worse because of side effects, would the study have any clear result. . . .”

6.–Nissen was more opti­mistic about a sec­ond forth­com­ing Gilead tri­al. Sloan Ket­ter­ing’s Peter Bach did not share that opti­mism. ” . . . .Yet anoth­er tri­al in less sick patients, also run by Gilead, does have a con­trol group and may give a clear­er answer. Nis­sen sees ‘a rea­son­able study design.’ But Bach was more crit­i­cal, say­ing that even though that study has a con­trol group, the lack of a place­bo means the study might not be trust­wor­thy. That’s because its main goal, time to improve­ment of symp­toms, could be affect­ed by the per­cep­tions of clin­i­cians and the patients them­selves. Bach said the hos­pi­tals con­duct­ing the study ‘are eas­i­ly capa­ble of wrap­ping syringes in brown paper and blind­ing the whole thing. I don’t under­stand why you would run a tri­al like this.’ . . . .”

Although it was cut short due to the wan­ing of the pan­dem­ic in Chi­na, a WHO-leaked study was not encour­ag­ing with regard to remde­sivir’s effi­ca­cy as a treat­ment for Covid-19.

1.–The Chi­nese study was a ram­dom­ized con­trolled tri­al: ” . . . . Encour­ag­ing data from patients in that study at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go were described by researchers at a vir­tu­al town hall and obtained by STAT last week. How­ev­er, unlike those data, these new results are from a ran­dom­ized con­trolled tri­al, the med­ical gold stan­dard. . . .”

2.–The Chi­nese study found that remde­sivir was of no val­ue in pre­vent­ing Covid-19 deaths. As not­ed above, the effect of the drug on mor­tal­i­ty was the main con­sid­er­a­tion. Our soci­ety has not been shut down to afford peo­ple short­er stays in the hos­pi­tal, but to pre­vent death. ” . . . . Accord­ing to the sum­ma­ry of the Chi­na study, remde­sivir was ‘not asso­ci­at­ed with a dif­fer­ence in time to clin­i­cal improve­ment’ com­pared to a stan­dard of care con­trol. After one month, it appeared 13.9% of the remde­sivir patients had died com­pared to 12.8% of patients in the con­trol arm. The dif­fer­ence was not sta­tis­ti­cal­ly sig­nif­i­cant. . . .”

3.–The Chi­nese study pro­duced a grim assess­ment of remde­sivir: ” . . . . ‘In this study of hos­pi­tal­ized adult patients with severe COVID-19 that was ter­mi­nat­ed pre­ma­ture­ly, remde­sivir was not asso­ci­at­ed with clin­i­cal or viro­log­i­cal ben­e­fits,’ the sum­ma­ry states. The study was ter­mi­nat­ed pre­ma­ture­ly because it was dif­fi­cult to enroll patients in Chi­na, where the num­ber of Covid-19 cas­es was decreas­ing. An out­side researcher said that the results mean that any ben­e­fit from remde­sivir is like­ly to be small. ‘If there is no ben­e­fit to remde­sivir in a study this size, this sug­gests that the over­all ben­e­fit of remde­sivir in this pop­u­la­tion with advanced infec­tion is like­ly to be small in the larg­er Gilead tri­al,’ said Andrew Hill, senior vis­it­ing research fel­low at Liv­er­pool Uni­ver­si­ty. . . .”

After dis­cussing a num­ber of prob­lems that Gilead Sci­ences may encounter in the pro­duc­tion of sig­nif­i­cant quan­ti­ties of remde­sivir to be effec­tive, the broad­cast con­cludes with dis­cus­sion of the inap­pro­pri­ate­ly-named “Sci­en­tists to Stop Covid-19.”

The remark­able han­dling of the NIAID study, the tim­ing of the announce­ment of the alto­geth­er lim­it­ed suc­cess of the atten­u­at­ed tri­al, and the rise in equi­ties as a result of the announce­ment may be best under­stood in the con­text of the role played in Trump pan­dem­ic deci­sion-mak­ing by an elite group of bil­lion­aires and scientists–including Peter Thiel and con­vict­ed felon Michael Milken (the “junk bond king”).

1.–” . . . . Call­ing them­selves ‘Sci­en­tists to Stop COVID-19,’ the col­lec­tion of top researchers, bil­lion­aires and indus­try cap­tains will act as an ‘ad hoc review board’ for the tor­rent of coro­n­avirus research, ‘weed­ing out’ flawed data before it reach­es pol­i­cy­mak­ers, the Wall Street Jour­nal report­ed on Mon­day. They are also act­ing as a go-between for phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies seek­ing to build a com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nel with Trump admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials. The group . . . . has advised Nick Ayers, an aide to Vice Pres­i­dent Mike Pence, as well as oth­er agency heads, in the past month. Pence is head­ing up the White House coro­n­avirus task force. . . .”

2.–” . . . The brainy bunch is led by Thomas Cahill, a 33-year-old doc­tor who became a ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist . . . . Cahill’s clout comes from build­ing con­nec­tions through his invest­ment firm, New­path Part­ners, with Sil­i­con Valley’s Peter Thiel, the founder of Pay­Pal, and bil­lion­aire busi­ness­men Jim Palot­ta and Michael Milken. . . .”

Note that Thiel played a dom­i­nant role in bankrolling New­path Part­ners, and the oth­er finan­cial angel who ele­vat­ed Cahill–Brian Sheth–introduced him to Tom­my Hicks, Jr., the co-chair­man of the RNC. In FTR #‘s 1111 and 1112, we looked at Hicks’ net­work­ing with Steve Ban­non asso­ciate J. Kyle Bass, as well as his role in the inter-agency net­works dri­ving the anti-Chi­na effort.

1.–” . . . . At the helm of the effort: The 33-year-old and very-much-under-the-radar ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist Tom Cahill, who leads life sci­ences-focused New­path Part­ners. Cahill com­plet­ed his M.D. and PhD at Duke Uni­ver­si­ty a mere two years ago before land­ing at blue-chip invest­ment firm Rap­tor Group through a friend. He went on to found New­path with some $125 mil­lion after impress­ing well-con­nect­ed names like ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist Peter Thiel and Vista Equi­ty Part­ners co-founder Bri­an Sheth. . . . It was through Sheth, for exam­ple, that Sci­en­tists to Stop Covid-19 con­nect­ed with the co-chair­man of the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee, Thomas Hicks Jr. . . .”

The fed­er­al gov­ern­men­t’s extreme focus on remde­sivir has been shaped, in large mea­sure, by the influ­ence of “Sci­en­tists to Stop COVID-19”:

1.–“Scientists to Stop Covid-19” is shep­herd­ing remde­sivir: ” . . . . Sci­en­tists to Stop COVID-19 rec­om­mends that in this phase, the U.S. Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion (FDA) should work to coor­di­nate with Gilead phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals to focus on expe­dit­ing the results of clin­i­cal tri­als of remde­sivir, a drug iden­ti­fied as a poten­tial treat­ment for COVID-19. The group also rec­om­mends admin­is­ter­ing dos­es of the drug to patients in an ear­ly stage of infec­tion, and notes remde­sivir will essen­tial­ly be a place­hold­er until a more effec­tive treat­ment is pro­duced.

2.–The group is doing so by atten­u­at­ing the reg­u­la­to­ry process for coro­n­avirus drugs: “Gov­ern­ment enti­ties and agen­cies appear to adhere to the rec­om­men­da­tions out­lined by the group, with the Jour­nal report­ing that the FDA and the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Affairs (VA) have imple­ment­ed some of the sug­ges­tions, name­ly relax­ing drug man­u­fac­tur­er reg­u­la­tions and require­ments for poten­tial coro­n­avirus treat­ment drugs. . . .”

We con­clude with a piece about the announce­ment of Grogan’s depar­ture.

” . . . . Gro­gan has served as the direc­tor of the White House Domes­tic Pol­i­cy Coun­cil since Feb­ru­ary 2019, over­see­ing a broad array of pol­i­cy issues includ­ing health care and reg­u­la­tion. . . . Gro­gan was one of the orig­i­nal mem­bers of the White House coro­n­avirus task force launched in late Jan­u­ary. . . . Gro­gan worked as a lob­by­ist for drug com­pa­ny Gilead Sci­ences before join­ing the Trump admin­is­tra­tion. . . .”

The depar­ture was announced in the Wall Street Jour­nal on the morn­ing of Wednes­day, April 29, the same day we got our first pub­lic reports of the NIAID clin­i­cal tri­al of remde­sivir that was pos­i­tive enough to show it short­ened the time to recov­ery and the same day the FDA grant­ed remde­sivir emer­gency use sta­tus. 

Note, again, the tim­ing of the DSM­B’s actions, as well as the imflu­ence of “Sci­en­tists to Stop Covid-19.”