Israel leading Scientist Admits: “The vaccine may not be as effective as we thought.”

 BY GILAD ATZMON

jerusalem.jpg

Introduction by GA: Israel struggles to understand its chaotic COVID-19 situation. The country voluntarily decided to mass vaccinate itself. Israel is clearly winning in the vaccination contest, yet the numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths aren’t encouraging to say the least. As for this morning, Israel’s R number is back at 1. The Times of Israel produced a grim audit yesterday; despite Israel vaccinating almost a third of its population “Israel has been reporting some 7,000 new infections a day, one of the highest rates in the developed world. Nearly 5,000 people have died, more than a quarter of them in January alone.”

How is it possible that transmission in Israel is so high despite the ‘success’ of mass vaccination? Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu admitted this week that the “British mutation accounts for 80% of all cases in Israel.”  The most obvious question in that regard is how do we explain the successful Aliya of that esoteric mutant especially considering that air travel is almost non-existent? In my recent writings I pointed at a clear correlation between mass vaccination and mutants (here and here). I am obviously not the only one who detects such a parallel. Monitoring the Israeli MSM, I see the question repeating itself. However, the country’s medical establishment and politicians, together with internet giants, work hard to supress the question and silence those who dare to utter any dissent.   

Earlier this week I watched an Israeli news interview with the head of a COVID Ward in Tel Aviv’s biggest hospital. When asked about the spread of foreign mutants and the lack of improvement in cases and deaths despite large numbers being vaccinated, he was quick to answer, “why do you ask me, I am just a doctor.”   

Israel is once again in political turmoil with an upcoming election. The success of the vaccination campaign is now a sensitive political matter which will have a direct impact on Netanyahu’s fate. Israelis aren’t fools and many of them understand the parameters that determine the current situation. They grasp the possibility that they are subject to a political ploy, with their personal and communal health held hostage by a compromised political establishment.

In its desperate attempt to vaccinate the entire population, health services are offering vaccination to anyone aged 16 and above. But the Israelis are reluctant. According to Israeli reports the vaccination centers are empty. The more pressure mounted by the government (including threats to future employment and personal freedom), the more suspicious Israelis become. They can see that the COVID situation in Israeli-Arab communities is improving despite their defiance of the Pfizer/Israeli experiment, while some almost entirely vaccinated Jewish cities struggle with a relatively high number of cases. A brief examination of the Israeli COVID situation reveals that the number of cases and deaths grew exponentially since the beginning of mass vaccination and the third lockdown.  

In the light of the above, the following is a translation of a week-old Israeli MSM interview with Prof. Eran Segal, a leading Israeli scientist and computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

In the interview, Prof. Segal thinks loudly about that which most Israeli scientists prefer to keep to themselves.

 “The vaccine may not be as effective as we thought, but we do not know it”

https://www.maariv.co.il/corona/corona-israel/Article-818246

Prof. Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute commented on Gideon Oko’s (103FM 28/01/2021) program on the effectiveness of vaccines and the impact of the British mutant.  “We witness a virus that behaves differently”

The third (Israeli) Lockdown is in progress, the mass vaccination campaign continues, and yet there is no significant reduction in COVID-19’s cases and deaths.

Prof. Eran Segal from the Weizmann Institute spoke today (Thursday) with Gideon Oko on 103FM about the issue and commented on the effectiveness of vaccines and the impact of the British mutant on the data.

Would it be fair to say that we all expected a significant drop in numbers this week?

“True, I agree. We were on the rise last week, we estimated that this week we will see a change in the trend. I think we are seeing a change in the trend, that is, the R number has already dropped to the 0.9 region and we are 20% away from the peak in cases. However, the number of new critical patients has remained stable and we have also been stuck on the same number for two weeks.”

Do you know how to explain why this is so?

“When we discuss possible scenarios and theoretical models, some assumptions always come into play. We know what were our set of assumptions regarding the British mutant that slowed down our predicted progress.  We (also) took vaccines into account. The set of assumptions is incorrect. I mean, the vaccine may not be as effective as we thought, but we don’t know it for certain (yet).”

Could it be that the vaccine is less effective than we thought?

“I think it cannot be said, we have to wait and analyze the data.  We have to give it more time as we do not know yet the impact of the second dose. We do not expect to see its effect yet. In the meantime, it can be said that the impact of the vaccine isn’t exactly what we hoped for but this may be due to many mistakes in our interpretations.

There could be differences between those (populations) who take the vaccines. In the red COVID areas people are less likely to get vaccinated.”

Maybe that’s why Dr. Sharon Alrai-Price (The head of public health services at the Ministry of Health) said today that they are examining the possibility of giving a third dose of vaccine if it turns out that the vaccine in its current form is not effective against the South African mutation? Is that based on a hypothesis or knowledge?

“This is something preliminary. Pfizer announced that they were considering a third dose and that there might be an update to the vaccine that would also tackle the threat of the South African mutant more effectively. ‘There were reports from the UK that it may be possible that the South African mutant is more dangerous. It could be that the vaccine is still as effective as we thought, but the reason the number of serious patients is not decreasing at the rate we hoped could also stem from this assumption.’

Are we expected to face the same COVID measures in 2021?

“The Coronavirus will be here for a long time to come even if the vaccines turn out to be as effective as promised.”

We tend to believe that in March/April we will return to a certain normal routine.

“There is a lot of uncertainty but it is too early to say… there is no doubt that the British mutant (as well as other mutations) introduced an element of unpredictability, (but all of that may change) if the vaccine turns out to be effective after the second dose. At the moment we struggle with the vaccination of certain sectors. In the Arab sector we covered only 66% of aged 60 and above, 76% in the ultra-Orthodox sector. These numbers need to be raised.”

Do you expect to start to see a decline next week?

“We currently expect a decline because we are already seeing a drop in cases that will be followed by a decline in critically ill patients. Also, the impact of the vaccines are starting to be seen and we all hope they will indeed be effective.”

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The Vaccine Race Continues

Source

Several dozens of coronavirus vaccines are being tested worldwide. By mid-December 2020 seven of them were approved for full or limited use worldwide. Here’s a brief overview.

(Click on the image to enlarge)

The Great Divider: COVID-19 Reflects Global Racism, Not Equality

December 18, 2020

‘This iniquity is expected to continue even in the way that the vaccines are made available,’ writes Ramzy Baroud. (Photo: File)

By Ramzy Baroud

The notion that the COVID-19 pandemic was ‘the great equalizer’ should be dead and buried by now. If anything, the lethal disease is another terrible reminder of the deep divisions and inequalities in our societies. That said, the treatment of the disease should not be a repeat of the same shameful scenario.

For an entire year, wealthy celebrities and government officials have been reminding us that “we are in this together”, that “we are on the same boat”, with the likes of US singer, Madonna, speaking from her mansion while submerged in a “milky bath sprinkled with rose petals,” telling us that the pandemic has proved to be the “great equalizer”.

“Like I used to say at the end of ‘Human Nature’ every night, we are all in the same boat,” she said. “And if the ship goes down, we’re all going down together,” CNN reported at the time.

Such statements, like that of Madonna, and Ellen DeGeneres as well, have generated much media attention not just because they are both famous people with a massive social media following but also because of the obvious hypocrisy in their empty rhetoric. In truth, however, they were only repeating the standard procedure followed by governments, celebrities and wealthy ‘influencers’ worldwide.

But are we, really, “all in this together”? With unemployment rates skyrocketing across the globe, hundreds of millions scraping by to feed their children, multitudes of nameless and hapless families chugging along without access to proper healthcare, subsisting on hope and a prayer so that they may survive the scourges of poverty – let alone the pandemic – one cannot, with a clear conscience, make such outrageous claims.

Not only are we not “on the same boat” but, certainly, we have never been. According to World Bank data, nearly half of the world lives on less than $5.5 a day. This dismal statistic is part of a remarkable trajectory of inequality that has afflicted humanity for a long time.

The plight of many of the world’s poor is compounded in the case of war refugees, the double victims of state terrorism and violence and the unwillingness of those with the resources to step forward and pay back some of their largely undeserved wealth.

The boat metaphor is particularly interesting in the case of refugees; millions of them have desperately tried to escape the infernos of war and poverty in rickety boats and dinghies, hoping to get across from their stricken regions to safer places. This sight has sadly grown familiar in recent years not only throughout the Mediterranean Sea but also in other bodies of water around the world, especially in Burma, where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have tried to escape their ongoing genocide. Thousands of them have drowned in the Bay of Bengal.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated and, in fact, accelerated the sharp inequalities that exist in every society individually, and the world at large. According to a June 2020 study conducted in the United States by the Brookings Institute, the number of deaths as a result of the disease reflects a clear racial logic. Many indicators included in the study leave no doubt that racism is a central factor in the life cycle of COVID.

For example, among those aged between 45 and 54 years, “Black and Hispanic/Latino death rates are at least six times higher than for whites”. Although whites make up 62 percent of the US population of that specific age group, only 22 percent of the total deaths were white. Black and Latino communities were the most devastated.

According to this and other studies, the main assumption behind the discrepancy of infection and death rates resulting from COVID among various racial groups in the US is poverty which is, itself, an expression of racial inequality. The poor have no, or limited, access to proper healthcare. For the rich, this factor is of little relevance.

Moreover, poor communities tend to work in low-paying jobs in the service sector, where social distancing is nearly impossible. With little government support to help them survive the lockdowns, they do everything within their power to provide for their children, only to be infected by the virus or, worse, die.

This iniquity is expected to continue even in the way that the vaccines are made available. While several Western nations have either launched or scheduled their vaccination campaigns, the poorest nations on earth are expected to wait for a long time before life-saving vaccines are made available.

In 67 poor or developing countries located mostly in Africa and the Southern hemisphere, only one out of ten individuals will likely receive the vaccine by the end of 2020, the Fortune Magazine website reported.

The disturbing report cited a study conducted by a humanitarian and rights coalition, the People’s Vaccine Alliance (PVA), which includes Oxfam and Amnesty International.

If there is such a thing as a strategy at this point, it is the deplorable “hoarding” of the vaccine by rich nations. Dr. Mohga Kamal-Yanni of the PVA put this realization into perspective when she said that “rich countries have enough doses to vaccinate everyone nearly three times over, whilst poor countries don’t even have enough to reach health workers and people at risk”. So much for the numerous conferences touting the need for a ‘global response’ to the disease.

But it does not have to be this way.

While it is likely that class, race and gender inequalities will continue to ravage human societies after the pandemic, as they did before, it is also possible for governments to use this collective tragedy as an opportunity to bridge the inequality gap, even if just a little, as a starting point to imagine a more equitable future for all of us.

Poor, dark-skinned people should not be made to die when their lives can be saved by a simple vaccine, which is available in abundance.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

Canadian Health Ministry Exploring “Immunity Passports,” Vaccine “Tracking and Surveillance”

Ontario government says non-vaccinated people could face travel, social restrictions

By Steve Watson

Global Research,

December 10, 2020 Summit News 9 December 2020

The Health Minister of Ontario in Canada has stoked controversy by suggesting that people who do not take the coronavirus vaccine will face restrictions on where they can travel and spend time.

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When asked by reporters about how the government intends to go about convincing people to get the vaccine, Health Minister Christine Elliott warned that those who refuse it will face difficulties reintegrating into society.

“That’s their choice, this is not going to be a mandatory campaign. It will be voluntary,” Elliot said, but adding that “There may be some restrictions that may be placed on people that don’t have vaccines for travel purposes, to be able to go to theatres and other places.”

When another reporter asked if the government would be introducing ‘immunity passports’, or proof of vaccination cards, Elliot said

“Yes, because that’s going to be really important for people to have for travel purposes, perhaps for work purposes, for going to theatres or cinemas or any other places where people will be in closer physical contact.”

Following up on Elliot’s comments, The Toronto Sun spoke to her press secretary, who confirmed that the government is exploring several options for vaccine “tracking and surveillance.”

“This includes exploring developing tech-based solutions while also providing for alternative options to ensure equitable access to any potential ‘immunity passport,’” Alexandra Hilkene said.

Sun reporter Brian Lilley notes “That phrase will set off alarm bells and it should, not just for anti-vaxxers, but for anyone who is concerned about Charter rights and governments running roughshod over them.”

Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams has also said that a COVID-19 vaccine may be required for “freedom to move around”.

“What we can do is to say sometimes for access, or ease, in getting into certain settings, if you don’t have vaccination then you’re not allowed into that setting without other protection materials,” Williams said.

The comments of these Canadian officials add to the litany of other governmentand travel industry figures in both the US, Britain and beyond who have suggested that ‘COVID passports’ are coming, in order for ‘life to get back to normal’

In an essay in The Wall Street Journal on Saturday, former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Tom Frieden noted that he expects the so called ‘immunity passports’ will come into widespread use despite any ethical, legal or operational challenges, and despite the fact that it hasn’t at all been determined whether the vaccine equates to immunity.

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US – UK Intelligence Agencies Declare Cyber War on Independent Media

Targeting “Anti-Vaccine Propaganda”

By Whitney Webb

Global Research, November 14, 2020

Unlimited Hangout 11 November 2020

British and American state intelligence agencies are “weaponizing truth” to quash vaccine hesitancy as both nations prepare for mass inoculations, in a recently announced “cyber war” to be commanded by AI-powered arbiters of truth against information sources that challenge official narratives.

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In just the past week, the national-security states of the United States and United Kingdom have discreetly let it be known that the cyber tools and online tactics previously designed for use in the post-9/11 “war on terror” are now being repurposed for use against information sources promoting “vaccine hesitancy” and information related to Covid-19 that runs counter to their state narratives.

A new cyber offensive was launched on Monday by the UK’s signal intelligence agency, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), which seeks to target websites that publish content deemed to be “propaganda” that raises concerns regarding state-sponsored Covid-19 vaccine development and the multi-national pharmaceutical corporations involved.

Similar efforts are underway in the United States, with the US military recently funding a CIA-backed firm—stuffed with former counterterrorism officials who were behind the occupation of Iraq and the rise of the so-called Islamic State—to develop an AI algorithm aimed specifically at new websites promoting “suspected” disinformation related to the Covid-19 crisis and the US military–led Covid-19 vaccination effort known as Operation Warp Speed.

Both countries are preparing to silence independent journalists who raise legitimate concerns over pharmaceutical industry corruption or the extreme secrecy surrounding state-sponsored Covid-19 vaccination efforts, now that Pfizer’s vaccine candidate is slated to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by month’s end.

Pfizer’s history of being fined billions for illegal marketing and for bribing government officials to help them cover up an illegal drug trial that killed eleven children (among other crimes) has gone unmentioned by most mass media outlets, which instead have celebrated the apparently imminent approval of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine without questioning the company’s history or that the mRNA technology used in the vaccine has sped through normal safety trial protocols and has never been approved for human use. Also unmentioned is that the head of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Patrizia Cavazzoni, is the former Pfizer vice president for product safety who covered up the connection of one of its products to birth defects.

Essentially, the power of the state is being wielded like never before to police online speech and to deplatform news websites to protect the interests of powerful corporations like Pfizer and other scandal-ridden pharmaceutical giants as well as the interests of the US and UK national-security states, which themselves are intimately involved in the Covid-19 vaccination endeavor.

UK Intelligence’s New Cyberwar Targeting “Anti-Vaccine Propaganda”

On Monday, the UK newspaper The Times reported that the UK’s GCHQ “has begun an offensive cyber-operation to disrupt anti-vaccine propaganda being spread by hostile states” and “is using a toolkit developed to tackle disinformation and recruitment material peddled by Islamic State” to do so. In addition, the UK government has ordered the British military’s 77th Brigade, which specializes in “information warfare,” to launch an online campaign to counter “deceptive narratives” about Covid-19 vaccine candidates.

The newly announced GCHQ “cyber war” will not only take down “anti-vaccine propaganda” but will also seek to “disrupt the operations of the cyberactors responsible for it, including encrypting their data so they cannot access it and blocking their communications with each other.”  The effort will also involve GCHQ reaching out to other countries in the “Five Eyes” alliance (US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada) to alert their partner agencies in those countries to target such “propaganda” sites hosted within their borders.

The Times stated that “the government regards tackling false information about inoculation as a rising priority as the prospect of a reliable vaccine against the coronavirus draws closer,” suggesting that efforts will continue to ramp up as a vaccine candidate gets closer to approval.

It seems that, from the perspective of the UK national-security state, those who question corruption in the pharmaceutical industry and its possible impact on the leading experimental Covid-19 vaccine candidates (all of which use experimental vaccine technologies that have never before been approved for human use) should be targeted with tools originally designed to combat terrorist propaganda.

While The Times asserted that the effort would target content “that originated only from state adversaries” and would not target the sites of “ordinary citizens,” the newspaper suggested that the effort would rely on the US government for determining whether or not a site is part of a “foreign disinformation” operation.

This is highly troubling given that the US recently seized the domains of many sites, including the American Herald Tribune, which it erroneously labeled as “Iranian propaganda,” despite its editor in chief, Anthony Hall, being based in Canada. The US government made this claim about the American Herald Tribune after the cybersecurity firm FireEye, a US government contractor, stated that it had “moderate confidence” that the site had been “founded in Iran.”

In addition, the fact that GCHQ has alleged that most of the sites it plans to target are “linked to Moscow” gives further cause for concern given that the UK government was caught funding the Institute for Statecraft’s Integrity Initiative, which falsely labeled critics of the UK government’s actions as well as its narratives with respect to the Syria conflict as being related to “Russian disinformation” campaigns.

Given this precedent, it is certainly plausible that GCHQ could take the word of either an allied government, a government contractor, or perhaps even an allied media organization such as Bellingcat or the Atlantic Council’s DFRLab that a given site is “foreign propaganda” in order to launch a cyber offensive against it. Such concerns are only amplified when one of the main government sources for The Times article bluntly stated that “GCHQ has been told to take out antivaxers [sic] online and on social media. There are ways they have used to monitor and disrupt terrorist propaganda,” which suggests that the targets of GCHQ’s new cyber war will, in fact, be determined by the content itself rather than their suspected “foreign” origin. The “foreign” aspect instead appears to be a means of evading the prohibition in GCHQ’s operational mandate on targeting the speech or websites of ordinary citizens.

This larger pivot toward treating alleged “anti-vaxxers” as “national security threats” has been ongoing for much of this year, spearheaded in part by Imran Ahmed, the CEO of the UK-based Center for Countering Digital Hate, a member of the UK government’s Steering Committee on Countering Extremism Pilot Task Force, which is part of the UK government’s Commission for Countering Extremism.

Ahmed told the UK newspaper The Independent in July that “I would go beyond calling anti-vaxxers conspiracy theorists to say they are an extremist group that pose a national security risk.” He then stated that “once someone has been exposed to one type of conspiracy it’s easy to lead them down a path where they embrace more radical world views that can lead to violent extremism,” thereby implying that “anti-vaxxers” might engage in acts of violent extremism. Among the websites cited by Ahmed’s organization as promoting such “extremism” that poses a “national security risk” were Children’s Health Defense, the National Vaccine Information Center, Informed Consent Action Network, and Mercola.com, among others.War Propaganda: “Fake News” and the Pentagon’s Office of Strategic Influence (OSI)

Similarly, a think tank tied to US intelligence—whose GCHQ equivalent, the National Security Agency, will take part in the newly announced “cyber war”—argued in a research paper published just months before the onset of the Covid-19 crisis that “the US ‘anti-vaxxer’ movement would pose a threat to national security in the event of a ‘pandemic with a novel organism.’”

InfraGard, “a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and members of the private sector,” warned in the paper published last June that “the US anti-vaccine movement would also be connected with ‘social media misinformation and propaganda campaigns’ orchestrated by the Russian government,” as cited by The Guardian. The InfraGard paper further claimed that prominent “anti-vaxxers” are aligned “with other conspiracy movements including the far right . . . and social media misinformation and propaganda campaigns by many foreign and domestic actors. Included among these actors is the Internet Research Agency, the Russian government–aligned organization.”

An article published just last month by the Washington Post argued that “vaccine hesitancy is mixing with coronavirus denial and merging with far-right American conspiracy theories, including Qanon,” which the FBI named a potential domestic terror threat last year. The article quoted Peter Hotez, dean of the School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, as saying “The US anti-vaccination movement is globalizing and it’s going toward more-extremist tendencies.”

Simone Warstat of Louisville, Colo., waves a placard during a rally against a legislative bill to make it more difficult for parents to opt out for non-medical reasons to immunize their children Sunday, June 7, 2020, in Denver. 

It is worth pointing out that many so-called “anti-vaxxers” are actually critics of the pharmaceutical industry and are not necessarily opposed to vaccines in and of themselves, making the labels “anti-vaxxer” and “anti-vaccine” misleading. Given that many pharmaceutical giants involved in making Covid-19 vaccines donate heavily to politiciansin both countries and have been involved in numerous safety scandals, using state intelligence agencies to wage cyber war against sites that investigate such concerns is not only troubling for the future of journalism but it suggests that the UK is taking a dangerous leap toward becoming a country that uses its state powers to treat the enemies of corporations as enemies of the state.

The CIA-Backed Firm “Weaponizing Truth” with AI

In early October, the US Air Force and US Special Operations Command announced that they had awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to the US-based “machine intelligence” company Primer. Per the press release, “Primer will develop the first-ever machine learning platform to automatically identify and assess suspected disinformation [emphasis added]. Primer will also enhance its natural language processing platform to automatically analyze tactical events to provide commanders with unprecedented insight as events unfold in near real-time.”

According to Primer, the company “builds software machines that read and write in English, Russian, and Chinese to automatically unearth trends and patterns across large volumes of data,” and their work “supports the mission of the intelligence community and broader DOD by automating reading and research tasks to enhance the speed and quality of decision-making.” In other words, Primer is developing an algorithm that would allow the national-security state to outsource many military and intelligence analyst positions to AI. In fact, the company openly admits this, stating that their current effort “will automate the work typically done by dozens of analysts in a security operations center to ingest all of the data relevant to an event as it happens and funnel it into a unified user interface.”

Primer’s ultimate goal is to use their AI to entirely automate the shaping of public perceptions and become the arbiter of “truth,” as defined by the state. Primer’s founder, Sean Gourley, who previously created AI programs for the military to track “insurgency” in post-invasion Iraq, asserted in an April blog post that “computational warfare and disinformation campaigns will, in 2020, become a more serious threat than physical war, and we will have to rethink the weapons we deploy to fight them.”

In that same post, Gourley argued for the creation of a “Manhattan Project for truth” that would create a publicly available Wikipedia-style database built off of “knowledge bases [that] already exist inside many countries’ intelligence agencies for national security purposes.” Gourley then wrote that “this effort would be ultimately about building and enhancing our collective intelligence and establishing a baseline for what’s true or not” as established by intelligence agencies. He concludes his blog post by stating that “in 2020, we will begin to weaponize truth.”

Notably, on November 9, the same day that GCHQ announced its plans to target “anti-vaccine propaganda,” the US website NextGov reported that Primer’s Pentagon-funded effort had turned its attention specifically to “Covid-19 related disinformation.” According to Primer’s director of science, John Bohannon, “Primer will be integrating bot detection, synthetic text detection and unstructured textual claims analysis capabilities into our existing artificial intelligence platform currently in use with DOD. . . . This will create the first unified mission-ready platform to effectively counter Covid-19-related disinformation in near-real time.”

Bohannon, who previously worked as a mainstream journalist embedded with NATO forces in Afghanistan, also told NextGov that Primer’s new Covid-19–focused effort “automatically classifies documents into one of 10 categories to enable the detection of the impact of COVID” on areas such as “business, science and technology, employment, the global economy, and elections.” The final product is expected to be delivered to the Pentagon in the second quarter of next year.

Though a so-called private company, Primer is deeply linked to the national-security state it is designed to protect by “weaponizing truth.” Primer proudly promotes itself as having more than 15 percent of its staff hailing from the US intelligence community or military. The director of the company’s National Security Group is Brian Raymond, a former CIA intelligence officer who served as the Director for Iraq on the US National Security Council after leaving the agency.

The company also recently added several prominent national-security officials to its board including:

  • Gen. Raymond Thomas (ret.), who led the command of all US and NATO Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan and is the former commander of both US Special Operations Command and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).
  • Lt. Gen. VeraLinn Jamieson (ret.), the former deputy chief of staff for Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance who led the Air Force’s intelligence and cyber forces. She also personally developed “strategic partnerships” between the Air Force and Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and IBM in order “to accelerate the Air Force’s digital transformation.”
  • Brett McGurk, one of the “chief architects” of the Iraq War “surge,” alongside the notorious Kagan family, as NSC Director for Iraq, and then as special assistant to the president and senior Director for Iraq and Afghanistan during the Bush administration. Under Obama and during part of the Trump administration, McGurk was the special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS at the State Department, helping to manage the “dirty war” waged by the US, the UK, and other allies against Syria.

In addition to those recent board hires, Primer brought on Sue Gordon, the former principal deputy director of National Intelligence, as a strategic adviser. Gordon previously “drove partnerships within the US Intelligence Community and provided advice to the National Security Council in her role as deputy director of national intelligence” and had a twenty-seven-year career at the CIA. The deep links are unsurprising, given that Primer is financially backed by the CIA’s venture-capital arm In-Q-Tel and the venture-capital arm of billionaire Mike Bloomberg, Bloomberg Beta.

Operation Warp Speed’s Disinformation Blitzkrieg   

The rapid increase in interest by the US and UK national-security states toward Covid-19 “disinformation,” particularly as it relates to upcoming Covid-19 vaccination campaigns, is intimately related to the media-engagement strategy of the US government’s Operation Warp Speed.

Officially a “public-private partnership,” Operation Warp Speed, which has the goal of vaccinating 300 million Americans by next January, is dominated by the US military and also involves several US intelligence agencies, including the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as well as intelligence-linked tech giants Google, Oracle, and Palantir. Several reports published in The Last American Vagabondby this author and journalist Derrick Broze have revealed the extreme secrecy of the operation, its numerous conflicts of interest, and its deep ties to Silicon Valley and Orwellian technocratic initiatives.

Warp Speed’s official guidance discusses at length its phased plan for engaging the public and addressing issues of “vaccine hesitancy.” According to the Warp Speed document entitled “From the Factory to the Frontlines,” “strategic communications and public messaging are critical to ensure maximum acceptance of vaccines, requiring a saturation of messaging across the national media.” It also states that “working with established partners—especially those that are trusted sources for target audiences—is critical to advancing public understanding of, access to, and acceptance of eventual vaccines” and that “identifying the right messages to promote vaccine confidence, countering misinformation, and targeting outreach to vulnerable and at-risk populations will be necessary to achieve high coverage.”

The document also notes that Warp Speed will employ the CDC’s three-pronged strategic framework for its communications effort. The third pillar of that strategy is entitled “Stop Myths” and has as a main focus “establish[ing] partnerships to contain the spread of misinformation” as well as “work[ing] with local partners and trusted messengers to improve confidence in vaccines.”

Though that particular Warp Speed document is short on specifics, the CDC’s Covid-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook contains additional information. It states that Operation Warp Speed will “engage and use a wide range of partners, collaborations, and communication and news media channels to achieve communication goals, understanding that channel preferences and credible sources vary among audiences and people at higher risk for severe illness and critical populations, and channels vary in their capacity to achieve different communication objectives.” It states that it will focus its efforts in this regard on “traditional media channels” (print, radio, and TV) as well as “digital media” (internet, social media, and text messaging).

The CDC document further reveals that the “public messaging” campaign to “promote vaccine uptake” and address “vaccine hesitancy” is divided into four phases and adds that the overall communication strategy of Warp Speed “should be timely and applicable for the current phase of the Covid-19 Vaccination program.”

Those phases are:

  • Before a vaccine is available
  • The vaccine is available in limited supply for certain populations of early focus
  • The vaccine is increasingly available for other critical populations and the general public
  • The vaccine is widely available

Given that the Covid-19 vaccine candidate produced by Pfizer is expected to be approved by the end of November, it appears that the US national-security state, which is essentially running Operation Warp Speed, along with “trusted messengers” in mass media, is preparing to enter the second phase of its communications strategy, one in which news organizations and journalists who raise legitimate concerns about Warp Speed will be de-platformed to make way for the “required” saturation of pro-vaccine messaging across the English-speaking media landscape.

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Whitney Webb has been a professional writer, researcher and journalist since 2016. She has written for several websites and, from 2017 to 2020, was a staff writer and senior investigative reporter for Mint Press News. She currently writes for The Last American Vagabond.

Featured image is from Unlimited HangoutThe original source of this article is Unlimited HangoutCopyright © Whitney WebbUnlimited Hangout, 2020

Saker appeal: please help me get a better picture about this! (UPDATED)

Saker appeal: please help me get a better picture about this! (UPDATED)

August 11, 2020

Dear friends,

As I expected, today Russia has registered the first vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  I took a quick look at CNN and BBC, and did not find that reported (maybe they have added it since, I only scanned the headlines).

As most of you know, I don’t follow the legacy corporate ziomedia, but in this case, maybe I could ask all of you to let me know here IF the western media covers the registration of this first vaccine and HOW they cover it.

So here is my request:

If you come across any article discussing the fact that Russia was the first country on the planet to register a vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, please post a link to it in the comments section.  If you want, please include a key excerpt and a personal commentary.

Deal?

I am really interested to see if ANY western media outlets will honestly cover this or not (I think not).

Finally, this is not an English language blog, only a MOSTLY English.  So please feel free to include articles in any language, but please also add a translated summary.

Many thanks and hugs and cheers to all,

The Saker

UPDATE: Wow, just WOW!  What an avalanche of information, thank you all!!!  I have just one request: please do NOT emails me links, but please post them here for all to see. 

Thank you!!  The Saker

Related

The Vaccine Race Is The Next Phase Of The COVID World Order

Source

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

24 JULY 2020

The Vaccine Race Is The Next Phase Of The COVID World Order

The head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) warned last week that the world is at risk of being further divided by the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccines that leading Great Powers are expected to publicly unveil in the coming future, which would make the vaccine race the next phase of the COVID World Order that’s quickly changing life as everyone knows it, including International Relations.

Welcome To World War C

The planet is in the midst of what the author previously referred to as World War C, which is his neologism for the full-spectrum paradigm-changing processes that were catalyzed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and the global community’s uncoordinated efforts to contain it. This is part of what he also earlier called the COVID World Order, which specifically relates to the everyday changes brought about by this development but which are also quickly making their impact felt in the sphere of International Relations as World War C continues.

The Vaccine Race

The latest escalation in this unconventional competition between states occurred last week when Canada, the UK, and the US accused Russian hackers of trying to steal information about a British vaccine, a charge that Moscow promptly denied. The day after, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Kirill Dmitriev, warned the Financial Times in an exclusive interview that the world is at risk of being further divided by the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccines that leading Great Powers are expected to unveil in the coming future.

This would in effect make the vaccine race the next phase of the COVID World Order as countries scramble to carve out exclusive markets for what’s being presented as their life-saving product. It’s neither here nor there how anyone personally feels about vaccines or even the reported lethality of COVID-19 since it should be objectively recognized that this epidemiological situation has already been politicized and is being resultantly instrumentalized for grand strategic purposes.

Necessary Disclaimer

To be clear, the author believes that COVID-19 is real, it’s lethal for certain at-risk members of the population, and is reportedly highly contagious. He also recommends that the reader use their personal discretion in deciding which guidelines to apply to protect themselves, their families, and everyone else in society. Still, this doesn’t mean that governments aren’t fearmongering about COVID-19 in order to expand their powers at home and abroad since that’s precisely the case when it comes to the latest accusations against Russia.

Reputational Ramifications

On the surface, the claims are predictable enough since they correspond with the Mainstream Media’s narrative about the so-called “Russian threat” that’s supposedly lurking behind every corner just waiting to undermine the West at each turn. Accusing Russia of trying to steal vaccine information makes sense from their perspective since many of their people are already scared to death of this disease and it thus serves their governments’ interests to make it seem like Russia is somehow trying to sabotage their inoculation efforts.

There might be a more nefarious motive behind all of this than just attempting to ruin Russia’s international reputation, however, since the country’s rivals are likely thinking a few steps ahead as usual. Firstly, they aim to protect their own reputations at home and abroad since they’ll understandably be embarrassed if the same country that they tried to convince everyone else was “backwards” and “isolated” ends up releasing a COVID-19 vaccine before they do. Saying that Russia stole it helps them “save face” a bit.

No Western Vaccine, No Western Travel?

Secondly, peddling this false narrative could create the basis to sanction those countries that buy Russia’s forthcoming vaccine or receive it free of charge as humanitarian aid. The US and its allies can claim that they’re receiving something that was produced with stolen trade secrets and that they should instead buy “the real thing” from them. If those states don’t comply, then their citizens might be banned from traveling to Canada, the UK, and/or the US if those governments claim that Russia’s vaccine “doesn’t work” or “isn’t reliable”.

To put it another way, the Western countries can implement blanket travel bans on the basis that they can’t be certain that foreign guests are inoculated against COVID-19 unless they receive one of their or their allies’ vaccines. Considering how much more closely connected most of the world is to the Western economies as opposed to Russia’s, this might be sufficient enough of a threat to force their governments to comply under pane of suffering unacceptable economic damage if trade is predictably affected as a result of these bans.

Challenging China

Looking ahead, this strategy might be experimented with against Russia in order to gauge its success prior to modifying it for use against China. The challenge there, however, is much more formidable since many countries nowadays are even more closely connected to China than they are to the West so such pressure tactics would amount to a de-facto ultimatum forcing their governments to take a clear side in World War C. It’s unclear how many of them will go with the West, but there’s a credible enough chance that some of them will.

Even so, the soft power victory might just be superficial since China is unlikely to make its own similar ultimatum. The People’s Republic probably won’t ban travelers who weren’t inoculated with a Chinese vaccine so the citizens of those countries that feel pressured to choose Western ones for the previously mentioned reasons can still trade with the world’s second superpower without any problems. If Western vaccines are proven to be ineffective and/or dangerous, however, then that policy might of course change.

“Global South” Guinea Pigs

Returning back to the overarching theme of this analysis, the COVID World Order’s vaccine race, it might very well be a fait accompli that people the world over will be compelled to receive some sort of vaccine in order to travel or even use basic services in their home country. This might especially be the case with the more desperate masses of the “Global South” who could be exploited as guinea pigs by some of the leading Great Powers in order to test the safety of these vaccines in exchange for humanitarian aid and preferential trade.

Concluding Thoughts

However it plays out, the global masses should expect the widespread proliferation of COVID-19 vaccines within the next year. This is no longer only an issue of public health, but is now a geopolitical instrument of power for various governments to wield against one another and their own citizens alike. The epidemic has been politicized and there’s no going back to the innocent assumption that the world might work together “for the common good” to fight this disease. That was never true to begin with, and forthcoming events will prove it.

Firm Linked to HHS’ Robert Kadlec Poised to Become Exclusive Manufacture of COVID-19 Vaccines

By Raul Diego

Source

A pharmaceutical firm with a dark history and questionable ties to serving ASPR Robert Kadlec is poised to become the exclusive manufacturer of the COVID-19 vaccines now being funded through Trump’s Operation Warp Speed.

Trump’s much-ballyhooed “Operation Warp Speed” unveiled in May of this year to produce and deploy a COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. is shaping up to be yet another scheme to funnel millions of dollars into a singularly corrupt pharmaceutical entity with deep ties to Robert Kadlec, the serving Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), who is in charge of the Strategic National Stockpile and is the architect of the legislative edifice which currently governs the nation’s public-private partnership (PPP) approach to health emergencies.

The task force’s latest and largest grant was awarded to Maryland-based Novavax, Inc. to cover late-stage testing and manufacturing of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Only the sixth company to receive federal funds from Trump’s program, the $1.6 billion infusion is intended to result in the production of 100 million doses by the start of 2021, according to Novavax CEO, Stanley Erck.

The other companies favored by Operation Warp Speed include AstraZeneca, which received $1.2 billion last May to develop its AZD1222 vaccine; ModernaTX, Inc. who was awarded nearly $550 million; Merck and IAVI with the relatively paltry sum of $38 million; Sanofi’s Protein Sciences got a little over $30 million and finally, Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, Janssen Research & Development, LLC obtained $456 million back in February for its Ad26-based vaccine technology platform, which will ostensibly “maximize the probability of a successful vaccine and rapid deployment within the US and globally.”

Of these, the three largest award recipients have direct partnerships to manufacture their vaccines with one company. Emergent Biosolutions, who was awarded a $628 million dollar contract by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to provide “manufacturing support” for the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines across the U.S., has entered into agreements with NovavaxJohnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca to provide contract development and manufacturing (CDMO) services.

A March article in the Washington Business Journal characterizes Emergent Biosolutions’ contract with Novavax as hitting the pharmaceutical company’s “sweet spot of teaming up with the federal government to address public health threats, with major contracts to fuel the national stockpile […].” Indeed, Emergent’s track record with the federal government goes back decades, but it is anything but encouraging. Originally BioPort, Emergent Biosolutions was formed in the late 90’s for the sole purpose of acquiring the only anthrax vaccine manufacturing plant in the United States, which was then owned by the state of Michigan.

The events that subsequently transpired after the acquisition would reveal a scandalous pattern of cronyism, incompetence and outright criminality as the company siphoned off millions of dollars in federal contracts that went unfulfilled, to the point that the Pentagon was on the verge of rescinding the relationship and revoking their exclusive license for the production of the anthrax vaccine in August, 2001.

After the infamous anthrax “attacks” later that month, their license was reinstated for good and one of the most high-profile suspects surrounding Amerithrax, Jerome Hauer, would join their board of directors where remains to this day.

Emerging Questions

Serious questions surrounding Emergent Biosolutions’ history and links to Kadlec have surfaced as a result of this author’s collaborative investigation with Whitney Webb and subsequent investigations by the Washington Post and at least two letters from Congressional leaders inquiring about Kadlec’s failure to reveal his conflict of interests with Emergent Biosolutions and his dubious actions in his capacity of ASPR in relation to recent unilateral changes to BARDA policies.

So far, Kadlec has not publicly responded to questions regarding his ties to Emergent Biosolutions founder Fuad El-Hibri, with whom he co-founded East West Protections, a company that has provided biodefense services to countries around the world. Nor have issues raised by U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., been addressed about the removal of former BARDA director Rick Bright and a subsequent “wholesale shift in strategy” at the agency tasked with procurement of medical materiel, drugs, and vaccines for the Strategic National Stockpile.

Fuad El-Hibri

Among the most telling questions posed by Pascrell, Jr., and Menendez in their letter to Kadlec and acting BARDA director, Gary L. Disbrow revolves around BARDA’s role in Operation Warp Speed and whether or not any funding has been diverted from BARDA to that program.

The monies being disbursed by Operation Warp Speed shows clear signs of some sort of tacit agreement between Kadlec’s old friends at Emergent Biosolutions and the presumably independent “Manhattan Project-style” COVID-19 vaccine development program headed by the former head of research and development for the world’s largest vaccine company and a military general with expertise in logistics.

The story of how Emergent Biosolutions obtained and maintained a U.S. monopoly on the anthrax vaccine has been covered in detail in the Engineering Contagion series. It is a tale of corruption at the highest levels of both the public and private sectors, which exposes the vested interests of a shadowy cabal of global pharmaceutical firms and their agents in government who have been working in concert for decades to establish a mandated global market for vaccines and other drugs.

Kadlec’s central role in the execution of this scheme is only now beginning to be examined and the near-total grip of Emergent Biosolutions over the flow of federal dollars in relation to these biotech initiatives has been completely ignored by the media. One notable exception might be the financial press, which has been stealthily offering positive investment tips about Emergent, calling it an “under-the-radar stock,” which has “become the go-to manufacturing partner for companies looking to develop vaccines for the coronavirus.”

The Money Trail

As usual, following the money usually takes us to the center of the real action. In the case of the COVID-19 vaccine, Emergent’s “go-to” status is borne out by this tried and true method, and when we survey the agreements already in place with the companies most likely to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. The value of Johnson & Johnson’s contract with Emergent Biosolutions, for instance, matches up almost exactly with the $456 million grant it received from the Trump administration; Emergent’s five-year manufacturing agreement with the American multinational is worth approximately $480 million.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate, which also received considerable funding from Operation Warp Speed, likewise reached an $87 million agreement with Emergent Biosolutions to manufacture its vaccine doses for the U.S. market. The contract also includes contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) services to manufacture the British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm’s goal of more than “2 billion doses per year by 2021.”

Together with the Novavax contract, which has been in place since March, Emergent Biosolutions has positioned itself as the only known vaccine manufacturer for three of the six companies in the running to be approved for one. Only Moderna has an agreement with a different manufacturer, while the remaining vaccine candidates are being developed by companies with their own manufacturing capabilities.

Novavax says that it is “in the process of transferring its vaccine technology to an unnamed contract manufacturer that has two large manufacturing facilities” to meet its goal of producing 50 million doses a month in the United States and that Emergent is only tasked with helping with the manufacturing of smaller late-stage testing doses.

Emergent Biosolutions, however, has a total of five manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and a $628 million-dollar contract with the federal government to scale production of the successful vaccine candidate to the tune of “tens to hundreds of millions of doses.” Given the sordid history of incompetence and corruption of the company once called BioPort, it would not be surprising if Novavax would prefer to keep the full extent of that partnership secret.

 

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