Follow the COVID Money
If the COVID-19 vaccines have been a disappointment from a public health standpoint in stopping the continuing spread of new variants of the disease, why is Big Pharma as well as its government allies in the FDA, CDC, and NIH still pushing them?
As Deep Throat whispered to Bob Woodward during the Watergate scandal (“Follow the money”), so, too, the American public should be demanding the same of its political leaders: Follow the COVID money to determine why we continue to spend a fortune on something that seems to have only a relatively limited benefit.
But our elected officials are embarrassingly quiet on answering the basic question of who exactly is benefiting from the constant rounds of shots being foisted on or recommended to the American public?
Maybe the silence comes from the fact that the pharmaceutical industry spends more on lobbying than any other industry group. In 2020 big pharma spent over $300 million lobbying officeholders and government officials. It clearly pays off. The research to develop the COVID-19 vaccines was nearly all funded by taxpayers. The distribution of the vaccines, once developed, was further funded nearly entirely by taxpayers. The record-keeping and reporting on the vaccines is also at the expense of taxpayers, and the new repurposed Pfizer drug Paxlovid, used to treat COVID, has been paid for by taxpayers.
If the vaccinations are proving to be ineffective in stopping the march of the disease, are they really worth what the federal government is paying the pharmaceutical industry to manufacture, distribute, and administer them? Is the public being played for suckers by a cabal of industry giants and their friends in the medical bureaucracies?
Just consider a few facts. The pharmaceutical industry is said to spend $5.2 billion annually on television advertising aimed primarily at the consumer. It poured another $9.53 billion into digital advertising aimed at consumers and industry in 2020.
This total of nearly $15 billion spent by Big Pharma on advertising is more than twice what is spent on new cancer drug research. In fact, nine out of 10 of the largest pharmaceutical companies in America spend more on advertising than on research and development.
But there is more. The U.S. government is pushing COVID-19 jabs harder than the companies would ever likely choose to do on their own. This might be the reason: Almost half of the funding that supports the U.S. Food and Drug Administration comes from the very industries it is mandated to oversee.
CDC funding is similar. But it also receives large grants for COVID research from the Bloomberg Family Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
By contrast, money given by the private sector to the NIH is mostly hidden from the public. More troubling is the fact that the NIH allows its publicly-employed researchers to receive royalty payments from government-funded activities that result in private company income. Present and former NIH researchers received annual royalty payments averaging $9,700 in addition to their taxpayer-funded, biweekly paychecks. Some have been reported to receive as much as $150,000 in annual royalty rewards!
With the government pouring huge amounts of money on the pharmaceutical houses to develop an anti-COVID vaccine, no wonder information about all of the early treatment protocols developed by private-sector doctors working on their own was suppressed by the CDC and shunned by the FDA. Even more depressing was the fact that the media went along with this suppression of free speech and information. Social media companies, for their part, routinely banned and deplatformed any physician speaking contrary to the federal government’s accepted bureaucratic narrative. Why? Do you think the big social media companies might also have profited from the direct-to-consumer advertising of the government-funded products in the same way as traditional media? Do you know a lot of cases where the hand that feeds it is bitten?
This isn’t speculation, it’s big money. Consider: Pfizer expects $32 billion in COVID vaccine sales in 2022. Moderna is forecasting $19 billion in COVID sales with the vaccine being its only current commercial product. Moderna had never produced a vaccine before it developed its COVID shots. Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna are reported to be making $1,000 in profit every second of every business day
Big pharmacy chains are also participating in this government largess as well. The big chains earn “…roughly $40 per shot” from the federal government. Since the government provides the pharmacy chains with the vaccines and Paxlovid for free, almost all their charge for administering the shots or dispensing the drug is profit.
There have been at least nine new billionaires created in the vaccine world as a result of COVID-19. No one has counted the new millionaires in COVID-19’s wake. Is there any wonder that the Pfizer CEO would offer the thought that an annual COVID-19 vaccine booster is almost a certainty? And so would his annual multiple million-dollar bonuses for bringing in this kind of business.
But we can reverse all this. A congressional investigation must be launched to shine light on what this crony capitalism is doing to American taxpayers and their health system. Get in touch with your senators and demand that they authorize an investigation of how COVID-19 money has been spent by both the Trump and the Biden administrations.
We need to put some sanity back into how our medical resources are being spent.
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