Continuing discussion about drug treatments for, and vaccines to prevent, Covid-19, this program sets forth information about the ongoing professional massaging of Gilead Sciences’ anti-viral remdesivir. Only modestly successful against SARS Cov-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19), remdesivir has been propelled to the forefront of treatment regimens for the pandemic.
Of particular interest are the circumstances surrounding the CDC’s closure of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. The USAMRIID–located at Ft. Detrick–had hosted Gilead Sciences’ animal trials of remdesivir. Remdesivir was developed to combat Ebola, and was a failure in its initial professional iteration.
In March of 2019, rhesus macaques were infected with Ebola at the USAMRIID as part of a project to allow remdesivir to be marketed as an Ebola treatment without meeting the professional standards of human testing. ” . . . This agreement was made possible through a 2018 Natural History Study (NHS) of Ebola virus conducted by USAMRIID in close collaboration with Gilead Sciences, Inc., the sponsor of remdesivir development . . .”
Many of the safety violations cited by the CDC in its critique of USAMRIID safety and security procedures concerned “non-human primates” infected with one or more “select agents” that were not named. The term “select agent” refers to a pathogen being used in laboratory procedures. Whether the “select agent” was Ebola, and whether the safety lapses were in connection with the remdesivir/rhesus monkey trials was not disclosed.
” . . . . Several of the laboratory violations the CDC noted in 2019 concerned ‘non-human primates’ infected with a ‘select agent’, the identity of which is unknown — it was redacted in all received documents, because disclosing the identity and location of the agent would endanger public health or safety, the agency says. In addition to Ebola, the lab works with other deadly agents like anthrax and smallpox. . . ..”
If, for the sake of argument, SARS-CoV-2 research was indeed taking placing there was a very real risk of it escaping.
Remdesivir failed in its human trials as a treatment for Ebola: ” . . . . The antiviral drug remdesivir, made by Gilead, underperformed ZMapp. . . . Remdesivir and ZMapp have been dropped from the trial. . . .”
Following that dismal performance against Ebola, Gilead Sciences recast remdesivir as a broad spectrum antiviral, a marketing approach that has led to the drug being authorized to treat Covid-19.
In that professional reincarnation, it demonstrated altogether modest success in Covid-19 trials that were professionally criticized and which were badly skewed from a methodological standpoint.
After a tightening of professional methodological standards at the USAMRIID, it was disclosed that most of the institution’s operatives are private contractors! From the standpoint of institutional security, the broad use of private contractors renders USAMRIID subject to penetration by any number of potential miscreants. ” . . . . ‘A majority of our laboratory workers are contractors–putting teeth in the contracts to ensure they’re following the shalls, wills and musts are things we’ve done in the interim,’ said [Brigadier General Mike] Talley. . . .”
As noted in past programs, Gilead Sciences is very well-connected professionally, with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (among other political luminaries) serving on its board of directors. Rumsfeld was chairman of the board from 1997 until he left in 2001 to become George W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense. The firm’s stock has been heavily invested in by hedge funds, including Robert Mercer’s Renaissance Technologies. Gilead Sciences’ stock has been a major driver of the stock market’s performance.
Several years into his tenure at the Pentagon, Rumsfeld made a killing on the sale of Gilead Sciences’ stock, which rose exponentially in value following its development of Tamiflu as a treatment for H5N1 avian flu. ” . . . . The firm made a loss in 2003, the year before concern about bird flu started. Then revenues from Tamiflu almost quadrupled, to $44.6m, helping put the company well into the black. Sales almost quadrupled again, to $161.6m last year. During this time the share price trebled. Mr Rumsfeld sold some of his Gilead shares in 2004 reaping – according to the financial disclosure report he is required to make each year – capital gains of more than $5m. The report showed that he still had up to $25m-worth of shares at the end of 2004, and at least one analyst believes his stake has grown well beyond that figure, as the share price has soared. . . .”
The U.S. government was among the customers whose purchases drove up the Gilead earnings and stock price: ” . . . . What’s more, the federal government is emerging as one of the world’s biggest customers for Tamiflu. In July, the Pentagon ordered $58 million worth of the treatment for U.S. troops around the world, and Congress is considering a multi-billion dollar purchase. . . .”
(Recall that the H5N1 virus is one of the gain-of-function experiments that was suspended in 2014 and then greenlighted by the Trump administration in 2017. Those experiments engineered the virus to infect ferrets, a maneuver that made the virus communicable by upper respiratory activity. One can but wonder if those G-O-F experiments were connected to the recasting of remdesivir as a broad spectrum antiviral.)
During the post-9/11 period of exploding government investments in biodefense programs, Rumsfeld was still holding onto massive amounts of Gilead’s stock, which was rapidly increasing in value. What kind of relationship did Gilead develop with the US biodefense national security state during this period? That seems like an important question at this point in time.
In FTR #1136, we noted that the medical and scientific interests in charge of Lyme Disease treatment and diagnosis were not only financial beneficiaries of the therapeutic status quo, but were also tasked with discrediting Lyme patients and physicians who challenged that status quo. In light of the evidence that Lyme Disease was the outgrowth of biological warfare research, the professional relationship between governmental institutions involved with BW research and biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms profiting from the treatment of diseases those institutions develop and deploy is worth contemplating!
Previous broadcasts have documented the skewed, preferential treatment of remdesivir by powerful political and financial players with significant investment in the success of remdesivir.
The program concludes with three updates of previous lines of inquiry”
1.–Past programs have highlighted possible vectors into Wuhan for the SARS CoV-2. We note that there was a workshop held at the Wuhan lab in early November of 2019, featuring scientists and bio-lab professionals from around the world. This conference may have been among the opportunities to spread the virus, and/or a co-vector and/or cross-vector. ” . . . . The workshop is designed for laboratory managers and directors, research and laboratory staffs mainly from developing countries who plan to carry out infectious disease research in biosafety facilities. The workshop will address key aspects of biosafety and provide practical training in high level biosafety laboratories (BSL). This workshop will invite a group of well-known scholars and experts from related fields at home and abroad to provide the theoretical and practical courses. . . .”
2.–As noted in past programs the Wuhan Institute of Virology was engaged in bat-borne coronavirus research, which included the genetic modification of such organisms. That research was a joint U.S./Chinese undertaking, with the U.S. funding coming from institutions which have fronted for American intelligence and the Pentagon. That joint U.S./Chinese undertaking was terminated by the Trump administration in May! In addition: ” . . . . Many of the scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology have been trained by the U.S. government’s PREDICT project. . . . USAID’s PREDICT project . . . will end this September after 10 years and two six-month extensions as USAID launches a new project that applies the data PREDICT collected. . . .”
3.–Other broadcasts have explored the Wuhan World Military Games–a military sports competition–as a possible vectoring vehicle. We update that path of inquiry with discussion of the U.S. delegation as a possible vectoring agent for the spread of the disease in the U.S. ” . . . . Contrary to the Pentagon’s insistence, however, an investigation of COVID-19 cases in the military from official and public source materials shows that a strong correlation exists in COVID-19 cases reported at U.S. military facilities that are home bases of members of the U.S. team that went to Wuhan. Before March 31, when the Pentagon restricted the release of information about COVID-19 cases at installations for security reasons, infections occurred at a minimum of 63 military facilities where team members returned after the Wuhan games. Additionally, the U.S. team used chartered flights to and from the games via Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Washington was one of the earliest states to show a spike in COVID-19. . . .” We also note that the U.S. delegation contained: ” . . . . nine public-affairs officers . . . and two State Department personnel, according to DOD documents. . . .” “Public affairs officer” is a common cover for CIA personnel.