Many of us who have decided not to get a COVID-19 vaccine, or any vaccines, are extremely concerned about conflicts of interest. All government agencies involved with vaccine development and approval have significant ties, either directly or indirectly, to the vaccine makers and/or their employees. There are other conflicts as well.
Take the CDC’s foundation, for example. The National Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states on its tax return: “The CDC Foundation helps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do more, faster by forging effective partnerships between CDC and others to fight threats to health and safety.” In fiscal year 2020, according to its tax return, the foundation reported $319,202,905.00 in revenue.
There are other interesting items in the tax return. For example, in the supplemental information section, the CDC Foundation reports activating “…its emergency response fund to support the CDC’s relief and recovery efforts in response to the novel coronavirus…” The foundation reports providing $172 million in funding in support for COVID-19-related activities.
The CDC Foundation list of corporate partners is 15 pages single-space pages and includes a long list drug companies and vaccine makers, as well as media companies, big tech companies, hotel chains, cruise lines, and retail chains. Abbott Laboratories, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Baxter, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Genentech, Gilead, Janssen, Johnson and Johnson, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche Labs, Sanofi-Pasteur, Schering Plough, and Wyeth are a few of the drug makers listed.
Foundation Partners is another 10-page, single-space list and includes the Amazon Smile Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund; along with foundations established by the drug companies and others listed on the corporate partners list.
Organization Partners constitutes another 18-page list, which includes professional associations like the American Academy of Pediatrics; disease groups like the American Cancer Society; insurance companies; universities and research institutions; hospitals; government agencies like the County of San Diego, The Department of the Treasury, and the National Institutes of Health; school districts; foreign governments; The China Medical Board of New York and The Chinese Culture and Community Service Center; The Seoul Medical Science Institute; the Sabin Vaccine Institute; The United Nations Development Programme; The United States Army; the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and The US Food and Drug Administration.
It’s hard to know where to start in commenting on this tangled web of associations. Drug and vaccine makers contribute to the CDC Foundation in numerous ways – directly through donations and again through their foundations; and indirectly through the billions of dollars in fees paid to the FDA annually for product reviews – the FDA then donates to the CDC Foundation.
Taxpayers fund the foundation in many ways by paying taxes for local school systems, many of which remit money to the CDC Foundation while complaining about inadequate funding for their core mission – to teach kids; the IRS collects taxes and remits donations to the CDC; and the National Institutes of Health, which funds the CDC Foundation. The close ties to tech companies that are currently censoring anyone and any group that criticizes the U.S. COVID response, and vaccine program and COVID vaccines is concerning. Contributions from large retail chains that have been enforcers of COVID polices like masks and are now aggressively promoting vaccines – concerning! And the influence of foreign corporations, organizations and governments is extremely concerning. I’m willing to bet that most people do not know about these complex relationships, and would at least question what they are told by the CDC if they did know.
One of the largest donors to the CDC Foundation is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), which according to the tax return referenced above, donated $30 million in 2014 alone. The influence that the BMGF has on other U.S. public health agencies also raises eyebrows. In October 2014, Frances Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, announced a “New Phase of Cooperation Between NIH and the BMGF.” The purpose of this partnership, which was the outcome of a planning session between the two organizations, was to promote, among other things, vaccines.
The NIH and BMGF began their working relationship when the Grand Challenges in Global Health was instituted, which is funded, in part, by the BMGF, and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. Grand Challenges began by focusing on 14 major challenges that could, if solved, improve health in the developing world, six of which are related to vaccines. By 2014, the Foundation had given Grand Challenges one billion dollars, and in 2019, nine out of 25 awarded grants were for vaccine-related projects.
The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) creates public-private partnerships to fight against disease in the U.S. and throughout the world, funding research, sponsoring educational events and symposia, and training researchers. Major donors include numerous drug companies and the BMGF. In 2017 tens of millions of dollars were donated by drug companies and the BMGF.
In April 2020, the NIH announced a public-private partnership called Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines. The partnership included 16 drug companies and is to be orchestrated and directed by the FNIH.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease is a branch of the National Institutes of Health, and Anthony Fauci has been director since 1984. The Vaccine Research Center conducts research and assists in the development of vaccines and has received funding from the BMGF.
By now, if you are like most people, you’re having trouble keeping track of all of these relationships and connections and conflicts. And this is only the tip of the iceberg – one of the longest chapters in my book COVID Operation covers this topic in even more detail. I can’t fathom how any of the people or organizations involved in this mess can claim that their recommendations concerning anything – including vaccines – can be considered independent and free of conflict. The fact that this goes on is appalling enough. We have a right to expect that government agencies and institutions should be independent and that their most important job is to serve the public. What makes it more appalling is that this information is not openly disclosed and also that we have to listen to industry-funded drivel and tolerate criticism for not following guidelines which are bought and paid for by drug companies.
I can only speak for myself, but I will not consider any vaccinations until the agencies involved in promoting them and their employees, are completely disconnected from the types of entanglements described in this article and in recent newsletters.
 National Institutes of Health. The NIH Director. New Phase of Cooperation Between NIH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. October 7, 2014. https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/who-we-are/nih-director/statements/new-phase-cooperation-between-nih-bill-melinda-gates-foundation. Accessed May 23, 2020.
 Grants Map. Grand Challenges. https://grandchallenges.org/#/map. Accessed May 23, 2020.
 Varmus H, Klausner R, Zerhouni E, Acharya T, Daar AS, Singer PA. Grand Challenges in Global Health. Science 2003;302(5644):389-399. doi: 10.1126/science.1091769.
 Challenges. Global Grand Challenges. https://gcgh.grandchallenges.org/challenges?f%5b0%5d=field_initiative%3A37072&f%5b1%5d=field_grant_opp_open_dates%253Avalue%3A2003&f%5b2%5d=open_year%3A2003&items_per_page=25 Accessed May 23, 2020.
 Sandi Doughton. After 10 years, few payoff from Gates’ ‘Grand Challenges.’ Seattle Times. December 22, 2014. https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/after-10-years-few-payoffs-from-gatesrsquo-lsquogrand-challengesrsquo/. Accessed September 2, 2020.
 Awarded Grants. Global Grand Challenges. https://gcgh.grandchallenges.org/grants?f%5B0%5D=field_challenge%253Afield_initiative%3A37072&f%5B1%5D=funding_year%3A2020&f%5B2%5D=funding_year%3A2019&items_per_page=100. Accessed May 23, 2020.
 About us. Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. https://fnih.org/about. Accessed June 19, 2020.
 FNIH 2017 Annual Report. Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. https://fnih.org/2017-annual-report/donors/. Accessed June 19, 2020.
 Lev Facher. NIH partners with 16 drug companies in hopes of accelerating Covid-19 treatments and vaccines. STAT. April 17, 2020. https://www.statnews.com/2020/04/17/nih-partners-with-16-drug-companies-in-hopes-of-accelerating-covid-19-treatments-and-vaccines/. Accessed September 3, 2020.
 Helen Branswell. With new grants, Gates Foundation takes an early step toward a universal flu vaccine. STAT. August 29, 2020. https://news.yahoo.com/grants-gates-foundation-takes-early-083548070.html. Accessed September 3, 2020.