Following The HighWire’s exposé spotlighting the large role WHO Chief Scientist Jeremy Farrar had in suppressing the lab origin debate in 2020, a Congressional Committee, and now the rest of the mainstream media, are zeroing in on the former Director of the Wellcome Trust, calling for his resignation from the W.H.O.
Stiff resistance is building against the incoming chief scientist of the World Health Organization because of his ties to a February 2020 paper that quashed a theory the coronavirus originated from a lab in Wuhan, China.
Many experts are calling for Dr. Jeremy Farrar, former director of the Wellcome Trust nonprofit in London, to be fired even before he takes over his post as the WHO’s chief scientist in the second quarter of this year, The Daily Mail reported Tuesday.
Emails uncovered by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic showed the British doctor made direct edits to a scientific paper called “Proximal Origin,” which was prompted by Dr. Anthony Fauci, then the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and written in February 2020 to quash the theory the coronavirus escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
A memo by the subcommittee dated Sunday said, “Dr. Farrar is not credited as having any involvement in the drafting and publication of Proximal Origin. According to new evidence obtained by the Select Subcommittee, Dr. Farrar led the drafting process and in fact made direct edits to the substance of the publication.”
Dr. Richard Ebright, a microbiologist at Rutgers University, told The Daily Mail, “In this context, the appointment of Dr. Farrar as a chief scientist at the WHO is a major unforced error. The WHO would do well to review and revoke the appointment.”
Dr. David Livermore, a microbiologist at the University of East Anglia in Great Britain, also said the agency might want to reconsider hiring Farrar.
”If he is to lead the WHO, it would be wise for Dr Farrar to commission investigations of COVID’s origins entirely independent of the organization’s hierarchy, himself included,” Livermore told The Daily Mail.
The select subcommittee said in the memo Farrar made a crucial edit on Feb. 17, 2020, the day Proximal Origin was to be published. In an email to Kristian Andersen, a professor at Scripps Research, Farrar suggested to change from “unlikely” to “improbable” that “SARS-CoV-2 emerged through laboratory manipulation of an existing SARS-related coronavirus.”
Robert Moffit, who has written extensively on the origins of the coronavirus for the Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Mail, “I don’t think he should take the job.”
“He should refrain from taking any position like that until these matters are cleared up and published,” Moffit said. “We don’t want someone to take over the WHO who may… refrain from taking a position until all these issues [on Covid origins] are cleared up.”
House votes to declassify info about origins of COVID-19
By LISA MASCARO
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House voted unanimously Friday to declassify U.S. intelligence information about the origins of COVID-19, a sweeping show of bipartisan support near the third anniversary of the start of the deadly pandemic.
The 419-0 vote was final congressional approval of the bill, sending it to President Joe Biden’s desk. It’s unclear whether the president will sign the measure into law, and the White House said the matter was under review. … If signed into law, the measure would require within 90 days the declassification of “any and all information relating to potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origin of the Coronavirus Disease.”
That includes information about research and other activities at the lab and whether any researchers grew ill.
Almost all of America’s leaders have gradually pulled back their COVID mandates, requirements, and closures—even in states like California, which had imposed the most stringent and longest-lasting restrictions on the public. At the same time, the media has been gradually acknowledging the ongoing release of studies that totally refute the purported reasons behind those restrictions. This overt reversal is falsely portrayed as “learned” or “new evidence.” Little acknowledgement of error is to be found. We have seen no public apology for promulgating false information, or for the vilification and delegitimization of policy experts and medical scientists like myself who spoke out correctly about data, standard knowledge about viral infections and pandemics, and fundamental biology.
The historical record is critical. We have seen a macabre Orwellian attempt to rewrite history and to blame the failure of widespread lockdowns on the lockdowns’ critics, alongside absurd denials of officials’ own incessant demands for them. In the Trump administration, Dr. Deborah Birxwas formally in charge of the medical side of the White House’s coronavirus task force during the pandemic’s first year. In that capacity, she authored all written federal policy recommendations to governors and states and personally advised each state’s public health officials during official visits, often with Vice President Mike Pence, who oversaw the entire task force. Upon the inauguration of President Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci became chief medical advisor and ran the Biden pandemic response.
We must acknowledge the abject failure of the Birx-Fauci policies. They were enacted, but they failed to stop the dying, failed to stop the infection from spreading, and inflicted massive damage and destruction particularly on lower-income families and on America’s children.
More than 1 million American deaths have been attributed to that virus. Even after draconian measures, including school closures, stoppage of non-COVID medical care, business shutdowns, personal restrictions, and then the continuation of many restrictions and mandates in the presence of a vaccine, there was an undeniable failure—over two presidential administrations—to stop cases from rapidly escalating.
Numerous experts—including John Ioannidis, David Katz, and myself—called for targeted protection, a safer alternative to widespread lockdowns, in national media beginning in March of 2020. That proposal was rejected. History’s biggest public health policy failure came at the hands of those who recommended the lockdowns and those who implemented them, not those who advised otherwise.
The tragicfailure of reckless, unprecedented lockdowns that were contrary to established pandemic science, and the added massive harms of those policies on children, the elderly, and lower-income families, are indisputable and well-documented in numerousstudies. This was the biggest, the most tragic, and the most unethical breakdown of public health leadership in modern history.
In a democracy, indeed in any ethical and free society, the truth is essential. The American people need to hear the truth—the facts, free from the political distortions, misrepresentations, and censorship. The first step is to clearly state the harsh truth in the starkest possible terms. Lies were told. Those lies harmed the public. Those lies were directly contrary to the evidence, to decades of knowledge on viral pandemics, and to long-established fundamental biology.
Here are the 10 biggest falsehoods—known for years to be false, not recently learned or proven to be so—promoted by America’s public health leaders, elected and unelected officials, and now-discredited academics:
1. SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has a far higher fatality rate than the flu by several orders of magnitude.
2. Everyone is at significant risk to die from this virus.
3. No one has any immunological protection, because this virus is completely new.
4. Asymptomatic people are major drivers of the spread.
5. Locking down—closing schools and businesses, confining people to their homes, stopping non-COVID medical care, and eliminating travel—will stop or eliminate the virus.
6. Masks will protect everyone and stop the spread.
7. The virus is known to be naturally occurring, and claiming it originated in a lab is a conspiracy theory.
8. Teachers are at especially high risk.
9. COVID vaccines stop the spread of the infection.
10. Immune protection only comes from a vaccine.
None of us are so naïve as to expect a direct apology from critics at my employer, Stanford University, or in government, academic public health, and the media. But to ensure that this never happens again, government leaders, power-driven officials, and influential academics and advisors often harboring conflicts of interest must be held accountable. Personally, I remain highly skeptical that any government investigation or commission can avoid politicization. Regardless of their intention, all such government-run inquiries will at least be perceived as politically motivated and their conclusions will be rejected outright by many. Those investigations must proceed, though, if only to seek the truth, to teach our children that truth matters, and to remember G.K. Chesterton’s critical lesson that “Right is right, even if nobody does it. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong about it.”
Scott W. Atlas, MD is the Robert Wesson Senior Fellow in health policy at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Co-Director of the Global Liberty Institute, Founding Fellow of Hillsdale’s Academy for Science & Freedom, and author of A Plague Upon Our House: My Fight at the Trump White House to Stop COVID from Destroying America (Bombardier Press, 2022).
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.
A report by Public Citizen documents the enormous scale of pharmaceutical industry lawless activities during the past two decades–crimes that resulted in a minimum of $1 million in penalties paid to the government.
Between 1991-2010, there were 165 criminal and/or civil settlements by major pharmaceutical companies comprising of $19.8 billion in penalties.
Four of the world’s largest drug companies–GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, and Schering-Plough–accounted for 53% ($10.5 billion) of penalties during these two decades.
If that isn’t shocking enough, during the past five years, Big Pharma has been engaged in a veritable crime spree:
73% of these settlements (121) and 75% of the penalties ($14.8 billion) occurred between 2006-2010.
“While the defense industry used to be the biggest defrauder of the federal government under the False Claims Act (FCA), a law enacted in 1863 to prevent defense contractor fraud, the pharmaceutical industry has greatly overtaken the defense industry in recent years. The pharmaceutical industry now tops not only the defense industry, but all other industries in the total amount of fraud payments for actions taken against the federal government under the False Claims Act.”
Former company employees who filed qui tam (whistleblower) suits were the most instrumental in bringing to light the evidence that resulted in the largest number of federal settlements over the past 10 years.
From 1991-2000 qui tam law suits accounted for only 9% of settlements with the government. But from 2001-2010, qui tam settlements comprised 67% of the billions in payouts.
The federal government levied the largest financial penalties for the illegal off-label promotion of drugs and state governments levied the largest penalties for deliberate overcharging of Medicaid–both crimes yielded pharmaceutical companies with huge profits. Public Citizen found that state Medicaid programs were paying as much as 12 times the actual cost of a drug.
Additional unlawful practices by pharmaceutical companies include: unlawful monopoly practices to extend patent pricing or collusion with other companies, kickbacks to providers, hospitals, doctors; concealing negative study findings; poor manufacturing practices and selling contaminated products; environmental violations; accounting or tax fraud and insider trading; illigal distribution of unapproved pharmaceutical products.
Thus, the size of the financial penalties levied paled when compared with the profits from illegal practices–which is why this industry has escalated its criminal marketing modus operandi.
We wholeheartedly agree with the assessment of Public Citizen: “Clearly, the continuing increase in violations by pharmaceutical compaines–despite the large financial settlements– demonstrates that the current enforcement system is not working. The lack of criminal prosecution that would result in jailing of company executives has been cited as a major reason for the continuing large-scale fraud, in addition to the fact that current settlement payouts may not be a sufficient deterrent.”
Adding insult to injury, who do you think is footing the cost of legal and settlement expenditures incurred by pharmaceutical companies? Just check the increased price of drugs and figure it out.
Finally, government suits against pharmaceutical companies have avoided charging or penalizing pharmaceutical companies for the severe harmful consequences suffered by consumers from illegal marketed harmful drugs. This failure to address the disabling adverse drug effects and drug-linked deahts resulting from illegal pharmaceutical activities contributes to the devaluation of human beings–thereby buttressing this industry’s disregard for the welfare of its customers.
Elon Musk has released the third installment of “The Twitter Files,” detailing the decision to ban former President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Only a day after the company dropped the second installment related to the company’s content moderation practices, the company is now divulging the forces surrounding the decision to remove the former president from the platform.
What is noteworthy about this release is that it also discusses Twitter’s collaboration with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) when it comes to moderating the platform. Journalist Matt Taibbi, who released the first part of the series, notes that “the internal communications at Twitter between January 6th-January 8th have clear historical import” and that the company’s employees “understood in the moment that it was a landmark moment in the annals of speech.”
5. Whatever your opinion on the decision to remove Trump that day, the internal communications at Twitter between January 6th-January 8th have clear historical import. Even Twitter’s employees understood in the moment it was a landmark moment in the annals of speech. pic.twitter.com/tQ01n58XFc
The journalist explains how Twitter executives “started processing new power” after they banned Trump and laid the groundwork for future decisions regarding the banning of presidents.” The employees said the Biden administration would “not be suspended by Twitter unless absolutely necessary.”
6. As soon as they finished banning Trump, Twitter execs started processing new power. They prepared to ban future presidents and White Houses – perhaps even Joe Biden. The “new administration,” says one exec, “will not be suspended by Twitter unless absolutely necessary.” pic.twitter.com/lr66YgDlGy
Twitter executives said they removed Trump because of the “context surrounding” the actions of Trump and his supporters throughout the 2020 election season.
7. Twitter executives removed Trump in part over what one executive called the “context surrounding”: actions by Trump and supporters “over the course of the election and frankly last 4+ years.” In the end, they looked at a broad picture. But that approach can cut both ways. pic.twitter.com/Trgvq5jmhS
Prior to the riot, the company employed a more “subjective moderation” approach.
9. Before J6, Twitter was a unique mix of automated, rules-based enforcement, and more subjective moderation by senior executives. As @BariWeissreported, the firm had a vast array of tools for manipulating visibility, most all of which were thrown at Trump (and others) pre-J6.
Taibbi notes that after the riot, communications on Slack showed Twitter executives “getting a kick out of intensified relationships with federal agencies.”
The journalist goes on to discuss a Slack channel in which Twitter would converse about “election-related removals,” particularly related to “ accounts, which are called “VITs,” or “Very Important Tweeters.” He wrote:
On October 8th, 2020, executives opened a channel called “us2020_xfn_enforcement.” Through J6, this would be home for discussions about election-related removals, especially ones that involved “high-profile” accounts (often called “VITs” or “Very Important Tweeters”).
14. On October 8th, 2020, executives opened a channel called “us2020_xfn_enforcement.” Through J6, this would be home for discussions about election-related removals, especially ones that involved “high-profile” accounts (often called “VITs” or “Very Important Tweeters”). pic.twitter.com/xH29h4cYt9
The smaller group consisting of former CEO Jack Dorsey, former head of legal, policy, and trust Vijaya Gadde, and former cybersecurity head Yoel Roth, were a “high-speed Supreme Court of moderation,” according to Taibbi. They made content moderation decisions “on the fly, often in minutes and based on guesses, gut calls, even Google searches, even in cases involving the President.”
It appears these individuals did not put much thought into decisions to ban, or otherwise punish, accounts tweeting views with which they disagreed.
16. The latter group were a high-speed Supreme Court of moderation, issuing content rulings on the fly, often in minutes and based on guesses, gut calls, even Google searches, even in cases involving the President. pic.twitter.com/5ihsPCVo62
Meanwhile, these executives were “clearly liasing” with federal agencies regarding the moderation of content related to the 2020 election.
17. During this time, executives were also clearly liaising with federal enforcement and intelligence agencies about moderation of election-related content. While we’re still at the start of reviewing the #TwitterFiles, we’re finding out more about these interactions every day.
In fact, Roth met weekly with officials from the FBI and DHS, and also the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).
This post about the Hunter Biden laptop situation shows that Roth not only met weekly with the FBI and DHS, but with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI):
20. This post about the Hunter Biden laptop situation shows that Roth not only met weekly with the FBI and DHS, but with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI): pic.twitter.com/s5IiUjQqIY
We blocked the NYP story, then we unblocked it (but said the opposite) … and now we’re in a messy situation where our policy is in shambles, comms is angry, reporters think we’re idiots, and we’re refactoring an exceedingly complex policy 18 days out from the election.
21. Roth’s report to FBI/DHS/DNI is almost farcical in its self-flagellating tone: “We blocked the NYP story, then unblocked it (but said the opposite)… comms is angry, reporters think we’re idiots… in short, FML” (fuck my life). pic.twitter.com/sTaWglhaJt
The FBI even sent Twitter reports highlighting certain tweets, one of which involved Indiana Councilor and Republican named John Basham in which he said: “Between 2% and 25% of Ballots by Mail are Being Rejected for Errors.”
24. Here, the FBI sends reports about a pair of tweets, the second of which involves a former Tippecanoe County, Indiana Councilor and Republican named @JohnBasham claiming “Between 2% and 25% of Ballots by Mail are Being Rejected for Errors.” pic.twitter.com/KtigHOiEwF
Twitter decided that these tweets were “proven to be false” and that one of them was “no vio on numerous occasions.”
25. The FBI-flagged tweet then got circulated in the enforcement Slack. Twitter cited Politifact to say the first story was “proven to be false,” then noted the second was already deemed “no vio on numerous occasions.” pic.twitter.com/LyyZ1opWAh
What is also noteworthy is that the journalists did not “see one reference to moderation requests from the Trump campaign, the Trump White House, or Republicans generally.”
27. Examining the entire election enforcement Slack, we didn’t see one reference to moderation requests from the Trump campaign, the Trump White House, or Republicans generally. We looked. They may exist: we were told they do. However, they were absent here.
The company also prepared to put a “mail-in voting is safe” warning label on a tweet from Trump calling out a voting mishap in Ohio that involved mail-in ballots. They decided against it after realizing that “the events took place” which means the former president’s tweet was “factually accurate.”
35. In another example, Twitter employees prepare to slap a “mail-in voting is safe” warning label on a Trump tweet about a postal screwup in Ohio, before realizing “the events took place,” which meant the tweet was “factually accurate”: pic.twitter.com/4r6nJ3JDmY
Even more damning is that Trump was “visibility filtered” about a week before the election despite not appearing “to have a particular violation.” Employees worked quickly to ensure that any of Trump’s tweets could not be “replied to, shared, or liked.”
Taibbi indicated at the beginning of the thread that more drops would be coming on Saturday and Sunday further explaining the decision to ban Trump as well as other issues. Journalists Bari Weiss and Michael Shellenberger are expected to handle the next batch of information.
On Friday, the social media giant issued a news release stating that the company’s board of directors unanimously adopted a limited duration shareholder rights plan as a direct response to Musk’s offer to buy the tech giant.
“The Rights Plan is similar to other plans adopted by publicly held companies in comparable circumstances,” Twitter insisted in its PR wire.
“Under the Rights Plan, the rights will become exercisable if an entity, person or group acquires beneficial ownership of 15% or more of Twitter’s outstanding common stock in a transaction not approved by the Board,” the message reads. “In the event that the rights become exercisable due to the triggering ownership threshold being crossed, each right will entitle its holder (other than the person, entity or group triggering the Rights Plan, whose rights will become void and will not be exercisable) to purchase, at the then-current exercise price, additional shares of common stock having a then-current market value of twice the exercise price of the right.”
The new rule allows Twitter shareholders to buy up cheap shares which would dilute the commanding stake a buyer such as Musk might hold.
The news released was a long-winded way of saying that Twitter added a “poison pill” to its operating rules to prevent Musk from gaining control of the company.
“The Rights Plan will reduce the likelihood that any entity, person or group gains control of Twitter through open market accumulation without paying all shareholders an appropriate control premium or without providing the Board sufficient time to make informed judgments and take actions that are in the best interests of shareholders,” the company claimed.
The board was scared when the Tesla and SpaceX CEO offered to buy additional shares of the company for $54.20 per share, which would value the company at $41.4 billion. His offer was an 18 percent premium over the closing price of the stock on April 13.
Despite the offer, analysts have questioned how Musk would come up with the cash necessary to make the buy. Despite being one of the richest men in the world, $42 billion in cash is a big ask.
But Musk seems prepared to go the distance. He has related a specific vision for what Twitter should be, and it’s one he thinks the social media giant’s current leadership is not fulfilling.
“I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy,” Musk said in a letter to Twitter board chair Bret Taylor. “However, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.
“As a result, I am offering to buy 100% of Twitter for $54.20 per share in cash, a 54% premium over the day before I began investing in Twitter and a 38% premium over the day before my investment was publicly announced. My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder.
“Twitter has extraordinary potential,” Musk declared. “I will unlock it.”
Still, he signaled that he has also planned an out if he needs one.
“If the deal doesn’t work, given that I don’t have confidence in management nor do I believe I can drive the necessary change in the public market, I would need to reconsider my position as a stakeholder,” he wrote.
Regardless, in light of the blocking maneuver that Twitter just made, it seems the ball is now in Musk’s court. While he did hint that he has a “plan B” for this Game of Thrones drama, we’ll soon see just how serious he is about righting Twitter’s anti-free speech ship.
If nothing else, this episode of corporate theater has certainly shown just how hard these leftist, Big Tech giants will fight to quash free speech, continue to prevent conservatives from having the freedom to express themselves online, and control the political narrative to keep left-wing Democrats in power.
The gate keepers of the left have been squalling for Musk’s head ever since he announced his interests in preserving free speech. Clinton operative Robert Reich, for instance, was infuriated by Musk’s efforts, calling Musk’s aims “dangerous nonsense.”
Further showing what he thinks of our constitutional right to free speech, Reich added that Musk’s ideas about a free and open Internet is “the dream of every dictator, strongman, and demagogue.”
Then there was wild-eyed never Trumper and neoconservative Max Boot who revealed his inner fascist by quixotically claiming that to save freedom and democracy, we need to curtail free speech.
On Thursday, Boot whined that he is “frightened” by Musk’s free speech advocacy and added, “For democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less.”
I am frightened by the impact on society and politics if Elon Musk acquires Twitter. He seems to believe that on social media anything goes. For democracy to survive, we need more content moderation, not less.
Finally, Twitter’s own extremist, left-wing employees also went apoplectic over the idea that conservatives and Trump supporters would be allowed to speak freely on Twitter. According to reports, many of Twitter’s employees jumped to their own Twitter accounts to lament Musk’s intentions.
Whatever Musk does with this Twitter drama, he has fully proven that Democrats, Big Tech, and the left are intent on taking 100 percent control of the media and the Internet to screen out any ideas that might lead to the loss of their political power.
After Dr. Ardis’ bombshell interview with Stew Peters, everyone wants to know—is he crazy, a heroic whistleblower, or just a humble man trying to share the COVID science he uncovered? Is there any truth to the claims that snake venom and COVID are linked? Today, Seth gives you the chance to ask Dr. Ardis your questions for yourself. Join us for a live Q&A