Saturday, May 30, 2020

Columbia University's Public Health School and NYC's `Corona-Gates' Scandal: Part 5

Columbia U./WHO Funder and Big Pharma Investor Bill Gates speaking at Columbia U. in 2005
Columbia U. School of Public Health’s Gates Foundation Connection
As Laurie Garrett noted in her 2000 book Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health, “the World Health Organization, once the conscience of global health, lost its way in the 1990s;” and “demoralized, rife with rumors of corruption, and lacking in leadership, WHO floundered.” And between 2016 and 2017, around 14 percent of the annual budget of the WHO (that apparently failed to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to NYC in 2020) came from Microsoft Multi-Billionaire Bill Gates’s Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation [BLGF], whose “research and funding favor pharmaceutical multinationals like GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Roche, Sano, Gilead and Pfizer,” in which Gates and his foundation “hold shares in;” thus leading “to a clear conflict of interest,” according to a Nov. 19, 2017 website article by Barbara Unmussig, titled “The Gates Foundation: Private-sector billionaires setting global agenda.” As the same 2017 article noted “the corporations profit from the Gates Foundation’s focus on pharmaceutical strategies, and the resulting corporate profits put dividends back into the donors’ pockets.”

Yet since 2019, the WHO still accepted over $200 million in “charitable grants” from Big Pharma Investor Bill Gates’s Gates Foundation.

As long ago as May 17, 2002, the Wall Street Journal, in an article titled “Gates Foundation Buys Stakes in Drug Makers” by David Bank and Rebecca Buckman, revealed that “the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has purchased shares in nine big pharmaceutical companies valued at nearly $205 million;” and in addition, the Los Angeles Times, in a Jan. 7, 2007 article by Charles Piller, Edmund Sanders and Robyn Dixon, reported that:

“…The Times found that the Gates Foundation has holdings in many companies that have failed tests of social responsibility because of environmental lapses, employment discrimination, disregard for worker rights, or unethical practices…In addition, The Times found the Gates Foundation endowment had major holdings in...pharmaceutical companies that price drugs beyond the reach of AIDS patients...As of this September [2007], the Gates Foundation held $169 million in Abbott stock. In 2005, the foundation held nearly $1.5 billion worth of stock in drug companies whose practices have been widely criticized as restricting the flow of key medicines to poor people in developing nations.

“On average, shares in those companies have increased in value about 54 per cent since 2002. Investments in Abbott and other drug makers probably have gained the foundation hundreds of millions of dollars….Microsoft monopolies in computer operating systems and business software depend upon the same intellectual-property and trade-law approaches favored by drug companies…”

So, not surprisingly, in a June, 2013 News Junkie blog post, titled “Bill Gates, Big Pharma, Bogus Philanthropy,” Ruben Rosenberg Corlorn noted that “as an investor in Merck & Co., Pfizer Inc., Johnson & Johnson and others, the Gates foundation shares financial interests with the makers of AIDS drugs, diagnostic tools, vaccines and other drugs;” and he characterized the foundation that funds the WHO in the following way:

“The Bill & Melinda Gates `Foundation’ is essentially a huge tax-avoidance scheme for enormously-wealthy capitalists who have made billions from exploiting the world’s people. The foundation invests, tax free, money from Gates and the `donations’ from others, in the very companies in which Gates owns millions in stocks, thus guaranteeing returns through both sales as well as intellectual-property rights. To add insult to injury, the system perpetuates the spread of disease rather than aids in their eradication, thus perpetually justifying his endeavors to `eradicate’ them (solving a problem they are creating)….It is almost certain that if enormously wealthy individuals and firms were held accountable for their actions instead of being allowed to `whitewash’ them in misleading and dishonest philanthropy, the world would be better. It is almost certain that if philanthropy was genuine, and not designed as a tax-avoidance scheme and one in which `donations’ serve as investments into the very firms in which the donors have enormous stakes, the world would be better….”

In his March 17, 2020 article in The Nation magazine about WHO Funder Bill Gates’s foundation, titled “Bill Gates’s Charity Paradox,” Tim Schwab also reported that “The Nation found close to $250 million in charitable grants from the Gates Foundation to companies in which the foundation holds corporate stocks and bonds: Merck, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Vodafone, Sanofi, Ericsson, LG, Medtronic, Teva, and numerous start-ups—with the grants directed at projects like developing new drugs and health monitoring systems and creating mobile banking services;” and noted that “a foundation giving a charitable grant to a company that it partly owns—and stands to benefit from financially—would seem like an obvious conflict of interest.” So, not surprisingly, the “non-profit” Gates Foundation’s “$50 billion endowment has generated $28.5 billion in investment income over the last five years,” yet “during the same period, the foundation has given away only $23.5 billion in charitable grants,” according to The Nation magazine’s March 17, 2020 article.

According to an article by Jacob Levich, titled “The Real Agenda of the Gates Foundation,” that appeared in the May 2014 issue of Aspects of India’s Economy:

“The Gates Foundation exercises power not only via its own spending, but more broadly through an elaborate network of `partner organizations’ including non-profits, government agencies, and private corporations. As the third largest donor to the UN's World Health Organization (WHO), it is a dominant player in the formation of global health policy….Such arrangements allow BMGF to leverage its stake in allied enterprises, much as private businesses enhance power and profits through strategic investment schemes….At the same time the Foundation supports NGOs that lobby governments to increase spending on the initiatives it sponsors.

“The Gates operation resembles…a massive, vertically integrated multinational corporation (MNC), controlling every step in a supply chain that reaches from its Seattle-based boardroom...Emulating his own strategies for cornering the software market, Gates has created a virtual monopoly in the field of public health… Vastly endowed, essentially unaccountable, unencumbered by respect for democracy…, it is ideally positioned to intervene swiftly and decisively on behalf of the interests it represents. As Bill Gates remarked, `I’m not gonna get voted out of office.’…

“In the wake of the 2007-08 financial crisis…the super-rich experienced popular anger more directly than at any time since the Great Depression….The avowedly anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street movement received extensive…press coverage... Particularly worrisome to the mega-rich was the extent to which they themselves, rather than vague complaints about `the system,’ became the focus of discontent….BMGF’s publicity operation was quick to respond. The Foundation exploited `multiple messaging avenues for influencing the public narrative’ including the creation of `strategic media partners’ – ostensibly independent news organizations whose cooperation was ensured via the distribution of $25 million in annual grant money….At the same time BMGF expanded its online operations, using Twitter and Facebook to disseminate pseudo-scientific... images to millions of `followers’ worldwide…. Apart from the promotion of specific corporate interests and imperialist strategic aims, BMGF’s expertly publicized activities have the effect of laundering the enormous concentration of wealth in the hands of a few supremely powerful oligarchs….Thus the Gates Foundation, like the MNCs it so closely resembles, seeks to manufacture consent for its activities through the manipulation of public opinion.”

Coincidentally, the same foundation of Bill Gates that funds in a big way the WHO, which apparently failed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to New York City in 2020, also has funded Columbia’s School of Public Health and Columbia University in a big way during the last two decades with tax-deductible “charitable grants.” In May 1999, for example, “Columbia University's Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health” was “awarded $50 million from Bill and Melinda Gates,” according to a May 19, 1999 Columbia University Record website article. And although the $50 million “charitable grant” from Bill Gates’s foundation that Columbia’s School of Public Health received apparently did not improve New York City’s public health system’s capacity to prepare for expected 21st-century viruses like COVID-19, the same article quotes then-Columbia University president George Rupp as claiming that “the he Gates Foundation gift is of critical importance” and “with the combined efforts of a private foundation, a research university and government and community-based assistance organizations, we have the best chance of improving health care in areas of the world where the need is greatest."

Then, on Feb. 14, 2003, the Gates Foundation gave another tax-exempt “charitable grant” of $488,200 to Columbia University “to support a forum and broadcast production of a global health dialogue between Bill Gates and Bill Moyer at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health,” according to the Gates Foundation’s website. And on July 1, 2006, another $10 million in “charitable grant” money was given to Columbia University by the Gates Foundation “to support the Mailman School of Public Health Building Campaign.,” according to the Gates Foundation’s website.

In addition, between 1998 and Sept. 17, 2019, Gates’s Gates Foundation gave Columbia University and the Teachers College of Columbia University the following other “charitable grants:”

1. An April 1998 grant of $160,000 to Columbia University;

2. An April 10, 1998 grant of $610,000 to Columbia University;

3. A Sept. 1, 2002 grant of $4,746,533 to Columbia University “to support a randomized trial of male circumcision;”

4. A Nov. 2002 grant of $10 million to Columbia University;

5. A Nov. 15, 2006 grant of $240,687 to Teachers College of Columbia University “to carry out activities aimed at helping a national audience of journalists report on issues;”

6. A Nov. 2008 grant of $5,182,505 to Columbia University “to determine the causes of pediatric pneumonia…to inform prioritization of microbial targets for vaccine development;”

7. A March 23, 2012 grant of $2,502,000 to Teachers College of Columbia University “for general operating support;”

8. A July 2, 2013 grant of $273,083 to Columbia University “to examine key aspects of fecal sludge treatment;”

9. An April 1, 2016 grant of $1.3 million to Teachers College of Columbia University “for general operating support;”

10. A July 2016 grant of $7,905,046 to Columbia University “to support development of the Columbia Tutoring and Learning Center as a state of the art technology enabling tutoring program;”

11. A Nov. 2, 2016 grant of $1 million to Columbia University “to provide general operating support;”

12. A Jan. 29, 2018 grant of $1.5 million to Columbia University “for general operating support;”

13. A March 14, 2018 grant of $1.5 million to Columbia University “to support the development of computational methods for optimization of antibodies and vaccines and the application of these methods to important problems in global health;”

14. A March 16, 2018 grant of $1,911,540 to Columbia University;

15. An Aug. 2015 grant of $1,625,009 to Teachers College of Columbia University;

16. A Sept. 5, 2018 grant of $328,850 to Columbia University;

17. An Oct. 22, 2018 grant of $100,000 to Teachers College of Columbia University;

18. A Nov. 2018 grant of $250,000 to Columbia University; and

19. A Sept. 17, 2019 grant of $1.3 million to Teachers College of Columbia University “to provide general operating support.” (end of part 5)

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