An Australian-led resolution passed at this year’s annual meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA) has called for an independent, impartial investigation into the global response to the coronavirus pandemic. The decision-making body for the World Health Organization (WHO), the WHA held its meeting virtually this year with only a small number of officials present at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. Given the vast amount of funding the WHO now receives from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – an organization with increasingly close links to the pharma industry – the possibility that the global body’s coronavirus investigation will be either fully independent or impartial is close to zero.
One of the most outspoken advocates of an independent investigation into the pandemic, the government of Australia first proposed an international inquiry in April. Demanding an investigation into the origins of the virus and how it spread, Australian foreign minister Marise Payne said at the time that her country would “absolutely insist” on such a review taking place.
Speaking after the adoption of the WHA resolution, Payne and Australian health minister Greg Hunt claimed there was now a “clear mandate to identify the source of the COVID-19 virus and how it was transmitted to humans”. In reality, however, some of the most controversial allegations regarding the origins of the virus are almost certain to be whitewashed – if indeed they are even considered at all.
Professor Luc Montagnier, the French scientist who shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), recently stated his belief that the new coronavirus was created in a laboratory. Interviewed on the CNews channel in France, Montagnier openly asserted the virus had been designed by molecular biologists. Stating that it contains genetic elements of HIV, he insisted its characteristics could not have arisen naturally.
Other scientists have made similar allegations. In January 2020, a research group from India published a paper suggesting that aspects of the virus bore an “uncanny similarity” to HIV. Taken together, the researchers said their findings suggested the virus had an “unconventional evolution” and that further investigation was warranted. The following month, a research paper published by scientists from South China University of Technology suggested the virus “probably” came from a laboratory in Wuhan, the city where it was first identified.
While Bill Gates himself has thus far remained silent over these allegations, Mark Suzman, chief executive of the Gates Foundation, recently claimed in the New York Times that it is “distressing that there are people spreading misinformation” about the virus. At the very least, however, it is surely quite improper for Suzman to essentially dismiss the opinions of a Nobel prizewinner and other investigative scientists in this way.
Over the past few years, the Gates Foundation has been the second largest funder of the WHO after the U.S. government. An overview on the WHO website shows the Foundation’s contributions now amount to more than 12 percent of the WHO’s entire budget. During the 2018-19 biennium its total contributions until the fourth quarter of 2019 exceeded $530 million.
The third largest funder of the WHO is now the GAVI Alliance, a public-private partnership seeking to improve access to vaccines in poor countries. During the 2018-19 biennium its total contributions until the fourth quarter of 2019 amounted to more than $370 million, representing over 8 percent of the WHO’s total funding. Dig deeper, however, and one finds that not only is the Gates Foundation a founding partner of the GAVI Alliance, its financial commitments to the organization, to date, come to a staggering $4.1 billion.
Other prominent Gates-funded drug-promoting organizations providing donations to the WHO include the ‘Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’, to which the Gates Foundation has contributed $2.24 billion; UNITAID, for which it is one of the main donors; and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), to which it has been a regular contributor and gave $750 million in 2012.
The above examples illustrate how the Gates Foundation now exerts not only a direct influence on the WHO, but also an indirect one through providing funding for the global body’s other drug-promoting financial contributors. Given the extent of this network of influence, anyone expecting the WHO’s coronavirus inquiry to be either independent or impartial would be well advised not to hold their breath. For if the virus did indeed originate in a lab, the possibility that it was one with links to the trillion-dollar a year pharmaceutical ‘business with disease’ still cannot as yet be ruled out.