The Pandemic Modellers Have a Conflict of Interest Problem
video is available from Rosemary Frei on Vimeo.
John Edmunds is on top of the world. He’s one of the modelling-paper mafiosi.
The London, U.K., professor is a key government advisor on COVID-19-related policies. Edmunds also was a co-author of one of the primary modelling papers that have been used to convince the masses that vigilance against Variant of Concern (VOC) B.1.1.7 should be their top priority.
And Edmunds co-wrote an influential January 21, 2021 report that concluded, “There is a realistic possibility that VOC B.1.1.7 is associated with an increased risk of death compared to non-VOC viruses.”
In addition, he speaks often to reporters about the deadliness of the new variant. Edmunds tells them, for example, that a “disaster” would ensue if lockdowns are eased too soon, because what first must be done is to “vaccinate much, much, much more widely than the elderly.”
Follow the funds
Edmunds also happens to be the spouse of someone who, at least until April 2020, was an employee of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and held shares in the company. (Edmunds doesn’t disclose this in any of his media interviews that I’ve read and watched. He also doesn’t disclose his own stock holdings.)
According to an April 2020 Daily Telegraph article, Edmunds’s wife is Jeanne Pimenta and she works for GSK. The Daily Telegraph article states Edmunds asserted his partner had recently resigned from GSK. So it’s unclear whether Pimenta currently works there or not. I did a little digging and found that the only Jeanne Pimenta LinkedIn profile indicates she’s currently director of epidemiology at GSK, while Jeanne Pimenta’s ResearchGate profile says she’s an epidemiologist at BioMarin Pharmaceutical. (I’ll have a bit more about Edmunds being married to a present or former Glaxo employee later in this article.)
In any case, GSK’s financial success is skyrocketing. On February 3 the company announced it’s collaborating with mRNA-vaccine company CureVac to spend 150 million Euros — approx $180 million USD — to make vaccines for the new variants. That effectively gives them first-entrant advantage in vaccines for the new variants. And that same Feb. 3 news release touts the new-variant vaccines as also able to serve as ‘booster’ shots after the initial rounds of vaccination.
In addition, GSK joined forces with CureVac to pump out, later this year, 100 million doses of CureVac’s ‘first-generation’ COVID-19 vaccine called ‘CvnCoV.’
Not only that: this fall GSK together with another international pharmaceutical firm, Sanofi, are scheduled to start producing what could turn out to be up to one billion doses of their COVID-19 vaccine annually. GSK’s understated Feb. 3 announcement of its Q4 2020 financial results said it will “continue to expect meaningful improvement in revenues and margins” because they are “building a high-value biopharma pipeline.”
Note that GSK and other pharma companies like Moderna and Pfizer are not responsible for damage and compensation payments to people seriously injured and killed by COVID-19 vaccines. Governments will pay instead – that is, if those injured and killed and their loved ones are able to beat the long odds and get any compensation at all.
And a remarkable February 8, 2021, investigative report in the German news outlet Welt Am Sonntag (which translates to World on Sunday) reveals another impetus for the wildly inaccurate modelling governments use to keep populations in a state of fear and control. The German article shows that in March 2020 government officials enlisted “leading scientists from several research institutes and universities. Together, they were to produce a [mathematical-modelling] paper that would serve as legitimization for further tough political measures.” These scientists obediently wrote a modelling paper tailored to the government’s instructions. The then-secret paper asserted that if lockdown measures were lifted immediately, up to one million Germans would die from COVID-19, some “agonizingly at home, gasping for breath,” after being turned away from overflowing hospitals.
Edmunds Is Deeply Invested in the Vaccine World
There’s still more to the web of money and influence surrounding Edmunds and other modelling-paper mafiosi, including Neil Ferguson (information on Ferguson is in the section below titled More Modelling Mafiosi).
The first new-variant modelling paper Edmunds co-wrote, which I mention in the second paragraph of this article, was posted on December 23, 2020. Edmunds co-authored it with his fellow members of the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). People in the centre’s COVID-19 Working Group also contributed.
The modelling paper was posted on the e-journal Medrχiv, which publishes only non-peer-reviewed papers. The journal is the creation of an organization headed by Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg and his wife. I discuss Medrχiv and the Zuckerberg connection in my Feb. 3 article on the baselessness for the modelling papers that claim the new variants are very dangerous.
Edmunds also is dean of the LSHTM’s Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health. I contacted the institution’s media-relations department to request an interview with one of the Dec. 23, 2020, modelling paper’s authors. I didn’t receive a response.
In a Feb. 2017 video interview, Edmunds enthused that the LSHTM specializes in every aspect of vaccine development, from basic science to large-scale clinical trials. In the video he also touts using mathematical modelling as a good way to show that vaccines protect individuals and society. (And among other things he describes his group’s efforts in giving children flu vaccines and — in conjunction with Public Health England — promoting human papillomavirus [HPV] vaccines for girls and boys.)
And he’s a member of the U.K. govenment’s Science Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), which provides Covid-measure advice — much of it related to the unprecedentedly forceful push for mass vaccination — to U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson and his cabinet.
On top of that, Edmunds is a member of the U.K. government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG). It works hand in hand with SAGE, and it also heavily promotes vaccination.
And as mentioned earlier, Edmunds is married to a current or former GSK employee. A 2015 article that Edmunds co-authored states under ‘Competing interests’ for Edmunds that “My partner works for GSK.” Similarly, on the NERVTAG website’s conflict-disclosure pages – which for some reason haven’t been updated since Oct. 2017 – it reveals that Edmunds’s spouse works for GSK.
As a quick other note, the ‘Author Contributions and Acknowledgements’ section of the PDF of the December 23 modelling analysis of B.1.1.7 (pages 15 and 16) shows that almost all of the paper’s authors and members of the modelling centre’s COVID-19 Working Group receive funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and/or Wellcome Trust. (By the way, a search for Wellcome Trust yields the Wellcome website.)
And there’s more to the Edmunds story. Among other of my finds: he’s also on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Coalition for Epidemic Innovations (CEPI). CEPI was created primarily by the BMGF, the World Economic Forum and the major pharma company Wellcome. CEPI’s website states it was “launched in Davos [at the meeting of the World Economic Forum in January] 2017 to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics. Our mission is to accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and enable equitable access to these vaccines for people during outbreaks.”
Investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley last year wrote a must-read two-part analysis of the ties between the key individuals, institutions, companies and funders of the UK’s Covid-19 response. She mentioned that GSK is working with CEPI to develop COVID-19 vaccines. This alliance is still going strong today.
Note also that the LSHTM’s Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, which Edmunds heads, is primarily funded by the BMGF and the Gavi alliance. (Gavi promotes mass vaccination of people around the world — including by quarterbacking the COVAX program. Gavi’s biggest funders include the BMGF. Doctors Without Borders has criticized GAVI for being “aimed more at supporting drug-industry desires to promote new products than at finding the most efficient and sustainable means for fighting the diseases of poverty.”)
BMGF funding for the LSHTM’s Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health is growing very fast. For example, BMGF’s new grants to the faculty rose from $4.9 million USD in 2013-2014 (see page 14 [p. 9 in the PDF] of the LSHTM’s 2014 annual report) to $13.19 million USD in 2015-2016 (see page 14 [p. 9 in the PDF] of the LSHTM’s 2016 annual report)(top new research grants to each faculty at the LSHTM stopped being reported in the annual reports after 2017). Funding from the BMGF to the LSHTM as a whole was 30.2 million pounds ($40.2 million USD) in 2017-2018 (see page 9 [p. 6 in the PDF] in the school’s 2018 annual report).
By the way, the LSHTM also has a Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre. It develops, tests and commercializes vaccines. (I couldn’t find any information on where the vaccines centre’s funding comes from.)
The vaccines centre also performs affiliated activities like combating ‘vaccine hesitancy.’ The latter includes the Vaccine Confidence Project. The project’s stated purpose is, among other things, “to provide analysis and guidance for early response and engagement with the public to ensure sustained confidence in vaccines and immunisation.”
The Vaccine Confidence Project’s director is LSHTM professor Heidi Larson. For more than a decade she’s been researching how to combat vaccine hesitancy. LSHTM underpins the project, which also is a member of the WHO’s Vaccine Safety Net.
More Modelling Mafiosi
Here’s information about two other members of this club:
– Public Health England (PHE) issued its first detailed report on the new variant in late December 2020 and continues to provide updates. None of their reports are peer-reviewed. One of the highest-profile co-authors of the PHE reports is PHE director Susan Hopkins. She’s also a professor of infectious diseases at Imperial College London. The college receives tens of millions of dollars a year from the BMGF. See for example this grant, this one, this one and this one. (I emailed PHE media relations to request an interview about PHE’s new-variants reports. PHE communications person Zahra Vindhani responded, “Dr. Hopkins won’t have the capacity for this in the upcoming weeks, and we aren’t able to confirm anyone else for this either.”)
– PHE is guided in its approach to vaccination by PHE’s “Strategic Priority 1” for combating infections diseases in 2020-2025. It is to “Optimise vaccine provision and reduce vaccine preventable diseases in England” (see p. 9 of PHE’s Infectious Disease Strategy 2020-2025).
– Neil Ferguson is a co-author of the PHE reports and also of a widely quoted December 31 modelling paper on the dangerousness of B.1.1.7. He’s Acting Director of the Imperial College London-based Vaccine Impact Modelling Consortium.
– Ferguson’s modelling has been extremely faulty again over the years. This has been thoroughly documented. For example, as investigative journalist Beeley wrote in Part One of a two-part investigative report in April-May 2020, Ferguson’s modelling over-estimated by about three million-fold the death toll from the bird flu, also known as H5N1. As a result, a lot of money was made by bird-flu-vaccine manufacturers, ranging from Roche (for its now-infamous, ineffective Tamiflu) to Sanofi, and they were used widely.
– Ferguson also grossly overestimated the effects of swine flu, or H1N1. As a result, millions of people were needlessly given GSK’s Pandemrix. It caused brain damage, primarily narcolepsy and cataplexy, in hundreds if not thousands of vaccine recipients, mostly children. The pharma giant was granted no fault in any damage claims. Therefore the British government paid more than 60 million pounds (approx. $80 million USD at 2017 conversion rates) to victims. (And as mentioned earlier in this article, GSK and other pharma companies are similarly protected from having to pay damages to people injured or killed by their COVID-19 vaccines.)
– Ferguson also is a member, together with Edmunds and others, of SAGE.
– Another group he’s a member of is the highly influential NERVTAG. It’s the group that issued the January 21, 2021 warning, mentioned earlier in this article, that B.1.1.7 is deadly. Ferguson is a NERVTAG member even though he was reported to have resigned last spring after being caught visiting with his married lover when everyone in England was supposed to only be having contact with members of their own households (based in large part on Ferguson’s modelling and his urging the government to lock the country down).
– Ferguson also is a member of the UK Vaccines Network, along with Edmunds and others such as the Network chair Chris Whitty, who’s also the UK government’s top Covid-19 adviser Chris Whitty. The network’s focus, according to its website, “to support the [U.K.] government to identify and shortlist targeted investment opportunities for the most promising vaccines and vaccine technologies that will help combat infectious diseases with epidemic potential, and to address structural issues related to the UK’s broader vaccine infrastructure.”
These ties bind Edmunds, Ferguson and Hopkins – along with the rest of the modelling-paper mafiosi — to the bidding of governments, Big Pharma, Bill Gates and other powerful players.
They present an image of being fully devoted to the public good, while in fact actively helping to destroy it.
After obtaining an MSc in molecular biology from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary, Rosemary Frei became a freelance writer. For the next 22 years she was a medical writer and journalist. She pivoted again in early 2016 to full-time, independent activism and investigative journalism. Her website is RosemaryFrei.ca.
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