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FDA attempts to stop OTC sales of N-acetyle cysteine, an adjunctive treatment for Covid-19

By Meryl Nass, MD | May 16, 2021

Last July, FDA sent out warning letters to supplement companies, informing them that N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) could no longer be marketed as an ingredient in food supplements, using the justification that it was also a licensed drug.

FDA has concluded that NAC products are excluded from the dietary supplement definition under section 201(ff)(3)(B)(i) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(ff)(3)(B)(i)]. Under this provision, if an article (such as NAC) has been approved as a new drug under section 505 of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 355], then products containing that article are outside the definition of a dietary supplement, unless before such approval that article was marketed as a dietary supplement or as a food. NAC was approved as a new drug under section 505 of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 355] on September 14, 1963. FDA is not aware of any evidence that NAC was marketed as a dietary supplement or as a food prior to that date.

But other drugs, such as Coenzyme Q10 and Vitamin D, are licensed as drugs but also permitted to be sold as supplements. And the federal government’s PubChem website lists many virtues of NAC.

In the case of NAC, it has been available as a licensed drug for 57 years in the US. It is widely used and very safe. Unlike many supplements, it has been extensively studied. Clinicaltrials.gov lists 541 studies for the search term ‘N-acetyl cysteine.’ Why did FDA suddenly decide its OTC use should be restricted?

This is especially troubling as a number of doctors have said it is useful in the treatment of Covid-19, especially during the late, cytokine storm stage, since it works as an antioxidant and a substrate for the production of glutathione. In fact, there is a growing body of literature on its benefits for Covid. Here is just one review.

Last week, Amazon stopped selling all products containing NAC. While no absolutely final decision has been made by FDA regarding NAC, it might be the third effective Covid treatment that the FDA has attempted to suppress, after the chloroquine drugs and ivermectin. Stay tuned.

May 16, 2021 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 3 Comments

Rosneft announces launch of flagship gas project in the Arctic

RT | May 16, 2021

Russian energy giant Rosneft has revealed the launch of the Rospan International gas project in the Yamal region of the Arctic. It is expected to become the company’s gas production hub in the region.

“Regarding natural gas, we want to announce that in the first quarter of 2021 the company launched its flagship gas project called Rospan,” Eric Liron, Rosneft’s vice president for in-house services, told investors during a teleconference this week.

The project will provide annual gas production of more than 20 billion cubic meters, as well as production of 5 million tons of gas condensate and more than one million tons of propane and butane, he added.

“At the moment, both technological lines have already been put into operation. The railway terminal for the shipment of propane and butane has also been opened, all the necessary pipeline infrastructure is operating and the production potential has been fully technically confirmed,” Liron said.

Rospan International, a subsidiary of Rosneft, produces gas and gas condensate at the Vostochno-Urengoysky and Novo-Urengoysky license areas.

May 16, 2021 Posted by | Economics | | 2 Comments

EPA Updates Its “Climate Change Indicators”

By Francis Menton | Manhattan Contrarian | May 13, 2021

It appears that some time last month the EPA provided a major update of what it calls its “climate change indicators.” The EPA’s web page for this is headed “Climate Change Indicators in the United States,” with the sub-heading “Climate Change Is Happening Now.” The update is an initiative of the Biden administration, now eager to invest a few trillion dollars of your money in new “green” infrastructure, after several years in which the Trump EPA paid no attention to keeping these data up to date. The New York Times reports on the big update on today’s front page, under the headline “Climate Change Is getting Worse, E.P.A. Says. Just Look Around.”

The basic technique here is to propagandize you with every sort of essentially irrelevant anecdotal information, while diverting your attention away from the only indicator of “climate change” that actually counts, which is temperature. After all, if temperatures aren’t going up, it isn’t “global warming.” Here, we have some 54 supposed climate “indicators” — everything from rain to drought to ice to sea level — out of which the things relating to actual temperature are only a handful, and then are buried deep in the midst of all the others, probably in the hope that you will miss them. And moreover, the temperature data are then grossly misrepresented in what has to be an intentional effort at deception.

But let’s start with the official line from the new Biden EPA.

The Earth’s climate is changing. Temperatures are rising, snow and rainfall patterns are shifting, and more extreme climate events – like heavy rainstorms and record high temperatures – are already happening. Many of these observed changes are linked to the rising levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, caused by human activities.

The Times then picks up on the theme by its headline calling for you to “just look around” to determine that “climate change” is happening. The idea is that you can determine that there is “climate change” by observing ice on ponds, or something, without having to bother with those complicated thermometers, let alone sophisticated satellite measurements:

Wildfires are bigger, and starting earlier in the year. Heat waves are more frequent. Seas are warmer, and flooding is more common. The air is getting hotter. Even ragweed pollen season is beginning sooner. . . . [EPA’s indicators] map everything from Lyme disease, which is growing more prevalent in some states as a warming climate expands the regions where deer ticks can survive, to the growing drought in the Southwest that threatens the availability of drinking water, increases the likelihood of wildfires but also reduces the ability to generate electricity from hydropower.

So how about the temperature guys? As you can see, the Times does throw in a couple of references to “heat waves” and “hotter air” in the midst of all the stuff about flooding, ragweed pollen, ticks, and whatever else. What’s missing is any citation or link to any source to support the assertion about actual temperatures. But over at the EPA page, under the heading “U.S. and Global Temperature,” we find the following graph, which is said to have been updated to April 2021:

EPA temperature graph.png

That appears rather scary! Everything looks like it is going up sharply with passing time. Check out especially the green line, which is identified as the “lower troposphere [temperatures] (measured by satellite) of UAH.” The green line ends with a steep uptick, leaving it with the latest data point just below a record reached in 2016, and a full 2 deg F above the 1901-2000 average.

Oh, but here is the actual lower troposphere temperature record from UAH, available at the website of Roy Spencer, who is the guy who compiles the UAH record:

UAH_LT_1979_thru_April_2021_v6.jpg

There are a few differences in the presentation that require a little interpretation, like the EPA graph is in deg F and has anomalies from a 1901-2000 mean, while the UAH graph is in deg C and shows anomalies from a 1991-2020 mean. But still, it leaps out that the green line on EPA’s web page, said to be the UAH record, ends with a sharp uptick and with the last point a full 2 deg F above the mean line; while this record, from UAH itself, ends with a sharp downtick and the last point actually below the mean line. Although EPA explicitly says on its web page that it updated the information in April 2021, this downtick in the UAH record began in January 2020 — a year and 4 plus months ago — and reflects a decline in lower troposphere temperatures of some 0.65 deg C, which is almost 1.2 deg F.

In other words, well more than half of the seemingly scary increase in temperature since 1901 shown in the EPA graph has just gone away in the last 16 months. So the Biden EPA, not wanting to complicate the official story of “climate change is happening now,” simply truncated the data in its graph at January 2020 to shut out the last year plus of big temperature declines. There is no way to characterize the EPA graph as other than intentionally deceptive.

I guess it’s OK because it’s in the noble cause of convincing the American people to allow the government to spend a few trillion dollars on windmills and electric car charging stations for the rich.

May 16, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

FLCCC Alliance Statement on the Irregular Actions of Public Health Agencies and the Widespread Disinformation Campaign Against Ivermectin

The Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance | May 12, 2021

Introduction

Awareness of ivermectin’s efficacy and its adoption by physicians worldwide to successfully treat COVID-19 have grown exponentially over the past several months. Oddly, however, even as the clinical trials data and successful ivermectin treatment experiences continue to mount, so too have the criticisms and outright recommendations against the use of ivermectin by the vast majority, though not all, of public health agencies (PHA), concentrated largely in North America and Europe.

The Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) and other ivermectin researchers have repeatedly offered expert analyses to respectfully correct and rebut the PHA recommendations, based on our deep study and rapidly accumulated expertise “in the field” on the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19. These rebuttals were publicized and provided to international media for the education of providers and patients across the world. Our most recent response to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and others recommendation against use can be found on the FLCCC website here.

In February 2021, the British Ivermectin Recommendation Development (BIRD), an international meeting of physicians, researchers, specialists, and patients, followed a guideline development process consistent with the WHO standard. It reached a consensus recommendation that ivermectin, a verifiably safe and widely available oral medicine, be immediately deployed early and globally. The BIRD group’s recommendation rested in part on numerous, well-documented studies reporting that ivermectin use reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19 by over 90% and mortality by 68% to 91%.

A similar conclusion has also been reached by an increasing number of expert groups from the United Kingdom (UK), ItalySpainUnited States (US), and a group from Japan headed by the Nobel Prize-winning discoverer of Ivermectin, Professor Satoshi Omura. Focused rebuttals that are backed by voluminous research and data have been shared with PHAs over the past months. These include the WHO and many individual members of its guideline development group (GDG), the FDA, and the NIH. However, these PHAs continue to ignore or disingenuously manipulate the data to reach unsupportable recommendations against ivermectin treatment. We are forced to publicly expose what we believe can only be described as a “disinformation” campaign astonishingly waged with full cooperation of those authorities whose mission is to maintain the integrity of scientific research and protect public health.

The following accounting and analysis of the WHO ivermectin panel’s highly irregular and inexplicable analysis of the ivermectin evidence supports but one rational explanation: the GDG Panel had a predetermined, nonscientific objective, which is to recommend against ivermectin. This is despite the overwhelming evidence by respected experts calling for its immediate use to stem the pandemic. Additionally, there appears to be a wider effort to employ what are commonly described as “disinformation tactics” in an attempt to counter or suppress any criticism of the irregular activity of the WHO panel.

The WHO Ivermectin Guideline Conflicts with the NIH Recommendation

The FLCCC Alliance is a nonprofit, humanitarian organization made up of renowned, highly published, world-expert clinician-researchers whose sole mission over the past year has been to develop and disseminate the most effective treatment protocols for COVID-19. In the past six months, much of this effort has been centered on disseminating knowledge of our identification of significant randomized, observational, and epidemiologic studies consistently demonstrating the powerful efficacy of ivermectin in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Our manuscript detailing the depth and breadth of this evidence passed a rigorous peer review by senior scientists at the U.S Food and Drug Administration and Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Recently published, our study concludes that, based on the totality of the evidence of efficacy and safety, ivermectin should be immediately deployed to prevent and treat COVID-19 worldwide.

The first “red flag” is the conflict between the March 31, 2021, WHO Ivermectin Panel’s “against” recommendation and the NIH’s earlier recommendation from February 12th of a more supportive neutral recommendation based on a lower amount of supportive evidence of ivermectin’s efficacy at that time.

Two flawed lines of analysis by the WHO appear to account for this inconsistent result:

  1. The WHO arbitrarily and severely limited the extent and diversity of study designs considered (e.g., retrospective observational controlled trials (OCT), prospective OCTs, epidemiological, quasi-randomized, randomized, placebo-controlled, etc.).
  2. The WHO mischaracterized the overall quality of the trial data to undermine the included studies.

The Severely Limited Extent and Diversity of Ivermectin Data Considered by the WHO’s Ivermectin Panel 

The WHO Ivermectin Panel arbitrarily included only a narrow selection of the available medical studies that their research team had been instructed to collect when formulating their recommendation, with virtually no explanation why they excluded such a voluminous amount of supportive medical evidence. This was made obvious at the outset due to the following:

  1. No pre-established protocol for data exclusion was published, which is a clear departure from standard practice in guideline development.
  2. The exclusions departed from the WHO’s own original search protocol it required of Unitaid’s ivermectin research, which collected a much wider array of randomized controlled trials (RCT).

Key Ivermectin Trial Data Excluded from Analysis 

  1. The WHO excluded all “quasi-randomized” RCTs from consideration (two excluded trials with over 200 patients that reported reductions in mortality).
  2. The WHO excluded all RCTs where ivermectin was compared to or given with other medications. Two such trials with over 750 patients reported reductions in mortality.
  3. The WHO excluded from consideration 7 of the 23 available ivermectin RCT results.  Such irregularities skewed the proper assessment of important outcomes in at least the following ways:
  1. Mortality Assessment
    1. WHO Review: Excluded multiple RCTs such that only 31 total trials deaths occurred; despite this artificially meager sample, an estimate of up to a 91% reduction in the risk of death was found.[1]
    2. Compared to the BIRD Review: Included 13 RCTs with 107 deaths observed and found a 2.5% mortality with ivermectin vs. 8.9% in controls; estimated reduction in risk of death=68%; highly statistically significant, (p=.007).
  2. Assessment of Impacts on Viral Clearance
    1. WHO Review: 6 RCTs, 625 patients. The Panel avoided mention of the important finding of a strong dose-response in regard to this outcome.
    2. This action in (i) is indefensible given that their Unitaid research team found that among 13 RCTs, 10 of the 13 reported statistically significant reductions in time to viral clearance, with larger reductions with multiday dosing than single-day, consistent with a profound dose-response relationship.[2]
  3. Adverse Effects
    1. WHO: Only included 3 RCTs studying this outcome. Although no statistical significance was found, the slight imbalance in this limited sample allowed the panel to repeatedly document concerns for “harm” with ivermectin treatment.
    2. Compare (a) to the WHO’s prior safety analysis in their 2018 Application for Inclusion of Ivermectin onto Essential Medicines List for Indication of Scabies:
      1. “Over one billion doses have been given in large-scale prevention programs.”
      2. Adverse events associated with ivermectin treatment. are primarily minor and transient.”[3]
  4. The WHO excluded all RCTs studying the prevention of COVID-19 with ivermectin, without supporting rationale. Three RCTs including almost 800 patients found an over 90% reduction in the risk of infection when ivermectin is taken preventively.[4]
  5. The WHO excluded observational controlled trials (OCT), with 14 studies of ivermectin. These included thousands of patients, including those employing propensity matching, a technique shown to lead to similar accuracy as RCTs.
    1. One large, propensity-matched OCT from the US found that ivermectin treatment was associated with a large decrease in mortality.
    2. A summary analysis of the combined data from the 14 available ivermectin OCTs found a large and statistically significant decrease in mortality.
  6. The WHO excluded numerous published and posted epidemiologic studies, despite requesting and receiving a presentation of the results from one leading epidemiologic research team. These studies found:
    1. In numerous cities and regions with population-wide ivermectin distribution campaigns, large decreases in both excess deaths and COVID-19 case fatality rates were measured immediately following the campaigns.
    2. Countries with pre-existing ivermectin prophylaxis campaigns against parasites demonstrate significantly lower COVID-19 case counts and deaths compared to neighboring countries without such campaigns.

Assessment of the Quality of the Evidence Base by WHO Guideline Group 

The numerous above actions minimizing the extent of the evidence base were then compounded by the below efforts to minimize the quality of the evidence base:

The WHO mischaracterized the overall quality of the included trials as “low” to “very low,” conflicting with numerous independent expert research group findings:

  1. An international expert guideline group independently reviewed the BIRD proceeding and instead found the overall quality of trials to be “moderate.”
  2. The WHO’s own Unitaid systematic review team currently grade the overall quality as “moderate.”
  3. The WHO graded the largest trial it included to support a negative assessment of ivermectin’s mortality impacts as “low risk of bias.” A large number of expert reviewers have graded that same trial as “high risk of bias,” detailed in an open letter  signed by over 100 independent physicians.

We must emphasize this critical fact: If the WHO had more accurately assessed the quality of evidence as “moderate certainty,” consistent with the multiple independent research teams above, ivermectin would instead become the standard of care worldwide, similar to what occurred after the dexamethasone evidence finding decreased mortality was graded as moderate quality, which then led to its immediate global adoption in the treatment of moderate to severe COVID-19 in July of 2020.[5]

Further, The WHO’s own guideline protocol stipulates that quality assessments should be upgraded when there is the following:

  1. a large magnitude of effect (despite their data estimating a survival benefit of 81%, the low number of studies and events included allowed them to dismiss this finding as “very low certainty”) or;
  2. evidence of a dose-response relationship. The WHO shockingly omits the well-publicized reports by their Unitaid research team of a powerful dose-response relationship with viral clearance.

In sum, the WHO’s recommendation that “ivermectin not be used outside clinical trials” is based entirely upon:

  1. the dismissal of large amounts of trial data;
  2. the inaccurate downgrading of evidence quality; and
  3. the deliberate omission of a dose-response relationship with viral clearance.

Consequently, these actions formed the basis of their ability to avoid a recommendation for immediate global use.

Even more surprising is that based on their “very low certainty” finding, the panel goes on to “infer” that “most patients would be reluctant to use a medication for which the evidence left high uncertainty regarding effects on outcomes they consider important.”

This statement is insupportable in light of the above actions. No patient could ever rationally consent to a trial in which they were acutely ill and would be subject to the possibility of receiving a placebo, once informed of: the large amount of relevant and positive trials that the WHO removed from consideration, their avoidance of reporting a large dose-response relationship, and their widely contradicted  “very low certainty” grading of large mortality benefits. Such a trial would result in a historic ethical research violation, causing both a widespread loss of life and a resultant loss of trust in PHAs and research institutions for decades to come.

The many methods employed by the WHO to distort the evidence base and arrive at a non-recommendation are made even more suspicious and questionable by the following:

  1. The WHO GDG did not hold a vote on the use of ivermectin. This highly irregular decision was purportedly based on the Ivermectin Panel’s “consensus on evidence certainty.”
  2. Unitaid Sponsors allegedly inserted multiple limitations and weakened the conclusions in the preprint, systematic review manuscript by the Unitaid research team, which has recently led to formal charges of scientific misconduct.
  3. Recent WHO whistleblower complaints of external influences in other WHO Covid reports, as well as attempts by massive external funding organizations to increase their influence in formulating WHO policies.
  4. The finding of marked differences in the evidence bases used to support prior WHO/BIRD guideline recommendations for ivermectin in other diseases:
    1. WHO: Approved ivermectin in the treatment of scabies based on 10 RCTs that included only 852 patients, despite it being inferior to the standard of care.
    2. FDA: Approved ivermectin in the treatment of strongyloidiasis based on 5 RCTs that included only 591 patients.
    3. BIRD: Approved ivermectin in March, 2021, for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 based on 21 RCTs and 2,741 patients.

Conclusion

As expert clinician-researchers in society, we are firmly committed to ensuring that public health policy decisions derive from scientific data.  Disturbingly, after extensive analysis of the recent WHO ivermectin guideline recommendation, we could not arrive at a credible scientific rationale to explain the numerous irregular, arbitrary, and inconsistent behaviors documented above. Further, after consultation with numerous physicians, guideline reviewers, legal experts, and veteran PHA scientists, we identified two major socio-political-economic forces that serve as the main barrier influences preventing ivermectin’s incorporation into public health policy in major parts of the world. They are:

1)  the modern structure and function of what we will describe as “Big Science” and;

2)  the presence of an active “Political-Economic Disinformation Campaign.”

“Big Science”

Also known as “Big RCT Fundamentalism,” Big Science reflects a dramatic shift in the practice of modern evidence-based medicine (EBM). Beginning before COVID, it has since rapidly evolved into the current system that more tightly meshes the entities of “Big Pharma,” “Big PHA’s/Academic Health Centers” (AMC), “Big Journals,” “Big Media,” and “Big Social Media” into the public health system’s efforts at guiding patient care, research and policy.

The structure and function of “Big Science” in COVID-19 is most simply represented as follows:

  • Only arbitrarily defined, “large, well-designed” RCTs (Big RCT), generally conducted on North American or European shores, can “prove” the efficacy of a medicine.
  • Only Big Pharma/Big PHA/AMCs have the resources/infrastructure to conduct Big-RCTs. (Many equate Big PHA/AMC with Big Pharma, given the funding source of the former.)
  • Only Big RCTs by Big Pharma or Big PHA/AMC can publish study findings in high-impact, high-income country medical journals (Big Journals).
  • Only medicines supported by Big Journal publications are deemed to have “sufficient evidence” and “proven efficacy” to then be recommended by Big PHAs.
  • Only medicines recommended by Big PHAs are covered by “Big Media” or escape censorship on “Big Social Media.”

Conversely, repurposed, off-patient medications such as ivermectin do not attract Big PHA or Big Pharma sponsors to conduct the mandatory Big RCT. Given this structural handicap, many effective medicines including ivermectin are consequently incapable of ever meeting Big PHA standards for approval in such a system. In the case of ivermectin, it is then considered, first by Big PHAs, then throughout Big Media and Big Social media, to be “unproven” given it lacks “sufficient evidence” and is thus heavily censored from public discussion and awareness. Mentions of ivermectin on Big Social Media led to the removal of a popular Facebook group (“Ivermectin MD Team” with over 10,000 followers). Additionally, all YouTube videos mentioning ivermectin in treatment of Covid-19 were removed or demonetized, as well as Twitter pages locked. Further, in Big Media, even the most credentialed independent and expert groups who recommend ivermectin based on a large body of irrefutable evidence are labeled as “controversial” and purveyors of “medical misinformation.”

A health system structured to function in this manner is clearly vulnerable to and overly influenced by entities with financial interests. Further, in Covid, such systems have evolved into rigidly operating via top-down edicts and widespread censoring. This allows little ability for emerging scientific developments not funded by Big Pharma to be disseminated from within the system or through media or social media until years later when, and if, a Big RCT is completed. This barrier has presented as an enduring horror throughout the pandemic given the widespread loss of life caused by the systematic withholding of numerous rapidly identified, safe and effective, repurposed medicines for fear of using “unproven therapies” without “sufficient evidence” for use. Alternatively, and for the first time in many physicians’ careers, those who seek to treat their patients with such therapies, based on their professional interpretation of the existing evidence are restricted by their employers issuing edicts “from above.” They are then forced to follow protocols that rely predominantly on pharmaceutically engineered therapeutics.

It must be recognized that distinct from “regulatory” agencies such as the FDA, whose system often relies upon the primary importance of a “Big RCT,” stronger foundations used by PHAs are available. One of the long-standing tenets of modern evidence-based medicine is that the highest form of medical evidence is a “systematic review and meta-analysis” of RCTs and not a sole Big RCT. Disturbingly, not one of the Big PHAs mention this established principle or their long-standing reliance on such evidence-based practices for issuing recommendations. In the case of ivermectin, they willfully ignore the multiple published expert meta-analyses of ivermectin RCTs, including almost two dozen trials and thousands of patients, reporting consistent reductions in mortality, time to clinical recovery, and time to viral clearance.

These improvements are found consistently and repeatedly, no matter the RCT design, size, or quality, and from varied centers and countries throughout the world. All studies were done without any identified conflict of interest with the vast majority of double-blind, single-blind, quasi-randomized, open-label, standard of care comparison, combination therapy comparisons, etc., reporting benefits. Satoshi Omura, Nobel Prize-winning discoverer of ivermectin, wrote in his team’s recent review paper that “the probability of this judgement on ivermectin’s superior clinical performance being false is estimated to be 1 in 4 trillion.” This supports our public warnings against further “placebo-controlled trials” given the near absolute certainty of harm to research subjects included in a placebo Big RCT.

Conversely, despite sitting atop the highest form of medical evidence, many non-regulatory Big PHAs around the world cry out for a Big RCT. This is while avoiding the issuance of even one of the several “weaker” recommendation options available to them in the setting of a low-cost, widely available medicine with an unparalleled safety profile and a constantly surging humanitarian crisis, even in the interim. Insufficient evidenceunproven — these are comments from WHO, NIH, Europe’s EMA, South Africa’s SAPHRA, France’s ANSM, United Kingdom’s MHRA, and Australia’s TGA.

Most disturbing to contemplate is our estimation that if the use of penicillin in bacterial infection were to have been tested in these same numbers and types of trials in the 1940s, the graphical display of benefits would look nearly identical to those found with ivermectin. Further, the U.S Cures Act of 2016, “specifically designed to accelerate and bring new innovations and advances faster and more efficiently to the patients who need them” emphasized the importance of using various forms of “real-world evidence” data to aid in regulatory decision-making. We can find no evidence of an organized effort to examine the more than 14, often large OCTs that show evidence of the substantial beneficial use of ivermectin. Further, no PHA has cited the numerous convincing epidemiological analyses that find rapidly falling case fatality rates following ivermectin distribution campaigns.

With the lack of a credible explanation for the absence of even a weak recommendation for ivermectin in the setting of widespread increased death rates from COVID-19, numerous citizens have speculated that this can only be explained by the presence of an active disinformation campaign by entities with nonscientific and largely financial objectives dependant on the non-recognition of ivermectin’s efficacy. We explore the near certainty of this occurring below.

Active Political-Economic “Disinformation” Campaign

“Disinformation” campaigns, best described in the article, “The Disinformation Playbook,” are initiated when independent science interferes with or opposes the interests of corporations or policymakers. Although thankfully rare, in certain cases these entities will actively seek to manipulate science and distort the truth about scientific findings that imperil their profit or policy objectives. First developed by the tobacco industry decades ago, these deceptive tactics include the following;

  • The Fake: Conduct counterfeit science and try to pass it off as legitimate research.
  • The Blitz: Harass scientists speaking out with results inconvenient for industry.
  • The Diversion: Manufacture uncertainty about science where little or none exists.
  • The Screen: Buy credibility through alliances with academia/professional societies.
  • The Fix: Manipulate government processes to influence policy inappropriately.

Numerous examples of the above disinformation tactics by corporations and policymakers, particularly within the pharmaceutical industry, have been documented:

Most worrisome is that ivermectin appears to be up against one of the largest financial and global policy oppositions in modern history, including but not limited to:

  • Numerous Big Pharma companies and sovereign nations selling billions of vaccine doses.
  • Concerns of numerous Big Pharma and Big PHA’s that if ivermectin is approved as effective treatment for COVID-19, EUAs for all vaccines would be revoked.
  • Numerous Big Pharma/Big PHA concerns that ivermectin’s potential as an alternative to vaccines may increase vaccine hesitancy and disrupt mass vaccination rollouts.
    • Opponents include large philanthropic sponsors with global vaccination goals.
    • Disinformation: WHO Panel does not review ivermectin prevention trials.
  • Numerous Big Pharma company investments in novel, engineered therapies (i.e., oral antivirals by Merck and Pfizer and Gilead) directly compete with ivermectin.
    • Disinformation: Merck places a post on their website, without scientific supporting evidence or named scientist authors that: “No evidence of either a mechanism of action, clinical efficacy or safety in COVID-19 exists.”
    • Disinformation: A Merck managing director argues against use in the Philippines by stating: “The levels of evidence do not come up to standards.”
  • Big Pharma company’s (Astra-Zeneca) investment into a long-acting antibody product for prevention and treatment of COVID-19, which competes with ivermectin.
  • Numerous Big Pharma’s monoclonal antibody products that compete with ivermectin.
  • Big Pharma’s Remdesivir demand would rapidly decline once hospitalizations were to decrease after ivermectin approval.

Based on the lack of a rational explanation for the above actions by WHO, Merck, FDA, and Unitaid, we conclude that they result from an active disinformation campaign, executed both through the PHA’s, media and the WHO Guideline group recommendations. As highly published researchers, we find the allegations of scientific misconduct in the writing of the WHO/United research team’s meta-analysis manuscript to be deeply disturbing. It clearly represents a disinformation tactic with an intent to distort and diminish the reporting of a large magnitude benefit on mortality among many hundreds of patients. Further, Merck’s demonstrably and blatantly false statements against ivermectin deserve  no further discussion. It is yet another entry into the disturbing historical record of actions committed by a Big Pharma entity with the primary intent of protecting profit at the expense of the welfare of global citizens.

For These Compelling and Irrefutable Reasons, The FLCCC Makes a Call to Action 

This call to action is no longer just to health authorities, but to citizens everywhere to fight back against these disinformation tactics. We find the advice of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) to be an excellent guide to action in this regard:

Global Citizens

  1. Share the playbook with your social media networks when you see new examples like those outlined above.
  2. Set the record straight. When you see someone spreading disinformation on a topic, counter it. There are millions around the world who either have studied the data or have experience with the potent efficacy of ivermectin in COVID-19. It is important to  correct false assertions.
  3. Consider divesting your retirement funds and other investments from companies engaging in disinformation.

Fellow Scientists

  1. Become a UCS Network Watchdog to help track and resist attacks on science.
  2. If a governmental or NGO scientistreport actions that diminish their role in policymaking.

Media

  1. Avoid false equivalencies that distort scientific consensus.
  2. Correct the record when scientific information is misrepresented, particularly by Big PHA/Big Pharma.
  3. Report abuses of science in government.

As an expert group of ivermectin researchers, we are unsure of what else to offer in order to correct or counteract this misrepresentation of an important drug. Our belief is that, of the above actions, the most effective counter to the disinformation campaign would be that a whistleblower become active from within WHO, the FDA, the NIH, Merck, or Unitaid. This moment in history demands a man or woman with the courage and conviction to step forward. Urgently.

In both the interests of humanity and to motivate and inspire such a citizen of the world, we leave you with the words of Albert Einstein: “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them and do nothing.

[1]Special emphasis must be placed on this decision; selecting only trials where very few deaths occurred.
(n.b., the number of events observed within trials is a primary criterion for judging the “certainty of evidence”). This action provides almost the entire basis for the panel’s assessment of a “very low certainty of evidence.” It is in effect, a “smoking gun,” one of the many actions above demonstrating that the primary objective of the Panel was to recommend against use of ivermectin.
[2]This omission is the second most important action allowing the panel to find a “very low certainty of evidence,” given that, per WHO protocol, if a dose-response relationship is found, the certainty of evidence must be upgraded.
[3]Special emphasis must be placed on the harm of excluding trials data supporting ivermectin in the prevention of COVID-19. If the preventive efficacy of ivermectin were to be known or accepted, this would allow deployment in regions without vaccines.
[4]British Ivermectin Recommendation Development (BIRD) panel (2021). The BIRD Recommendation on the Use of Ivermectin for COVID-19. Full report. https://tinyurl.com/u27ea3y
[5]The FLCCC Alliance recommended, as well as gave U.S. Senate testimony in support of, the use of corticosteroids in COVID-19 months before this announcement, during the prolonged period when all PHAs recommended against its use

Sincerely,

The Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance

Pierre Kory, MD
Keith Berkowitz, MD
Paul E. Marik, MD
Fred Wagshul, MD
Umberto Meduri, MD
Scott Mitchell, MBChB
Joseph Varon, MD
Eivind Vinjevoll, MD
Jose Iglesias, DO

###

May 16, 2021 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

YouTube restrictions on medical information are a public health concern

By PeterYim | TrialSiteNews | May 16, 2021

Recently, the American Journal of Therapeutics reported that there was strong evidence that a treatment for COVID-19 had been found:

“Meta-analyses based on 18 randomized controlled treatment trials of ivermectin in COVID-19 have found large, statistically significant reductions in mortality, time to clinical recovery, and time to viral clearance.”

The American Journal of Epidemiology also reported on strong evidence of a different treatment for COVID-19:

“Five studies, including 2 controlled clinical trials (of hydroxychloroquine), have demonstrated significant major outpatient treatment efficacy.”

What these reports have in common is that YouTube explicitly forbids these therapies to be discussed on its platform. It’s policy states:

“Don’t post content on YouTube if it includes ….. Claims that Ivermectin or Hydroxychloroquine are effective treatments for COVID-19”

Furthermore, YouTube characterizes any information that dissents from the view of the “local health authorities” or the World Health Organization as “misinformation”:

“YouTube doesn’t allow content that spreads medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities’ or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) medical information about COVID-19.”

Under YouTube policy, the peer-review medical literature has lost its place as the source of medical information to governmental and para-governmental organizations. In the US, the relevant organizations are the FDA and the NIH. The FDA currently recommends against the use of Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 except in clinical trials.

The FDA does not, however, offer any evidence to support this recommendation. In fact, the FDA clarifies:

“The FDA has not reviewed data to support use of ivermectin in COVID-19 patients to treat or to prevent COVID-19 …”

Nor does the FDA claim that any formal procedure was followed. It doesn’t even identify the individual or individuals who developed that recommendation.

The case of the NIH recommendation on Ivermectin is even more troubling. The NIH formally does not recommend for or against the use of Ivermectin but does make it clear that there are “insufficient data” to make that recommendation. The NIH names the medical experts who form the Panel and explains the procedures for developing the COVID-19 recommendations. Then, apparently, the NIH deceptively bypassed both in arriving at its recommendation.

Our reporting on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines has found that the NIH cannot state whether a vote was held to endorse the latest recommendation on Ivermectin. The NIH even decided to fight a complaint in federal court simply to avoid answering that question. This reporting shows that the NIH cannot be trusted.

Aside from the NIH’s deceptive ivermectin recommendation, the American public is generally skeptical of public health authorities. As reported earlier, a survey was recently conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health on the public’s views of the US public health authorities. The top line finding was:

“The public lacks the high level of trust in key public health institutions necessary to address today’s and future challenges.”

Why then is YouTube adhering so uncritically to the views of “local health authorities”? In so doing, it is obstructing patients and health care providers from accessing the best medical information.

May 16, 2021 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , | 3 Comments

Government insider says UK Gov. plans to continue Lockdown and the Mainstream Media are in on it

THE DAILY EXPOSE • MAY 15, 2021

A Whitehall source directly linked to the Covid Response has said that the UK Government have already structured a detailed plan designed to neutralise each stage of lockdown easing, including the compliance of media outlets to help spread fear.

The Whitehall source has said that he has been “increasingly concerned” with how the Government are behaving, and that their “relationship with the truth” is now not even on nodding terms. The latest plan will involve a series of ‘crisis’ around drug supply; mutant strains; and third waves, specifically choreographed to condition the public for further lockdowns and vaccine passports.

The plan, that according to the source is designed to take us to September 27th 2021 is to be released in stages over the summer months and, according to the Whitehall source, is already ‘well underway’.

On March the 8th, the first milestone of the roadmap was implemented, with school children finally returning to class. The following day Chris Whitty gave a pre-written speech to the Commons that said schools reopening would cause another surge in the virus and ended it with “Let me be clear, many, many more people will die before this is over” the soundbite obligingly repeated on every news outlet, with BBC news having it on-loop all day.

On March the 29th, the second milestone of the roadmap was implemented. The Government said – “The evidence shows that it is safer for people to meet outdoors rather than indoors,”. This is why from the 29th March, when most schools start to break up for the Easter holidays, outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either 6 people (the Rule of 6) or 2 households will also be allowed, making it easier for friends and families to meet outside.

The next day (March 30th) the AstraZeneca Vaccine was again stopped due to blood clots fears, despite the medicine’s regulator clearing it only the previous week. Whilst Boris Johnson repeated what he’d said the previous week that the mutated virus on the continent would inevitably “wash up on our shores”.

On April 19th, the third milestone saw pub gardens, and non-essential shops reopen. Followed immediately by news of a second vaccine being halted for fear it was causing blood clots and the discovery of the South African mutation said to be able to avoid them anyway.

The next milestone is due on May 17th with the Government relaxing social contact rules further and the opening of indoor venues. This will be followed by a story that the mutation is ‘more deadly than first thought’ and that young people are now also vulnerable to it, accompanied by the result of the vaccine passport trials have shown that they have a ‘positive effect on virus reduction’.

The final milestone is due on June 21st where ALL restrictions were promised to be lifted. This will not be allowed to happen. Vaccine passports / Track and Trace will be mandatory, as will masks and social distancing. The entire week of the 21st will be taken up by a third wave, which will suddenly be ‘rampant’, and this will be attributed to a new variant which they will declare is more deadly than the previous strains of Covid allegedly doing the rounds. This will be accompanied with yet more issues with vaccine supplies. Authorities will declare that one of the vaccines is effective against the deadlier strain, but a ‘problem’ with its manufacture will emerge.

The Whitehall source went on to say –

“All the measures are aimed at two things, vaccine passports and lockdowns starting next winter,

“The ultimate goal is to have the public, back in their box.

“Note that Boris is now talking down vaccine’s and bigging-up lockdowns, that wasn’t a mistake, that was all part of the plan”.

The plan also includes an ad campaign like the one seen at Christmas, the message this time will be that the pandemic isn’t over and vaccine passports are the ‘solution’.

May 16, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , , , | 3 Comments

Seeing Through the COVID-19 Spin

By Barbara Loe Fisher | The National Vaccine Information Center | April 26, 2021

Seeing through the COVID-19 spin is a challenge even for those who have been writing and talking for years about the need to limit Big Pharma’s influence on health policy and law. Perhaps the greatest change I have seen in vaccine regulation, policymaking and law over the past four decades has been the development of public-private business partnerships between Big Pharma and the government.1 2 3 4 5 That seismic change has affected how new vaccines are developed, licensed and regulated and is influencing what we see happening today.6 7

Since the coronavirus pandemic was declared by government officials in early 2020, lawmakers have been persuaded to build the entire global pandemic response around a single experimental biological product.8 9 10 That single product is generating billions of dollars in profits for liability free drug companies and their partners.11 12 The COVID-19 spin is reaching dizzying new heights every day,13 14 with fundamental facts about the experimental product’s risks and failures getting lost in the hard sell.

At dinner time, if you turn on any major television network in the U.S., you will see that the evening news has turned into one long COVID vaccine commercial infused with a heavy dose of fear mongering. Before the pandemic declaration, we had learned to ignore prescription drug advertising in-between getting news of the day. Now newscasters and TV docs are Pharma’s new COVID “vaccine” sales reps and the only way to get away from the 24/7 sales pitch is to turn off the TV.

Billions of Dollars Paid to TV Networks for DTC Pharma Ads

We should not be surprised. The U.S. and New Zealand are the only two countries in the world that allow direct to consumer pharmaceutical product advertising.15 16 17 In this country. Big Pharma pays US television networks five billion dollars per year to push use of drugs and vaccines.18

Taking a page out of Big Tobacco’s old book and upping the ante, Big Pharma has become a business partner of government.19 The COVID business deal is perhaps the single biggest one in the history of public health programs.20 21 22

Already wealthy drug companies were given at least nine billion dollars from the. government to develop experimental COVID vaccines in record breaking time,23 shaving five to 10 years off the normal vaccine development, testing and licensing process.24 25 But that wasn’t enough. Congress also handed companies a liability shield from lawsuits whenever the product government paid them to produce fails to work as advertised or a person is hurt by using it.26

If you or a loved one dies or is permanently injured by an experimental or soon-to-be FDA licensed COVID vaccine, you cannot sue the drug company who made it, even if there is evidence the company could have made it less reactive or more effective.

Big Pharma Pays Big Tech Billions of Dollars for Ads, Censorship Campaigns

If you are searching for relief from the hype by turning off the TV and turning on your computer, you will be disappointed. The COVID vaccine ad campaign is in high gear online, especially on social media platforms. The Thought Police hired by Big Tech to censor information that does not conform with pre-approved pandemic narratives are making sure you do not have an opportunity to carefully weigh the vaccine’s benefits and risks.27 28 29

Rational thinking on the World Wide Web is no longer tolerated and neither is freedom of speech. The Internet has become a drug company stockholder’s dream and a consumer’s worst nightmare.

Big Pharma and its business partners have paid a lot of money to Big Tech to eliminate freedom of thought and speech online. Right now the weapon of choice is a social media censorship campaign to de-platform dissenters, including reputable charitable organizations like the National Vaccine Information Center publishing well referenced information.30 31 32 The Internet Thought Police are especially upset when anyone talks about reports of serious vaccine complications and deaths, but reports about COVID-19 disease complications and deaths are allowed without restrictions.33

As COVID social distancing regulations have kept more people at home and on their electronic devices, the healthcare and pharma industry has poured more money into direct to consumer digital ads.34 In 2020, drug and vaccine manufacturers funneled about 10 billion dollars into digital advertising that we view on our computers, tablets and cell phones.35 36

How much of Big Tech’s decision to ghost dissenters from search engine results and de-platform social media accounts is influenced by an infusion of direct to consumer advertising dollars from Big Pharma?37

American Taxpayer Pays for COVID-19 Vaccine Ads

This year, the American taxpayer is also paying for TV and digital advertising to promote the use of the COVID-19 vaccine.38 On April 1, 2021, the government announced a three billion dollar COVID vaccine ad campaign39 to get make sure that every American gets vaccinated, a national ad campaign that is using community and religious leaders, as well as celebrities,40 41 to reach into every community to boost vaccine uptake in stores,42 sports arenas,43 schools44 and churches.45

Right now, Pfizer and Moderna, the two U.S. corporations manufacturing experimental messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccines are leading beneficiaries of the free advertising paid for by tax dollars. The first to secure an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA, Moderna counts the federal National Institutes for Health as a business partner,46 while Pfizer partnered with the German company BioNTech.47 Together, Moderna and Pfizer have captured market share and, by the end of 2020, Pfizer had achieved a 180 percent increase in revenue48 49 and Moderna had scored an eye watering 3,900 percent increase. 50 51

So what has the COVID vaccine advertising blitz done so far, other than convincing half of all adults to get at least one dose of the vaccine by mid-April 2021?52

The most notable achievement of the COVID vaccine campaign has been to keep everyone in a constant state of fear and confusion about what is true and what is false.53 There are so many misunderstandings and false impressions out there about the biological product manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer, a product that most people call a vaccine and other call a therapeutic drug but I call a cell disrupter biological.

No Long Term Safety Studies of Experimental mRNA Vaccines

Whatever you want to call it, the experimental mRNA technology that Moderna and Pfizer employed to create the product has not yet been licensed by the FDA to prevent infections in humans. 54 It is a genetic engineering technology that radically departs from the production methods used for two centuries to make live attenuated and inactivated viral and bacterial vaccines.55 It is an experimental technology that injects synthetic RNA directly into cells and, in effect, attempts to turn the human body into a vaccine manufacturing machine.56 57

There are no long-term studies58 evaluating the range of effects at the cellular and molecular level on the biological and genetic integrity of humans who receive the product. Nobody knows if it will, over time, negatively affect normal immune function and cause autoimmune and other chronic inflammatory conditions in the body,59 60 61 or provoke enhanced disease in vaccinated persons encountering mutated versions of the coronavirus in the future.62

Myth: Pfizer and Moderna mRNA Vaccines Have Been Proven to Prevent Infection and Transmission of SARS-CoV-2

What are the two biggest myths that have been generated by the advertising campaign being conducted with Pharma and taxpayer dollars?

The first big myth is that if you get two doses of the mRNA COVID vaccine, you will get artificial immunity and cannot be asymptomatically or symptomatically infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and you will not be able to infect others who come in physical contact with you: you dutifully got vaccinated and now you are immune.63 That is a normal assumption because that is what vaccines are supposed to do, but it is a false assumption.

The Emergency Use Authorization the FDA gave to Pfizer and Moderna was not granted based on scientific evidence that the product prevented infection and transmission of SARS-Cov-2.64 65 In fact, the FDA directed manufacturers in the summer of 2020 to make a product that had at least a 50 percent efficacy rate in either preventing or reducing severity of COVID-19 disease.66

The companies chose to apply for an EUA based on nine months of clinical trial data that the product prevents people from developing severe symptoms of COVID-19 disease 67 and reduces the likelihood they will have serious complications leading to hospitalization and death – not that it prevents infection and transmission. There is a difference.

TAKE HOME FACT: COVID-19 vaccines were not designed and have not yet been proven to prevent infection and transmission of the new coronavirus in the majority of recipients. Apparently, that is why public health officials are telling vaccinated people they have to continue wearing masks and social distancing just like unvaccinated people.68 69

Myth: It is “Good” to Feel Bad After mRNA Covid-19 Shots Because It Means the Vaccine is “Working”

The second big myth being perpetuated by COVID spin is that when you have strong reactions to a COVID-19 shot, it is “good” because it means the vaccine is “working.”70 71

The companies and public health officials admit that the mRNA vaccines are reactive and that the majority of people, especially younger people, who get vaccinated will experience reactions strong enough to require a day or two of recovery and even time off work.72 73 But there is not one credible scientific study published in the medical literature demonstrating that high fevers, chills, headache, joint and muscle aching, disabling fatigue and other symptoms are “good” for the body and indicate the body is successfully producing artificial immunity.

In fact, strong reactions to pharmaceutical products like drugs and vaccines are usually something to be concerned about and a reason to exercise caution, especially with repeat doses. 74 75 76

More concerning are the 68,000 adverse event reports following COVID-19 vaccinations, including over 2600 deaths, 77 that have been reported as of April 8, 2021 to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) created under the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.78 79 80 81 More than 70 percent of the reaction reports occurred in people between 17 and 65 years old. And that may be just the tip of the iceberg because one government funded study found that less than one percent of vaccine reactions are ever reported to the vaccine reaction reporting system82 created under the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.

Although Pfizer, Moderna and the government admit that messenger RNA COVID vaccines can cause a lot of reaction symptoms like fever, body pain and disabling fatigue,83 84 85 they adamantly deny that the shots cause sudden death86 87 88 or blood clots89 90 91 92 and bleeding disorders like immune thrombocytopenic purpura,93 cardiac and respiratory arrest,94 95 and other very serious health problems.96

Where is the biological mechanism science that proves it is only a coincidence when people suddenly die within minutes, 97 days or weeks of being given a COVID shot98 and that none of the tens of thousands of bad health outcomes being reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System are causally related?99

Where is science backing up the claim that feeling so bad you can’t get out of bed or go to work after getting vaccinated is “good” because being in pain is evidence that the product is effective?

TAKE HOME FACT: COVID-19 shots cause reactions in the majority of people.100 101 There is no scientific evidence that having strong reactions to a drug or biological means that the product is effective.102

Government health officials have said that COVID-19 vaccines will be approved for use in children of any age by early 2022.103 With the majority of adults suffering very strong COVID vaccine reactions, especially younger adults,104 105 why are there plans to give the messenger RNA cell disrupter biological to infants and young children when the CDC says the majority of chilren with COVID-19 disease either have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all? 106

The enormous sums of money that Big Pharma and government is spending on television and digital ad campaigns to make sure that every child and adult in America gets a COVID-19 vaccine is creating false impressions and assumptions. When public policy precedes the science and aggressive advertising campaign blur the lines between facts and myths, truth gets lost in the spin and nobody is safe.

Go to NVIC.org and learn more about SARS-Cov-2 and the biological product being referred to as the COVID-19 vaccine on our new coronavirus information pages.

Go to NVICAdvocacy.org, where you can learn how to help defend informed consent rights in your state so you can make voluntary decisions about vaccination for yourself and your minor children.

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103 Thomas N. Fauci expects almost all children to be eligible for Covid-19 vaccines by first quarter 2022 at the latest. CNN Apr 18, 2021.

104 Koweek M. Younger adults are having harsher Covid vaccine side effects. WHIO TV Mar. 5, 2021.

105 Bendix A. Why you can expect more severe vaccine side effects if you’re younger or a woman. Business Insider Apr. 6, 2021.

106 CDC. COVID-19 in Children and Teens: What You Need to Know. Mar. 17, 2021.

May 16, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

When Will the Evidence From Florida and Texas Break Through the SAGE Groupthink?

By Will Jones • Lockdown Sceptics • May 16, 2021

The latest model of doom from Government advisory group SAGE appeared yesterday, predicting a ludicrous 10,000 hospital admissions a day in mid-July in a vaccinated population (nearly three times the January peak) because of the Indian variant – and that’s the central scenario. Furthermore, the researchers don’t even think the Indian variant is more deadly or particularly good at evading vaccines. So how do they conclude it will precipitate such a calamity?

Professor Adam Kucharski, a SAGE modeller from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), explains their reasoning:

The issue is that many people have a mental image that we’ve [already] had the biggest possible epidemic waves, whereas we’ve actually had ones that are relatively small compared to what could have happened without control measures in place. Because of these controls, only a fraction of the people who could have got infected in the past year or so have been infected, so they’re still out there. Of course, for many of these people vaccines have now decreased their risk substantially. But a very large number of infections that come with a very small individual level of risk can produce a similar outcome to a smaller epidemic that carries a larger individual level of risk.

Maths whizz Glen Bishop, writing for Lockdown Sceptics, has shown why SAGE’s assumptions are so unrealistic as to produce these highly implausible scenarios. In their central scenario, for example, they assume that around half of the UK will be simultaneously infected in one week in mid-July. This is despite the January peak only having around 2% of the population infected at one time, according to the ONS.

Another of the models’ big assumptions, prominent in what Prof Kucharski says above, is that lockdowns and social distancing have successfully suppressed the virus and that it is only because they continue in some form that the flood of infections, hospitalisations and deaths is held back. The latest modelling starkly shows how, even with a high vaccination coverage as in the UK, such an assumption can produce predictions so dire they send twitchy Governments reaching for the lockdown order.

As the SAGE briefing says:

At this point in the vaccine rollout, there are still too few adults vaccinated to prevent a significant resurgence that ultimately could put unsustainable pressure on the NHS, without non-pharmaceutical interventions. … It is a realistic possibility that this new variant of concern could be 50% more transmissible. If [the Indian variant] does have such a large transmission advantage, it is a realistic possibility that progressing with all roadmap steps would lead to a substantial resurgence of hospitalisations.

In fact, there is no evidence (outside models, which are not evidence) that lockdown measures or social distancing have any significant impact on reducing Covid infections or deaths. This is why the states in America which removed their restrictions in March (Texas) or last autumn (Florida) or never imposed them (South Dakota) are doing no worse, and often better, than many states which maintained strict restrictions throughout the winter (see the graph above). Sweden demonstrates a similar point in Europe.

The depressing truth, though, is that sceptics have largely failed to get this basic point across to those in charge and their scientific advisers. It’s not as though the evidence is not there. There are numerous peer-reviewed articles in leading journals that set out the evidence on this, and more keep appearingLeading scientists have raised their heads to make the evidence-based case.

Graphs like the above, which should by themselves undermine the entire lockdown edifice, are easy to produce. Leading journalists such as Fraser Nelson, writing in one of the leading Tory newspapers, the Telegraph, has pointed repeatedly to the evidence on this. The data is plain for all to see and the voices highlighting it are not marginal or lacking in credibility.

Yet here we are again, with another model built on dubious assumptions and a presumption of lockdown efficacy once more imperilling our liberty. Freedom has never felt so fragile as in these past 14 months, when access to basic liberties has rested on the evidence-free assumptions made by a small group of mathematical modellers whose word seems to be taken as holy writ by those in charge.

Adam Kucharski is on Twitter. So why not ask him (politely!) why, if so many people remain so susceptible to this virus and its variants as to produce such dire predictions, Florida, Texas and South Dakota have fared no worse than places which have imposed or maintained restrictions? I’ve put the graph as the featured image to make it easy to share – just put a link to this article in the tweet and the graph should appear. If you get any answers from him, why not email them to us here.

May 16, 2021 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 4 Comments

Israel’s War on Truth-Telling Media and Journalists

By Stephen Lendman | May 16, 2021

Time and again, truth-telling journalism as it should be is a casualty of all things war and related violence.

Big Lies, mass deception, and censorship are weapons of war by other means — in support of the official falsified narrative.

In their book titled “Guardians of Power,” David Edwards and David Cromwell explained why today’s media are in crisis — free and open societies at risk.

It’s because press prostitution substitutes fiction for fact — notably in the US, other Western countries and Israel.

Their state-approved sanitized reports stick exclusively to the official falsified narrative in support of wealth, power and privilege over full and accurate reporting.

In the US especially, news consumers are fed a daily diet of managed news misinformation, disinformation, junk food news and infotainment — at all times.

Notably in times of war, their reports regurgitate state-supplied talking points.

Whatever diverges from the official falsified narrative is filtered out and suppressed.

Adopted unanimously by Security Council members in December 2006, SC Res. 1738 affirms protection for civilians and journalists in war theaters — calling their safety and security “urgent and important.”

Condemning intentional attacks on fourth estate members, the resolution demands accountability for responsible parties.

At all times, especially at times of war and under occupation, civilians are protected persons. So are journalists — under international law.

Throughout at least most of its history, Israel waged war on truth-telling Palestinian journalists.

They’re at risk of arrest, prosecution, imprisonment, and/or assassination.

According to the Committee to Support Palestinian Journalists, “(t)he Israeli occupation tries to muzzle the Palestinian journalists’ mouths and prevent them from unmasking its barbaric practices in the occupied Palestinian territories to the international media.”

Palestinian journalists covering Israeli violence against legitimate protesters risk serious injury or death.

Anyone wearing a flak jacket labeled press is vulnerable, their unprotected areas vulnerable to Israeli sniper attacks by live fire — including use of exploding dum dum bullets able to leave fist-sized existing wounds in individuals struck.

They’re designed to inflict disabling damage to internal organs or death — even though banned by the 1899 Hague Convention.

Since IDF terror-bombing and shelling of Gaza began on May 10, silencing truth-telling media has been a prioritized Netanyahu regime aim.

The same objective is sought in all Israeli preemptive wars, as well as at all other times on whatever conflicts with official falsified Israeli talking points.

On May 15 in Gaza, Israeli terror-bombing turned the 11-story Al-Jalaa building to smoldering rubble — its occupants given one hour to vacate the premises.

It’s unknown so far if some remained inside and perished.

Along with residences of Gazan families, the building housed international media offices.

According to DW News, AP News, AFP, Al Jazeera, other international media operations, and local Palestinian news agencies had offices in the building.

The IDF defied reality by falsely claiming that the building included Hamas “military assets (sic),” adding:

“(O)ffices of civilian media outlets (were) use(d) (by Hamas) as human shields (sic).”

According to AP News, the Netanyahu regime and IDF “did not provide evidence for the claim” — because there is none.

On its Saturday newscast, senior Al Jazeera (AJ) political analyst Marwan Bishara minced no words in debunking the thinly veiled IDF Big Lie.

Gaza-based AJ journalist Al Kahlout said the following in response to Israel’s destruction of the Al-Jalaa building with three missiles:

“(N)o one can understand the feeling of the people whose homes have been destroyed by such kind of air attacks,” adding:

“It’s really difficult to wake up one day and then you realize that your office is not there with all the career experiences, memories that you’ve had.”

Separately on Saturday, IDF terror-bombing destroyed a Gaza City area refugee camp three-story residence, massacring eight children and two women.

The above buildings had no military significance. Israel defied reality by claiming otherwise.

In response to its destruction of Gaza’s Al Jalaa building, AP News president and CEO Gary Pruitt said the following:

“The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today.”

“We are shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing AP’s bureau and other news organizations in Gaza.”

“This is an incredibly disturbing development. We narrowly avoided a terrible loss of life.”

Separately, AP reported:

“For 15 years, the AP’s top-floor office and roof terrace were a prime location for covering Israel’s conflicts with Gaza.”

Now it’s gone, along with scores of massacred Gazans, including women and children.

NY-based Committee to Protect Journalists’ executive director Joel Simon said the following:

“This latest attack on a building long known by Israel to house international media raises the specter that the IDF is deliberately targeting media facilities in order to disrupt coverage of the human suffering in Gaza.”

Indeed so!!

Silencing coverage of its high crimes of war, against humanity, and other human rights abuses is longstanding Israeli policy — in flagrant breach of international law.

On May 10, the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) reported the following:

It “condemn(ed) escalating attacks of the occupation forces against journalists and media workers in Palestine…”

MADA noted what’s going on in “occupied…Jerusalem…aim(s) (to) block the transmission of the violations to the world.”

“This was accompanied by widespread violations of freedom of expression committed by social media companies to serve the goal of the occupation state by obscuring the attacks implemented by its soldiers and settlers.”

In early May alone, “Israeli attacks against journalists during their field coverage of events, as the occupation army targeted a number of journalists while they were” reporting on what’s going on.

At least “10 (Palestinian) journalists” were targeted and “injured.”

“(I)mpunity of the Israeli occupation forces over the years for their almost daily crimes and violations of media freedoms in Palestine, including the killing of more than 40 journalists during the past two decades, is what encourage them to continue committing more crimes and violations, which requires serious action to prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes, as the only way to reduce it.”

Facebook, Twitter, and other “social media companies… deliberately blocked and suspended the accounts of many Palestinian citizens, including many journalists…”

MADA called their action “a severe violation against freedom of expression (in cahoots with) the occupation state (by) blocking facts and suppressing media freedoms and freedom of expression.”

At the same time, they freely allow hostile-to-truth-telling Western and Israeli propaganda on their “platforms.”

May 16, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Facebook deletes “I trust my immune system” profile photo frames under “misinformation” policy

By Christina Maas | Reclaim the Net | May 16, 2021

Facebook has a lengthy policy on what people are allowed to talk about in relation to COVID vaccines. However, as of the end of last week, the platform continued to host “pro-immune system” profile picture frames until it was contacted by CNBC News.

An analysis by CNBC News found out that there are dozens of profile picture frames promoting pro-immune system opinions. Some are using statements such as “I TRUST MY IMMUNE SYSTEM! #NOTASHOT.” Others didn’t mention the word vaccine, such as “I HAVE AN IMMUNE SYSTEM! #MedicalFreedom.”

Facebook has now deleted all of these frames.

A spokesperson for Facebook told CNBC that such frames did actually violate its policies, adding that the platform would remove frames with vaccine skeptic messages. In its policy on anti-vaccine misinformation, the platform prohibits, “promoting alternative treatments or natural immunity, celebrating those who refuse vaccination, and encouraging vaccine refusals without citing medical rationales or guidance,” and “claims that something other than COVID-19 vaccine can vaccinate you against “COVID-19.”

The spokesperson also noted that pro-vaccine frames are allowed and are trending on the platform.

“In countries where vaccines are available to most of the population, like the US and the UK, we ramped up our efforts to show people when their friends and neighbors share their support for vaccines through profile frames and stickers,” Facebook wrote in a blog post earlier this week.

May 16, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , | 2 Comments

The Markets Are Rigged

Corbett • 05/14/2021

At base, the markets are a con game where the rich and powerful employ a raft of confidence men to lure suckers into the latest mania. In this game, the suckers are the general public who are left holding the bag as the market bubble bursts while the smart money swoops in to buy up the leftover assets at pennies on the dollar. In this week’s edition of The Corbett Report, James Corbett pulls back the curtain on the Wall Street casino and reveals how the house always wins the rigged games.

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TRANSCRIPT

In December of 2020, video game retailer GameStop reported an operating loss of $63 million in the previous quarter on the back of an 11% reduction in the store base. The story—just one of dozens of such reports flooding the financial newswires—meant little to the general public and went largely unnoticed.

Two groups did show an interest in the news, however: the Wall Street vultures who see every faltering company as an easy source of money in the futures markets and a small band of retail investors who saw the potential for the floundering gaming franchise to turn things around.

Within a matter of weeks, these two groups would clash in one of the most spectacular stock market face offs in recent memory. Even the White House got drawn into the saga.

REPORTER: I was concerned about the stock market activity we’re seeing around GameStop and now with some other stocks as well, including the subsidiary or whatever—the company that was . . .  Blockbuster?—and have there been any conversations with the SEC about how to proceed?

JEN PSAKI: Well, I’m also happy to repeat that we have the first female treasury secretary and a team that’s surrounding her and often questions about market we’ll send to them. But our team is of course—our economic team, including Secretary Yellen and others—are monitoring the situation.

SOURCE: Biden Team Is ‘Monitoring’ the Surge in GameStop Shares, Psaki Says

The human drama in the story made it easily recognizable as a David vs. Goliath narrative. Here was a ragtag band of mom-and-pop—or, in this case, millennial—investors going up against the hudge fund billionaires. And, just as it seemed they may actually have an effect, the full power of the financial and political system seemed to swoop in to suppress them.

But the “revelation” that retail investors are fighting a rigged game against the Wall Street hedge fund behemoths is hardly a revelation at all. In fact, it is merely the latest example in a long series of events showing that the stock market was never meant to bring riches and fortune to the average investor.

Instead, when the story is told in its full context, there is only one obvious conclusion to be drawn:

The Markets Are Rigged.

You’re tuned into The Corbett Report.

The stock market is often portrayed in the financial media as a magical crystal ball that can not only tell us about what is happening in the economy, but predict geopolitical events, forecast elections, or even reveal to us the inner workings of the minds of men.

BECKY QUICK: Alright, so polls are one way of trying to figure out who’s going to win. Watching the markets are another. They’re pretty good at predicting elections sometimes, too.

SOURCE: Here’s how markets may predict who will win the presidential election

LESLIE PICKER: Valuations on a price-to-earnings basis are below post-crisis averages leading some to believe that decent fundamentals could—emphasis on could—jumpstart the shares higher.

DOMINIC CHU: You’re telling me you don’t have a crystal ball . . .

PICKER: I don’t.

CHU: . . . And I don’t blame you.

PICKER: I don’t. But even I did I couldn’t say it here.

CHU: Alright.

PICKER: (Laughs)

SOURCE: Worldwide Exchange CNBC October 12, 2018 5:00am-6:00am EDT

KRISTINA HOOPER: Well, we could very well see some gains, some pullbacks, more gains. Certainly animal spirits are alive and well, but I would argue it’s a very different spirit animal than last year. Since the start of February our spirit animal is probably the chihuahua.

SOURCE: Bloomberg Markets Americas Bloomberg February 16, 2018 10:00am-11:00am EST

But this is a lie. In reality, the markets are driven not by underlying economic fundamentals, as the public is asked to believe, but by the actions of the central banks.

This is not even a controversial point.

In 2014, the Bank for International Settlements warned that central banks were causing “elevated” asset prices.

report from the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum that same year warned that “Central banks around the world, including in Europe, are buying increasing volumes of equities” and “The same authorities that are responsible for maintaining financial stability are often the owners of the large funds that have the potential to cause problems.”

And in 2016—in the midst of the historic bull run that has seen the Dow Jones and S&P indexes reach all-time record high after all-time record high—economist Brian Barnier published a report documenting that between the beginning of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program in 2008 and the 1st quarter of 2015, the Fed was directly responsible for 93% of equity value growth in the US.

This modern era of central bank-dominated markets, however, is only the latest version of a game that is as old as the markets themselves. At base it’s a con game where the rich and powerful employ a raft of confidence men to lure suckers into the latest market mania. In this game, the “suckers” are the general public who are left holding the bag as the market bubble bursts while the “smart money” swoops in to buy up the leftover assets at pennies on the dollar.

The game was being played as far back as 1814 when a uniformed man posing as the aide-de-camp of Lord Cathcart landed in Dover spreading the false rumour that Napoleon had been killed by a detachment of Cossacks. When the rumours reached London later that day, three men dressed up as French officers in white Bourbon cockades were parading across Blackfriars bridge proclaiming the end of the Napoleonic empire and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. By the time the British government officially dispelled the rumour later that afternoon, an elaborate fraud had already played out in the London stock markets. The rumour had kicked off a buying frenzy and the perpetrators of what is now known as The Great Fraud of Cowley—the ones who had started the rumours and hired the actors to help spread them—had already sold 1.1 million pounds worth of government stock into the market peak.

Another bit of market manipulation centering around Napoleon’s military fortunes played out again the next year, in 1815. Nathan Rothschild of the infamous Rothschild banking dynasty used the smuggling network that he and his brothers had built to funnel gold and silver to Wellington’s army to get news of Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo back to London 24 hours before the official word reached the British government. Although a fancified version of the story involving homing pigeons and Nathan’s acting abilities at the stock exchange are easily dismissed as anti-Semitic slurs by the mainstream press, even the official Rothschild Archive treatment of the incident admits that Nathan Rothschild did receive early warning of Wellington’s victory and he did profit from that foreknowledge in the stock market. Historian Niall Ferguson has written on the subject in detail in his authorized biography of the Rothschilds and even the BBC published a story in 1998 outlining how the conspiracy functioned and how the brothers communicated in secret by writing their letters in the Judendeutsch script they had learned in their childhood in the Frankfurt Jewish ghetto.

The stock market con game isn’t just an historical relic, though. Those with advance knowledge of world events continue to profit from their insider information, sometimes in the most macabre way imaginable.

ANTONIO MORA: What many Wall Street analysts believe is that the terrorists made bets that a number of stocks would see their prices fall. They did so by buying what they call ‘puts.’ If you bet right the rewards can be huge. The risks are also huge unless you know something bad is going to happen to the company you’re betting against.

DYLAN RATIGAN: This could very well be insider trading at the worst, most horrific, most evil use you’ve ever seen in your entire life.

SOURCE: 9/11 Wall Street Blames Put Option Inside Trading On Terrorists

In the wake of 9/11, researchers began to uncover a money trail that proved those with advance knowledge of the attack had indeed used their insider information to profit from the events of that day.

In addition to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States, the governments of ItalyGermanyBelgium and other countries began their own investigations into a series of trades betting against companies that were hurt by 9/11—like Boeing, Merrill Lynch, United Airlines, Munich Re and others—and betting on companies that profited from the attacks—including a six-fold increase in call options on the stock of defense contractor Raytheon on September 10, 2001.

In subsequent years, not one, not two, but three separate, peer-reviewed papers concluded that the unusual trading in the weeks prior to 9/11 were “consistent with insiders anticipating the 9/11 attacks.” But incredibly, the SEC investigation into this money trail was abruptly terminated and the records of that investigation were subsequently destroyed.

Why? Because, as researchers like Kevin RyanMichael Ruppert and others later discovered, the trail led them to the doorstep not of Al Qaeda, but well-connected American businessmen and intelligence officials.

MICHAEL C. RUPPERT: So right after the attacks of 9/11 the name Buzzy Krongard surfaced. It was instant research that revealed that Buzzy Krongard had been allegedly recruited by CIA Director George Tenet to become the Executive Director at CIA, which is the number three position, right before the attacks.

And Alex Brown was one of the many subsidiaries of Deutsche Bank, one of the primary vehicles or instruments that handled all of these criminal trades by people who obviously knew that the attacks were going to take place, where, how and involving specific airlines.

SOURCE: Terror Trading 9/11

KEVIN RYAN: I came across this document that had been released: a memorandum for the record of the 9/11 Commission. It was prepared by a staff member of the 9/11 Commission. His name is Douglas Greenberg and he reviewed simply the FBI’s meetings on their communications related to this. This document identified a couple of companies that were flagged by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and one of them—this was September 21st just ten days after the attacks—one of these companies that was flagged was called Stratesec. And this is a very interesting company because it’s a security company that had contracts for the World Trade Center and Dulles Airport where one of the planes took off on 9/11, as well as United Airlines, which owned two of the other three planes. So this security company, Stratesec, was a very central player in in the events of 9/11, you could say, because they ran security for these different areas in the years leading up to 9/11.

So for them this company stopped to be flagged by the SEC was very compelling and when I looked at this document—prepared by the 9/11 Commission which wasn’t released until 2007—I noticed that the  names had been redacted of the stock traders, but I could make out who they were. In particular, one of them was a director of the company Stratesec. He was also a director of a company in Oklahoma, an aviation company. He was also a director of a Washington, DC-based financial organization. With just that information you could tell very clearly that this man was Wirt Dexter Walker. He was the Chief Executive Officer of Stratesec and also a director there. His wife, Sally Walker, was also named in the flagging by the SEC. So I began looking into that.

SOURCE: Terror Trading 9/11

JEREMY ROTHE-KUSHEL: …the last thing I want to leave you with is the National Reconnaissance Office was running a drill of a plane crashing into their building and you know they’re staffed by DoD and CIA…

ROBERT BAER: I know the guy that went into his broker in San Diego and said “Cash me out, it’s going down tomorrow.”

JEREMY ROTHE KUSHEL: Really?

ROBERT BAER: Yeah.

STEWART HOWE: That tells us something.

ROBERT BAER: What?

STEWART HOWE: That tells us something.

ROBERT BAER: Well, his brother worked at the White House.

(SOURCE: WeAreChangeLA debriefs CIA Case Officer Robert Baer about apparent Mossad and White House 9/11 foreknowledge)

Horrific as these instances of insider trading are, an even deeper layer of the story lies in the fact that these trades—unlike the high-profile show trials of Martha Stewart and other stories-of-the-week—never result in prosecutions. The protection afforded the 9/11 inside traders speaks to an even deeper layer of the problem: the use of the markets to line the pockets of insiders and their political cronies is not a bug in the system, but a feature. In fact, the entire system has been designed to be manipulable, ensuring that the little guys never have a chance against the billionaire bankers and hedge funds.

A clue to this story goes back to the most well-known event in stock market history: the Great Crash of 1929. Even there, in the midst of one of the most devastating financial collapses in human history, there was money to be made by insiders who knew what was coming.

One such insider was Albert Henry Wiggin, Chairman of the Chase National Bank and the man who had been instrumental in attracting the Rockefeller family to begin their century-long involvement in Chase. When the market began plummeting on Black Thursday 1929, Wiggin and his fellow banking associates were lauded as heroes for their actions to restore order to the market, which culminated in New York Stock Exchange Vice President Richard Whitney stepping out on the floor of the Exchange and making a great commotion by yelling out orders for key stocks at above-market prices.

What the public did not know, but what emerged three years later during congressional investigation, was that by the time chaos descended on Black Tuesday 1929, Wiggin had already positioned himself to profit handsomely from the financial havoc that he knew was coming. As Nomi Prins details in her book, All the President’s Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power:

Wiggin knew he was covered no matter what happened. Shortly before the Crash, he shorted shares in his own bank by borrowing shares from various brokers at prices he anticipated would fall, at which time he would buy the shares in the market at lower prices and return them to the brokers, making money on the difference. When the Dow stood at 359 on September 23, 1929 (the market had topped out twenty days earlier at 381), he placed what would be a hugely profitable bet that Chase’s stock would fall.

[. . .]

Before shorting those shares, Wiggin executed another profitable and shady strategy, using his bank’s funds to plump the shares up. He placed $200 million of his depositors’ money into trusts that speculated in Chase stock, thus participating in the very pool operations that artificially boosted its price during the run-up to the Crash. He pocketed $10.4 million from these trades, including $4 million from shorting the shares he drove up (after he drove them up) during the two-week period preceding the Crash. His justification for selling his own shares while Chase Securities was pushing customers to buy them was that the price was “ridiculously high.” He had, in effect, bet against all the other Chase shareholders who had trusted in his hype about the firm.

Another person who profited greatly from the financial crash was Joseph P. Kennedy, father of future president John F. Kennedy. The famous story, likely apocryphal but parroted by NPRThe Washington PostPBS and any number of mainstream outlets, is that Kennedy, a savvy stock trader, knew the market was overheated when a random shoeshine boy gave him stock tips.

If this story is to be believed, Joe’s random interaction with a shoeshine boy in 1929 was one of the most profitable conversations of his life. Not only did Kennedy sell off most of his stock holdings shortly before the crash, he aggressively shorted the markets, meaning that while most of America—and much of the world—was plunged into one of the deepest and most prolonged financial crises in the history of the country, the Kennedy family flourished. In 1977, eight years after Joe’s death, the New York Times estimated the family fortune to be somewhere between $300 and $500 million.

There are more than enough reasons to doubt that it was actually a brief chat with a shoeshine boy that led to Kennedy’s remarkable good fortune, however. The patriarch of the Kennedy dynasty had a reputation as an unscrupulous businessman, including the persistent allegations that he made his fortune in bootlegging during the Prohibition era. And so it was a shock to the nation when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed Kennedy to head the newly created Securities and Exchange Commission in 1934.

Even the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Historical Society struggles to explain the choice. “Kennedy had profited handsomely from financial manipulation,” their website frankly admits, “but he understood keenly the need to balance the interests of the people with the imperatives of the financial markets.” For his part, when asked why he had tapped a well-known scoundrel like Kennedy to head such an agency, President Roosevelt is said to have replied: “Takes one to catch one.”

That the SEC, the “independent federal agency” tasked with regulating the markets, should have an admitted market manipulator as its first chair should not be surprising when the agency’s track record is examined. Time and again, the SEC has not just allowed market manipulation to take place, but actively facilitated it.

When the largest Ponzi scheme in market history, Bernie Madoff’s unbelievable $64.8 billion investment fraud scam, came to a crashing halt with his arrest in December of 2008, attention turned to the SEC. How could the agency, which had investigated Madoff’s investment firm multiple times, not have halted the scam earlier?

A subsequent Inspector General report made the scope of this “failure” even more unbelievable, finding that “between June 1992 and December 2008 when Madoff confessed, the SEC received six substantive complaints that raised significant red flags concerning Madoff’s hedge fund operations and should have led to questions about whether Madoff was actually engaged in trading.” After excoriating the agency for its incompetence time and again over the course of two decades of failed opportunities, the report concludes:

As the foregoing demonstrates, despite numerous credible and detailed complaints, the SEC never properly examined or investigated Madofi’s trading and never took the necessary, but basic, steps to determine if Madoff was operating a Ponzi scheme. Had these efforts been made with appropriate follow-up at any time beginning in June of 1992 until December 2008, the SEC could have uncovered the Ponzi scheme well before Madoff confessed.

HARRY MARKOPOLOS: I gift wrapped and delivered the largest Ponzi scheme in history to them and somehow they couldn’t be bothered to conduct a thorough and proper investigation because they were too busy on matters of higher priority. If a $50 billion Ponzi scheme doesn’t make the SEC’s priority list, then I want to know who sets their priorities.

SOURCE: Madoff tipster Markopolos calls SEC captive to Wall Street

Similarly, when Enron shook the markets in 2001 by declaring the then-largest bankruptcy in history after its systemic accounting fraud was exposed, the question of the SEC’s role in the scandal arose. Why had the agency not caught on to the scam? A subsequent Senate Committee report excoriated the commission, noting that the “watchdog” had only opened one (unrelated) investigation into Enron in the past decade, that it repeatedly missed warning signs of corporate misconduct, that it granted the company unusual leeway in using mark-to-market accounting for its transactions and did not even seek to validate the models employed by the energy giant. In the end, the committee concluded that the entire affair represented a “systemic and catastrophic failure” of the SEC.

But the SEC did not use the lessons learned in these “systemic and catastrophic failures” to stop such fraud from taking place in the future. In fact, the Commission responded to these “failures” not by stringently cracking down on these scams, but by helping to facilitate new kinds of untraceable accounting trickery.

In the wake of the signal “failures” of SEC and other regulators to prevent the scandalous accounting fraud and subsequent catastrophic failures of Enron, Worldcom and Tyco, the US Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a federal law intended to “protect investors by improving the accuracy and reliability of corporate disclosures made pursuant to the securities laws, and for other purposes.” The nature of those “other purposes” soon became apparent as the devil emerged from the details of the software that promised to streamline the Sarbanes-Oxley compliance process for companies operating in the new regulatory environment.

One of these software solutions was EmailXtender, an email archiving program designed to help companies comply with Sarbanes-Oxley reporting requirements. The program was supposed to create a permanent record of emails so that auditors would be able to access all communications in the future, but, according to Richard Grove, who was working as a software salesman selling the program to prospective corporate clients, the program actually provided companies with a way to permanently and untraceably delete those records.

RICHARD GROVE: So a few weeks later in August of 2003 I was at a client called the NASD— which later changed its name so it’s now called the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority—and the NASD was looking at our product and they wanted to use it internally. And one of the guys across the table says to me, “Hey, wait a minute. This product has a back door! Because right here where you’re supposed to take this information and put it on the write-once-read-many storage, which is a type of permanent storage,” he said, “There’s this jar file and you can delete the jar file and then there’s no evidence of that transaction whatsoever.”

So he was showing me across a table that there’s a loophole, there’s a back door in a software that allows nefarious transactions to go on and subsequently they didn’t buy the software they’re like, “This is bullshit, this isn’t worth the money. This is not what it’s supposed to be and you should do something about that.” Now, I had management from my side in the meeting so I went to my managers afterwards and I’m like, “What’s this all about and why what’s going on with this?” and I was told not to talk about it.

SOURCE: The Economy Lie – Part 2 – Richard Grove

Concerned with the possibility for mass financial fraud that was being enabled by this software, Grove took his concerns to the SEC. But instead of acting on this information to launch an investigation into the company and the software, the SEC not only dismissed Grove’s warning, but went out and bought that very software for their own use.

RICHARD GROVE: Right now the SEC reports to the President. So at the end of the day when the SEC was telling me they’re not interested, they’re telling me they’re not interested because I’m tying the Bush administration in with billionaire Richard Egan and his company that’s helping these companies do this. Of course they don’t want to sponsor that getting out to the public.

I filed a lawsuit, I represented myself in court against a multi-billion dollar international corporation and after three years—and after proving my case in court, including the fact that the SEC acted with complicity to protect the perpetrators—my case was dismissed on a technicality. Recognizing that the events I proved in court actually happened but were conveniently “outside the statute of limitations for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.”

And once I understood the purpose of Sarbanes-Oxley regulations was to keep these companies from deleting files and that the back door in the software allow these companies to delete files— and more importantly the fact that someone outside of the company that’s not even associated with the company but has access to that software could launder money or steal money or just delete money from corporations and switch financial records all around without anyone, any investigator, any auditor being able to audit that—those things I thought were interesting. But when the SEC, after I told them, bought the software with the back door in it and started to use it for itself then I knew that the SEC was not there to regulate like I thought it was. They were also, “Hey, we can find a benefit from this back door in a software. We can delete files now. Now we’re above the law!”

SOURCE: The Economy Lie – Part 2 – Richard Grove

But of all the various schemes for manipulating the markets, none have been quite so brazen as the Plunge Protection Team.

Formally known as the “Working Group on Financial Markets,” the Plunge Protection Team, or PPT, was born in the wake of another stock market crash: Black Monday of October 1987. Far from a “conspiracy theory” or “internet rumour,” the formation of the group was announced in the pages of the Federal Register on March 22, 1988, which contained, on page 9421, the text of Executive Order 12631, a seemingly mundane announcement signed by President Reagan on March 18, 1988.

The order, citing “the major issues raised by the numerous studies on the events in the financial markets surrounding October 19, 1987,” goes on to establish a working group of the treasury secretary, the Fed chair, the chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). It empowers the group to “consult, as appropriate, with representatives of the various exchanges, clearinghouses, self-regulatory bodies, and with major market participants to determine private sector solutions wherever possible” and to report back to the president.

Hidden behind this innocuous-sounding rhetoric is an organization that has been at work for the last three decades, quietly but documentably intervening to prop up the markets whenever they start plunging—or even sagging.

The name “Plunge Protection Team” comes from a Washington Post article that ran under that headline in February 1997. In that piece, staff writer Brett D. Fromson revealed how the Working Group on Financial Markets (like “defense planners in the Cold War period”) war-game various market cataclysms and their response to them. One scenario Fromson described involves a large sell-off on a Monday morning after a week of tanking markets.

“The chairman of the New York Stock Exchange has called the White House chief of staff and asked permission to close the world’s most important stock market. [. . .] In the Oval Office, the president confers with the members of his Working Group on Financial Markets—the secretary of the treasury and the chairmen of the Federal Reserve Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The officials conclude that a presidential order to close the NYSE would only add to the market’s panic, so they decide to ride out the storm. The Working Group struggles to keep financial markets open so that trading can continue. By the closing bell, a modest rally is underway.”

The article acknowledged that each of the Plunge Protection Team’s constituent agencies (the treasury, the Fed, the SEC and the CFTC) have a “confidential plan” on file to deal with a market meltdown. But aside from trivial details (the SEC’s plan is called the “red book,” for example, after the color of the document’s cover) nothing of substance is revealed. How, exactly, do the agencies plan to “keep financial markets open so that trading can continue”?

A major clue to the PPT manipulation puzzle came in the form of a 1989 Wall Street Journal op-ed by Robert Heller, who was at the time exiting a three-year stint as Federal Reserve System governor. Entitled “Have Fed Support Stock Market, Too,” Heller’s op-ed argued that the so-called “circuit breakers” set up after the Black Monday 1987 scare were not sufficient to prevent another recurrence of panic. “Instead,” he opined, “an appropriate institution should be charged with the job of preventing chaos in the market: the Federal Reserve.” In Heller’s vision, the Fed could prevent a market rout by stepping in to purchase stock futures contracts during sell-offs.

Rather than regarding Heller’s piece as a mere op-ed offering a proposal for something the Fed could do in the future, however, some reporters—like John Crudele, the man who drew attention to Heller’s “proposal” in the first place—have suggested that the Wall Street Journal piece was in fact a trial balloon, preparing the public for the eventual revelation that the Fed was already intervening in the markets.

If Heller’s op-ed was a trial balloon, the full truth was finally revealed to the public in the wake of “the day that changed everything.” After all, if the PPT was ever going to intervene to prop up the markets, the pandemonium of 9/11 and the ensuing market sell-off presented them with the perfect opportunity to do so.

And so it was that George Stephanopolous appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America on September 17, 2001, to blithely announce to the American public that their markets were a sham:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOLOUS: What I wanted to talk about for a few minutes is the various efforts that are going on in public and behind the scenes by the Fed and other government officials to guard against a free-fall in the markets. [. . .] The Fed in 1989 created what is called the ‘Plunge Protection Team’—which is the Federal Reserve, big major banks, representatives of the New York Stock Exchange and the other exchanges—and they have been meeting informally so far. And they have a kind of an informal agreement among major banks to come in and start to buy stock if there appears to be a problem. They have in the past acted more formally . . . I don’t know if you remember, but in 1998, there was a crisis called the Long-Term Capital Crisis. It was a major currency trader, and there was a global currency crisis. And they, with the guidance of the Fed, all of the banks got together when it started to collapse and propped up the currency markets. And they have plans in place to consider [doing] that [again] if the markets start to fall.

SOURCE: Good Morning America, Septermber 17, 2001

And, just like when it was calmly admitted in 2016 that the “record bull run” since 2008 had been a Federal Reserve-created mirage, the public was flat-out told in 2001 that the Fed would coordinate with the banks to interfere in the markets as needed. And in both cases, these revelations were promptly memory-holed and ignored in all future reporting of the market’s gyrations.

So what do the manipulations of the Plunge Protection Team actually look like?

On Monday, February 5, 2018, things were playing out on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange much like the “nightmare scenario” painted in the 1997 Washington Post article by Fromson. After a 666-point decline the previous Friday, the Dow Jones was down a further 1,600 points on the day, as big a decline as the index had ever seen. . . . And then, miraculously, late in the afternoon “[s]omeone arbitrarily and aggressively started buying stocks and halved the loss.”

As John Crudele, the journalist that has been covering the PPT and its machinations for decades now, observed at the time:

Nobody has ever proven that the Fed and its friends actually protect Wall Street against plunges. It is, you might say, the Loch Ness monster of the financial world — people get glimpses of something but never see a clear picture.

That’s what happened during the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008. Telephone records I obtained showed numerous calls between then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and contacts on Wall Street on days when the stock market was tanking and the decline needed to be stopped.

The action in stocks on those days looked a lot like what happened on Monday, when the Dow was down nearly 1,600 points and was suddenly jerked back to a smaller loss.

For decades now, a similar scene has played out on days of dramatic market plunges. After an initial sell off, a late afternoon rally by a mystery buyer would reassure the markets and claw back the loss. Sometimes, the manipulation was so obvious it left literal straight lines in the charts. But still, no official word ever came from the Plunge Protection Team itself.

. . . until December 2018, that is. Ten months after Crudele called out the PPT’s actions to prop up the Dow Jones after its 1600 point plunge, then-Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin openly announced that he was calling on the Plunge Protection Team to “assure normal market operations” during a December stock slide that was on track to be the worst December in the US markets since 1930.  As Forbes put it in their headline about the move: “Mnuchin Calls Plunge Protection Team; Stocks Soar One Day Later.” In the article, Forbes writer Adam Sarhan noted of the events following Mnuchin’s open call to the PPT:

“The market was closed on Tuesday for Christmas but stocks soared 1,000 points (the largest gain since the last bear market during the financial crisis) on Wednesday. Literally, the first day after that call was made. I can’t make this up.”

With a gift for understatement, Sarhan concludes that: “One important lesson investors can learn from the market action over the past decade is that the government plays a very important role.”

From crooked regulators to outright manipulation, from “failed” investigations to insider trading windfalls, the markets have been one big con job on the American public, and the people of the world, since their inception. In fact, there are many more examples of fraud, deception and manipulation that could be documented.

There is, for example, the testimony of Bill Murphy to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission during a hearing on suppression of precious metal prices.

BART CHILTON: But can you give the Commission some specific evidence, some specific examples of how you think that’s occurring, when you think that’s occurring?

BILL MURPHY: Yes I can and I had 11 years worth of evidence that all hangs together here. But somebody came to my attention two days ago of a whistleblower nature that we’re going to handle hand to the press afterwards and we think it’s very important for the American public and this hearing to have this information.

On March 23rd, 2010, GATA Director Adrian Douglas was contacted by a whistleblower by the name of Andrew Maguire. Mr. McGuire, formerly of Goldman Sachs, is a metal trader in London. He has been told first hand by traders working for JPMorgan Chase, that JPM manipulates the precious metals markets and they brag how they make money doing so.

In November 2009, he contacted the CFTC Enforcement Division to report this criminal activity. He described in detail the way JPM signals to the markets its intentions to take down the precious metals. Traders recognize these signals and make money shorting the metals alongside JPM. Maguire explained how there are routine market manipulations at the time of option expiry, non-farm payroll data releases, and COMEX contract rollover, as well as ad-hoc events.

On February 3 he gave two days’ advance warning by email to Eliud Ramirez, a senior investigator for the CFTC’s Enforcement Division, that the precious metals would be attacked upon the release of the non-farm payroll data on February 5. Then on February 5, as it played out exactly as predicted, further e-mails were sent to Ramirez while the manipulation was in progress.

It would not be possible to predict such a market move unless the market was manipulated.

In an email on that day, Mr. Maguire wrote: “It is common knowledge here in London amongst the metals traders that it is JPM’s intent to flush out and cover as many shorts as possible prior to any discussion in March about position limits. I feel sorry for all those not in the loop. A serious amount of money was made and lost today and in my opinion as a result of the CFTC [allowing] by your own definition an illegal concentrated and manipulative position to continue.”

 SOURCE: Bill Murphy of GATA Reveals Whistle-Blower in Gold Price Suppression

Or there was the 2010 Flash Crash, the harrowing 35-minute window from 2:32 PM to 3:07 PM on May 6, 2010, when the Dow plunged nearly 1,000 points . . . and then gained most of it back. The incredible and unprecedented swing left traders and financial talking heads completely stymied, but after five years of relentless investigation, the Department of Justice presented the man that they framed as the arch-mastermind that set off the most alarming collapse-and-recovery in the history of the markets: a day trader living in his parent’s house in Hounslow.

NARRATOR: 15 minutes of chaos that shook the world’s biggest markets.

NEWS ANCHOR: What the heck is going on down there?

REPORTER: I don’t know. There is fear. This is capitulation, really.

LIAM VAUGHN: On May 6th, 2010, without warning, the U.S. stock market and futures markets just crashed.

REPORTER: It can’t be there. That is not a real price.

ANCHOR: The flash crash, which wiped a trillion dollars off the value of American companies in five minutes. . . .

LIAM VAUGHN: To look at a price chart, it looked like a kind of runaway elephant.

ANCHOR: It took authorities five years, guys, to track down this lone British trader, allegedly involved in a 2010 flash crash.

REPORTER: Navinder Singh Sarao, dubbed the hound of Hounslow, has been accused of manipulating the market.

REPORTER: U.S. regulators claim he made about $40 Million

SOURCE: The Wild $50M Ride of the Flash Crash Trader

Despite the fact that multiple professorsmainstream newspapers and even a former rogue trader himself all testified to the impossibility that the incredible rollercoaster of the Flash Crash was really caused by the “spoofing” antics of a lone trader, the story was effectively shelved and the underlying issue of the algorithmically-driven High Frequency Trading—which involves bots performing large numbers of orders in fractions of a second and requires traders to pay millions of dollars to co-locate their servers with the exchanges’ computers to give them a head start on their competitors that is measured in milliseconds—was never addressed.

Or there was the insider trading scandal of 2020, when multiple senators were probed for insider trading after being briefed by the senate’s health and foreign affairs committees about the likely effects of the coronavirus scare in the US.

JESSICA SMITH: Yeah, Adam, several senators are facing criticism this morning after reports that they sold stock after being briefed about the coronavirus. But before the market started tanking, four senators are said to have made trades. But two in particular are facing a lot of criticism.

The first is Senator Richard Burr. ProPublica reports on February 13th he sold between $628,000 to $1.7 million dollars worth of stock in 33 separate transactions. He is the chairman of the Senate Intel committee and he was getting daily briefings about the coronavirus at that time according to Reuters. So there are a lot of questions about why he made those trades.

SOURCE: 4 US senators under scrutiny after dumping millions in stocks

The probe into Senator Burr—who was one of the only senators to vote against the legislation that made such insider trading illegal—and the other accused senators was later dropped with no charges filed.

In fact, there are many, many such examples of market rigging, insider trading and manipulation of stock and commodity prices for the benefit of the bankers and their political allies that could be detailed, not just in the US markets, but in markets around the world. But such an exhaustive list would be, by this point, unnecessary. The markets are rigged, and that rigging is pervasive and systemic.

So it should come as no surprise that the GameStop pandemonium began when it was observed that another common method of market manipulation was taking place on GameStop’s stock: naked shorting.

Naked shorting involves traders taking advantages of loopholes and discrepancies in paper and electronic trading systems to short shares that don’t even exist. In this case, hedge funds, convinced that the flailing gaming retailer was going to go the way of BlockBuster Video and seeing the December 2020 reports of operating losses, began aggressively shorting the stock. By the time the “wallstreetbets” community on reddit discovered the naked shorting operation, the hedge funds were already 140% short on shares of GameStop, meaning that 40% more stock was being sold short than even existed.

This led to the massive short squeeze in January, with redditors and other retail investors buying up shares in GameStop and running up the stock price, forcing the hedge funds to buy up stock to cover their shorts and exposing them to billions of dollars in losses.

But that was only the beginning of the revelations of market rigging in the GameStop saga. The remarkable squeeze was brought to an abrupt halt when Robinhood—the electronic trading platform that burst on the scene in 2014 promising to “democratize the stock market” with its zero-commission trading app—stopped trading on GameStop and other wallstreetbets-driven trades like AMC Entertainment, BlackBerry and Nokia. The official explanation for the trading halt—that Robinhood had to suspend trading in the stocks until it could increase its collateral with the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation—merely underlines the point that the average mom-and-pop investor will continue to be thwarted from trading while the massive hedge funds and market makers with direct access to the markets will always be able to cover their positions in the event of any popular, “democratic” market activity.

This point was further underlined when yet another aspect of the retail investing scam was revealed: payment for order flow, or PFOF, in which hedge funds pay retail brokerages for access to their customers’ trades. With this information, hedge funds can not only buy orders before they are processed and flip the trade back to the market, pocketing the spread between the buy and sell price, but they can front run orders, effectively cutting in front of the brokerages’ clients to buy hot stocks before the retail investors. As it turns out, Robinhood made nearly $700 million selling their clients’ trade data to the big hedge funds in 2020 alone.

Nor was it a surprise when it was learned that Biden’s Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, was paid over $800,000 in speaking fees by Citadel LLC which operates both Citadel—a hedge fund that provided a $2 billion emergency backstop for GameStop short seller Melvin Capital—and Citadel Securities—”a market maker that handles about 40% of U.S. retail stock order flow, including from brokerages like free-trading app Robinhood.” When asked whether Yellen would recuse herself from advising the president on the GameStop situation, White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded that she wouldn’t, saying that Yellen was an expert and that she deserved the money.

REPORTER: . . . And I had a follow-up on the markets and everything that’s happening with GameStop. You did mention, I believe yesterday, that the treasury secretary is monitoring the situation and she’s, kind of, on top of it. There have been some kind of concerns about her previous engagements with Citadel and speaking fees that she has received from Citadel. Are there any plans to have her recuse herself from advising the President on GameStop and the whole Robinhood situation?

PSAKI: Well, just to be clear, what I said was that we have—the treasury secretary is now confirmed. Obviously, we have a broad economic team. The SEC put out a statement yesterday that I referred to. But I don’t think I have anything more for you on it, other than to say, separate from the GameStop issue, the secretary of treasury is one of the world-renowned experts on markets, on the economy. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone she was paid to give her perspective and advice before she came into office.

SOURCE: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki (January 28, 2021)

The entire affair grew even more absurd when internet researchers discovered that Jen Psaki’s relative, Jeff Psaki, himself worked for Citadel. The “fact checkers” at Newsweek were quick to rule the story as false, however, not because Psaki’s relative did not in fact work for Citadel, but because “a source close to Jeff” told Newsweek that “Jen and Jeff Psaki are distant second cousins but have no relationship.”

Whatever further twists and turns the GameStop saga takes, the conclusion is foregone: the “little people” may be able to get one past the goalkeepers of the manipulated markets here and there, but those deviations from the standard will always return to the status quo. In the end, the hedge funds and their billions will be protected while the little guy will be misinformed, steered down blind alleys, panicked, tricked into investing in bubbles, and, ultimately, fleeced for the benefit of the financial vultures and their bought-and-paid-for politicians and regulatory friends.

At last the David and Goliath story that has been woven around the GameStop insurrection is revealed for what it is: a story, a fable, a convenient narrative to trick the public back into the phoney, manipulated markets to once again take their place at the casino table. It  is designed to trick people into thinking that this time they’ll be able to win against the house. But that is not how a casino works. In the central-bank inflated, derivatives-laden mystery markets of Wall Street, the games are rigged, the dice is  loaded, and the house always wins in the end.

None of this is surprising to those who have known for decades that the markets are rigged. But every generation needs to see the deception play out in real time to understand just how deep and pervasive the systemic rot is. From this point on, those who have experienced the effects of this deception only have to answer one question: Are you going to continue to play Wall Street’s rigged game, or are you going to take your chips off the table and invest in local businesses and projects with the people on Main Street?

The choice is yours. It always has been.

May 16, 2021 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Economics, Timeless or most popular, Video | | 1 Comment