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Rumsfeld’s Pandemic Connection

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Last week, the two companies involved in the production of Tamiflu — touted as the globe’s savior should there be an avian flu pandemic — negotiated a new financial arrangement. Roche will now pay Gilead 14-22% of Tamiflu revenue, up from last year’s 10%. The drug was a “lackluster” seller before pandemic fears, which reached new heights earlier this month when President Bush outlined a $7.1 billion pandemic response plan.

American mainstream media continue to ignore the White House connection (some call it crony capitalism) to its flu plan ($1 billion is specifically earmarked for Tamiflu). Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld owns Gilead stock valued at $5-25 million. US Liberals Deborah White reported this connection on 1 November. And yet.

A Google news search of “Rumsfeld and Tamiflu” yields only 84 stories; a large percentage of these are foreign press. Not surprisingly, Google’s BlogSearch has 627 hits; Technorati, 507 in the last five days.

When Rumsfeld left the board of Gilead, shares were trading at about $7. Since last year, the stock has increased more than 57% (the Pentagon bought $58 million worth for soldiers this summer). In November, the share price has jumped about 20%. Last year, sales of Tamiflu were about $258 million, according to Roche, which manufactures the drug under a royalty agreement with Gilead. Roche estimates 2005 sales at $1 billion.

Tamiflu is an antiviral; it can lessen flu symptoms and also may prevent the flu. However, dangerous possible side-effects are being reported. Flu vaccines are incubated in chicken eggs; thus those with egg allergies should not take a flu shot. Global Research in Canada has also explored the economic impact on agribusiness, providing a close examination of poultry production practices by its neighbor to the south.

Media and blogs following this story include:
Bear Creek Research,
Cleveland Indy Media,
GM Watch,
Gates of Horn,
Health Philosophy Politics And Other Rants,
Leaves of Grass,
Martini Republic,
React Magazine,
Religious Wrongs,
Working for Change

Technorati Tags and Profile
Avian Flu, Donald Rumsfeld, , Tamiflu

This article first appeared at uspolitics.about.com

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About Kathy

  • Nancy

    One more example of the corruption endemic in this particular administration.

  • And WHO is surprised by this? Gilead’s Healthcare Policy PAC gave Senator Enzi of Wyoming’s campaign $10,000 last year. And here are the good Republican Senator’s committee assignments:

    • Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
    • Committee on the Budget
    • Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
    • Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

    Oh and, in the spirit of bipartisanship, the same PAC gave Democrats Ted Kennedy $2,500 and Barbara Boxer $1,000.

    The Roche Inc. Good Government Fund (doesn’t THAT sound open and honest) donated over $90,000 this year — and it’s not even an election year! Let’s see, who were the top recipients?

    • Republican National Committee $15,000
    • Democratic National Commitee $7,500
    • Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-UT $5,000
    • Rep. Tom Davis, R-VA $5,000
    • Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-NJ $5,000
    • Rep. William J. Pascrell, D-NJ $5,000

    Anyway, you get the drift, right? Come on, America! Wake up and smell the Vap-o-rub because you ain’t getting any Tamiflu!

  • Nancy

    As I’ve said on other threads, I am willing to bet a substantial sum there’s already a ‘secret’ vaccine – but none of us peasants is going to be getting it; you can bet your life literally it’s reserved for the powerful &/or very wealthy.

  • I certainly hope so, Nancy. They deserve it. I wouldn’t take any of Roche’s vaccine shit if they paid me to! Flu kills by rapidly depleting your store of Vitamin C, resulting in loss of blood vessel integrity. Autopsies show that infected animals die from bleeding to death internally. I always keep a good supply of high potency vitamin C powder (4000 mg per teaspoon), and when there is a potential threat I make sure that everyone I love takes at least 2000 a day unless they actually come down with the virus, in which case their dosage will be gradually increased until they’ve reached their absolute Bowel Tolerance level (possibly as high as 10,000 mg). They will survive, while the stupid politicians will be running the risk of dying either from vaccine side effects, or from the flu itself which may well be caused by a different viral strain than the one for which the vaccine was designed!