Since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year, the US government has poured billions of your tax dollars into the vaccine program. More than $9 billion of your tax dollars were given to vaccine companies for research and $22 billion of your tax dollars were then used to support vaccine distribution. The feds also shelled out another $10 billion to expand access and later announced $3 billion more to spend on an ad campaign to combat vaccine hesitancy. Billions more have followed and in spite of some states being heavily vaccinated, they are still seeing massive spikes in hospitalizations.
As a result of billions of your taxpayer dollars flowing into the coffers of big pharma, these companies have experienced massive windfalls with Pfizer and Moderna seeing near-exponential increases in stock prices.
Adding to the insidious nature of using taxpayer funds to bolster the bottom lines of big pharma, these companies have taken a portion of those billions and used them to lobby against whistleblowers who would expose their crimes.
Pfizer has been lobbying hard to block legislation that would make it easier for whistleblowers to hold companies liable for corporate fraud, according to a report in the Intercept.
These laws have led to previous criminal penalties against Pfizer in the past, including the historical $2.3 billion fine for illegally marking drugs not approved by the FDA. Now, this corrupt company is pushing once more, possibly planning for a future criminal case for their botched vaccine studies.
As Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla called for jailing people who criticize his company's vaccine, thanks to this corrupt marriage between corporate and state, his portfolio has increased substantially. And he's not alone. This taxpayer-funded vaccine scheme has created at least a dozen new pharma billionaires whose portfolios have skyrocketed thanks to government tyranny.
It's not just the big pharma insiders who've won big from government programs fleecing the taxpayers in the name of the covid-19 vaccine — it's also the government.
In a scathing, yet not surprising report from Business Insider, we learned this week that dozens of politicians have invested in companies that have a direct stake in the nation's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and they are profiting from it.
According to the report:
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In 2020, at least 13 senators and 35 US representatives held shares of Johnson & Johnson, the medical behemoth that produced the single-shot COVID-19 vaccine that more than 15 million Americans have received.
At least 11 senators and 34 representatives also held shares in 2020 of another COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer, Pfizer. Two representatives or their spouses held shares of Moderna during the same year that the world went on lockdown in response to the pandemic.
Lawmakers held these investments in COVID-19-minded companies as Congress was at the center of pandemic relief efforts. In 2020 and 2021, members of Congress voted on six relief bills together worth nearly $6 trillion. Congress also authorized more than $10 billion to help drug companies develop and distribute vaccines and forced health insurers to cover the cost of getting the shot.
To skirt regulations, these politicians use proxies, like a wife or husband, to trade for them. But it is clear that their investments follow the policies which they push.
The investors in vaccines included freshman Rep. Marie Newman, a Democrat of Illinois, whose husband, Jim Newman, has traded shares of both Johnson & Johnson and Moderna. The congresswoman's 2020 annual personal financial disclosure also listed the couple together holding shares in Moderna.
Marie Newman's office previously told Insider that Jim Newman controlled these finances and that the accounts were for retirement, college savings for their children, and assistance for family healthcare costs. Mary Newman entered Congress in 2021, after it had passed all but one federal relief bill. Her husband continued trading after she was sworn in.
According to the report, even republican lawmakers who spoke out against the vaccine mandates got in on the action. While they publicly decried the mandates, politicians like Rep. Austin Scott from Georgia, traded tens of thousands of J&J stock in secret.
In one particularly egregious example, Rep. Tom Malinowski, a Democrat of New Jersey, told MSNBC in April 2020, "This is not the time for anybody to be profiting off of selling ventilators, vaccines, drugs, treatments, PPE, anywhere in the world."
However, according to Business Insider, the Congressman said one thing and did something completely different.
But Malinowski was one of them: The lawmaker sold up to $15,000 worth of stock in Chembio Diagnostics, a company that offers COVID-19 testing kits and infectious-disease testing, in the early days of the pandemic.
In 2020, he failed to disclose dozens of stock trades in violation of the federal Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 — which clarifies that it is illegal for members of Congress to engage in insider trading — acknowledging them only after Insider reported about his trading activities. Malinowski's office previously told Insider that the congressman employed a financial advisor to trade stocks on his behalf.
While this massive conflict of interest is not shocking, it does provide a glimpse into the world of big pharm and their cozy relationship with federal government. With so many politicians invested in the tyranny that is the government's response to the pandemic, they have every incentive in the world to keep it going as long as possible. After all, there are a lot more corrupt billionaires to be made.
"Both parties are conflicted and benefit from the status quo," Joshua Silver, the CEO of the anticorruption advocacy group RepresentUs told Insider. "The best way for the country to get back on track is for voters to cut ties with self-serving opportunists — and they better do it fast. The situation is much more bleak than the American public realizes."