Politics and Science

conflicts of interest?

Since the start of the pandemic the government and their ministers were in panic mode with good reason as nothing on this scale had been encountered before (or so we were led to believe) and as most people desperation was setting in

  • Not enough PPE
  • Will the hospitals cope
  • How infectious is this virus
  • How many will die

These were all reasonable assumptions as everywhere governments around the world were encountering the same dilemma as nations were scrambling around to buy PPE equipment, Ventilators and drugs etc

However the politicians

  • Since this all started a number of dubious government contracts have been awarded to friends of friends within the government organization
  • When asked about the $28m paid to the Spanish businessman, Business Secretary Alok Sharma told Radio 4’s Today programme: “The Department of Health did look at that contract at the time.”
  • Artificial intelligence company Faculty, which was awarded contracts worth almost £3m. Cabinet Office minister Lord Agnew owned a £90,000 stake in the firm but has since relinquished it.
  • Ayanda Capital supplied 50 million masks that could not be used for their original purpose at a cost of £155m. The deal was brokered by a businessman who was an adviser to the government’s Board of Trade at the time.
  • PestFix, a pest control company, was given contracts worth £350m, which included delivery of 600,000 masks which cannot be used for their original purpose.
  • The former landlord of Matt Hancock’s local pub won government orders worth at least £30 million for supplying vials for coronavirus tests.

Then the Scientist

  • Sir Patrick Vallance, who leads the Government’s expert advisory panel on vaccines, reportedly holds shares worth £600,000 in pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
  • In 2008, Chief Medical Adviser Prof Chris Whitty, accepted, $40 million from Bill Gates to control British vaccine promulgation: and he stated “COVID-19 vaccines and drugs would need to be in place before measures could be lifted … “:
  • The Imperial College; Neil Ferguson for Covid-19 mortality predictions (0.5 million in UK) accepted £184 million from B. Gates.

The UK’s pandemic response relies too heavily on scientists and other government appointees with worrying competing interests, including shareholdings in companies that manufacture covid-19 diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines.

Governments and industry must also stop announcing critical science policy by press release. Such ill judged moves leave science, the media, and stock markets vulnerable to manipulation. Clear, open, and advance publication of the scientific basis for policy, procurements, and wonder drugs is a fundamental requirement.

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