Skip to main content

Why the Bill Gates global health empire promises more empire and less public health

Behind a veil of corporate media PR, the Gates Foundation has served as a vehicle for Western capital while exploiting the Global South as a human laboratory. The coronavirus pandemic is likely to intensify this disturbing agenda.

by Jeremy Loffredo and Michele Greenstein

Part 5 - Gates buys the World Health Organization

The WHO relies on two streams of revenue. One comes in the form of assessed contributions, or obligatory funding from UN member states which is assessed through population and income. The second is voluntary contributions, which can be earmarked for specific causes.

Voluntary earmarked contributions account for more than 80 percent of the current WHO budget. In other words, most of the WHO’s money comes with strings attached.

As Dr. David Legge, public health scholar emeritus at the School of Public Health at La Trobe University in Melbourne, told The Grayzone, “Obligatory contributions by nation states really only cover the cost of administration. It doesn’t cover any of the project costs, which means that all project funding is dependent on donors. [And] virtually all donor money is totally earmarked to highly specific projects that the donors want to fund. 

Through these voluntary contributions, the WHO took in over $70 million from the pharmaceutical industry in 2018 (the last year for which complete data is available). Meanwhile, the Gates Foundation has provided Big Pharma with the perfect vehicle for influencing the WHO.

In 2018 alone, the foundation gave $237.8 million to the WHO, making it the second-largest contributor after the U.S.

The foundation also funds the WHO indirectly through Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI), a “public-private partnership” that facilitates bulk sales of vaccines to poor countries. GAVI is the second-largest non-state funder of the WHO (after the Gates Foundation), and gave $158.5 million to the WHO in 2018. 

In the late 1990s, Bill Gates sponsored the meetings that led to the creation of GAVI, establishing it up with $750 million in seed money. To date, the Gates Foundation has given GAVI more than $4.1 billion, accounting for close to 20 percent of GAVI funds. It also occupies a permanent seat on the GAVI board.

GAVI itself discloses that the Gates Foundation “plays both a technical and financial role in [its] efforts to shape vaccine markets. 

Citing GAVI as an example, the activist group Global Health Watch explained that “other global health actors are accountable to the Gates Foundation, but not the other way round.

If the foundation’s and GAVI’s WHO contributions are combined, they outweigh the U.S. government’s contributions, making the Gates Foundation the unofficial top sponsor of the WHO, even before the Trump administration’s recent move to withdraw from the organization.

To sociologist Allison Katz, who worked for 18 years in the WHO headquarters, the WHO “has become a victim of neoliberal globalization.” Katz wrote an open letter to then-WHO Director General Margaret Chan in 2007, criticizing public bodies that “go begging to the private sector [and] to the foundations of celebrity ‘philanthropists’ with diverse agendas, from industry.

To be sure, the WHO’s close financial relationship with a private organization is only a problem to the extent that it relies on quid pro quo donations. And that seems to be exactly what is taking place.

Because most of both the Gates Foundation’s contributions to the WHO are earmarked, the WHO doesn’t decide how these funds are spent – the foundation does. For example, the WHO program that receives the most money is its polio eradication program, because the Gates Foundation earmarks most of its contributions for polio.

Additionally, the sheer magnitude of the foundation’s financial contributions have made Bill Gates an unofficial  – albeit unelected – leader at the organization. That’s why the World Health Assembly that sets the WHO agenda adopted a “Global Vaccine Plan” in 2012 that was co-authored by none other than the Gates Foundation. 

According to Dr. David Legge, scholar emeritus at the School of Public Health at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Gates’ financial “donations” are actually a mechanism for agenda setting. Legge told The Grayzone that “his massive contributions totally distort the kind of budget priorities that the World Health Assembly would wish to see.

According to Foreign Affairs, “few policy initiatives or normative standards set by the WHO are announced before they have been casually, unofficially vetted by Gates Foundation staff.” Or, as other sources told Politico in 2017, “Gates’ priorities have become the WHO’s.

In an interview with Global Health Watch, one senior health policy officer from a large NGO put it this way: “The people at WHO seem to have gone crazy. It’s ‘yes sir’, ‘yes sir’, to Gates on everything.

In 2007, the chief of the WHO malaria program, Dr. Arata Kochi, warned of the Gates Foundation’s financial dominance, arguing that its money could have “far reaching, largely unintended consequences.

Seven years later, the organization’s then-Director General Margaret Chan noted that because the WHO’s budget is highly earmarked, it is “driven by what [she calls] donor interests.

When Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus became WHO Director General in 2017, Gates’ influence came under fire again.

Tedros was previously on the board of two organizations Gates founded, provided seed money for, and continues to fund to this day: GAVI and the Global Fund, where Tedros was chair of the board.

Today, Tedros, the first WHO director general who is not a medical doctor, can be found tweeting praise for Bill Gates’ op-eds.

Another mechanism the Gates Foundation employs to influence the WHO is the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE), the principal advisory group to the WHO for vaccines. SAGE is a board of 15 people, legally required to disclose any possible conflicts of interest.

During a recent virtual meeting, half of the board’s members who did so listed Gates Foundation connections as possible conflicts of interests.

The foundation’s influence in the international health arena goes well beyond the WHO. A 2017 analysis of 23 global health partnerships revealed that seven relied entirely on Gates Foundation funding and another nine listed the foundation as its top donor. 

As the UK-based NGO Global Justice Now noted, “the Foundation’s influence is so pervasive that many actors in international development which would otherwise critique the policy and practice of the Foundation are unable to speak out independently as a result of its funding and patronage.

The World Bank and the IMF look like midgets in front of the Gates Foundation, in terms of power and influence,” Dr. Vandana Shiva remarked to The Grayzone.

Source, links:


[1][2][3][4][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

UN says Israel is committing crimes against humanity & 'extermination' in Gaza

Geopolitical Economy Report   The United Nations Human Rights Council published a report that concluded that Israel has committed war crimes and "the crimes against humanity of extermination" in Gaza. Ben Norton analyzes the statements by UN legal experts.

Day 1900: Julian Assange still in prison and under slow-motion execution by the Anglo-American imperialist criminals

failed evolution   On 11 April 2019, the Ecuadorian government of traitor Lenin Moreno, invited the Metropolitan Police into the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and they arrested Julian Assange . Since then, Assange is kept in Belmarsh high security prison in London, without actual charges.   The real reason world's number one political prisoner is still kept in this high security prison, is because he exposed horrendous war crimes carried out by the US imperialists and their allies.   The ruthless Western imperialist regime wants to punish the No1 real journalist in the world and make him an example for any Whistleblower or real journalist who will attempt to expose its big crimes in the future.   And the Anglo-American axis has now become officially a fascist coalition , framed by the rest of its Western pets. UK's Home Secretary Priti Patel, one of the most ruthless ever, decided to extradite Julian Assange to US. No surprise of course. The only question we had in mind is

Exposed: How Biden & Ukraine’s Fascists Worked Together to Block Peace with Russia

BreakThrough News   Newly released treaty negotiation documents show that Ukraine and Russia were very close to ending the war—more than two years ago, in April 2022. But U.S. imperialists and NATO have worked with and strengthened the right-wing in Ukraine to achieve their long-term goals in the region, including endless war, no matter how many people die. Brian Becker is joined by Eugene Puryear, co-host of The Freedom Side , to discuss the newly revealed documents showing how the Ukraine war nearly ended two years ago but were sabotaged by the intervention of the White House and the Ukrainian far-right. They discuss how Ukraine’s economy has been totally mortgaged to U.S. and European interests. 

BlackRock & Wall Street banks are profiting from Israel's crimes in Gaza, UN says

Geopolitical Economy Report  Top UN human rights experts called on Western weapons corporations to stop sending arms to Israel, saying they could be complicit in war crimes. Asset managers like BlackRock and Wall Street banks are also profiting. Ben Norton looks at the evidence.

Socialism or Barbarism: What’s at Stake in this Election & Beyond

Double Down News   Roger Waters meets Fiona Lali. Fiona Lali is the independent candidate for Stratford & Bow.   https://www.fionalalircp.com 

Israeli documents show expansive government effort to shape US discourse around Gaza war

As the Gaza war rages, Israeli funds target US college campuses and push to redefine antisemitism in US law   by Lee Fang and Jack Poulson   Part 3 - Substantial Israeli government involvement in American politics   Haaretz and the New York Times recently revealed that Chikli’s ministry had tapped a public relations firm to secretly pressure American lawmakers. The firm used hundreds of fake accounts posting pro-Israel or anti-Muslim content on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook and Instagram. (The diaspora affairs ministry denied involvement in the campaign, which reportedly provided about $2m to an Israeli firm for the social media posts.) But that effort is only one of many such campaigns coordinated by the ministry, which has received limited news coverage. The ministry of diaspora affairs and its partners compile weekly reports based on tips from pro-Israel US student groups, some of which receive funding from Israeli government sources . For example, Hillel International, a co-foun

What UK did in Gaza is SHOCKING & no one's allowed to talk about it

Double Down News   EXPOSED: Britain's Secret Role in Gaza  

Συνασπισμός προοδευτικών δυνάμεων με ηγέτη τον Γιάνη Βαρουφάκη

... για να γλιτώσει η χώρα μια και καλή από τη Μητσοτακική λαίλαπα   failed evolution   Η διάσπαση του κεντροαριστερού χώρου καλά κρατεί, όπως ακριβώς ήθελε η ντόπια ολιγαρχία.   Ο στόχος όμως της στρατηγικής ήττας ΣΥΡΙΖΑ και η επαναφορά ΠΑΣΟΚ στη θέση της αξιωματικής αντιπολίτευσης, απέτυχε και πάλι.  Απέτυχε και η απομάκρυνση Μητσοτάκη από την ηγεσία της ΝΔ και ύστερα από αυτό το Βατερλό στις ευρωεκλογές, οι ολιγάρχες θα πρέπει να είναι στα κάγκελα και να κάθονται σε αναμμένα κάρβουνα. Οπότε χρειάζονται νέα εναλλακτική. Επιχειρήθηκε άλλο σχέδιο, την τελευταία στιγμή και στο πόδι, με βάση το οποίο οι αποστάτες της ΝΕΑΡ θα πήγαιναν στο ΠΑΣΟΚ, έτσι ώστε το ΠΑΣΟΚ με τις έδρες τους, να έκλεβε και τη θέση της αξιωματικής αντιπολίτευσης από τον ΣΥΡΙΖΑ. Απλά, γρήγορα και εύκολα. Το σενάριο διαδόθηκε από καθεστωτικά φερέφωνα που προσπάθησαν να δημιουργήσουν το κατάλληλο κλίμα. Φαίνεται ότι, τουλάχιστον προς το παρόν, κάηκε γρήγορα. Επιχειρείται τώρα νέο σχέδιο με σύνθεση ΣΥΡΙΖΑ-ΠΑΣΟΚ και ε

Israeli documents show expansive government effort to shape US discourse around Gaza war

As the Gaza war rages, Israeli funds target US college campuses and push to redefine antisemitism in US law   by Lee Fang and Jack Poulson   Part 1 - Redefining antisemitism   Last November, just weeks into the war in Gaza, Amichai Chikli, a brash, 42-year-old Likud minister in the Israeli government, was called into the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, to brief lawmakers on what could be done about rising anti-war protests from young people across the United States, especially at elite universities. “ I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again now, that I think we should, especially in the United States, be on the offensive,” argued Chikli. Chikli has since led a targeted push to counter critics of Israel. The Guardian has uncovered evidence showing how Israel has relaunched a controversial entity as part of a broader public relations campaign to target US college campuses and redefine antisemitism in US law. Seconds after a smoke alarm subsided during the hearing, Chikli assured the l

De-dollarization is growing: Even the US Federal Reserve (reluctantly) admits it

Geopolitical Economy Report Countries around the world are seeking alternatives to the US dollar. IMF economists say de-dollarization is "broad-based". The Federal Reserve reluctantly admits that it is happening. Ben Norton analyzes the latest research.