TBR News May 18, 2020

May 18 2020

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. May 18, 2020: Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it. “
Comment for May 18, 2020: “There are expanding strong rumors inside the Beltway, that the European outbreak of coronavirus was not an accident nor was it an extension of the incident in China. Reliable testing has very, very clearly shown that the European version of the virus is not the same one that originated in China. The European version did terrible damage in northern Italy and then leapt across the Atlantic to raise further havoc in the American northeastern population corridor.

The Table of Contents
• ‘William Barr is not done’: experts raise concerns about attorney general’s legal reach
• Curing America’s pre-existing condition
• Has Trump Reached the Lying-to-Himself-and-Believing-It Stage of the Coronavirus Pandemic?
• Encyclopedia of American Loons
• AntiVaxx Lunacy
• The Pentagon Bio-Weapons

‘William Barr is not done’: experts raise concerns about attorney general’s legal reach
Former justice department officials and legal experts have pointed to Barr’s intervention in cases involving Trump associates
May 17, 2020
by Daniel Strauss in Washington
The Guardian
Legal experts and and alumnae of the US Department of Justice have begun sounding the alarm about Donald Trump’s attorney general, William Barr.
Recently Barr’s justice department withdrew charges against Michael Flynn, the former Trump administration national security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to federal law enforcement officials about his dealings with Russia’s ambassador over sanctions, just before Trump took office.
Barr’s decision last week was a stunning reversal and spurred rare rebukes from a large swath of legal experts and former attorneys who worked at the justice department under both Democratic and Republican presidents. And speaking at a fundraiser with thousands of former officials from his administration and previous campaigns, Barack Obama issued a strong warning that the move jeopardized the “rule of law” in the country.
Barr’s decision highlighted ongoing anxiety about the lasting impact the current attorney general will have on the position of attorney general and the department of justice overall.
On Monday, more than 1,900 former and current justice department officials reiterated their call for Barr to step down for having “once again assaulted the rule of law”.
The group that organized the letter collected more than 2,600 signatures for a similar letter in February after the justice department moved to reduce the sentence of Roger Stone, a former Trump administration aide who was convicted in cases that came out of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation. At the time, a number of prosecutors resigned in protest because of the proposed sentencing reductions.
“Speaking as somebody who has spent 19 years at the department of justice, the way I have seen William Barr serve as attorney general seems very different to me than the way attorneys general have behaved in the past,” said Barbara McQuade, a former United States attorney during the Obama administration.
She added: “Their job is to be the attorney for the people, to be independent of the White House and instead William Barr has conducted himself in ways that make him seem more like he is a lawyer for Donald Trump.”
Trump recently said of Stone “look at the horrible treatment he’s got. He’s going to be OK. He’s going to be OK,” which some federal prosecutors interpreted as a possible precursor to Barr doing more in Stone’s case.
The justice department has been a source of frustration for the president.
Trump first appointed then-senator Jeff Sessions to the post. Sessions, a longtime US senator from Alabama, was the first member of his chamber to endorse Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump often complained that Sessions was not doing enough to “protect him”. Trump eventually became dissatisfied with Sessions, particularly his decision to recuse himself from Mueller’s Russia investigation, and replaced him briefly with Matthew Whitaker, a Trump loyalist, as acting attorney general.
Since Barr succeeded Whitaker in February 2019, legal experts have pointed out the close alignment he’s had with Trump. McQuade said Barr has often intervened in cases relating to Trump associates.
“Now we’re seeing him interfere in cases that involve close associates of President Trump,” McQuade said. “Certainly as the attorney general he has the authority to do anything he wants in any case. But he doesn’t. He doesn’t meddle in every case, he’s only involved in these cases involving Trump’s associates.”
Former justice department officials and legal experts have suggested that Barr is acting more like Trump’s personal attorney rather than the top law enforcement official for the federal government. And since the conclusion of Mueller’s Russia investigation and even since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic Trump has repeatedly ousted or sidelined critics within the federal government.
McQuade wondered if Barr, with a sense of confidence from Trump, could try and go after higher-profile political figures in the future. Trump and his allies have vaguely been suggesting that Trump himself was the target of of a vague “Obamagate” scheme.
“Just looking a little further down the road, one concern is that William Barr is not done, that not only is he protecting Trump’s friends, that he might use Trump’s justice department not only as a shield but as a sword to go after Trump’s enemies –[Joe] Biden, Jim Comey, Obama, Hillary Clinton,” McQuade said. “Could he use the justice department to go after them?”
One former federal prosecutor, who requested anonymity in order to speak more candidly, worried that Barr had “set a precedent” where the “next time DoJ could be used in the same political way”.
Meanwhile Elkan Abromowitz, one of the former justice department officials who signed the most recent alumni letter, said that the upcoming presidential election could strongly dictate the future role of the department.
If Trump wins, Abromowitz said, Barr will likely keep his role. But if the former Vice President, Joe Biden, now the presumptive Democratic party nominee, wins, the attorney general and DoJ could undergo significant restructuring.
“What I think is going to happen is if Trump loses the election, there’s probably going to be a major push to restructure the justice department out of the cabinet and make it like an independent agency like the Fed or the SEC where the attorney general would be given a 10-year term, pretty much like the FBI,” Abromowitz said.
Abromowitz added, “If Trump wins re-election? He’ll probably keep Barr around for as long as he can.

Curing America’s pre-existing condition
Donald Trump’s lies during the coronavirus crisis are so egregious that it’s tempting to blame him for the toll on life and the economy. But the structural vulnerabilities go back 40 years,
May 17, 2020
by Melinda Crane
Structural vulnerabilities” sound dry, so let’s put a face on them: These are families in their cars waiting in a food bank line that stretches for miles. This is the unemployed mother whose military widow’s pension is too meager to feed three children. This is the stretcher-bearer denied adequate protective gear because there was not enough to go around.
These faces are visible now, as the coronavirus crisis thrusts them into the spotlight. But their situation is not new. Countless authors have called attention to structural problems such as glaring inequality, winner-takes-all capitalism and money-choked politics. Numerous politicians — including the most recent Democratic candidates for president — have outlined solutions. I will focus here on just one issue: the precarious situation of the middle class, which has resulted from a program of tax reductions, deregulation and welfare cutbacks that redistribute neither the gains that accrue at the top of the social pyramid nor the risks faced by those lower down.
Germany as a role model?
What needs to be done is no secret — not least because other nations are doing it. As a young journalist in 1993, I spent months researching Germany’s “social market economy” model for a US public television documentary by the Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Hedrick Smith. I will never forget the American production team doing a double take as Berthold Leibinger, the legendary CEO of German work tools maker Trumpf, explained why a model that might look socialistic to many Americans made good business sense: both societal and corporate resilience were enhanced, he said, by universal health care and by systems such as “Mitbestimmung,” which gives workers a say in management decisions; “Kurzarbeit,” which ensures workers remain on a firm’s payroll even in a downturn; and the “Duale Ausbildung” program of vocational training and apprenticeships.
The documentary was entitled Challenge to America. It concluded that the US could learn from the German commitment to sustaining social stability. By the time the film aired, the challenge appeared moot: Germany had slipped into a deep, post-reunification recession. It was not until the financial crisis of 2008 that “Kurzarbeit” once again drew trans-Atlantic attention as a means of cushioning the social impact of economic volatility.
The disparity between American and German capitalism is not the product of inevitable cultural differences but of political choices. The US has historical narratives — from the Puritans’ “city on a hill” [refers to a community that others will look up to — the ed.] to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “economic bill of rights” — that could serve as the foundation for a uniquely American social market economy. These narratives, however, have been distorted and instrumentalized in the service of a neoliberal agenda that benefits powerful interests.
Tackling the challenge
Will this latest “challenge to America” revitalize a sense of social stability as a common good? The answer depends on whether the impetus for change can transcend polarization. Remember “Yes we can?” The wake-up call that sounded during the financial crisis in 2008 prompted the election of Barack Obama, who pushed through key political reforms. But most of these have been undone in whole or in part. Not least due to partisan media like Fox news, polarization has become a black hole that swallows up every political initiative that gets near.
The coronavirus crisis reveals not only the structural disparities between the US and German systems, but also a related difference in levels of trust. While a broad majority of Germans approve of their government’s response, partisanship colors Americans’ views on nearly every aspect of the pandemic and how it’s being handled, with zero-sum thinking sparking outrage about federal assistance going to unworthy recipients.
Such attitudes reflect a vicious circle that is undermining US democracy from within: As the state retreats and people no longer feel its stabilizing value in their own lives, their confidence in it dwindles. But to stand the famous quip by Ronald Reagan on its head: Government is not THE problem, and it MUST be part of the solution.
The US knows what needs to be done. Can it make it happen?

Has Trump Reached the Lying-to-Himself-and-Believing-It Stage of the Coronavirus Pandemic?
The reality—in both public-health and crass political terms—doesn’t look good for the President.
May 8, 2020
by Susan B. Glasser
The New Yorker
On Tuesday afternoon, Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of Michigan, came on the line with a breaking-news bulletin. Just before our interview, Whitmer had heard that President Trump was talking about dismantling the coronavirus task force he had assembled to oversee the national response to the pandemic. Whitmer seemed stunned by this information—U.S. infections from COVID-19 were well over a million, the daily national death toll was often more than two thousand, and, in Whitmer’s hard-hit state, the crisis had already claimed more than four thousand of her constituents’ lives. “It’s just shocking,” she said, as we both tried to absorb the news. “Something new happens every day.”
By the next morning, Trump had, once again, changed his mind. He told reporters that he had no idea how “popular” the coronavirus task force was, and that it would remain in operation while shifting its emphasis toward reopening the economy and away from a public-health catastrophe that has already caused more U.S. deaths than the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq combined. These are crazy times in American politics. What’s a governor, or anyone trying to make sense of Trump’s on-again, off-again war on the virus, supposed to say?
Whitmer, a first-term Democrat in a swing state that helped Trump win the Presidency in 2016, has become such a lightning rod for Trump and his supporters that the President has given Whitmer her own derogatory Twitter nickname. After long-gun-toting protesters opposing her stay-at-home order entered the Michigan capitol last week—some of them wearing Trump campaign regalia, and some carrying Confederate flags, nooses, and swastikas—the President praised them as “very good people.” As Democrats nationally celebrate Whitmer’s unyielding response, and as Joe Biden considers her as his running mate, both the Republican-controlled state legislature and a Republican member of Congress have now sued her for using her emergency powers to keep the state closed during the crisis. Meanwhile, in heavily Democratic, heavily African-American Detroit, health-care workers are struggling to contain one of the worst outbreaks in the country.
Public polls show that the vast majority of Michiganders support social-distancing measures to combat the pandemic (as is true nationwide), and also Whitmer’s handling of the situation. In a state that Trump needs to win this fall, his approval ratings have dropped, while Whitmer’s have risen. Whitmer told me that Trump’s hyper-partisan approach did not make sense in terms of either public health or crass politics. “The enemy is a virus, and it doesn’t care what party you’re in, it doesn’t care what state you’re in,” she said. (You can hear our full interview on The New Yorker Radio Hour.) Trump, however, has not only persisted in his critiques of “that woman from Michigan” but nationalized his combative approach, with one policy for “Democrat states,” as he recently called them, that are the worst-affected by the virus, and another for Republican ones.
A fleeting image, captured on C-SPAN inside the U.S. Capitol this week, highlighted the divisive absurdity of the moment: Mitt Romney, wearing a mask, walked out of the Senate Republican Conference weekly lunch meeting toting a large placard with a graph on it. “Blue states aren’t the only ones who are screwed,” the headline on the placard read. Romney, though, is a minority of one. The lone Republican in either the House or Senate to support convicting Trump in his recent impeachment trial, Romney, who was the Republican Presidential nominee in 2012, is now an outlier in a Party with a devotion to Trump so strong that it has not faltered even in the face of the President’s reality-defying response to the pandemic.
Romney’s pitch, in fact, appeared to be so unpersuasive that, by Wednesday evening, Politico reported that “Senate Republicans are settling on their pandemic message as they fight to save their majority: President Donald Trump did a tremendous job.” This, not at all coincidentally, is the theme of a new ad being run nationwide by the Trump campaign, in which the President is portrayed as a heroic leader who defied Democrats and media pundits, shut off the country from the “Chinese virus,” and will lead America’s cratering economy to recovery. In case the message is too subtle, the ad spells it out in big all-capital letters on the screen: “THE GREATEST COMEBACK STORY.”
When I went to college, we used to joke during exam period that you were really in trouble when you started to lie to yourself and believe it. The President and at least some of his most fervent supporters appear now to be in the lying-to-yourself-and-believing-it stage of the pandemic. Truth has become so inconvenient that it’s better left aside for some alternate, less inconvenient reality. This is, of course, not the first time in the Trump Presidency, or even the first time during this pandemic, that there has been such a gap, but it appears to be a moment when there is a widening and very likely unsustainable gulf between Trumpian truth and what is actually happening.
That’s because the numbers are the numbers and, for Trump and for America, they look terrible. On Wednesday, there were some twenty-six hundred deaths in the United States from COVID-19, and, on Thursday, there were even more: around twenty-seven hundred. Leaked predictions from government scientists show an increase, by June 1st, to three thousand deaths, on average, every twenty-four hours. As Whitmer noted to me, that amounts to essentially a 9/11’s worth of victims per day. Even after some seventy-five thousand deaths and a couple months of social-distancing public-health measures, the charts demonstrate clearly that the national curve has not flattened, with sharp declines registered only in New York and New Jersey—which have already gone through the country’s worst ordeal—and a handful of other states. More than half the states have at least partially lifted strict stay-at-home orders, although none of the states that announced reopenings—not one—met the criteria established by the Trump Administration for doing so. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week, a detailed, seventeen-page guide for how to return safely to workplaces and schools was quashed by the White House, and its authors were told it would “never see the light of day,” the Associated Press reported on Thursday. Testing capability is nowhere near the millions of additional tests needed to resume regular daily life, according to experts, nor is there widespread capacity to conduct contact tracing, another prerequisite.
Yet many states are reopening anyway, and Trump is not, at least for now, even bothering to hide the fact that more Americans may die as a result of these decisions. On Tuesday, he flew to a mask factory in Arizona for a photo op, where he appeared not wearing a mask, as the Guns N’ Roses version of the song “Live and Let Die” blasted over the factory’s loudspeakers. In an interview taped at the factory, Trump said, “I’m viewing our great citizens of this country to a certain extent, and to a large extent, as warriors. They’re warriors. We can’t keep our country closed. We have to open our country. Will some people be badly affected? Yes.” On Wednesday, he elaborated as to what he meant by “badly affected.” Asked if more Americans might die as a result of reopening too soon, he said, “Hopefully that won’t be the case.” But, he added, “It could very well be the case.” He also argued against more testing. “In a way, by doing all this testing, we make ourselves look bad,” he said. On Thursday, it was reported that, even as Trump was saying this, one of his personal valets, who delivers his meals, had tested positive for the virus. In response, Trump said he would now be tested every day. Reality, it turns out, is not just a matter of political optics.
In the past, when Trump has got too far away from what is actually happening and into his personal hall of mirrors, the press of events has forced him to abandon his position. He is adept enough at self-survival to make wild course corrections where necessary. This is a man, after all, who said in late February that coronavirus cases would soon be down to zero and, just two weeks later, declared a national emergency and vowed to wage war on the deadly “invisible enemy.” I’ve seen many possible explanations for Trump’s bizarre, reality-defying behavior in recent days. He’s bored. He’s clueless. He’s panicking about his reëlection. He doesn’t care about anything other than the stock market. He’d rather talk about his border wall or vanquishing the “deep state.” All of them might be correct. It’s also possible that Trump really is the greatest of all time at something: believing his own hype. On Sunday, he stared right into a Fox News camera and declared that he had been treated worse than Abraham Lincoln—while speaking at the national memorial to the slain President. Either Trump is the most brazen politician in the long line of brazen American politicians or he somehow had been brainwashed by his own B.S.
Still, Trump appears to me to be increasingly terrified at the very real prospect of losing in November, as both national polls and surveys in battleground states currently show him doing. Overnight Monday and again on Tuesday, he let loose about an ad being run against him by a group of Never Trump Republicans called the Lincoln Project. The ad, “Mourning in America,” shows haunting scenes of a devastated country, “weaker and sicker and poorer” after four years under Trump’s leadership. The President responded by calling the group “the losers project” and railing about its founders, among them George Conway, the Trump-bashing husband of the White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway. This did not exactly seem like a confident performance by the most powerful man on the planet. It seemed like the scared rant of someone who knows that, eventually, he might finally be called on his most bullshit of performances.
Even Corey Lewandowski—Trump’s 2016 campaign manager and as blustery a loyalist to the President as exists—is now publicly acknowledging that Trump has set an extraordinarily risky political course in declaring victory over a still-raging pandemic. “It’s a huge gamble,” Lewandowski said in an interview, released on Thursday, with Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody. He added, “If there is a resurgence . . . not just in the next four weeks or six weeks, but as the weather turns again, if, come the fall in September, in October, we see an uptick again in the COVID-19 pandemic coming back because we didn’t handle it right the first time—we still don’t have testing and we don’t have a solution—that is devastating as an incumbent President of the United States.”
More than three decades ago, in his as-told-to memoir, “The Art of the Deal,” Trump bragged about the sheer, addictive effectiveness of lying—he called it “hyperbole”—in service of his goals. Yet he also acknowledged, “You can’t con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don’t deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on.” On November 3rd, we’ll find out if they did. For now, the scary prospect is sure to keep Trump up for many more nights to come, hate-tweeting in the dark.

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Paul Thomas

There are lot of MDs in the US, so you’re bound to find a number of loons or grifters willing to throw their lot in with the anti-science crowds among them. Paul Thomas is a pediatrician with offices (“Integrative Pediatricians”) in the Portland, Oregon area, and he has thrown his lot in with the antivaxxers. Thomas is, for instance, a founding member of the antivaccine and general quackery-promoting group Physicians for Informed Consent, and was also one of the “experts” interviewed for the antivaccine series The Truth About Vaccines – it’s of course the same small number of people with genuine credentials they use every time since there is only a very small number of people with genuine credentials willing to lend their authority to the antivaccine movement – there’s a list of them here, and it is, safe to say, a motley crew. (And of course: being an MD is not the same as being trained in medical science even if it requires some knowledge of science, a distinction easily lost on a target audience who thinks reading facebook comments and conspiracy websites counts as research anyways.) But in short: Thomas is something of a rising star in the antivaccine movement (with inept journalists like Genevieve Reaume helping him along).
The ridiculous (but dangerous) group Physicians for Informed Consent is best known for trying to spread obvious fake news about vaccines and pushing manufactroversies about vaccine safety, a typical ploy being the familiar trick of misrepresenting studies to falsely make it sound like it supports the conclusion you want it to support while relying on the audience not actually checking or being able to check whether the source actually says what you claim it says. Of course, Physicians for Informed Consent is very much opposed to informed consent (hence the Orwellian trick of putting “informed consent” in the very name); instead, they are vigorously pushing misinformation and fear-mongering and (for instance) vigorously deleting any hint of criticism by those who actually know something about the issues from their comment sections. The goal of the group is to fight any proposal to restrict the use of vaccine exemptions for kids in public schools, and Thomas has established himself as one of the leaders of the loon side of those debates.
Of course, like most antivaccine advocates, Thomas claims to be “not anti-vaccine, but pro-safe vaccine”. For one who is not antivaccine, Thomas spends a lot of time claiming that vaccines are dangerous without evidence to back up his claims. Thomas claims that he, clearly unlike most doctors, don’t “really remember really learning anything” about vaccines in medical school, and it sort of shows, for instance in his book The Vaccine-Friendly Plan, which pushes a (really antivaccine) “alternative vaccine schedule” with no basis in evidence and that ultimately, of course, really involves dropping various vaccines. Thomas, on his side, seems to suggest that the schedule is associated with lower prevalence of autism among his patients, even though he usually seems smart enough not to outright claim that vaccination leads to autism, which it demonstrably doesn’t – we don’t doubt that many of his clients believe that it does, however, and Thomas is certainly not going to disabuse them of that idea. Apparently his office has some 15,000 patients and he oversees eight doctors and nurses who share his beliefs. And ok, in his book he explicitly states that he once “realized we had poisoned a generation of children with a mercury-derived preservative called thimerosal”, which doesn’t count as a “realization”, before going on to talk about how kids are overvaccinated, and though he does, in fairness, not explicitly connect the dots to autism, he also talks about the alleged though non-existent autism epidemic, downplays the risks of vaccine-preventable diseases and claims that the polio vaccine didn’t eradicate polio in the US, which it demonstrably did and it would be utterly idiotic to try to claim otherwise.
Unsurprisingly, Thomas likes to be portrayed as a brave, principled maverick doctor being persecuted by the establishment. In August 2019, for instance, Thomas was kicked out of the Vaccines for Children Program because he failed to stock two of the required vaccines (rotavirus and HPV) and was, according to the Oregon Health Authority, “not exercising medical judgment in accordance with accepted medical practice.” His response involved, predictably, to suggest – falsely as always – that doctors administer vaccines in part because there is a lot of money in it (there really, really isn’t – there is, however, quite a bit of money involved in writing non-medical exemptions, which, in places without restrictions, don’t cost antivaccine doctors anything, and in selling books and webinars that stoke parents’ concerns about vaccines).
The lies Thomas told in the Truth About Vaccines interview are covered here, including his attempt to scare audiences by telling them that the AAP does not investigate vaccine safety (ok, that’s technically true since the AAP is a professional organization: its members study vaccine safety, however) and his claim that doctors cause grave injury to children by vaccination, but are not interested in learning why or how. He also invokes the “science was wrong before” gambit by bringing up to the how doctors were promoting cigarettes in the 1950s, implying that vaccines are similarly waiting for studies to be done on them – a notoriously silly gambit in part because i) there are ample studies on vaccines and vaccine safety, ii) science and doctors knew quite a bit about the dangers of smoking in the 1950s, and iii) would therefore not promote cigarettes: the “doctors” in those old ads are actors, not doctors, except perhaps – ironically – for a few “brave maverick doctors” not willing to base their recommendations on accepted science but going their own ways. Of course, Thomas doesn’t really have a clear idea what the state of the science on vaccines actually is, something he amply demonstrates on the show by rambling about how doctors don’t know how to identify vaccine reactions and saying that no one has looked at whether unvaccinated kids have febrile seizures or die of SIDS (in reality, studies show that vaccines significantly reduce the risk of SIDS – Thomas would of course not be aware of that – and SIDS rates in the US are at an all-time low partially as a result.)
As his book makes clear, Thomas isn’t just worried about vaccines, however. He is also worried about Tylenol, that the chemicals in plastics are endocrine disruptors, GMOs, flame retardants, pesticides, fluoride, artificial sweeteners, chemical dyes, and all of the other “toxins” that other doctors and the CDC supposedly ignore. But does he have the science to back up his fear-mongering? Well, he does a bit of cherry-picking, and concludes that there is “a growing body of evidence,” which it certainly looks like as long as people continue to publish outliers and you refuse to look at the trends established by large, well-designed studies and the metastudies that support the opposite conclusions. It is also worth noting that many of Thomas’s patients show sensitivity to gluten. This is, of course, because Thomas uses an IgG food sensitivity test that experts say is basically worthless.
His book is fairly and accurately reviewed here. There is another, comprehensive review here (short version: “Dr. Thomas has no relevant expertise in immunology or infectious disease to be making such recommendations, and it shows.”) Note in particular Thomas’s advice to pregnant women and new mothers, advice that are likely to cause deaths and serious harm if followed. And yes, it’s all couched in terms of one big toxins gambit with numerous appeals to chemophobia (“The Injectable Polio Vaccine (Ipol) contains formaldehyde, along with a host of other ingredients you probably wouldn’t want to inject into an infant with an immature immune system, including: human albumin, calf serum, 2-phenoxyethanol and antibiotics”).
Now, Thomas does seem to fancy himself a bit of a researcher, even if he really has no clue how scientific research works. The last few years he has been claiming to be running a study based on his own practice and “trying to get his data published,” which basically is him just registering what he wants to register about his own patients and is not a study by a long shot (here is a more detailed discussion of his “data”). His “research” partner appears to be antivaccine crank James Lyon-Weiler, with whom Thomas has also written a pretty inept “study” (no original research) demonizing aluminum adjuvants, published in the antivaccine-friendly junk journal Journal of Trace Elements in Biology and Medicine; that study is discussed here. (We will also take note of the coauthors, Grant McFarland and Elaine La Joie, neither of whom have any expertise in epidemiology, immunology, infectious disease, and epidemiology, though La Joie is at least “a certified life coach, and has a shamanic work practice”.)
Diagnosis: “Rising star in the antivaccine movement” should be diagnosis enough, shouldn’t it?

AntiVaxx Lunacy

The anti-vaccination movement is a loosely-organized conspiracy-theorist subculture that blames the medical practice of vaccination for a wide range of health problems and whose advocates have, ironically, been directly responsible for the return of health disasters by reinvigorating diseases that had almost been eradicated by said vaccines. The movement, largely led by people with no medical or scientific qualifications (or, tellingly, stripped of credentials for malpractice and fraud), bases its claims largely on spurious alleged short- and long-term side-effects of vaccinations. Effects which are — to boot — often trivial when compared to the severity of what were once common illnesses.
Anti-vaccination proponents make the argument that vaccines are deadly poisons (and that this ought to be “considered completely proven” to anyone but a shill). Yet the anti-vaccination movement fails to gain traction outside of social media. Therefore, by necessity, they argue that some kind of cover-up must be taking place (particularly in the CDC), that the vaccines serve an agenda completely different from disease prevention, or that the anti-vaccination “whistleblowers” are being kept down by some sort of shadowy power. This, of course, makes perfect sense.
Scaremongering opposition to vaccines is antiquated rather than novel, however, and the iteration of this movement that we’re stuck with today is not responding to any current, new (or real) danger. The original anti-vaccination movement sprang up very soon after Edward Jenner invented the first vaccine in 1798. “Vacca”, the Latin word for “cow”, gave the new invention, the vaccine, its name; and as early as 1802, forerunners to the modern anti-vaccination movement literally claimed that getting the smallpox inoculation would turn you into a cow. While vaccines have since improved from Jenner’s primitive proof-of-concept to the modern medical science we reap the benefits of today, the anti-vaccination movement hasn’t smartened up noticeably from the level of their predecessors in the days of Jenner.
In recent times, there has been much debate in the press and in doctors’ offices regarding the possible side-effects of vaccines, and whether these outweigh the risks of leaving a population without vaccinations. Opponents of vaccines have alleged that vaccinations cause all manner of illnesses; autism is a prominent example, as its direct causes are still fairly mysterious and probably very wide-ranging, with no single cause or lifestyle risk-factor being identified. Some prominent Americans have also spoken out vociferously about the supposed danger of vaccines.
Current scientific research has rejected or failed to explain the mechanisms for claimed health problems. Vaccine-preventable diseases have been a major cause of illness, death, and disability throughout human history. The advent of the modern vaccine era has changed this significantly; most North Americans and Europeans have little memory of a pre-vaccine era when diseases such as mumps and measles — to say nothing of smallpox or polio — were common and often deadly.
In the United States, many state laws support an individual (or parental) right to choose whether to be vaccinated against any disease. Forty-eight states allowed religious exemptions for compulsory vaccinations as of 2014, and twenty states allow exemptions on philosophical or personal objections to vaccinations. Rudolf Steiner, the originator of Waldorf education, regarded bouts of childhood disease as spiritually beneficial, which has made Waldorf education attractive for those opposed to vaccines. Prior to removal of the religious exemption in California, Waldorf schools had vaccination rates as low as 8% In 2018, a chicken-pox outbreak occurred at Asheville Waldorf school in North Carolina; the school has one of the highest vaccination-exemption rates in the state.
John D. Grabenstein wrote an extensive analysis which compared parents’ religious exemptions from vaccination with what a wide range of religions actually advocate. His analysis found that there were “few canonical bases for declining immunization, with Christian Scientists a notable exception”. Parents’ claims for religious exemption usually depended on irrational fears rather than on specific religious tenets
There are many ideas which are not supported by reviewed and accepted scientific evidence that vaccines are inherently harmful. For example, it is claimed that specific vaccines such as MMR (mumps, measles and rubella), or specific ingredients like thiomersal are causative factors leading to disease. Some claims are more vague, based on the feeling that vaccines are “unnatural,” that they are somehow “useless,” or that the diseases they prevent “aren’t that bad anyway.” Anti-vaccination campaigners often use the language of being for “freedom” in whether to be vaccinated, such as with MMR, where the campaign was the “choice” to take a non-combined vaccine. These beliefs often stem from other ideological positions; for instance, vaccination programs are seen as excessive government interference, or as an implementation of socialized medicine, although it’s hardly just a conservative thing, as a look around The Huffington Post will tell you, and New Age woo is another reason some oppose vaccines. Similarly, those against “artificial” interference will also shun vaccination regardless of efficacy. It could be argued that these ideologies are the root causes of anti-vaccination positions, and bias which specific concern an individual will be attracted to.
There are, of course, well developed published data on the complication rates of vaccines and these data play an essential role in the approval process vaccines must pass in order to be licensed for sale, and recommended for use. When faced with this, anti-vaccination activists often argue that the reporting system is not robust enough, resulting in these figures being misleading. The reality is that unexpected side effects can occur, just as a parachute may fail to open, but the regulatory process ensures that such events are rare and within a risk boundary that means vaccination is statistically much safer than non-vaccination.
For vaccination recommendations by governments or advisory institutions (e.g. the World Heath Organization) to change to an anti-vaccination stance, it must be fully demonstrated that the harms caused directly by the vaccine are greater than the harms caused by withholding the vaccine from circulation. This needs to be demonstrated at a population level, with solid and significant statistics.

The Pentagon Bio-Weapons

The US Army regularly produces deadly viruses, bacteria and toxins in direct violation of the UN Convention on the prohibition of Biological Weapons. Hundreds of thousands of unwitting people are systematically exposed to dangerous pathogens and other incurable diseases. Bio warfare scientists using diplomatic cover test man-made viruses at Pentagon bio laboratories in 25 countries across the world. These US bio-laboratories are funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) under a $ 2.1 billion military program– Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP), and are located in former Soviet Union countries such as Georgia and Ukraine, the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa.
The Lugar Center, Republic of Georgia
The US Army has been deployed to Vaziani Military Air Base, 17 km away from the Pentagon bio-laboratory at The Lugar Center.
Georgia is a testing ground for bioweapons
The Lugar Center is the Pentagon bio laboratory in Georgia. It is located just 17 km away from the US Vaziani military airbase in the capital Tbilisi. Tasked with the military program are biologists from the US Army Medical Research Unit-Georgia (USAMRU-G) along with private contractors. The Bio-safety Level 3 Laboratory is accessible only to US citizens with security clearance. They are accorded diplomatic immunity under the 2002 US-Georgia Agreement on defense cooperation.
The USA-Georgia agreement accords diplomatic status to the US military and civilian personnel (including diplomatic vehicles), working on the Pentagon program in Georgia.
Information obtained from the US federal contracts registry clarifies some of the military activities at The Lugar Center – among them research on bio- agents (anthrax, tularemia) and viral diseases (e.g. Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever), and the collection of biological samples for future experiments.
Pentagon contractors produce bio agents under diplomatic cover
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has outsourced much of the work under the military program to private companies, which are not held accountable to Congress, and which can operate more freely and move around the rule of law. US civilian personnel performing work at The Lugar Center have also been given diplomatic immunity, although they are not diplomats. Hence, private companies can perform work, under diplomatic cover, for the US government without being under the direct control of the host state – in this case the Republic of Georgia. This practice is often used by the CIA to provide cover for its agents.
Three private American companies work at the US bio-laboratory in Tbilisi – CH2M Hill, Battelle and Metabiota. In addition to the Pentagon, these private contractors perform biological research for the CIA and various other government agencies.
CH2M Hill has been awarded $341.5 million DTRA contracts under the Pentagon’s program for bio-laboratories in Georgia, Uganda, Tanzania, Iraq, Afghanistan, South East Asia. Half of this sum ($161.1 million), being allocated to The Lugar Center, under the Georgian contract.
According to CH2M Hill, the US Company has secured biological agents and employed former bio warfare scientists at The Lugar Center. These are scientists who are working for another American company involved in the military program in Georgia – Battelle Memorial Institute.
Battelle as a $59 million subcontractor at Lugar Center has extensive experience in research on bio-agents, as the company has already worked on the US Bio-weapons Program under 11 previous contracts with the US Army (1952-1966).
The private company performs work for the Pentagon’s DTRA bio laboratories in Afghanistan, Armenia, Georgia, Uganda, Tanzania, Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam. Battelle conducts research, development, testing, and evaluation using both highly toxic chemicals and highly pathogenic biological agents for a wide range of US government agencies. It has been awarded some $2 billion federal contracts in total and ranks 23 on the Top 100 US government contractors list.
The CIA-Battelle Project Clear Vision
Project Clear Vision (1997 and 2000), a joint investigation by the CIA and the Battelle Memorial Institute, under a contract awarded by the Agency, reconstructed and tested a Soviet-era anthrax bomblet in order to test its dissemination characteristics. The project’s stated goal was to assess bio-agents dissemination characteristics of bomblets. The clandestine CIA-Battelle operation was omitted from the US Biological Weapons Convention declarations submitted to the UN.
Top Secret Experiments
Battelle has operated a Top Secret Bio laboratory (National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center – NBACC) at Fort Detrick, Maryland under a US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contract for the last decade. The company has been awarded a $344.4 million federal contract (2006 – 2016) and another $17.3 million contract (2015 -2026) by DHS.
Amongst the secret experiments, performed by Battelle at NBACC, are: Assessment of powder dissemination technology ; Assessment of hazard posed by aerosolized toxins and Assessment of virulence of B. Pseudomallei (Meliodosis) as a function of aerosol particle in non-human primates. Melioidosis has the potential to be developed as a biological weapon, hence, it is classed as a category B. Bioterrorism Agent. B. Pseudomallei was studied by the US as a potential bioweapon in the past.
Besides the military experiments at the Lugar Center in Georgia, Battelle has already produced bioterrorism agents at the Biosafety Level 4 NBACC Top Secret Laboratory at Fort Detrick in the US. A NBACC presentation lists 16 research priorities for the lab. Amongst them to characterize classical, emerging and genetically engineered pathogens for their BTA (biological threat agent) potential; assess the nature of nontraditional, novel and non-endemic induction of disease from potential BTA and to expand aerosol-challenge testing capacity for non-human primates.
Pentagon biolabs at the epicenter of the Ebola crisis
The US Company Metabiota Inc. has been awarded $18.4 million federal contracts under the Pentagon’s DTRA program in Georgia and Ukraine for scientific and technical consulting services.
Metabiota services include global field-based biological threat research, pathogen discovery, outbreak response and clinical trials.
Metabiota Inc. had been contracted by the Pentagon to perform work for DTRA before and during the Ebola crisis in West Africa and was awarded $3.1 million (2012-2015) for work in Sierra Leone – one of the countries at the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak.
Metabiota worked on a Pentagon’s project at the epicenter of the Ebola crisis, where three US biolabs are situated.
A July 17, 2014 report drafted by the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium, accused Metabiota Inc. of failing to abide by an existing agreement on how to report test results and for bypassing the Sierra Leonean scientists working there. The report also raised the possibility that Metabiota was culturing blood cells at the lab, something the report said was dangerous, as well as misdiagnosing healthy patients. All of those allegations were denied by Metabiota.
Military Experiments on biting insects
Entomological warfare is a type of biological warfare that uses insects to transmit diseases. The Pentagon has allegedly performed such entomological tests in Georgia and Russia.
Biting Flies in Georgia
In 2014 The Lugar Center was equipped with an insect facility and launched a project “Raising Awareness about Barcoding of Sand Flies in Georgia and Caucasus”. The project covered a larger geographic area outside of Georgia – Caucasus. In 2014-2015 Phlebotomine sand fly species were collected under another project “Surveillance Work on Acute Febrile Illness” and all (female) sand flies were tested to determine their infectivity rate. A third project, also including sand flies collection, studied the characteristics of their salivary glands.
As a result Tbilisi has been infested with biting flies since 2015. These biting insects live indoors, in bathrooms, all year long, which was not the typical behaviour of these species in Georgia previously (normally the Phlebotomine fly season in Georgia is exceptionally short – from June to September). Local people complain of being bitten by these newly appeared flies while naked in their bathrooms. They also have a strong resistance to cold and can survive even in the sub-zero temperatures in the mountains.
Since the start of the Pentagon project in 2014 flies similar to those in Georgia have appeared in neighboring Dagestan (Russia). According to local people, they bite and cause rashes. Their breeding habitats are house drains.
Flies from the Phlebotomine family carry dangerous parasites in their saliva which they transmit through a bite to humans. The disease, which these flies carry, is of high interest to the Pentagon. In 2003 during the US invasion of Iraq American soldiers were severely bitten by sand flies and contracted Leishmoniasis. The disease is native to Iraq and Afghanistan and if left untreated the acute form of Leishmoniasis can be fatal.
A 1967 US Army report “Arthropods of medical importance in Asia and the European USSR” lists all local insects, their distribution and the diseases that they carry. Biting flies, which live in drains, are also listed in the document. Their natural habitats, though, are the Philippines, not Georgia or Russia.
In 1970 and 1972, Sand Fly Fever tests were performed on humans according to a declassified US Army report – US Army Activities in the US, Biological Warfare Programs, 1977, vol. II, p. 203. During operation Whitecoat volunteers were exposed to bites by infected sand flies. Operation Whitecoat was a bio-defense medical research program carried out by the US Army at Fort Detrick, Maryland between 1954 and 1973.
Despite the official termination of the US bio-weapons program, in 1982 USAMRIID performed an experiment if sand flies and mosquitoes could be vectors of Rift Valley Virus, Dengue, Chikungunya and Eastern Equine Encephalitis – viruses, which the US Army researched for their potential as bio-weapons.
Killer Insects
A. Aegypti
The Pentagon has a long history in using insects as vectors for diseases. According to a partially declassified 1981 US Army report, American bio warfare scientists carried out a number of experiments on insects. These operations were part of the US Entomological Warfare under the Program for Biological Weapons of the US.
The Pentagon: How to kill 625,000 people for just $0.29 cost per death
A US Army report in 1981 compared two scenarios – 16 simultaneous attacks on a city by A. Aegypti mosquitoes, infected with Yellow Fever, and Tularemia aerosol attack, and assesses their effectiveness in cost and casualties.
Operation Big Itch: Field tests were performed to determine coverage patterns and survivability of the tropical rat flea Xenopsylla cheopis for use as a disease vector in biological warfare.
Operation Big Buzz: 1 million A. Aegypti mosquitoes were produced, 1/3 were placed in munitions and dropped from aircraft, or dispersed on the ground. The mosquitoes survived the airdrop and actively sought out human blood.
Source: Evaluation of Entomological Warfare as a potential Danger to the US and European NATO nations, US Army, March 1981 Report
Operation May Day: Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes were dispersed through ground based methods in Georgia, USA, during a US Army operation codenamed May Day.
Parts of the 1981 US Army report such as the “Mass production of Aedes Aegypti” have not been declassified, potentially meaning that the project is still ongoing.
Aedes Aegypti, also known as yellow fever mosquito, have been widely used in US military operations. The same species of mosquitoes are alleged to be the vectors of dengue, chikungunya and the Zika virus, which causes genetic malformations in newborns
Operation Bellweather
The US Army Chemical Research and Development Command, Biological Weapons Branch, studied outdoor mosquito biting activity in a number of field tests at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, in 1960. Virgin female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which had been starved, were tested upon troops out in the open air.
For reference: Outdoor Mosquito Biting Activity Studies, Project Bellweather I, 1960, Technical Report, US Army, Dugway Proving Ground
Military Experiments with Tropical Mosquitoes and Ticks in Georgia
Such species of mosquitoes and fleas (studied in the past under the US Entomological Warfare Program) have also been collected in Georgia and tested at The Lugar Center.
Under the DTRA project “Virus and Other Arboviruses in Georgia” in 2014 the never-before-seen tropical mosquito Aedes albopictus was detected for the first time and after decades (60 years) the existence of Aedes Aegypti mosquito was confirmed in West Georgia.
Aedes Albopictus is a vector of many viral pathogens, Yellow fever virus, Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika.
These tropical mosquitoes Aedes Albopictus having never been seen before in Georgia, have also been detected in neighboring Russia (Krasnodar) and Turkey, According to data provided by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Their spread is unusual for this part of the world.
Aedes Aegypti Mosquitoes have been distributed only in Georgia, Southern Russia and Northern Turkey. They were detected for the first time in 2014 after the start of the Pentagon program at The Lugar Center.
Under another DTRA project “Epidemiology and Ecology of Tularemia in Georgia” (2013-2016) 6,148 ground ticks were collected ; 5,871 were collected off the cattle and 1,310 fleas and 731 ticks were caught. In 2016 a further 21 590 ticks were collected and studied at The Lugar Center.
Anthrax Outbreak in Georgia and NATO Human Trials
In 2007 Georgia ended its policy of having compulsory annual livestock anthrax vaccination. As a result, the morbidity rate of the disease reached its peak in 2013. The same year NATO started human based anthrax vaccine tests at The Lugar Center in Georgia.
In 2007 despite the anthrax outbreak the Georgian government terminated the compulsory vaccination for 7 years, 2013 saw NATO start human trials on a new anthrax vaccine in Georgia.
Pentagon Research on Russian Anthrax
Anthrax is one of the bio agents weaponized by the US Army in the past. Despite the Pentagon’s claims that its program is only defensive, there are facts to the contrary. In 2016 at The Lugar Center American scientists carried out research on the “Genome Sequence of the Soviet/Russian Bacillus anthracis Vaccine Strain 55-VNIIVViM”, which was funded by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s (DTRA) Cooperative Biological Engagement Program in Tbilisi, and administered by Metabiota (the US contractor under the Pentagon program in Georgia).
In 2017 the DTRA funded further research – Ten Genome Sequences of Human and Livestock Isolates of Bacillus anthracis from the Country of Georgia, which was performed by USAMRU-G at The Lugar Center.
34 people intentionally infected with Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in Georgia
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is caused by infection through a tick-borne virus (Nairovirus). The disease was first characterized in Crimea in 1944 and given the name Crimean hemorrhagic fever. It was then later recognized in 1969 as the cause of illness in Congo, thus resulting in the current name of the disease. In 2014 34 people became infected (among which a 4-year old child) with CCHF. 3 of which died. The same year Pentagon biologists studied the virus in Georgia under the DTRA project “Epidemiology of febrile illnesses caused by Dengue viruses and other Arboviruses in Georgia”. The project included tests on patients with fever symptoms and the collection of ticks, as possible vectors of CCHV for laboratory analysis.
Source: NCDC-Georgia
The cause of the CCHF outbreak in Georgia is still unknown. According to the local Veterinary Department report, only one tick from all of the collected species from the infected villages tested positive for the disease. Despite the claims of the local authorities that the virus was transmitted to humans from animals, all animal blood samples were negative too. The lack of infected ticks and animals is inexplicable given the sharp increase of CCHF human cases in 2014, meaning that the outbreak was not natural and the virus was spread intentionally.
In 2016 another 21 590 ticks were collected for DNA database for future studies at The Lugar Center under the Pentagon project “Assessing the Seroprevalence and Genetic Diversity of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus (CCHFV) and Hantaviruses in Georgia”.
Symptoms of CCHF
Military bio-lab blamed for deadly CCHF outbreak in Afghanistan
237 cases of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) have also been reported across Afghanistan, 41 of which were fatal as of December 2017. According to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Health most of the cases have been registered in the capital Kabul where 71 cases have been reported with 13 fatalities, and in the province of Herat near the border with Iran (67 cases).
Afghanistan is one of 25 countries across the world with Pentagon bio-laboratories on their territory. The project in Afghanistan is part of the US bio-defense program – Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP), which is funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). The DTRA contractors, working at The Lugar Center in Georgia, CH2M Hill and Battelle have also been contracted for the program in Afghanistan. CH2M Hill has been awarded a $10.4 million contract (2013-2017). The Pentagon contractors in Afghanistan and Georgia are the same and so are the diseases which are spreading among the local population in both countries.
Why the Pentagon collects and studies bats
Bats are the reservoir hosts to the Ebola Virus , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and other deadly diseases. However, the precise ways these viruses are transmitted to humans are currently unknown. Numerous studies have been performed under the DTRA Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) in a search for deadly pathogens of military importance in bats.
Bats have been blamed for the deadly Ebola outbreak in Africa (2014-2016). However, no conclusive evidence of exactly how the virus “jumped” to humans has ever been provided, which raises suspicions of intentional and not natural infection.
Engineering deadly viruses is legal in the US
MERS-CoV is thought to originate from bats and spread directly to humans and/or camels. However, like Ebola, the precise ways the virus spreads are unknown.
1,980 cases with 699 deaths were reported in 15 countries across the world (as of June 2017) caused by MERS-CoV.
3 to 4 out of every 10 patients reported with MERS have died. Source: WHO
MERS-CoV is one of the viruses that have been engineered by the US and studied by the Pentagon, as well as Influenza and SARS. Confirmation of this practice is Obama’s 2014 temporary ban on government funding for such “dual-use” research. The moratorium was lifted in 2017 and experiments have continued. Enhanced Potential Pandemic Pathogens (PPPs) experiments are legal in the US.
Such experiments aim to increase the transmissibility and/or virulence of pathogens.
Tularemia as Bioweapon
Tularemia, also known as Rabbit Fever, is classified as a bioterrorism agent and was developed in the past as such by the US. However, the Pentagon’s research on tularemia continues, as well as on possible vectors of the bacteria such as ticks and rodents which cause the disease. The DTRA has launched a number of projects on Tularemia along with other especially dangerous pathogens in Georgia. Especially Dangerous Pathogens (EDPs), or select agents, represent a major concern for the public health globally. These highly pathogenic agents have the potential to be weaponized with proof of their military importance seen through the following Pentagon projects: Epidemiology and Ecology of Tularemia in Georgia (2013-2016) (60 000 vectors were collected for strain isolates and genome research); Epidemiology of Human Tularemia in Georgia and Human Disease Epidemiology and Surveillance of Especially Dangerous Pathogens in Georgia (study of select agents among patients with undifferentiated fever and hemorrhagic fever/septic shock).
F. Tularensis is a highly infectious bacterium and has the potential to be weaponized for use through aerosol attacks.
Tularemia is one of the bio-weapons that the US Army developed in the past.
The DoD Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has funded 11 bio-laboratories in the former Soviet Union Country Ukraine, bordering on Russia.
The US military program is sensitive information
Ukraine has no control over the military bio-laboratories on its own territory. According to the 2005 Agreement between the US DoD and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine the Ukrainian government is prohibited from public disclosure of sensitive information about the US program and Ukraine is obliged to transfer to the US Department of Defense (DoD) dangerous pathogens for biological research. The Pentagon has been granted access to certain state secrets of Ukraine in connection with the projects under their agreement.
Biowarfare scientists under diplomatic cover
Among the set of bilateral agreements between the US and Ukraine is the establishment of the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU) – an International organization funded mainly by the US government which has been accorded diplomatic status. The STCU officially supports projects of scientists previously involved in the Soviet biological weapons program. Over the past 20 years the STCU has invested over $285 million in funding and managing some 1,850 projects of scientists who previously worked on the development of weapons of mass destruction.
364 Ukrainians died from Swine Flu
One of the Pentagon laboratories is located in Kharkiv, where in January 2016 at least 20 Ukrainian soldiers died from Flu-like virus in just two days with 200 more being hospitalized. The Ukrainian government did not report on the dead Ukrainian soldiers in Kharkiv. As of March 2016 364 deaths have been reported across Ukraine (81.3 % caused by Swine Flu A (H1N1) pdm09 – the same strain which caused the world pandemic in 2009).
According to DPR intelligence information the US bio lab in Kharkiv leaked the deadly virus.
Police investigate infection with incurable disease
A highly suspicious Hepatitis A infection spread rapidly in just few months across South East Ukraine where most of the Pentagon biolabs are located.
37 people have been hospitalized for Hepatitis A in the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv as of January 2018. Local police have launched an investigation into “infection with human immunodeficiency virus and other incurable diseases”. Three years ago more than 100 people in the same city became infected with Cholera. Both diseases are alleged to have spread through contaminated drinking water.
In the summer of 2017 60 people with Hepatitis A were admitted to hospital in the city of Zaporizhia, the cause of this outbreak is still unknown.
In the Odessa region, 19 children from an orphanage were hospitalized for hepatitis A in June 2017.
29 cases of Hepatitis A were reported in Kharkiv in November 2017. The virus was isolated in contaminated drinking water. One of the Pentagon bio-labs is located in Kharkiv which was blamed for the deadly Flu outbreak a year ago which claimed the lives of 364 Ukrainians.
Ukraine and Russia hit by new highly virulent cholera infection
In 2011 Ukraine was hit by a cholera outbreak. 33 patients were reportedly hospitalized for severe diarrhea. A second outbreak struck the country in 2014 when more than 800 people all across Ukraine were reported to have contracted the disease. In 2015 at least 100 new cases were registered in the city of Mykolaiv alone.
A new highly virulent variant of the cholera agent Vibrio cholera, with a high genetic similarity to the strains reported in Ukraine, hit Moscow in 2014. According to a 2014 Russian Research Anti-Plaque Institute genetic study the cholera strain isolated in Moscow was similar to the bacteria which caused the epidemic in neighboring Ukraine.
Southern Research Institute one of the US contractors working at the bio-laboratoriesin Ukraine, has projects on Cholera, as well as on Influenza and Zika – all pathogens of military importance to the Pentagon.
Along with Southern Research Institute, two other private American companies operate military bio-labs in Ukraine – Black&Veatch and Metabiota.
Black & Veatch Special Project Corp. was awarded $198.7 million DTRA contracts to build and operate bio-laboratories in Ukraine (under two 5-year contracts in 2008 and 2012 totaling $128.5 million), as well as in Germany, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Thailand, Ethiopia, Vietnam and Armenia.
Metabiota has been awarded a $18.4 million federal contract under the program in Georgia and Ukraine. This US company was also contracted to perform work for the DTRA before and during the Ebola crisis in West Africa, the company was awarded $3.1 million (2012-2015) for work in Sierra Leone .
Southern Research Institute has been a prime subcontractor under the DTRA program in Ukraine since 2008. The company was also a prime Pentagon contractor in the past under the US Biological Weapons Program for research and development of bio-agents with 16 contracts between 1951 and 1962.
Southern Research Institute was also a subcontractor on a Pentagon program for anthrax research in 2001. The prime contractor being Advanced Biosystems, whose president at that time was Ken Alibek (a former Soviet microbiologist and biological warfare expert from Kazakhstan who defected to the US in 1992).
Ken Alibek
Ken Alibek was the First Deputy Director of Biopreparat, where he oversaw a program for biological weapon facilities and was the Soviet Union’s main expert on anthrax. After his defection to the US, he was engaged on Pentagon research projects.
$250 000 for lobbying Jeff Sessions for “research for US intelligence”
Southern Research Institute lobbied the US Congress and US Department of State hard for “issues related to research and development for US intelligence” and “defense related research and development”. The lobbying activities coincided with the start of the Pentagon projects on bio-labs in Ukraine and other former Soviet states.
The company paid $ 250 000 for lobbying the then Senator Jeff Sessions in 2008-2009 (currently the US Attorney General appointed by Donald Trump), when the institute was awarded a number of federal contracts.
Watson Donald
For a 10-year period (2006-2016) Southern Research Institute paid $1.28 million for lobbying the US Senate, House of Representatives , the State Department and the Department of Defense (DoD). Senator Jeff Sessions’ aide on Capitol Hill – Watson Donald, is now a Senior Director at Southern Research Institute.
Police investigate Botulism toxin poisoning in Ukraine
119 Botulism cases, with 12 deaths, were reported in Ukraine in 2016.
In 2017 the Ukrainian Ministry of Health confirmed a further 90 new cases, with 8 deaths, of botulinum toxin poisoning (one of the most poisonous biological substances known). According to the local health authorities, the cause of the outbreak was food poisoning into which police launched an investigation .
The Ukrainian government stopped supplying antitoxin in 2014 and no botulism vaccines in stock were available during the 2016-2017 outbreak.
Botulism is a rare and extremely dangerous illness caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
1 gm of the toxin can kill as many as 1 million people
Botulinum neurotoxin poses a major bio-weapon threat because of its extreme potency, ease of production and transport. It causes muscles paralyses, respiratory failure and ultimately death if not treated immediately. A single gram of crystalline toxin, evenly dispersed and inhaled can kill more than one million people. It could be disseminated via aerosol, or by contamination of water and/ or food supplies.
Botulinum Toxin was tested as a bio-weapon by the US Army in the past, as well as Anthrax, Brucella and Tularemia. Although the US bio-weapons program was officially terminated in 1969 documents show that the military experiments have never ended. Presently the Pentagon produces and tests live bio- agents at the same military facility as it did in the past – Dugway Proving Ground.
Bioweapons factory in the US
The US Army produces and tests bio-agents at a special military facility located at Dugway Proving Ground ( West Desert Test Center, Utah), as proven in a 2012 US Army Report. The facility is overseen by the Army Test and Evaluation Command.
The Life Sciences Division (LSD) at Dugway Proving Ground is tasked with the production of bio-agents. According to the Army report, scientists from this division produce and test aerosolized bio-agents at Lothar Saloman Life Sciences Test Facility (LSTF).
Lothar Saloman Life Sciences Test Facility (LSTF) where bio-terrorism agents are produced and aerosolized.
Biological Agents produced by the US Army at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, USA
The Life Sciences Division consists of an Aerosol Technology branch and a Microbiology Branch. The Aerosol Technology Branch aerosolizes biological agents and simulants. The Microbiology branch produces toxins, bacteria, viruses and agent-like organisms which are used in chamber and field testing.
The fermentation laboratories at the Life Sciences Test Facility grow bacteria in fermentors ranging from a small 2 L to a large 1500 L system. The fermentors are tailored specifically to the requirements of the microorganism that is being engineered – pH, temperature, light, pressure, and nutrient concentrations that give the microorganism optimal growth rates.
After the bio-agents are produced, the scientists challenge them at containment aerosol chambers.
Aerosol experiments with Botulinum Neurotoxin and Anthrax
Documents prove that the US Army produces, possesses and tests aerosols of the most lethal toxin in the world – Botulinum Neurotoxin. In 2014 the Department of the Army purchased 100 mg of Botulinum Toxin from Metabiologics for tests at Dugway Proving Ground.
The experiments date back to 2007 when an unspecified quantity of the toxin was procured to the Department of the Army by the same company – Metabiologics. According to the 2012 West Desert Test Center Report, the military facility performs tests with Botulinum Neurotoxin Aerosol, as well as with aerosolized Anthrax, Yersinia pestis, and Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus (VEE).
Outdoor field test programs at Dugway Proving Ground
US Army documents and photos show that the Pentagon has developed various dissemination methods for bioterrorism attacks including by explosives.Dissemination of contaminants for biological/chemical tests.
The US Army report lists numerous dissemination techniques including by bio-aerosol sprayers. Such sprayers called Micronair disseminators have already been developed by the US Army and tested at Dugway Proving Ground. According to the documents, they can be vehicle-mounted, or worn as a backpack, with a pump system which can be fitted to the unit to increase the accuracy of the release. Micronair sprayers can release 50 to 500 mL of bio-liquid simulant per minute from 12 L tanks.
The US stole bacteria from Saddam Hussein’s bio weapons factory
Bacillus thuringiensis is an insect pathogen that is widely used as a bio-pesticide. B. thuringiensis (BT) Al Hakam was collected in Iraq by the UN Special Commission led by the US in 2003. It is named after Al Hakam – Iraq’s bio-weapons production facility. Apart from Pentagon field tests, this bacterium is also used in the US for the production of GM corn, resistant to pests. Photos posted by the CIA prove that the bacteria was collected by the US in Iraq. According to the CIA, the vials containing bio-pesticide, were recovered from an Al Hakam scientist’s home.
CIA: A total of 97 vials-including those with labels consistent with the al Hakam cover stories of single-cell protein and bio-pesticides, as well as strains that could be used to produce BW agents were recovered from a scientist’s residence in Iraq in 2003.
Bacillus thuringiensis
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) federal project for laboratory analysis and field tests with bacteria. Source: govtribe.com
The tests are performed on Kirtland Air Force Base (Kirtland is the home of the Air Force Materiel Command’s Nuclear Weapons Center). Here weapons are being tested, meaning that the field tests with biological simulants (bacteria) also fall into this group.
The DTRA contractor on this project – Lovelace Biomedical and Environmental Research Institute (LBERI), operates an Animal Bio-safety 3 Level (ABSL-3) laboratory which has Select Agent status. The facility is designed to conduct bioaerosol studies. The company has been awarded a 5-year contract for field tests with biological simulants at Kirtland Air Force Base.
Field tests with Biological Simulants (bacteria)
What the Pentagon is now doing is exactly what it did in the past, meaning that its bio-weapons program was never terminated. The US Army performed 27 field tests with such biological simulants, involving the public domain from1949 to 1968, when President Nixon officially announced the end of the program.
Field tests in Chechnya
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), which runs the US military program at the Lugar Center in Georgia, is alleged to have already performed field tests with an unknown substance in Chechnya, Russia. In the spring of 2017 local citizens reported on a drone disseminating white powder close to the Russian border with Georgia. Neither the Georgian border police, nor the US personnel operating on the Georgia-Russia border, commented on this information.
$9.2 million US military project on Russia-Georgia border
DTRA has full access to the Russia-Georgia border, granted under a military program called “Georgia Land Border Security Project”. The activities, related to the project have been outsourced to a private American company – Parsons Government Services International. DTRA has previously contracted Parsons for similar border security projects in Lebanon, Jordan, Libya and Syria. Parsons have been awarded a $9.2 million contract under the Pentagon border security project on the Russia-Georgia border.
Local citizens in Chechnya noticed a UAV sprayer near the Russian border with Georgia in 2017.
US Defense Agency tests GM Insects to transmit GM Viruses
The Pentagon has invested at least $65 million in gene editing. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded 7 research teams to develop tools for genome engineering in insects, rodents and bacteria under DARPA’s Safe Gene program, using a novel CRISPR-Cas9 technology.
Under another military program –Insect Allies, GM insects are engineered to transfer modified genes to plants. The $10.3 million DARPA project includes both gene editing in insects and in the viruses that they transmit. Ecological Niche-preference Engineering is a third ongoing military program for genome engineering in insects. The Pentagon’s stated objective is to engineer GM organisms so that they can resist certain temperatures, change their habitat and food sources.
Genetically engineered humans
Besides gene editing in insects and in the viruses they transmit, the Pentagon wants to engineer humans as well.
DARPA Advanced Tools for Mammalian Genome Engineering Project seeks to create a biological platform inside the human body, using it to deliver new genetic information, and thus altering humans at the DNA level.
The Pentagon Bio-WeaponsDARPA wants to insert an additional 47th artificial chromosome into human cells. This chromosome will deliver new genes that will be used for engineering the human body. SynPloid Biotek LLChas been awarded two contracts under the program totaling $1.1 million (2015-2016 – $ 100,600 for the first phase of the research; 2015-2017 – $ 999,300 for work which is not specified in the federal contracts registry. The company has only two employees and no previous record on bio-research.
Top Secret Research on Synthetic Viruses
Between 2008 and 2014, the United States invested approximately $820 million in synthetic biology research, Defense being a major contributor. Much of the military projects on synthetic biology are classified, among them are a number of classified studies by the secretive JASON group of US military advisors – e.g. Emerging Viruses and Genome Editing for the Pentagon, and Synthetic Viruses for the National Counterterrorism Center.
JASON is an independent scientific advisory group that provides consulting services to the U.S. government on matters of defense science and technology. It was established in 1960 and most of their resulting JASON reports are classified. For administrative purposes, the JASON’s projects are run by the MITRE Corporation, which has contracts with the Defense Department, CIA and the FBI. Since 2014 MITRE has been awarded some $27.4 million in contracts with the DoD.
Although the JASON Reports are classified, another US Air Force study titled Biotechnology: Genetically Engineered Pathogens, sheds some light on what the secretive JASON group has researched – 5 groups of genetically engineered pathogens that can be used as bio-weapons. These are binary biological weapons (a lethal combination of two viruses), host swapping diseases (animal viruses that “jump” to humans, like the Ebola virus), stealth viruses, and designer diseases. Designer diseases can be engineered to target a certain ethnic group, meaning that they can be used as ethnic bio-weapons.
Ethnic Bioweapons
Ethnic biological weapon (biogenetic weapon) is a theoretical weapon that aims to primarily harm people of specific ethnicities, or genotypes.
Although officially the research and development of ethnic bio-weapons have never been publicly confirmed, documents show that the US collects biological material from certain ethnic groups – Russians and Chinese.
The US Air Force has been specifically collecting Russian RNA and synovial tissue samples, raising fears in Moscow of a covert US ethnic bio-weapons program.
Apart from Russians, the US has been collecting biological material from both healthy and cancer patients in China. The National Cancer Institute has collected biological samples from 300 subjects from Linxian, Zhengzhou, and Chengdu in China. While another federal project, titled Serum Metabolic biomarkers discovery study of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma in China, includes analysis of 349 serum samples which have been collected from Chinese patients.
The US National Cancer Institute has been collecting biological material from patients of the Chinese Cancer Hospital in Beijing.
Chinese biological material has been collected under a series of federal projects including saliva and cancer tissue. Among them, Genotyping DNA Samples from Lymphoma cases and from controls (healthy patients), Breast cancer tissue blocks from breast cancer patients, Saliva samples of 50 families who have 3 or more cases of UGI cancer, Genotype 50 SNP’S for DNA samples from the Cancer Hospital, Beijing, Genotypes from 3000 cases of gastric cancer and 3000 controls (healthy patients) in Beijing.
Tobacco Vaccines
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has invested $100 million in vaccines production from tobacco plants.
The companies, involved in the project, are owned by the biggest American tobacco companies – Mediacago Inc. is co-owned by Philip Morris and Kentucky BioProcessing, a subsidiary of Reynolds American which is owned by British American Tobacco. Currently they are producing Flu and Ebola vaccines from tobacco plants.
The $100 million program Blue Angel was launched as a response to the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. Medicago being awarded $21 million to produce 10, 000 million doses of an influenza vaccine within one month.
Blue Angel program manager Dr. John Julias explains: “Although there are multiple plant species and other organisms being explored as alternative protein production platforms, the US Government has continued to make an investment in tobacco-based manufacturing.”
The plant-based vaccine production method works by isolating a specific antigen protein that triggers a human immune response from the targeted virus. A gene from the protein is transferred to bacteria, whichis used to infect plants. The plants then start producing the protein that will be used for vaccinations.
It is not clear why the Pentagon choses to invest in vaccines produced from tobacco plants amongst all other plant species, which they explored. Medicago, co-owned by Philip Morris, paid $495,000 for lobbying the Department of Defense, the Congress and The Department of Health and Human Services for “funding to advance technology to support public health preparedness applications”. The Pentagon funded tobacco companies to develop new technology and to profit from vaccines.
Biological Experiments are war crimes
Article 8 of The Rome Statute of The International Criminal Court (ICC) defines biological experiments as war crimes. The US, however, is not a state party to the international treaty, and cannot be held accountable for its war crimes.

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