This piece will continue our look into Bill Gates and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Please see part 1 before reading. In part 2, we will focus on the role the Foundation has played in the response to COVID-19, as well as the influence the organization has on global health institutions.
Before we dive into the current COVID-19 crisis, a bit more background on Gates is needed. In the last piece we discussed the history of the Gates Foundation’s investments. What is important to note is that by using the Foundation as the front organization, Gates can donate and influence hospitals, universities, media, governments, and health organizations. The Foundation clearly has the ability to shape the decisions made by some of the institutions they fund, including when these decisions go against the desires of the masses they claim to be helping.
For example, in 2017 Independent Science News released a report detailing how the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation paid PR firm Emerging Ag $1.6 million to “recruit a covert coalition of academics to manipulate a UN decision-making process over gene drives.” Emails released by Freedom of Information Act Request reveal that the Gates’ recruitment effort was part of a plan to “fight back against gene drive moratorium proponents.” Gene drives are a controversial genetic extinction technology promoted as a way to eliminate mosquitoes with malaria, agricultural pests, and invasive species.
At the 2016 United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, 179 international organizations called for a UN moratorium on gene drives. The opponents of this technology also circulated a letter, “A Call for Conservation with a Conscience: No Place for Gene Drives in Conservation,” signed by 30 environmental leaders who called for a “halt to all proposals for the use of gene drive technologies, but especially in conservation.” The Gates Foundation is heavily invested in gene driving technology and was not happy to see a diverse and unified push-back against gene driving. The Foundation hired Emerging Ag — who have their own web of connections to Big Pharma and Big Ag — to shut down the opponents of gene driving. Emerging Ag was successful and the moratorium was shot down.
Coincidentally, in 2016, the US National Academy of Sciences released a report on gene driving which was co-funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. DARPA is also invested in gene drive research. As The Guardian noted after the release of the NAS report:
“The same US defense research agency (DARPA) who paid for the NAS study have made it known that they are going all-in on gene drive research and development of ‘robust’ synthetic organisms. There is good reason to be worried.”
Moreover, Jim Thomas of the ETC Group, which monitors the impact of emerging technologies and corporate strategies on biodiversity, agriculture and human rights, told ISN that he believes gene drives are potential biological weapons that could have a “disastrous” impact on human life and food security. “The fact that gene drive development is now being primarily funded and structured by the US military raises alarming questions about this entire field,” he stated.