Significant: Nobody knew that China landed on the moon
by Urs P. Gasche
The ignorance is a proof of how one-sided big media inform about China. Almost only negative things are reported.
[This article posted on 9/18/2022 is translated from the German on the Internet, Bezeichnend: Niemand wusste, dass China auf dem Mond landete - infosperber.]
The USA declared China "enemy number one" about twenty years ago. Since then, the Pentagon and think tanks supported by it have been organizing an information war against China. European media vigorously participate on the side of the USA.
It is rightly reported time and again that the Chinese party regime is increasingly authoritarian, treats the Uyghurs inhumanely and increasingly suppresses political dissenters.
But not everything is black or white in the world's fourth-largest country, which is home to twenty percent of the world's population, or more than 1.4 billion people. However, information about positive developments is sparse. Soon we will be to the point where spreaders of good news from China will be silenced as "China-readers" or "Xi Jinping-readers."
It fits into the black-and-white picture, for example, that China is repeatedly portrayed as the world's biggest CO2 polluter by comparing China's total CO2 emissions with countries like Italy or France instead of comparing emissions per capita.
Or that it is reported that an incredible 30 million Chinese are once again being sent into a Corona lockdown, without mentioning that it is 30 million out of a population of 1.4 billion. More than half of the Chinese have never come into contact with a lockdown since the outbreak of the epidemic.
Or that the media hardly notice when China transforms huge desert areas into forested and fertile regions with massive reforestation.
Or that our major media only report briefly at most on China's technical and scientific successes, such as the unmanned landing on the moon in 2020. The situation was quite different at the beginning of September 2022: the media did not wait until the Nasa rocket reached the moon, but already reported in detail and in prominent places about the launch, which had been postponed twice.
It could therefore not really come as a surprise that in the RTL show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" on September 5, neither Günter Jauch (by his own account) nor the candidate, nor a single one of the many viewers in the studio, was able to answer the 32,000-euro question correctly:
"Flags of which countries have been hoisted on the moon so far?"
When the candidate took the audience joker, no one stood up at first. Only after some delay did a man come forward and guess "only USA".
Obviously, no one on the show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" could remember one of the mostly brief reports in 2020 about China's first unmanned moon landing.
Moon flag USAUS flag on the moon. Although there is no wind there, the flag seems to flutter. © Images with USA flag.
The facts: On July 20, 1969, two U.S. astronauts landed on the moon. Edwin Aldrin hoisted a US flag (the astronaut stuck a solar wind sail, developed at the University of Bern, into the lunar sand even before the US flag).
On five more unmanned Apollo moon landings the USA left more flags on the moon.
Not all flags are stuck in place anymore. After his return from the moon Buzz Aldrin had reported that the flag was blown over by the wind of the engine during the departure.
For the flags that may have remained, Nasa assumes that the colors have since faded due to sunlight. The 1969 U.S. flag was made of nylon. Nasa had purchased it for .50 at a department store.
Chinese flag on the moon
The Chinese flag (200×90 cm) may withstand the adverse conditions longer. It was specially designed to withstand the conditions on the moon longer.
The correct answer of the 32'000 Euro question is: In 2020, China was the second and so far only country besides the USA that was able to put a flag on the moon.
Zhurong on Mars.CGTNSelfie of the Chinese Mars robot "Zhurong". Video here. © CGTN
Additional question for additional joker: Who remembers China's rover vehicle "Zhurong" taking video footage on the red planet Mars in 2021?
Whether lunar and Martian landings are desirable given the current problems on Earth is another question.__________________________________________+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Here's how the Bill Gates power machine dominated Corona politics
Billionaire Bill Gates (center), Prince Charles (right) and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau © Phil Noble
by Urs P. Gasche
The Gates lobby exerted massive influence on governments and WHO. This is what research by "Politico" and "Welt am Sonntag" reveals.
[This article posted on 9/19/2022 is translated from the German on the Internet, https://www.infosperber.ch/wirtschaft/konzerne/so-dominierte-die-bill-gates-machtmaschine-die-corona-politik/.]
"We relied enormously on their advice in the pandemic," says a U.S. government official. "Especially in the early days." The German government, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, were also personally approached by Bill Gates by phone and with letters.
These quotes and information emerge from documents, meeting minutes and witness statements, which journalists from the "Welt am Sonntag" and the online platform "Politico" said they had gathered over six months.
Most government officials in the U.S., as well as government members and their employees in other countries, had to be assured anonymity. Most of them were not allowed by their positions to talk to the media.
The conclusion of the "Welt am Sonntag": "Important decisions were not made by the heads of state and the World Health Organization, but by the foundation of Bill and Melinda Gates and their network."
The Gates lobby network includes the "Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation" in Seattle ("A better world by 2030 is within our reach"; foundation assets around billion), the London "Wellcome Trust "* (investment portfolio 38 billion pounds), the vaccination alliance GAVI in Geneva, and the CEPI "Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations") in London and Oslo.
Here are Politico's key findings:
The four organizations have spent nearly billion on covid since 2020 - as much as the lead U.S. agency tasked with fighting it.
The organizations collectively gave .4 billion to the World Health Organization (WHO)*, where they helped shape a major initiative to distribute Covid 19 vaccines and test kits. This program failed to achieve its original goals.
The organizations' exponents had unprecedented access to the highest levels of government and spent at least .3 million lobbying legislators and officials in the U.S. and Europe.
Officials from the U.S., the EU, and representatives of WHO rotated as staff to these four organizations, helping them solidify their political and financial connections in Washington and Brussels.
The leaders of the four organizations promised to close the justice gap. Yet during the worst waves of the pandemic, low-income countries found themselves without life-saving vaccines.
Exponents of three of the four organizations successfully claimed and lobbied that lifting intellectual property protections was not necessary to better provide Africa with vaccines. But granting production licenses or partially suspending patent rights would have helped save many lives, according to activists.
The lobby network
Networking. PoliticoNetworking brings many conflicts of interest © Dan Page/Politico.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill & Melinda Gates contributed most of their fortune and found others to do the same. For example, investing legend Warren Buffett. The foundation has been instrumental in curbing polio and Ebola in Africa.
A globally active charitable foundation, established in 1936 with the legacy of pharmaceutical entrepreneur Henry Wellcome. It is now the second-largest organization in the global healthcare sector, which itself also invests its assets in pharmaceutical companies. The Wellcome Trust regularly receives grants for projects from the Gates Foundation. The two organizations have collaborated frequently in the past. They have also formed joint alliances, mainly for the development of vaccines.
GAVI Vaccine Alliance
The alliance aims to improve immunization coverage in low-income countries. Partners are the Bill & Melinda Foundation, WHO, Unicef and the World Bank. Self-declaration: "Since its inception in 2000, GAVI has helped immunize more than 822 million children in the world's poorest countries, preventing more than 14 million deaths."
"The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations was formed by the Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust with the governments of India and Norway to develop new vaccines and make them available affordably."
(Sources: Publico, Welt am Sonntag, Infosperber)
"Politico" concluded the following from its research:
"The four health organizations, working closely together, spent nearly billion fighting covid around the world. But governments had no control over them. And the four organizations failed to achieve their own goals."
Successfully lobbying for unrestricted patent protection
The Gates network works closely with pharmaceutical companies. It was important for their profit maximization that they did not have to make any concessions on patent protection, although they profited from billions of taxpayers' money to develop and produce the vaccines.
"Welt am Sonntag" and "Politico" have compiled some figures:
Bill Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust and the CEPI and GAVI initiatives together spent at least .3 million on lobbying in Germany, the U.S. and the European Union since the pandemic began. In the U.S., data from the lobbying registry there show, representatives of the four organizations met with officials from the National Institutes of Health, White House policymakers and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services beginning in the spring of 2020. The vaccine organization, CEPI, lobbied for several pieces of legislation that would give the initiative a lot of taxpayer money for its projects.
A senior U.S. Department of Health and Human Services official under Trump tells Today that members of Congress were "strongly approached" by CEPI and its allies. The lobbyists, he says, tried to "insert their language regulations into every official document that was produced at the time."
Eventually, the U.S. government under Donald Trump pledged million to CEPI. Successor Joe Biden even increased annual spending to 0 million in his budget proposal.
CEPI also approached the German chancellor. Executive Director Richard Hatchett asked Merkel for financial support. "Without this investment, CEPI will not be able to continue the Covid vaccine development program," Hatchett wrote in a March 4, 2020, letter, attaching a document titled "Call to Action." In it are arguments "why CEPI is the right vehicle" for global vaccine development.
Nine days later, the German government announced it would fund CEPI with 140 million euros.
Against cheap production in developing countries
In spring 2020, the issue was whether scientists could develop a vaccine and ensure that as many manufacturers as possible could produce it cheaply. This is what the organization Doctors Without Borders, among others, is campaigning for.
Or whether pharmaceutical companies that produce vaccines are granted patent rights.
The Gates Foundation and its partners CEPI and GAVI lobbied on behalf of the pharmaceutical companies. They produced several "white papers" outlining detailed ideas on how to proceed, and then distributed them to politicians and relevant government officials. These letters were part of the network's major lobbying offensive.
In April 2020, the governments of Germany, France, and Spain passed resolutions that largely mirrored the "white papers" of the Gates Foundation and its partners. CEPI and GAVI, organizations also funded by Gates and the Wellcome Trust, were given the lead to produce and distribute test kits, drugs and vaccines. The initiative was given the name ACT-A for "Access to Covid-19-Tools Accelerator." WHO was to receive only "oversight" of the campaign.
An organization called Covax was created to distribute the vaccines. The plan was for nation-states to buy vaccines together from manufacturers in large quantities and according to terms to be negotiated, and then distribute them around the world.
But this did not suit either the Gates network or the pharmaceutical companies. The latter wanted to retain control over production and distribution.
Finally, the donor countries pledged to provide a total of 7.4 billion euros. 30 pharmaceutical companies and research institutes received grants from several organizations in Gates' network to develop vaccines, tests and drugs.
According to research by "Welt am Sonntag" and "Politico," .4 billion went to vaccine development alone. Oxford University in London received the largest sum from CEPI, the Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, 2 million, for basic research to develop a vaccine. The university's scientists initially said they would make their research results freely available.
But the Gates Foundation quickly suggested that the university "work with a multinational company to ensure that researchers have the full range of skills and resources at their disposal." As a result, the university relented and struck a deal with AstraZeneca. The pharmaceutical company was thus allowed, and still is, to use the research results exclusively.
Promises not kept
The Gates Foundation and its network failed to deliver on their promises: Corona tests, vaccines and drugs were available much later than promised. This was stated by an audit group led by the New York-based consulting firm Dalberg Global Development Advisors. The four organizations involved had issued the order themselves.
The Gates network had further promised to supply the inhabitants of developing and emerging countries with 500 million test kits by mid-2021. By the end of June 2021, only 84 million had been delivered. They planned to deliver 245 million doses of covid medicines to Africa and other developing and emerging countries. By mid-2021, only 1.8 million doses had arrived.
And of the promised two billion doses of vaccine to be delivered by the end of 2021, barely half had been distributed.
No vaccine production in South Africa
Finally, the specific issue was that a research center proposed by the WHO was to be established in South Africa to reduce dependence on Covax for vaccine distribution.
Initially, the ministry believed that the manufacturer Moderna would "provide its active ingredient as a basis" for this. But the pharmaceutical company Moderna refused to make its vaccine available for replication. The network around the Gates Foundation supported Moderna.
"Welt am Sonntag" and "Politico" quote Adam Moe Fejerskov, who interviewed a hundred active and former employees for his book on the Gates Foundation: "The Gates Foundation acts like a chameleon. It often changes its appearance to the outside world." Sometimes it appears like a charitable NGO, sometimes like a callous investment bank. But it's always about more than just handing out money. "If Gates is serious about a project, he wants to be in the driver's seat, too."
Jörg Schaaber, founder of the pharma-critical organization BUKO Pharma-Kampagne, spoke of a "relapse into feudalism." A handful of philanthropists decide the "weal and woe of the world," he said. U.S. Lawrence Gostin, a health law expert at Washington's Georgetown University, said, "What we're seeing here is the worst kind of influence peddling because it's behind closed doors." He said the public cannot understand the decisions of the foundations, even though they are directly affected by those decisions. He added that this also applies to the WHO and to politicians of nation states, even though they fund the foundations' projects.
A German health politician commented: "The design flaw of our system is that the world cannot do without these philanthropists. And this fact alone gives them enormous power."
"No one really holds these actors accountable. And yet they have a huge impact on how we respond to a pandemic."
Sophie Harman, professor of international politics at Queen Mary University of London
"To put it bluntly: Money buys influence. And that's the worst kind of influence. Not just because it's money [...] but also because it's privileged access behind closed doors."
Lawrence Gostin, professor of public health at Georgetown University in Washington DC
Gates network: 'Governments are accountable'
The organizations themselves defend their actions. The Gates Foundation has its board chairman Mark Suzman respond to a question. He says: "In some regions of the world, ACT-A has certainly shown success. He is critical of the vaccination campaign, but not specifically of the foundations: "Here, the world as a whole failed, because countries with high incomes initially claimed the available supply for themselves."
Spokespersons for CEPI and GAVI also blame governments. They have not made enough money available and provided too little support, they say. Jeremy Farrar, chief executive of the Wellcome Trust, replied to the researchers that the initiative had "certainly not gone perfectly." But without it, the world's response to the pandemic would have been "poorer and much more fragmented."
Clearly, nation states are overwhelmed. In any case, the chairman of the World Economic Forum WEF, Klaus Schwab, stated in the September 17 NZZ:
"In promoting cooperation and addressing global challenges, the role of business remains crucial."
International networking Bill Gates
International networking. Among them, financially powerful Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation © Politico
How WHO became increasingly dependent on private sponsors.
What conflicts of interest the Wellcome Trust is involved in.