15 March 2021 — Moon of Alabama
The U.S. and some of its allies are engaged in efforts to malign the Russian Sputink V vaccine and to promote the more expensive mRNA vaccines produced by ‘western’ companies.
Back in November we warned that the vaccine competition would be ruthless:
The mRNA vaccines hyped in the U.S. media are simply too expensive to be used around the world. If we want to limit the global effects of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic we will have to use the cheaper vector based vaccines.
That the AstraZeneka vaccine was immediately attacked in U.S. media by an unqualified writer quoting an investment bank and the U.S. pharma promoting (Remdesivir!) Antony Fauci is quite suspicious. Pfizer and Moderna expect to make billions of dollars with their vaccines. They will use all possible ways and means to defeat any potential competition.
Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, recently noted how unfair competition practices are used to keep some vaccines away from nations who urgently need it:
Producers are struggling for the global vaccine market worth $100 billion, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
Some producers compete unfairly, sell a small batch of vaccines at a lower price on the condition to be an exclusive supplier, Putin said, speaking at a video meeting on measures to boost investment activity in Moscow.
“We see how competitors behave in the global vaccine market worth $100 billion. They come, sell a small batch of their vaccine at a discount, on the condition that everything else will be purchased only from this producer,” he said.
To no one’s astonishment the U.S. government is directly involved in manipulations of vaccine accessibility. As Brazil Wire found:
The US Department of Health and Human Services recently published its Annual Report for 2020.
“2020 was one of the most challenging years in the history of our country and in the history of the Department of Health and Human Services”, former US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar introduces the report.
“There is an end to the pandemic in sight”, he continues, “with the delivery of safe and effective vaccines through Operation Warp Speed”.
Tucked away on page 48, the report shockingly reveals how the US pressured Brazil to reject Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.
The HHS Annual Report is here. On page 5 it says:
Developing a strategy for supporting global vaccine access: HHS’s Office of Global Affairs (OGA) led the development of an interagency strategy, coordinated through the National Security Council, to provide international access to COVID-19 vaccines once domestic needs are met.
“Once domestic needs are met” is certainly not an altruistic or even reasonably prioritizing strategy one should be proud of. A sensible effort to save lives and to end the pandemic would prioritize risk groups in every country of this planet before inoculating people at home who have little risk of serious Covid-19 complications.
On page 47 the HHS report notes that the U.S. is coordinating with its Five Eyes spy partners on vaccine ‘messaging’:
Combating vaccine hesitancy globally: OGA leads a group of the Five Eyes countries (U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States) on vaccine confidence, aligning our nations’ efforts and sharing best practices to enhance vaccine confidence messaging globally.
On page one we learn what such communication entails:
Combatting [sic!] malign influences in the Americas: OGA used diplomatic relations in the Americas region to mitigate efforts by states, including Cuba, Venezuela, and Russia, who are working to increase their influence in the region to the detriment of US safety and security. OGA coordinated with other U.S. government agencies to strengthen diplomatic ties and offer technical and humanitarian assistance to dissuade countries in the region from accepting aid from these ill-intentioned states.
Examples include using OGA’s Health Attaché office to persuade Brazil to reject the Russian COVID-19 vaccine, and offering CDC technical assistance in lieu of Panama accepting an offer of Cuban doctors.
“To persuade Brazil to reject the Russian COVID-19 vaccine” is, simply said, criminal behavior that has near genocidal consequences. Brazil is currently getting swamped with a more infectious variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its medical institutions are near a breakdown:
“It feels like we’re putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound,” said Eduarda Santa Rosa Barata, a 31-year-old infectologist who works in three ICUs in the north-eastern capital of Pernambuco state, all now stretched to the limit. “We’re engaged in damage reduction … You open new beds and they fill up immediately.”
A few days earlier, Barata had admitted a 37-year-old man who had no underlying medical conditions but whose lungs were so badly damaged he needed intubation. “It seems so random,” she said. “It’s a bizarre disease. It’s frightening.”
“Before the end of 2020, you’d get a family and one member would be infected but not the other three or four members, even though they lived in the same environment. You don’t see this any more. If there’s one confirmed case, everyone ends up getting infected by the virus,” he said. “It’s obvious that this new variant is now circulating among us.”
Panama, which under U.S. pressure rejected an offer from Cuba for medical support, has one of the highest death rates from Covid-19. That is one reason why its economy shrank by 18%.
The HHS report also speaks of Bolivia:
Opening Bolivia to health diplomacy: After decades of silence between the U.S. and Bolivia, OGA re-established health diplomatic relations with the Ministry of Health of Bolivia following national elections. Re-engaging allows the U.S. to strengthen ties in the region, which is important for influence in regional and multilateral fora, including the Pan American Health Organization.
What was “following national elections” in Bolivia was a fascist coup which produced repression and tyranny. The U.S. used its cooperation with the coup plotters to influence other organizations.
Meanwhile the U.S. is also falsely stating that Russia is spreading vaccine disinformation. Following a Wall Street Journal piece planted by U.S. officials these claimed, without evidence, that Russia was sowing fear about the mRNA vaccines:
On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that four publications, all serving as fronts for Russian intelligence, have targeted Western-produced COVID-19 vaccines with misleading coverage that exaggerates the risk of side effects and raises questions about their efficacy.
The State Department confirmed that report on Monday, saying U.S. officials had identified four Russian online platforms that were spreading disinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines.
In each case, the Russian outlets were repeating actual news reports.
The ‘Russian outlets’ repeated the news ‘western’ news agencies were distributing. It is nice though to see acknowledged that such is often disinformation.
There are some signs that the U.S. is coordinating with its spy partners to malign the very efficient Sputnik V vaccine. The British Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) recently put up a comment that warns of Russia’s soft power gain through vaccine diplomacy especially in South America:
Sputnik V’s rapid foray into new markets in Latin America may indeed have longer-term implications in an area that has traditionally been the US’s backyard. Argentina gratefully received more than half a million doses in January. It served as an embassy of sorts for Sputnik V; reportedly, Argentinian delegations to Moscow in late 2020 translated reams of details into Spanish and shared these with Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay and Chile to speed up their ability to decide. Bolivia’s first batch arrived at the end of January. By mid-February, Mexico received its first 200,000 doses. By mid-March, Brazil and Peru appeared close to sealing respective deals.
This is followed by musings about potential sabotage targets:
There are several factors that could make Sputnik V’s current bounce shortlived. The inability to deliver supplies quickly is an immediate one. Russia has acknowledged its production squeeze, raising doubts about its ability to honour its vaccine pledges. It is dependent on plants in the likes of Brazil, India and South Korea upholding good manufacturing practice and delivering at speed and scale on Moscow’s promise to provide hundreds of millions of quality vials quickly.
The piece closes with an ominous call to action:
The biomedical science of Sputnik V may well be genuinely welcome worldwide, once full data is available and has been appropriately interrogated. But the corresponding political ramifications of deeper and wider Russian influence globally may not be so beneficial.
The UK and the US must not be blindsided to the full extent of Russian vaccine diplomacy already underway.
The U.S. efforts to prevent Russian vaccine distribution failed in Argentina where President Alberto Fernández has led an early and successful effort to introduce the Russian vaccine:
Amid plenty of public skepticism, Buenos Aires sent missions to Moscow in October and December 2020 to inspect data from the vaccine’s phase 3 trial.
An Argentine presidential aide said the delegation had translated hundreds of pages of information about the vaccine into Spanish—necessary for approval—which it later shared with other governments in the region, including Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay, and Chile.
This is how, a day before the phase 3 results were published, trucks of Sputnik V shots were already trundling through Bolivia’s countryside. A photo of a delivery in a poultry truck draped in a Bolivian flag—a creative (and health department-approved) solution for cold storage requirements—went viral. Argentina began vaccinating with Sputnik this past December, meanwhile, and Mexico announced the purchase of 24 million Sputnik doses on Jan. 25.
U.S. efforts to dissuade countries from acquiring Sputnik V have not be fully successful. That again requires to launch a propaganda campaign to malign Sputnik V wherever it is distributed:
Maxim A. Suchkov @m_suchkov – 15:35 UTC · Mar 13, 2021
1. #Putin: “Global market for #COVID19 vaccines is worth $100 billion. We see how competitors of our producers behave: they enter a country [that is in need for vaccines], sell a small batch of vaccines on a discounted price but condition the sale with that…
2. “…the country will only purchase that vaccine from that producer in the future. So, there’s a real fight for the markets”.
3. $100 billion is a big market. #Russia makes over $15 bln on arms sales (unofficial stats have it as high as $55 bln), about $25 bln for agricultural sales; around the same amount on gas sales (thou it depends on supplies), oil and oil products a little over than $100 bln.
4. So all of a sudden there’s this huge market and there’s heavy fight over it. @dimsmirnov175 cites an anonymous “source in the #Kremlin” who said that Russian intel services are aware that their foreign counterparts seek to launch a massive infowar against #Russia/n vaccines
5.The source reportedly said that soon there’ll be many reports over #Russia/n vaccines inefficiency & that they even health dangerous. Allegedly, even “staged cases of massive losses of human life after using Sputnik V will be propagated via @USAID, @georgesoros @thomsonreuters
6. The target audience for this campaign will be European countries who registered #SputnikV for their emergency use – #Hungary, #Slovakia, #Montenegro, #SanMarino and N.#Macedonia.
7. On a parallel track,#US & allies, according to the “Kremlin source” ‘d release “investigations” about “incompetence of #Russia/n specialists in vaccination & immunology to halt their certification by @WHO, other relevant agencies, lower demand for RU vaccines from other countries
8. “The #Kremlin source” adds #US “aggressively promotes @pfizer, eyes to make sure US free of not only from the payment of possible compensation to citizens in lawsuits in the event of side effects, but also from liability for negligence of the direct manufacturer”
9.#SputnikV now world’s 2nd in terms of demand with 50+ countries having provided permit for its use. Struggle for markets in #Europe,#LatinAmerica,#Africa #Asia will get even bigger when we’ll [most likely] learn that vaccination is not a one time deal but a seasonal routine /END
PS.This chart is telling in the kinda tricks one may pull: #Russia’s #SputnikV completed all the stages, but designers of the chart (1) put it at the bottom (2) don’t use its product name (3) mark it with (*) caveating its effectiveness as if ABC “independently fact-checked” others
Graphics like the above are only one example of media manipulations in support of ‘western’ vaccine ‘diplomacy’. This is more than just arrogance:
The West’s reaction was not exactly objective in August 2020 when Russia presented the world’s first corona vaccine. Words like “vaccine muck from Moscow”, “nasty vaccine propaganda”, and accusations of “clumsy manipulations” of a “high-risk experiment on humans”. Distrust, malice and suspicion were easier to find. One newspaper quipped that Sputnik V was effective not only against the virus, but also against “homosexuality as well as epilspsy and hives.”
The Five Eyes, their intelligence agencies and friends are pulling all possible strings to win the markets for their vaccines. The continuous delaying of the official EU authorization for Sputnik V is obviously a part of this sabotage scheme.
That these efforts will keep people away from other good and available vaccines and that this will inevitably cost a number of them their lives, is seen as a reasonable price for gaining vaccine supremacy.