John Edmunds is on top of the world.
He’s one of the modelling-paper mafiosi.
The London, U.K., professor is a key government advisor via his membership in powerful committees and organizations. Edmunds also was a co-author of one of the primary modelling papers that have been used to convince the masses that vigilance against Variant of Concern (VOC) B.1.1.7 should be their top priority.
Edmunds co-wrote an influential January 21, 2021 report that concluded, “There is a realistic possibility that VOC B.1.1.7 is associated with an increased risk of death compared to non-VOC viruses.”
In addition, Edmunds speaks often to reporters about the deadliness of the new variant. He tells them a “disaster” would happen if lockdowns are eased soon, because what first must be done is to “vaccinate much, much, much more widely than the elderly.”
Follow the Funds
Edmunds also happens to be the spouse of someone who, at least until April 2020, was an employee of GlaxoSmithKline and held shares in the company. (Although Edmunds doesn’t disclose this in any of his media interviews that I’ve read and watched.)
According to an April 2020 Daily Telegraph article, his wife is Jeanne Pimenta and she works for GSK. Yet in the Daily Telegraph article Edmunds says his partner had recently resigned from GSK. So it’s unclear whether she currently works there or not. The only Jeanne Pimenta LinkedIn profile I found indicates she’s currently director of epidemiology at GSK. Yet Jeanne Pimenta’s ResearchGate profile says she’s an epidemiologist at BioMarin Pharmaceutical, a company that makes very expensive drugs for rare genetic diseases. (I’ll have a bit more about Edmunds being married to a present or former Glaxo employee later in this article.)
In any case, Glaxo is achieving stratospheric financial success. On February 3 the company announced it’s collaborating with mRNA-vaccine company CureVac to spend 150 million Euros — approx $180 million USD — to make vaccines for the new variants. That effectively gives them first-entrant advantage in vaccines for the new variants (and for ‘booster’ shots against after the initial rounds of vaccination).
Glaxo is also teaming up with CureVac to pump out, later this year, 100 million doses of CureVac’s ‘first-generation’ COVID-19 vaccine called ‘CvnCoV.’
And of course Glaxo together with another international pharmaceutical firm, Sanofi, will soon produce massive quantities of a vaccine for the non-variant coronavirus: 100 million doses for the U.S. alone. The company’s understated Feb. 3 announcement of its financial results for the last quarter of 2020 said it will “continue to expect meaningful improvement in revenues and margins” because they are “building a high-value biopharma pipeline.”
And this is just part of the web of money and influence surrounding Edmunds and other key players in the modelling game including a very high-profile person named Neil Ferguson (more on Ferguson below).
[Note that a February 8, 2021, investigative report in the German news outlet Welt Am Sonntag (which translates to World on Sunday) reveals another impetus for the wildly inaccurate modelling governments use to keep populations in a state of fear and control. The German article describes how, in March 2020, government officials enlisted “leading scientists from several research institutes and universities. Together, they were to produce a [mathematical-modelling] paper that would serve as legitimization for further tough political measures.” These scientists obediently wrote a modelling paper for the government cabinet. The then-secret paper asserted that if lockdown measures were lifted immediately, up to one million Germans would die from COVID-19, some “agonizingly at home, gasping for breath,” after being turned away from overflowing hospitals.]
Edmunds is Deeply Invested in the Vaccine World
One of the most influential modelling papers to date on B.1.1.7 was written by Edmunds and other members of the Centre for Mathematical modelling of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), with input from the Centre’s COVID-19 Working Group. It was posted December 23, 2020, in the e-journal Medrχiv. The journal is published by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife. I talk about this Zuckerberg connection in my Feb. 3 article on the baselessness for the modelling papers that claim the new variants are very dangerous.
Edmunds is dean of the school’s Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health. I contacted media relations at the LSHTM for an interview with him or one of the modelling paper’s authors. I didn’t receive a response.
In a Feb. 2017 video interview, Edmunds enthused that the LSHTM specializes in every aspect of vaccines, from basic science, to fostering vaccine candidates through all the steps of development including large-scale clinical trials. In the video he also touts using mathematical modelling as a good way to show that vaccines protect individuals and society. (And among other things he describes his group’s efforts in giving children flu vaccines and — in conjunction with Public Health England — promoting human papillomavirus [HPV] vaccines for girls and boys.)
Edmunds is a key member of the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
And he’s a member of (SAGE), which provides Covid-measure advice — much of which relates to vaccines — to U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson and his cabinet.
On top of that, Edmunds is a member of New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats (NERVTAG). It’s as or more influential than SAGE. And NERVTAG also heavily promotes vaccination.
A 2015 article that Edmunds co-authored states under ‘Competing interests’ for Edmunds that “My partner works for GSK [GlaxoSmithKline].” Similarly, on the NERVTAG website’s conflict-disclosure pages – which for some reason haven’t been updated since Oct. 2017 – it states that Edmunds’s spouse works for GlaxoSmithKline.
As a quick aside, the section of the PDF of the December 23 modelling analysis of B.1.1.7 on ‘Author Contributions and Acknowledgements’ (pages 15 and 16) show that almost all of the paper’s authors and members of the modelling centre’s COVID-19 Working Group receive funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and/or Wellcome Trust. (By the way, a search for Wellcome Trust yields the Wellcome website.)
Back to Edmunds. He’s also on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Coalition for Epidemic Innovations (CEPI). CEPI was created primarily by the BMGF, the World Economic Forum and the major pharma company Wellcome. CEPI’s website states it was “launched in Davos [at the meeting of the World Economic Forum in January] 2017 to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics. Our mission is to accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and enable equitable access to these vaccines for people during outbreaks.”
Investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley last year wrote a must-read two-part analysis of the ties between Big Pharma and the key individuals, institutions and funding in the UK’s Covid-19 response. In Part Two she describes, among many other things, the work of CEPI – for example, she notes that GSK is working with CEPI to develop COVID-19 vaccines. This alliance is still going strong today.
Note also that the LSHTM’s Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, of which Edmunds is the dean, is primarily funded by the BMGF and the Gavi alliance. (Gavi promotes mass vaccination of people around the world — including by quarterbacking the COVAX program. Gavi’s biggest funders include the BMGF. Doctors Without Borders has criticized GAVI for being “aimed more at supporting drug-industry desires to promote new products than at finding the most efficient and sustainable means for fighting the diseases of poverty.”)
BMGF funding for the Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health grew from $4.9 million USD in 2014 (see page 15 of the LSHTM’s 2014 annual report) to $13.2 million USD in 2016 (see page 15 of the LSHTM’s 2016 annual report, which is the most recent LSHTM annual report that I can find online). Funding from the BMGF to the LSHTM as a whole in 2018-2019, the most year for which I can find LSHTM funding information, was 15 million pounds (see page 56 of the school’s 2018-2019 financial statements). This is equivalent to approximately $20.6 million USD.
By the way, the LSHTM also has a Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre. It develops, tests and commercializes vaccines. (I couldn’t find any information on where the centre’s funding comes from.)
The centre also performs affiliated activities like combating ‘vaccine hesitancy.’ The latter includes the Vaccine Confidence Project. The Project’s stated purpose is “to monitor public confidence in immunisation programmes by building an information surveillance system for early detection of public concerns around vaccines; by applying a diagnostic tool to data collected to determine the risk level of public concerns in terms of their potential to disrupt vaccine programmes; and, finally, to provide analysis and guidance for early response and engagement with the public to ensure sustained confidence in vaccines and immunisation.”
The Vaccine Confidence Project’s director is LSHTM professor Heidi Larson. For more than a decade she’s been researching how to combat vaccine hesitancy. LSHTM underpins the project, which also is a member of the WHO’s Vaccine Safety Net.
Some Key Points About a Couple of Other Main Modellers, Susan Hopkins and Neil Ferguson
Here are more points to ponder:
– Public Health England (PHE) issued its first detailed report on the new variant in late December 2020 and continues to provide updates. Their reports are not peer-reviewed. One of the highest-profile co-authors of the PHE reports is Susan Hopkins. She’s PHE’s director and a professor of infectious diseases at Imperial College London. The college receives tens of millions of dollars a year from the BMGF. See for example this grant from the foundation to Imperial College, and this one, this one and this one. (I emailed media relations at Public Health England to request an interview about PHE’s reports on the new variants. PHE communications person Zahra Vindhani wrote, “Dr Hopkins won’t have the capacity for this in the upcoming weeks, and we aren’t able to confirm anyone else for this either.)
– PHE is guided in its approach to vaccination by PHE’s “Strategic Priority 1” for combating infections diseases in 2020-2025 is to “Optimise vaccine provision and reduce vaccine preventable diseases in England” (see p. 9 of PHE’s Infectious Disease Strategy 2020-2025)
– Neil Ferguson is a co-author of the PHE reports and also of a seminal December 31 modelling paper on the dangerousness of B.1.1.7. He’s Acting Director of the Imperial College-based Vaccine Impact Modelling Consortium.
– Ferguson’s modelling has proved disastrous time and time again over the years. This has been documented by, among others, investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley.
– For example, as Vanessa Beeley wrote in Part One of her two-part investigative report, Ferguson’s modelling over-estimated by about three million-fold the death toll from the bird flu, also known as H5N1, and in the process added ammunition to the push to vaccinate hundreds of millions of people against this, which caused more harm than good.
– Ferguson also grossly overestimated the effects of swine flu, or H1N1. As a result, millions of people were were needlessly given Glaxo’s Pandemrix. It caused brain damage, including narcolepsy and cataplexy, in hundreds if not thousands of vaccine recipients, mostly children. The pharma giant was granted no fault in any damage claims. Therefore the British government paid more than 60 million pounds (approx. $80 million USD at 2017 conversion rates) to victims. (As noted earlier in this article, Glaxo and other pharma companies are similarly protected from having to pay damages to people injured or killed by their COVID-19 vaccines. We pay instead.)
– Ferguson also is a member, together with Edmunds and others, of SAGE. This is the committee that issued the January 21, 2021, report stating that B.1.1.7 is deadly (as mentioned at the beginning of this article).
– Another group he’s a member of is the highly influential NERVTAG He’s a member even though he supposedly resigned last spring after being caught visiting with his married lover when everyone in England was supposed to only be having contact with members of their own households (based in large part on Ferguson’s modelling and his urging the government to lock the country down).
– Ferguson also is a member of the UK Vaccines Network, along with Edmunds and others such as the UK government’s top Covid-19 adviser Chris Whitty, who is the network’s chair. The network’s focus, according to its website, “to support the [U.K.] government to identify and shortlist targeted investment opportunities for the most promising vaccines and vaccine technologies that will help combat infectious diseases with epidemic potential, and to address structural issues related to the UK’s broader vaccine infrastructure.”
All these ties bind Edmunds, Ferguson, Hopkins — and the rest of the modelling-paper mafiosi around the world — to the bidding of governments, Big Pharma, Bill Gates and other powerful players. They are serving big power, not the public good.
After obtaining an MSc in molecular biology from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary, Rosemary Frei became a freelance writer. She was a medical writer and journalist for the next 22 years. She pivoted again in early 2016 to full-time, independent activism and investigative journalism. Her website is RosemaryFrei.ca.