(Natural News) n September 11, USA Today published an article with a headline declaring, “Fact check: Fauci, Gates, Epstein and Soros have no ties to drug company Moderna”.
(Article republished from JeremyRHammond.com)
But that headline was false.
Both Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) and member of the White House coronavirus task force, and Bill Gates do have ties to Moderna, a pharmaceutical company developing a COVID-19 vaccine using mRNA technology.
The article does rightly identify misinformation presented in a video widely shared on social media.
With respect to Fauci, USA Today notes that the video’s claim that Fauci was the first CEO of Moderna is false. Nevertheless, Fauci does have ties to Moderna.
Similarly, the article notes that the video’s claim that Fauci and Gates were college roommates is false. But Gates, too, nevertheless does have direct ties to Moderna.
In fact, USA Today contradicts its own headline by acknowledging that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation “is listed as one of Moderna’s collaborators” on the company’s page at the investor website Flagship Pioneering.
The closest connection USA Today acknowledges with Fauci is his having been “a co-reviewer of a vaccine platform Moderna is working to improve”, as indicated by a 2019 Shareholder Letter. This refers to a review of vaccine technologies Fauci coauthored that was published last year in the journal Nature Reviews Immunology.
Although USA Today doesn’t mention it, the same letter, under the subheading “Partnerships”, mentions having $187 million in funding from grants, with a footnote reference. The footnote specifies that the grants are from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
That both Fauci and Gates have close ties to Moderna is no secret. Having encountered the headline in a news feed, I knew it was false and so did a quick Google search to document its falsity. It took about ten seconds to fact check USA Today’s “Fact Check”.
My search immediately turned up a page published in March on the website of the NIAID, which operates under the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announcing the beginning of a phase one clinical trial for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. The webpage notes that Fauci’s NIAID is “funding the trial.”
Furthermore, Moderna’s candidate vaccine “was developed by NIAID scientists and their collaborators” at Moderna.
The page quotes Fauci saying that the trial was “an important step” toward developing “a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2”.
Similarly, I was able to immediately pull up a page from Moderna’s website listing the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a “strategic collaborator”, with the foundation having “entered a global health project framework agreement” in January 2016 “to advance mRNA-based development projects for various infectious disases.”
I emailed the author and the corrections editor on September 13 to request that they correct their false headline and acknowledge the NIAID’s partnership with Moderna, in accordance with USA Today’s code of ethics.
I also pointed out that, even if they were unaware of that partnership, since the collaboration between the Gates Foundation and Moderna is acknowledged in the article, they knew that their headline was false. I also noted the hypocrisy of fact checking others while willfully misinforming the public themselves.
Two days later, I received a reply from the author, Chelsey Cox, thanking me for my comments but sticking to the headline with the reasoning that “The headline reflects the analysis of the claim subject to fact-checking.”
I replied, “It does not follow that since the claims about Fauci and Gates subject to fact-checking are false that therefore they have ‘no ties’ to Moderna. That is a non sequitur fallacy. Indeed, you point out yourself in the article that Gates does have ties to Moderna, his foundation being partnered with the company. The headline is false and should, by USA Today’s own ethical guidelines, be corrected.”
She responded later that day to let me know that she’d gotten an editor’s approval to change the headline, which now reads, “Fact check: Moderna post makes false claims about Fauci, Gates, Soros, Epstein”. (That’s also not a great title since it makes it sounds as though Moderna itself was spreading the misinformation, but at least the false claim about Fauci and Gates having “no ties” to Moderna was removed.)
USA Today did not publish an acknowledgement of the error and did not update the article to acknowledge that Fauci, like Gates, is partnered with Moderna in the development of its COVID-19 vaccine.
Who Will Fact-Check the Mainstream Media?
The spread of misinformation is a serious problem in our society today. But the mainstream narrative is that it’s coming from individuals on social media or alternative media websites. The reality is that the greatest purveyors of misinformation are the government and mainstream media.
Notice that the mainstream media’s self-proclaimed “fact checkers” don’t fact check each other despite endless opportunities to do so. Instead, they focus on “debunking” information from alternative sources.
The use of the term “fake news” is illustrative. The corporate media accuse alternative sources of propagating “fake news” to maintain their own dominance as purveyors of misinformation, such as the unevidenced conspiracy theory propagated by the New York Times that the Russian government hacked the US election infrastructure in 2016.
To illustrate, a New York Times editorial published in November 2019 pointed out that oppressive regimes had been using the term to dismiss criticisms over human rights violations, then blamed this phenomenon on Donald Trump for having repeatedly referred to mainstream media sources as propagating “fake news”. It was Trump, they alleged, who gave rise to “the epithet of ‘fake news’ as a weapon”.
Read more at: JeremyRHammond.com