From the November 2005 Idaho Observer:
TAMIFLU: No end in sight to defense secretary’s poison profiteering
Score another disease type letter to Donald Rumsfeld—type "T" for Tamiflu
Donald Rumsfeld became very wealthy after using his political influence to achieve FDA approval for the deadly neurotoxic drug aspartame as an artificial sweetener in 1980. Since that time, millions of people have suffered the ravages of aspartame addiction and a full spectrum of symptoms—including deafness, insanity, blindness, chronic fatigue and death—associated with its consumption. Aspartame activists call this cluster of symptoms "Rumsfeld’s disease type A." During the 80s, Rumsfeld brokered the sale of chemical and biological weapons to Saddam Hussein (Rumsfeld’s disease types B and C). As current secretary of defense, Rumsfeld orders the widespread use of depleted uranium munitions, which are causing chronic illnesses, birth defects and death in those exposed to the radioactive material (Rumsfeld’s disease type DU). Rumsfeld’s poisons are polluting the air, the land and the sea (environment, or type E). And now we find concrete proof that Rumsfeld is a former CEO of and owns stock in the company that owns the rights to Tamiflu—a drug of known toxicity, non-efficacy and an ability to mutate flu strains. The Pentagon has just bought $58 million worth of Tamiflu so it looks like we will be able to identify "Rumsfeld’s disease type T" very soon.
by The Idaho Observer
Tamiflu is being touted as THE remedy to the latest government "scare-orrism" project—the bird flu pandemic. But who benefits? Private sector sales are enormous and the federal government is becoming one of the world’s biggest customers for Tamiflu.
Last July, the Pentagon ordered $58 million worth of the treatment for U.S. troops around the world, and Congress is considering a multi-billion dollar purchase. Swiss pharma giant Roche expects 2005 sales for Tamiflu to be about $1 billion, compared with $258 million in 2004.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is one of the politically-connected investors in Gilead Sciences, the California biotech company that owns the rights to Tamiflu and receives a 10 percent royalty from its sales.
Bush insiders and Gilead
Rumsfeld served as Gilead’s chairman from 1997 until he joined the Bush administration in 2001, and he still holds Gilead stock valued at between $5 million and $25 million, according to federal financial disclosure documents filed by Rumsfeld.
The exact number of shares Rumsfeld owns is unknown, but fears of a pandemic and the ensuing scramble for Tamiflu have sent Gilead’s stock from $35 to $47 a share in recent weeks. That’s made the Pentagon chief, already one of the wealthiest members of the Bush cabinet, at least $1 million richer, according to an October 31, 2005 article by Fortune senior writer, Nelson D. Schwartz.
Rumsfeld is not the only politico benefiting from demand for Tamiflu. Former Secretary of State George Shultz is on Gilead’s board and has sold more than $7 million worth of Gilead stock since the beginning of 2005.
The wife of former California Governor Pete Wilson is also Gilead board member. "I don’t know of any biotech company that’s so politically well-connected," says analyst Andrew McDonald of Think Equity Partners in San Francisco.
Rummy’s stock "options"
So what does a former Gilead CEO-turned-second-in-command of the U. S. military do about potential conflict of interest and profiteering allegations? He simply recused himself from any decision making at Gilead when he became Secretary of Defense. And he had the Pentagon’s general counsel issue instructions outlining what he could and could not be involved in if there were an avian flu pandemic and the Pentagon had to respond.
But did he sell his stock? According to a Pentagon official, Rumsfeld considered selling his Gilead holdings and sought the advice of the Department of Justice, the SEC and the federal Office of Government Ethics.
According to Schwartz, those agencies somehow didn’t offer an opinion so Rumsfeld consulted a private securities lawyer. He was advised that it was safer to hold onto the stock and be quite public about his recusal rather than sell and run the risk of being accused of trading on insider information, so he is keeping his shares for the time being.
But lets put the picture in perspective. Selling, based on insider trading, would only be done because of an expected loss. He’s already made at least a cool million and Tamiflu sales are expected to quadruple. His "recusal" is from decision-making at Gilead and the Pentagon’s counsel only issued "instructions." The fact remains that Rumsfeld will profit handsomely without having to make any decisions or follow any "instructions."
(Remember the anthrax scare and how the wide-spectrum-killer antibiotic "Cipro" (manufactured by pharma giant Bayer) became a household word?)
"Type T" on the way
The Tamiflu package insert states that it is only effective on influenza types A and B viruses and only if administered within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. However it is interesting to note that, in Tamiflu’s clinical trials in adults who had naturally acquired influenza, nearly 10 percent experienced nausea or vomiting as compared to less than 5 percent who took a placebo.
And in another summary of Tamiflu’s efficacy on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website, the median reduction of days one experiences influenza’s symptoms due to treatment with Tamiflu was only 1.5 days.
The same summary notes that there is concern about Tamiflu’s ability to cause influenza A viruses to mutate, with no assurance that these new mutated viruses are harmless to the general population. Furthermore, no Tamiflu safety studies have been conducted on pregnant or nursing women and children under 12 months. Its potential as a carcinogen is still under study.
Thanks to our out-of-control Congress, this $billion dollar "experimental" drug has now been unleashed on an unquestioning public.
Rumsfeld was responsible for the FDA approval of the artificial sweetener aspartame, a neurotoxin responsible for a host of lethal and debilitating ailments referred to as Rumsfeld’s Disease type A. Rumsfeld brokered deals to deliver biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction to Saddam Hussein in the 80s, leaving countless Iranians and Kurds dead or injured, in what has been called Rumsfeld’s Disease types B and C. The tons of Depleted Uranium munitions dumped in Afghanistan and Iraq during Rumsfeld’s tenure as Secretary of Defense is leaving a legacy of death and destruction that is simply "Beyond Treason." The cumulative ailments from this nuclear warfare agent will haunt humanity for the next few billion years and has been termed Rumsfeld’s Disease type DU. And now a poorly tested, mutagenic pharmaceutical is being wholesaled to the public with great profits for the CEO-turned-War-Secretary. Is Rumsfeld’s Disease type T, for Tamiflu, the new disease-inducing drug to be unleashed on the world?
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