Glenn Beck went on Tucker Carlson’s show on December 8 and made this claim.
Before we get into Beck’s claim, though, we have to back up briefly and talk about this claim that the creation of the vaccine was a joint-effort between Moderna and the NIAID (The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is the branch of the NIH that Fauci is in charge of) and Moderna, one of the vaccine makers.
This is 100% factual. It has been reported in most major mainstream news outlets that the NIH is a co-creator of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine.
Here’s a New York Times headline from a month ago describing the spat between the NIH and Moderna over who really invented the vaccine:
However, this is not the same thing as the claim that the NIH is a co-owner of the vaccine.
The only thing that everyone can agree on here is that the NIH did in fact at the very least assist in the process of developing the Moderna vaccine.
CBS News had an article last month that detailed the current dispute between NIH and Moderna:
The National Institutes of Health said Monday it has engaged Moderna in “good faith discussions” to resolve a monthslong dispute over the company’s patent application that advocates say could impact global production of the shots.
Moderna is offering to share ownership of its COVID-19 vaccine patent with the U.S. government to resolve the dispute, the vaccine maker said, and would allow the Biden administration to “license the patents as they see fit.”
An NIH spokesperson declined Monday to comment directly on Moderna’s offer, citing “ongoing discussions.”
The company claims it had no choice under the “strict rules” of American patent law to list only its own scientists “as the inventors on these claims.”
But the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases disagrees.
A spokesperson for the government research arm – housed within the NIH – said that “its own thorough review” had determined that scientists Kizzmekia Corbett, Barney Graham, and John Mascola also deserved to be named as inventors.
“Moderna has made a serious mistake here in not providing the kind of co-inventorship credit to people who played a major role in the development of the vaccine that they are now making a fair amount of money off of,” NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins told Reuters last week.
“Omitting NIH inventors from the principal patent application deprives NIH of a co-ownership interest in that application and the patent that will eventually issue from it,” said an NIAID spokesperson.
So this dispute right now between Moderna and the NIH is actually over the fact that Moderna hasn’t given the government the proper ownership stake in the vaccine that it allegedly deserves.
Public Citizen, a government watchdog group, penned a letter this month to the NIH urging the agency “to publicly reclaim the foundational role” it played in developing the shots, criticizing a July patent filing by Moderna claiming it had “reached the good-faith determination” that the NIH’s scientists “did not co-invent the mRNAs” in their application.
The New York Times first reported on Public Citizen’s discovery.
“The U.S. government has done so much for Moderna and yet asked for so little in return, consistently. There is an urgent need for the U.S. government to reassert more control over how this vaccine is priced and produced,” said Zain Rizvi, Public Citizen’s research director.
The Government Accountability Office recently estimated that the NIH has earned $2 billion in royalties since 1991 over licensing patents for FDA-approved drugs.
Moderna announced this month it had earned $10.7 billion from COVID-19 vaccine sales in 2021 through September. Under the Trump administration early in the pandemic, Operation Warp Speed, the accelerated government effort to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, pledged to cover up to $483 million of costs to accelerate development and manufacturing of the vaccine.
Beyond the money the federal government could earn from the patent, Rizvi said the Biden administration could leverage a license with co-inventorship to allow developing countries to ramp up production of the shots and prepare for future pandemics without strings attached.
Obviously a great deal of money is at stake here. Whoever owns the patents for the vaccines stands to make a great deal of money. Who owns the patent for the vaccine determines how it’s distributed throughout the world. And if the government gains ownership of the patent for the vaccine, it can choose to give it out to other pharmaceutical companies so that they can begin producing vaccines of their own based off of it, which would obviously break down the oligopoly that Pfizer and Moderna have on the vaccine.
If you’ll allow me to opine here for a second, this would be a great thing if more companies were allowed to produce and distribute the vaccine. It would mean there is no longer a massive financial incentive for Pfizer and Moderna to keep pushing their vaccines on people. If instead of 2 companies having the Secret Sauce of the vaccine, we had, say, 20, then it would take away a lot of the financial incentive that Pfizer and Moderna have to keep pushing this thing on everyone, everywhere.
Instead of a few companies making bunch of money off the vaccines, it would be a bunch of companies making a modest amount of money off of the vaccines.
Simply put, the less money that Pfizer and Moderna can make off the vaccine, the less they’ll be inclined to keep forcing it on people. The more companies that have the ability to produce the vaccine, the less power any one company has here.
Anyway, what Glenn Beck was saying to Tucker Carlson, though, is that the NIAID was working with Moderna on the vaccine before anyone in America had ever even heard of Covid.
This is the explosive claim.
Here is what Beck said:
“So, this is a 2-hour chalkboard that is condensed into about 4 minutes, so if you want to see the whole thing it’s at faucilied.com [I went to this web address and there’s nothing there. It’s actually fauciliedspecial.com].
But I’ll try not to sound crazy and tie this thing together. Gain of function, which Fauci says never happened, actually happened in November of 2015. It happened with Dr. Baric [I’m assuming Dr. Ralph Baric; interesting read on him here at a website called peterdaszak.com]. It was a published paper, November 2015. The US NIAID and Fauci with EcoHealth, they were funding it, it was happening with the Wuhan people.
But what you may not know is that in November 2015, the same month that paper comes out, the United States begins a partnership with Moderna and they are searching for “mRNA coronavirus vaccines.” Kind of a weird thing. But wait, it gets worse.
If we skip to 2018, DARPA [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the R&D arm of the Pentagon that develops new military technology] receives a proposal from Dr. Baric, the US guy; Dr. Shi [Zhengli] from Wuhan, and Peter Daszak from EcoHealth [woman filming the video starts talking and won’t shut up so this part is harder to hear]. And DARPA sees this and goes, “This is far too dangerous, we’re rejecting your proposal.”
We don’t know what happened from there, but we do know that 12 months later, in Wuhan–where Peter Daszak, Dr. Shi the “bat lady,” and Dr. Baric were all doing research on Coronaviruses–about a year later there’s an outbreak.
The outbreak actually begins, according to documents we have that have been smuggled out of China, that there were 10 hospitals involved by October with patients that, we know now, had coronavirus-like symptoms. That was what was going on. Remember, we didn’t know anything about this. In December, we were starting to get rumblings. China said there was some sort of an outbreak on December 31.
Dr. Baric signs a government deal with Moderna, I want to read it exactly to you. This deal was confidential, it’s 158 pages long. Um, if I skip to page 104, they are entering a specific private, confidential agreement. The NIH appears to be transferring technology to Dr. Baric.
But what they’re making clear is, quote, “mRNA coronavirus vaccine candidates developed and jointly-owned by NIAID and Moderna.”
Now this is weird, because it’s two weeks later that we know there’s a problem. They signed that deal two weeks before. And they signed it with the doctor who happened to be a partner with the “bat lady” in Wuhan.
Here’s where it gets really dark: these are the same people that in the end of January begin to have meetings, they shut down and begin to smear anyone who’s looking into the lab leak theory. They establish ‘that’s not true, don’t even look there.’
It appears to be collusion. We’ve passed this on to several people in Congress and the Senate, we know Rand Paul is on this. And Dr. Fauci has answers to give.”
So what Beck is asserting here is that the NIH had an agreement with Moderna to develop coronavirus vaccines prior to the news of the Coronavirus outbreak.
Which would mean that, in addition to the lab-leak “theory” (which in my eyes is like 95% confirmed at this point), they had the vaccines planned out beforehand, meaning the whole thing was a setup from the beginning. It truly was a “Plannedemic.”
Tucker then plays a clip of Francis Collins, recently departed Director of NIH (not departed as in dead, departed as in he resigned) from May 2020, where an interviewer is asking him about the development of the vaccine:
INTERVIEWER: “Who’s going to own the vaccine? Does the federal government own it?”
COLLINS: “One of the vaccines, the one that’s furthest along, was started, actually, at the federal government, at our own vaccine research center at NIH, and then worked with a biotechnology called Moderna to get to where we are now, with very impressive Phase 1 results, and getting ready to go into a large scale trial as early as July. That one, of course, we do have some particular stake in the intellectual property.”
Tucker then asks Beck why this isn’t a front page story.
BECK: “We spent more than a year on this, with people like Charles Rixley from DRASTIC [more on him], with Judicial Watch; these documents were all FOIA’d. These are documents that prove, I think, beyond all reasonable doubt, that something very wrong is happening here. Moderna had been turned down for any kind of vaccine research by anyone, publicly, over and over again. And now this test is being done on our children. This is the only time anyone will admit they were doing any kind of testing on coronavirus research for a vaccine with Moderna.”
I have no interest in getting the vaccine. But if I were considering getting it, I would want absolutely no part of the Moderna vaccine. What Beck said is true: the Covid vaccine was Moderna’s first ever product. Fortune magazine reported this in November 2020:
Company that’s never made a single product before? Sorry, no thanks.
I wouldn’t get the Pfizer one, either. Pfizer is a despicable company that in 2009 had to pay out the largest healthcare fraud settlement in US history:
However, the 2009 Pfizer settlement was surpassed in 2012 by GlaxoSmithKline having to pay out $3 billion.
Oh, and also Pfizer’s Chantix quit-smoking drug made people kill themselves and Pfizer faced over 2,000 lawsuits over it. They settled that matter out of court, as usual. The FDA also determined that Chantix was “probably” associated with higher heart attack risk.
Personally, I wouldn’t take anything produced by Pfizer.
And this is not even to mention all the serious issues that got swept under the rug during their trial phase for the vaccine.
And Johnson & Johnson? They have a history of fraud and malfeasance just like Pfizer (just like all Big Pharma companies), but the main reason I wouldn’t take the JNJ shot is because the FDA halted the rollout due to the fact that 28 people who took the vaccine (out of 9 million admittedly) developed blood clots, with 3 of them dying.
Low odds, admittedly, but my odds of dying of Covid are also extremely low, so why would I take on any additional risk. And who knows if the official figures were actually accurate regarding the JNJ clotting issues? Vaccine adverse reactions are notoriously under-reported, often significantly.
AstraZeneca also had clotting issues, although that one is not approved for use in the US.
If I had to get the vaccine, I don’t know which one I would actually choose.
Gun to my head, I’d probably take Pfizer, but I hate myself for even typing out that hypothetical scenario.
Okay, anyway, sorry for the tangent. Let’s get back to Glenn Beck.
So what he is saying is that the NIH was working on the vaccine with Moderna before the news of the Coronavirus even broke here in the US.
We do know that NIH and Moderna were working together on the vaccine, and that probably the NIH should be credited as a co-inventor of the Moderna vaccine.
But what we don’t know for sure is the timing.
I’m going to cite an article from PolitiFact which was published yesterday that attempted to fact-check Glenn Beck’s claims. Just bear with me here.
In an episode of Glenn Beck’s Blaze TV program that has been clipped and widely shared on Facebook and TikTok, Beck holds up a stack of papers for the camera.
“This is 153 pages of the confidential agreement between Moderna and the U.S. government and it goes back to 2015,” Beck says.
He then goes on to say that the papers reveal the U.S. government has “ulterior motives” in mandating the coronavirus vaccines. “Did you know the government co-owns the vaccine?… the same government that is now mandating its use owns the vaccine?”
The video was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
Is it true that the government “owns the vaccine,” as Beck said? In short, no.
But, as the New York Times reported Nov. 9, there is a long-brewing disagreement between Moderna and the National Institutes of Health over who developed a crucial part of the COVID-19 vaccine known as the mRNA sequence — and that could have implications for ownership of important patents related to the vaccine.
The NIH neither owns, nor co-owns, the COVID vaccine that was developed by Moderna and NIH, according to a statement from Mark L. Rohrbaugh, the NIH special advisor for technology transfer.
We know this. We’ve gone over this. The NIH doesn’t own the vaccine, but it did help create it, and it is now embroiled in a legal dispute with Moderna over who should get credit for the vaccine’s creation.
This is an interesting part of the article, though:
In 2020, NIH scientists collaborated with Moderna to design and test the COVID-19 vaccine that Moderna manufactures and sells, known as mRNA-1273, Rohrbaugh said. The collaboration evolved from one originally focused on the development and testing of mRNA vaccines to combat the zoonotic virus Nipah and MERS, a coronavirus related to SARS and SARS-CoV-2.
When, in 2020, did they collaborate? This is actually a big deal, because if it was in, let’s say, January, well then that would indicate some sort of prior knowledge.
But that other part talking about how the collaboration between NIH and Moderna “evolved” from an earlier collaboration. I’m interested in that. I want to know more about that.
The 2015 agreement that Beck appears to be citing in his video was between the NIAID and Moderna. It was an agreement to exchange confidential information to allow the parties to explore possible interest in collaborating, according to the NIH.
In his video, Beck referenced a material transfer agreement among the University of North Carolina, NIAID, and Moderna, and said it was from 2015. However, that material transfer agreement was executed in 2019, according to the NIH, before SARS-CoV-2 had been identified as the cause of COVID-19 and its nucleotide sequence determined. These materials emerged from NIAID’s collaboration with Moderna on the development of a MERS vaccine.
I may be reading this wrong, but isn’t it possible for the material transfer agreement to be made in 2015, and then later executed in 2019? I always have to read these “fact check” articles very carefully, because they often use tricky wording.
The very link that PolitiFact provides in the top paragraph is the 153-page confidential disclosure agreement between the NIAID and Moderna, and it is dated 11/9/2015.
I don’t know why PolitiFact is acting like the claim that this agreement is from 2015 is nothing more than a mere claim made by Glenn Beck. It’s literally confirmed by the link that PolitiFact provides.
So we now have confirmation that the NIH was doing business of some sort with Moderna as early as 2015.
That collaboration between Moderna and NIH on the COVID-19 vaccine addressed neither co-ownership of vaccine candidates developed by NIH and Moderna nor inventorship on or co-ownership of patents arising from the collaboration, Rohrbaugh said. The NIH says that a material transfer agreement is used to transfer materials between laboratories, “generally for non-commercial research purposes.”
Okay, sure, “generally.” But what about this specific agreement? We’re not interested in “generally.” We’re interested in this specific material transfer agreement. Is this one for commercial research, or non-commercial research?
If I’m accused of drunk driving, and the cops ask me if I was driving drunk, and I say, “No, I generally don’t drive while drunk,” that is not a denial. That does not prove anything. That is not a denial that I was driving drunk on the night I was pulled over for suspicion of DUI.
Now the quote does say that the material transfer didn’t address co-ownership of vaccine candidates developed by NIH and Moderna. But what did it address?
The material transfer agreement from 2019, which NIH said pre-dates work on a vaccine specific to COVID-19, said that the NIH would share mRNA coronavirus vaccine candidates developed and jointly owned by NIAID and Moderna.
Okay, the material transfer agreement was for mRNA coronavirus vaccine candidate, then.
We now have it established that the NIH and Moderna were jointly working on mRNA coronavirus vaccine candidates. The date of this material transfer agreement is December 12, 2019, meaning the research and development was taking place before that date.
Personally, I think this is kind of a big deal.
Now, this CBS News article says that NIAID was working with Moderna on “vaccines for other diseases” prior to 2020:
Early in 2020, the NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center helmed by Graham was already working on vaccines for other diseases with Moderna when the agency says its scientists pivoted to ramping up research into a new virus that had been raising alarm overseas.
Keep in mind here that this CBS article and the PolitiFact article are relying almost entirely on statements made by the NIH. They are taking the NIH’s claims completely at face value, and not questioning them at all. The possibility of the NIH being untruthful is not even entertained.
Let’s review a couple of those claims just for clarity’s sake:
- Claim that in early 2020, the NIH and Moderna “pivoted” their research on mRNA vaccines for other diseases to this “new virus” that was “raising alarm overseas.”
- This earlier collaboration between NIH and Moderna centered on the coronaviruses Nipah and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).
So basically the claim is that the research on the Covid-19 vaccine evolved out of research on mRNA vaccines for other coronaviruses.
This is entirely possible. It’s likely that scientists were working on creating a vaccine for a new strain of coronavirus well before 2020 because of how many prior coronavirus outbreaks there have been over the past 20 or so years. The SARS outbreak in 2003 (SARS-CoV-1) had probably been the first warning sign about the possibility of a coronavirus of zoonotic origin making the jump to humans and leading to a widespread pandemic.
We of course had the Swine Flu in 2009.
The first case of MERS was discovered in June 2012 in Saudi Arabia.
However, both MERS and the original SARS were nowhere near as infectious as Covid-19. According to Wikipedia, there have only been 2,574 confirmed cases of MERS worldwide between 2012-2021.
SARS-CoV-1 infected about 8,000 people worldwide.
An interesting thing I found on the Wikipedia page for MERS is that, despite it being discovered in 2012, there is still no vaccine for it:
So the NIH and Moderna were working on mRNA vaccines for MERS and other coronaviruses for years, were never able to develop any, but then when Covid-19 hit in late 2019, they immediately pivoted to making vaccines for this new strain of coronavirus, and ultimately succeeded in creating an effective vaccine in little over a year.
Seems a little fishy to me.
Especially with what we know about the Fauci-funded gain-of-function research that was happening on bat coronaviruses in Wuhan.
We also have another reason to doubt the truthfulness and credibility of the things the NIH says. In that Axios article I linked to at the top, there’s a very interesting quote from Francis Collins. Remember this article was published in May 2020:
The bottom line: Many experts anticipate a coronavirus vaccine, once proven safe and effective, would be made as widely available as possible, and that developers aren’t likely to seek big profits from it. Partial federal ownership could be a backstop if those assumptions don’t bear out, but NIH isn’t keen on stepping on industry’s toes.
“Talking to the companies, I don’t hear any of them say they think this [vaccine] is a money-maker,” Collins said during his Economic Club interview. “I think they want to recoup their costs and maybe make a tiny percentage of increase of profit over that, like single digits percentage-wise, but that’s it. Nobody sees this as a way to make billions of dollars.”
Well that quote didn’t age well.
We have no reason to trust the NIH when it says it wasn’t working on Covid-19 vaccines prior to 2020.
Again, with what we know about Fauci funding the gain-of-function research in Wuhan, at this point it seems almost ridiculous to deny that this was all planned out.