This is the untold story of how Bill Gates funded NGO PATH killed tribal girls in India in unauthorised clinical trials and got away with it.
We’ve seen a lot of India in the news recently. A lot more than we usually do. There’s an apocalypse of sorts going on there, if the popular media is to be believed. But as is often the case, these reports are devoid of any context or perspective. While the world’s media can’t get enough of India today, in its rush to support a narrative of terror about Covid-19, twelve years ago when there was a real story going on there, the world’s media was nowhere to be seen.
The Unauthorised Clinical Trials
In 2009, a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) funded NGO carried out unauthorised clinical trials of a vaccine on some of the poorest, most vulnerable children in the world. It did so without providing information about the risks involved, without the informed consent of the children or their parents and without even declaring that it was conducting a clinical trial.
After vaccination, many of the participating children became ill and seven of them died. Such were the findings of a parliamentary committee charged with investigating this wretched affair. The committee accused the NGO of “child abuse” and produced a raft of evidence to back up its claim. This entire incident barely registered on the radar of Western media.
PATH (formerly the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health) is a Seattle based NGO, heavily funded by BMGF but which also receives significant grants from the US government. Between 1995 and the time of writing (May 2021), PATH had received more than $2.5bn from BMGF.
In 2009, PATH carried out a project to administer the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. The project’s aim was, in PATH’s own words, “to generate and disseminate evidence for informed public sector introduction of HPV vaccines”. It was conducted in four countries: India, Uganda, Peru and Vietnam. Another Gates-funded organization, Gavi, had originally been considered to run the project, but responsibility was ultimately delegated to PATH. The project was directly funded by BMGF.
Significantly, each of the countries selected for the project had a different ethnic population and each had a state-funded national immunisation program. The use of different ethnic groups in the trial allowed for comparison of the effects of the vaccine across diverse population groups (ethnicity being a factor in the safety and efficacy of certain drugs).
The immunisation programs of the countries involved provided a potentially lucrative market for the companies whose drugs were to be studied: should the drugs prove successful and be included on these countries’ state-funded national immunisation schedules, this would represent an annual windfall of profits for the companies involved.
Two types of HPV vaccine were used in the trial: Gardasil by Merck and Cervarix by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). In this article, we are going to examine PATH’s trial of Gardasil in India.
It’s worth noting here the relationship between BMGF and one of the companies whose drugs were being tested. In 2002, BMGF had, controversially, bought $205m worth of stocks in the pharmaceutical sector, a purchase which included shares in Merck & Co. The move had raised eyebrows because of the obvious conflict of interest between the foundation’s role as a medical charity and its role as an owner of businesses in the same sector.
The Wall Street Journal reported, in August 2009, that the foundation had sold its shares in Merck between 31st March and 30th June of that year, which would have been around the same time that the field trials of the HPV vaccine were starting in India. So for the entirety of this project (which was already in operation by October 2006), right up to its final field trials, BMGF had a dual role: as both a charity with a responsibility for care, and as a business owner with a responsibility for profit.
Such conflicts of interest have been a hallmark of BMGF since 2002. When Gates was making regular TV appearances last year to promote Covid-19 vaccination, giving especially ringing endorsements of the Pfizer-BioNTech effort, his objectivity was never brought into question. Yet his foundation is the part-owner of several vaccine manufacturers, including Pfizer, BioNTech and CureVac.
HPV vaccine aims to prevent cervical cancer. Gardasil had been launched successfully by Merck in the US in 2006, but its sales suffered after a series of articles in American medical journals had judged that its risks outweighed its benefits.