• The third Guest Artist Recital of The U.S. Army Band 2024 American Trombone Workshop featured Jeff Gittleson & Alex Felker playing Angel's Tango by Steven Verhelst, SSG Kyle Price & SSG Michael Burner playing Red Spain by Nicola Ferro, Matthew Ethier & pianist Topher Ruggiero playing Thoughts of Love by Arthur Pryor, and John Gruber & pianist Topher Ruggiero playing Romance by William Grant Still. #ArmyMusic #OberlinCollege #Oberlin #BassTrombone #Trombone #ATW #ATW2024 #Music
    The third Guest Artist Recital of The U.S. Army Band 2024 American Trombone Workshop featured Jeff Gittleson & Alex Felker playing Angel's Tango by Steven Verhelst, SSG Kyle Price & SSG Michael Burner playing Red Spain by Nicola Ferro, Matthew Ethier & pianist Topher Ruggiero playing Thoughts of Love by Arthur Pryor, and John Gruber & pianist Topher Ruggiero playing Romance by William Grant Still. #ArmyMusic #OberlinCollege #Oberlin #BassTrombone #Trombone #ATW #ATW2024 #Music
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  • The second Guest Artist Recital of The U.S. Army Band 2024 American Trombone Workshop featured Dr. Cory Mixdorf playing Song of Survival by Susan Mutter & the Beltline Bones playing selections from their Audiogenica album. #UArk #FireUpChips #BeltlineBones #Audiogenica #Trombone #ATW2024 #ATW #Music
    The second Guest Artist Recital of The U.S. Army Band 2024 American Trombone Workshop featured Dr. Cory Mixdorf playing Song of Survival by Susan Mutter & the Beltline Bones playing selections from their Audiogenica album. #UArk #FireUpChips #BeltlineBones #Audiogenica #Trombone #ATW2024 #ATW #Music
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  • The first Guest Artist Recital of The U.S. Army Band 2024 American Trombone Workshop featured SSG Kyle Price & SSG Felix Padilla playing Lock Horns by Steven Verhelst, Hakeem Bilal playing Meditation for Bass Trombone by Frigyes Hidas, Vicente Hernandez playing On Your Own Now by Steven Verhelst, and SSG Jonathan Kraft & SFC Evan Geiger playing Snowflakes by Scott Vaillancourt. #ArmyMusic #WestVirginia #WVU #HailWV #GoDukes #Duquesne #BassTrombone #Trombone #Horn #ATW2024 #ATW #Music
    The first Guest Artist Recital of The U.S. Army Band 2024 American Trombone Workshop featured SSG Kyle Price & SSG Felix Padilla playing Lock Horns by Steven Verhelst, Hakeem Bilal playing Meditation for Bass Trombone by Frigyes Hidas, Vicente Hernandez playing On Your Own Now by Steven Verhelst, and SSG Jonathan Kraft & SFC Evan Geiger playing Snowflakes by Scott Vaillancourt. #ArmyMusic #WestVirginia #WVU #HailWV #GoDukes #Duquesne #BassTrombone #Trombone #Horn #ATW2024 #ATW #Music
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  • Chinese artist commemorates Aaron Bushnell
    #FreePalestine
    Chinese artist commemorates Aaron Bushnell #FreePalestine
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  • ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 143: Gaza famine is ‘man-made,’ says UNRWA Chief
    UNRWA says that the famine in northern Gaza can be avoided if more food convoys are allowed in, but Israel continues to hold up over 2000 aid trucks. Meanwhile, Netanyahu reaffirms plans to invade Rafah, where 1.5 million Gazans have sought shelter.

    Leila WarahFebruary 26, 2024
    Palestinians stand in line for food aid, Deir al-Balah, February 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Palestinians stand in line for food aid, Deir al-Balah, February 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images)
    Casualties

    29,782+ killed* and at least 70,043 wounded in the Gaza Strip.
    380+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem
    Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147.
    579 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.**
    *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel on February 24. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 38,000 when accounting for those presumed dead.

    ** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.”

    Key Developments

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stresses that the assault on the crowded city of Rafah will take place but may be delayed by captive exchange deal.
    UNRWA: Famine in northern Gaza can be avoided if more food convoys are allowed in.
    Orthodox Jews take over Muslim shrine, vandalize graves in West Jerusalem.
    WFP: Enough food is waiting across Gaza’s borders to feed entire population.
    Aerial photos show over 2,000 aid trucks on Egyptian side of Rafah crossing.
    Renowned Gazan artist Fat’hi Ghabin dies after being denied treatment abroad.
    Gaza Ministry of Health: Dialysis and intensive care patients facing death in northern Gaza as hospitals run out of fuel.
    18-year-old Israeli woman jailed for refusing to serve in army over war on Gaza.
    UNRWA: Report of two-month-old baby dying in Gaza from hunger “horrific.”
    Israeli defense minister vows to continue targeting Hezbollah regardless of the situation in Gaza.
    Israeli forces partially withdraw from Nasser Hospital on Sunday, reports Al Jazeera.
    Israeli military erects watchtower with surveillance cameras at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
    Israeli forces kill at least 10 people waiting for aid in Gaza City, reports Wafa.
    U.S. airman sets self on fire in protest over Israel’s genocide in Gaza.
    Israel advances construction of 3,344 new illegal housing units in the occupied West Bank.
    Gaza Media Office: Israeli forces have taken Palestinian civilians hostage and used them as human shields in several military operations.
    ‘One in six children in northern Gaza is malnourished’

    While Israel’s violent aggression on Gaza approaches the five-month mark, the situation in the besieged enclave deteriorates by the day as the population undergoes an Israeli-imposed famine as a result of the blockade.

    Following reports of a two-month-old baby starving to death on Friday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has said the high risk of malnutrition continues to increase, with one in six children in northern Gaza “severely malnourished.”

    “We continue to appeal for regular humanitarian access,” UNRWA said in a post on X.

    Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian physician and humanitarian advocate, says infant death from starvation is a direct consequence of Israeli restrictions on aid entering the coastal enclave.

    “This is not a tragedy; it is man-made. Starvation is being forced upon the people of Gaza by the Israeli occupation forces,” Gilbert, who has more than 30 years of experience working in Gaza hospitals, told Al Jazeera.

    “Just two days ago, the international nutrition cluster came out with a very alarming report … that there is a sharp increase in the drivers of malnutrition in Gaza — food insecurity, a lack of diversity in the diet and decreasing infant and young child feeding possibilities.”

    Gilbert said Israel’s restriction of food and water in the enclave was a “huge war crime.”

    “How can the world just sit idly by and watch children die from starvation?”

    The situation is the worst in the north of Gaza, where UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini says Israel has not allowed food to be delivered since January 25 and that the U.N.’s calls to send food aid have been denied and fallen on deaf ears.

    Since then, Lazzarini said, UNRWA and other UN agencies “have warned against looming famine, appealed for regular humanitarian access, and stated that famine can be averted if more food convoys are allowed into northern Gaza on a regular basis.”

    “This is a man-made disaster. The world committed to never let famine happen again. Famine can still be avoided, through genuine political will to grant access and protection to meaningful assistance. The days to come will once again test our common humanity and values,” he said.

    Similarly, Samer Abdeljaber, the World Food Programme’s (WFP’s) director for emergencies, says enough food is stocked up across Gaza’s borders to feed the entire population. However, it cannot safely reach the war-torn population due to the ongoing violence and extensive Israeli security checks.

    Ariel photos posted by Al Jazeera Arabic show over 2,000 aid trucks piled up on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip.

    “We have enough food across the borders, even from Jordan and Egypt, to be able to support 2.2 million people,” said Abdeljaber, as cited by Al Jazeera.

    “But we need to make sure we have the right access to Gaza from different crossings so that we can actually reach the people — whether they are in the north or the south or in the central areas.”

    “Safe routes is one of our requirements to continue assistance to the north and that can only be guaranteed if that is a speedy process,” Abdelkader said. “Delays at the checkpoints are making it impossible for us to reach deeper into the north.”

    Nada Tarbush, a diplomat at the Palestine Mission to the U.N., has urged world governments to intervene and ensure the “urgent delivery of food, clean water and medicine via airdrops in Gaza.”

    “Blocking the delivery of humanitarian aid is a war crime. Using starvation as a means of warfare is a war crime. Collective punishment is a war crime,” she said in a post on X.

    On Monday afternoon, Israel allowed the entry of 10 aid trucks into the northern part of the Gaza Strip amid reports of starvation, according to Al Jazeera correspondents. However, it is likely to be only a trickle compared to the needs of the desperate population.

    “Clean water is scarce. Solid waste is accumulating. The spread of diseases is on the rise,” UNRWA has said.

    “The situation is catastrophic, but UNRWA teams continue working to provide critical aid.”

    Israeli forces kill Palestinians waiting for aid…again

    Meanwhile, when humanitarian aid is allowed into the besieged enclave, the safety of civilians collecting the assistance is not protected or assured. Several reports continue to surface of Israeli forces targeting Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid.

    Most recently, on Sunday evening, Israeli forces killed at least ten people waiting for aid in Gaza City by shelling and firing on the crowds of Palestinians waiting for food aid trucks to arrive, reported Wafa.

    At least 15 people were injured in the attack, and they have been transferred to the nearby al-Shifa Hospital.

    According to Al Jazeera, two fishermen were also shot dead at the shore of Khan Younis.

    Israel: Invasion of Rafah will happen no matter what

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has continued planning the Israeli assault on Rafah. Approximately 1.5 million Palestinians are seeking shelter in the southernmost city after being forcibly displaced, many of them several times, from other areas of Gaza.

    Netanyahu has said if Israel and Hamas reach a deal, that it will delay a military operation in Rafah, but stressed to CBS News that Israel would have to invade at a certain point later.

    “If we have a deal, it will be delayed somewhat, but it will happen. If we don’t have a deal, we’ll do it anyway,” Netanyahu said.

    Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri has said that Netanyahu’s remarks have cast doubt over Israel’s willingness to secure a deal.

    “Netanyahu’s comments show he is not concerned about reaching an agreement,” Abu Zuhri told Reuters, accusing the Israeli leader of wanting “to pursue negotiation under bombardment and the bloodshed [of Palestinians].”

    As Israel’s plans advance, global concern has increased over the human cost of the operation.

    The U.S. has called on Israel to present a “credible” plan for protecting civilians crammed into the city before launching the assault. At the same time, Israel’s European allies have warned against the offensive altogether.

    “If the Israeli army were to launch an offensive on Rafah under these conditions, it would be a humanitarian catastrophe,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said.

    “We think it is impossible to see how you can fight a war amongst these people. There’s nowhere for them to go,” said U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron

    UNICEF has also warned that an attack on Rafah would be catastrophic, with more than 600,000 children sheltering in the path of an assault and a severely limited humanitarian lifeline already on the brink of collapse.

    “Thousands more could die in the violence or by lack of essential services, and further disruption of humanitarian assistance. We need Gaza’s last remaining hospitals, shelters, markets and water systems to stay functional. Without them, hunger and disease will skyrocket, taking more child lives,” UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said in a statement.

    Meanwhile, Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant has vowed to continue targeting Hezbollah regardless of the situation in Gaza.

    “If anyone thinks that when we get a hostage release deal and pause in Gaza, it will alleviate what is going on here — they’re wrong,” Gallant said, according to Haaretz.

    He added that Israel would push Hezbollah to retreat from its northern border “either by agreement or by force.”

    Hezbollah and Israel have been exchanging fire since October, and the Lebanese group says it will not stop its attacks until the war on Gaza ends.

    Netanyahu’s office issued a brief statement on Monday morning stating that they presented the War Cabinet with a “plan for evacuating the population from the areas of fighting in the Gaza Strip.”

    It is unclear what those plans are. However, there are fears that Israel plans on forcibly expelling Gaza’s population to Egypt.

    Gaza’s hospitals are still under attack

    Hospitals across the Gaza Strip continue to struggle under Israel’s attacks, making it extremely difficult for Palestinian civilians to receive adequate medical care.

    In Northern Gaza, the Palestinian Ministry of Health has said the situation is “beyond description,” as hospitals run out of fuel. Medical refrigerators have run out of electricity, which risks the destruction of large quantities of sensitive medication.

    The lack of fuel has also had devastating consequences for rescue missions in the war-torn area, as dozens of ambulances and medical services have been taken out of service.

    The effects of this shortage have also left dialysis and intensive care patients facing death due to the lack of basic supplies.

    In Khan Younis, southern Gaza, a UN delegation observed “catastrophic conditions” during a visit to the besieged al-Amal Hospital in the city.

    “The delegation witnessed the extent of the damage caused by Israeli occupation artillery shelling to several floors of the hospital, as well as the catastrophic conditions inside due to severe shortages in food, drinkable water, medical supplies, and medication,” the Palestinian Red Cresent said.

    Meanwhile, at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, “snipers are still in the vicinity of the hospital and, tragically, are still shooting at anything moving near it,” Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud reported from Gaza. “Despite the Israeli military’s statement that it has completed operations inside Nasser Hospital.”

    Occupied West Bank: Illegal settlement construction

    While the world’s eyes are on Gaza, Israel is taking the chance to advance the construction of 3,344 new housing units in the occupied West Bank, 2,350 units in the settlement of Maale Adumim, 694 in Efrat, and 300 in Kedar, according to Peace Now.

    “They are significant and expansive projects that will greatly impact the possibility of reaching a two-state solution, especially the plans in Efrat and Kedar,” the Israeli nonprofit said in a statement.

    “The decision to promote thousands of unnecessary and harmful housing units in settlements is a hasty and irresponsible decision by an extremist government that has long lost the trust of the people,” it added.

    Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh resigns

    Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh handed in his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas at the opening of Monday’s government meeting in Ramallah, reports Reuters.

    Shtayyeh said he was moved to step down due to the “unprecedented escalation” in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem and the “war, genocide and starvation in the Gaza Strip,” as cited by Al Jazeera.

    Shtayyeh noted there are “efforts to make the [Palestinian Authority] an administrative and security authority without political influence, and the PA will continue to struggle to embody the state on the land of Palestine despite the occupation.”

    “I see that the next stage and its challenges require new governmental and political arrangements that take into account the new reality in Gaza and the need for a Palestinian-Palestinian consensus based on Palestinian unity,” he added.

    U.S. military member self-immolation

    A U.S. military service member set himself on fire in an act of protest against the war in Gaza outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington.

    According to Reuters, an Air Force spokesperson confirmed that the incident, which occurred on Sunday afternoon and was live-streamed on Twitch, involved an active-duty airman.

    “I will no longer be complicit in genocide,” said the man, wearing military fatigues, in the live video as he approached the embassy.

    He then doused himself in a clear liquid and set himself on fire, repeatedly screaming, “Free Palestine,” in the viral footage.

    NBC News has reported that the man, identified by social media as Aaron Bushnell, has succumbed to his wounds.

    Similarly, in December 2023, CNN reported a person set themselves on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta.

    https://mondoweiss.net/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-143-gaza-famine-is-man-made-says-unrwa-chief/
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 143: Gaza famine is ‘man-made,’ says UNRWA Chief UNRWA says that the famine in northern Gaza can be avoided if more food convoys are allowed in, but Israel continues to hold up over 2000 aid trucks. Meanwhile, Netanyahu reaffirms plans to invade Rafah, where 1.5 million Gazans have sought shelter. Leila WarahFebruary 26, 2024 Palestinians stand in line for food aid, Deir al-Balah, February 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Palestinians stand in line for food aid, Deir al-Balah, February 2, 2024. (Photo: Omar Ashtawy/APA Images) Casualties 29,782+ killed* and at least 70,043 wounded in the Gaza Strip. 380+ Palestinians killed in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem Israel revises its estimated October 7 death toll down from 1,400 to 1,147. 579 Israeli soldiers killed since October 7, and at least 3,221 injured.** *This figure was confirmed by Gaza’s Ministry of Health on Telegram channel on February 24. Some rights groups put the death toll number at more than 38,000 when accounting for those presumed dead. ** This figure is released by the Israeli military, showing the soldiers whose names “were allowed to be published.” Key Developments Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stresses that the assault on the crowded city of Rafah will take place but may be delayed by captive exchange deal. UNRWA: Famine in northern Gaza can be avoided if more food convoys are allowed in. Orthodox Jews take over Muslim shrine, vandalize graves in West Jerusalem. WFP: Enough food is waiting across Gaza’s borders to feed entire population. Aerial photos show over 2,000 aid trucks on Egyptian side of Rafah crossing. Renowned Gazan artist Fat’hi Ghabin dies after being denied treatment abroad. Gaza Ministry of Health: Dialysis and intensive care patients facing death in northern Gaza as hospitals run out of fuel. 18-year-old Israeli woman jailed for refusing to serve in army over war on Gaza. UNRWA: Report of two-month-old baby dying in Gaza from hunger “horrific.” Israeli defense minister vows to continue targeting Hezbollah regardless of the situation in Gaza. Israeli forces partially withdraw from Nasser Hospital on Sunday, reports Al Jazeera. Israeli military erects watchtower with surveillance cameras at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Israeli forces kill at least 10 people waiting for aid in Gaza City, reports Wafa. U.S. airman sets self on fire in protest over Israel’s genocide in Gaza. Israel advances construction of 3,344 new illegal housing units in the occupied West Bank. Gaza Media Office: Israeli forces have taken Palestinian civilians hostage and used them as human shields in several military operations. ‘One in six children in northern Gaza is malnourished’ While Israel’s violent aggression on Gaza approaches the five-month mark, the situation in the besieged enclave deteriorates by the day as the population undergoes an Israeli-imposed famine as a result of the blockade. Following reports of a two-month-old baby starving to death on Friday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has said the high risk of malnutrition continues to increase, with one in six children in northern Gaza “severely malnourished.” “We continue to appeal for regular humanitarian access,” UNRWA said in a post on X. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian physician and humanitarian advocate, says infant death from starvation is a direct consequence of Israeli restrictions on aid entering the coastal enclave. “This is not a tragedy; it is man-made. Starvation is being forced upon the people of Gaza by the Israeli occupation forces,” Gilbert, who has more than 30 years of experience working in Gaza hospitals, told Al Jazeera. “Just two days ago, the international nutrition cluster came out with a very alarming report … that there is a sharp increase in the drivers of malnutrition in Gaza — food insecurity, a lack of diversity in the diet and decreasing infant and young child feeding possibilities.” Gilbert said Israel’s restriction of food and water in the enclave was a “huge war crime.” “How can the world just sit idly by and watch children die from starvation?” The situation is the worst in the north of Gaza, where UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini says Israel has not allowed food to be delivered since January 25 and that the U.N.’s calls to send food aid have been denied and fallen on deaf ears. Since then, Lazzarini said, UNRWA and other UN agencies “have warned against looming famine, appealed for regular humanitarian access, and stated that famine can be averted if more food convoys are allowed into northern Gaza on a regular basis.” “This is a man-made disaster. The world committed to never let famine happen again. Famine can still be avoided, through genuine political will to grant access and protection to meaningful assistance. The days to come will once again test our common humanity and values,” he said. Similarly, Samer Abdeljaber, the World Food Programme’s (WFP’s) director for emergencies, says enough food is stocked up across Gaza’s borders to feed the entire population. However, it cannot safely reach the war-torn population due to the ongoing violence and extensive Israeli security checks. Ariel photos posted by Al Jazeera Arabic show over 2,000 aid trucks piled up on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing in the southern Gaza Strip. “We have enough food across the borders, even from Jordan and Egypt, to be able to support 2.2 million people,” said Abdeljaber, as cited by Al Jazeera. “But we need to make sure we have the right access to Gaza from different crossings so that we can actually reach the people — whether they are in the north or the south or in the central areas.” “Safe routes is one of our requirements to continue assistance to the north and that can only be guaranteed if that is a speedy process,” Abdelkader said. “Delays at the checkpoints are making it impossible for us to reach deeper into the north.” Nada Tarbush, a diplomat at the Palestine Mission to the U.N., has urged world governments to intervene and ensure the “urgent delivery of food, clean water and medicine via airdrops in Gaza.” “Blocking the delivery of humanitarian aid is a war crime. Using starvation as a means of warfare is a war crime. Collective punishment is a war crime,” she said in a post on X. On Monday afternoon, Israel allowed the entry of 10 aid trucks into the northern part of the Gaza Strip amid reports of starvation, according to Al Jazeera correspondents. However, it is likely to be only a trickle compared to the needs of the desperate population. “Clean water is scarce. Solid waste is accumulating. The spread of diseases is on the rise,” UNRWA has said. “The situation is catastrophic, but UNRWA teams continue working to provide critical aid.” Israeli forces kill Palestinians waiting for aid…again Meanwhile, when humanitarian aid is allowed into the besieged enclave, the safety of civilians collecting the assistance is not protected or assured. Several reports continue to surface of Israeli forces targeting Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid. Most recently, on Sunday evening, Israeli forces killed at least ten people waiting for aid in Gaza City by shelling and firing on the crowds of Palestinians waiting for food aid trucks to arrive, reported Wafa. At least 15 people were injured in the attack, and they have been transferred to the nearby al-Shifa Hospital. According to Al Jazeera, two fishermen were also shot dead at the shore of Khan Younis. Israel: Invasion of Rafah will happen no matter what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has continued planning the Israeli assault on Rafah. Approximately 1.5 million Palestinians are seeking shelter in the southernmost city after being forcibly displaced, many of them several times, from other areas of Gaza. Netanyahu has said if Israel and Hamas reach a deal, that it will delay a military operation in Rafah, but stressed to CBS News that Israel would have to invade at a certain point later. “If we have a deal, it will be delayed somewhat, but it will happen. If we don’t have a deal, we’ll do it anyway,” Netanyahu said. Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri has said that Netanyahu’s remarks have cast doubt over Israel’s willingness to secure a deal. “Netanyahu’s comments show he is not concerned about reaching an agreement,” Abu Zuhri told Reuters, accusing the Israeli leader of wanting “to pursue negotiation under bombardment and the bloodshed [of Palestinians].” As Israel’s plans advance, global concern has increased over the human cost of the operation. The U.S. has called on Israel to present a “credible” plan for protecting civilians crammed into the city before launching the assault. At the same time, Israel’s European allies have warned against the offensive altogether. “If the Israeli army were to launch an offensive on Rafah under these conditions, it would be a humanitarian catastrophe,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said. “We think it is impossible to see how you can fight a war amongst these people. There’s nowhere for them to go,” said U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron UNICEF has also warned that an attack on Rafah would be catastrophic, with more than 600,000 children sheltering in the path of an assault and a severely limited humanitarian lifeline already on the brink of collapse. “Thousands more could die in the violence or by lack of essential services, and further disruption of humanitarian assistance. We need Gaza’s last remaining hospitals, shelters, markets and water systems to stay functional. Without them, hunger and disease will skyrocket, taking more child lives,” UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said in a statement. Meanwhile, Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant has vowed to continue targeting Hezbollah regardless of the situation in Gaza. “If anyone thinks that when we get a hostage release deal and pause in Gaza, it will alleviate what is going on here — they’re wrong,” Gallant said, according to Haaretz. He added that Israel would push Hezbollah to retreat from its northern border “either by agreement or by force.” Hezbollah and Israel have been exchanging fire since October, and the Lebanese group says it will not stop its attacks until the war on Gaza ends. Netanyahu’s office issued a brief statement on Monday morning stating that they presented the War Cabinet with a “plan for evacuating the population from the areas of fighting in the Gaza Strip.” It is unclear what those plans are. However, there are fears that Israel plans on forcibly expelling Gaza’s population to Egypt. Gaza’s hospitals are still under attack Hospitals across the Gaza Strip continue to struggle under Israel’s attacks, making it extremely difficult for Palestinian civilians to receive adequate medical care. In Northern Gaza, the Palestinian Ministry of Health has said the situation is “beyond description,” as hospitals run out of fuel. Medical refrigerators have run out of electricity, which risks the destruction of large quantities of sensitive medication. The lack of fuel has also had devastating consequences for rescue missions in the war-torn area, as dozens of ambulances and medical services have been taken out of service. The effects of this shortage have also left dialysis and intensive care patients facing death due to the lack of basic supplies. In Khan Younis, southern Gaza, a UN delegation observed “catastrophic conditions” during a visit to the besieged al-Amal Hospital in the city. “The delegation witnessed the extent of the damage caused by Israeli occupation artillery shelling to several floors of the hospital, as well as the catastrophic conditions inside due to severe shortages in food, drinkable water, medical supplies, and medication,” the Palestinian Red Cresent said. Meanwhile, at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, “snipers are still in the vicinity of the hospital and, tragically, are still shooting at anything moving near it,” Al Jazeera correspondent Hani Mahmoud reported from Gaza. “Despite the Israeli military’s statement that it has completed operations inside Nasser Hospital.” Occupied West Bank: Illegal settlement construction While the world’s eyes are on Gaza, Israel is taking the chance to advance the construction of 3,344 new housing units in the occupied West Bank, 2,350 units in the settlement of Maale Adumim, 694 in Efrat, and 300 in Kedar, according to Peace Now. “They are significant and expansive projects that will greatly impact the possibility of reaching a two-state solution, especially the plans in Efrat and Kedar,” the Israeli nonprofit said in a statement. “The decision to promote thousands of unnecessary and harmful housing units in settlements is a hasty and irresponsible decision by an extremist government that has long lost the trust of the people,” it added. Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh resigns Palestinian Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh handed in his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas at the opening of Monday’s government meeting in Ramallah, reports Reuters. Shtayyeh said he was moved to step down due to the “unprecedented escalation” in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem and the “war, genocide and starvation in the Gaza Strip,” as cited by Al Jazeera. Shtayyeh noted there are “efforts to make the [Palestinian Authority] an administrative and security authority without political influence, and the PA will continue to struggle to embody the state on the land of Palestine despite the occupation.” “I see that the next stage and its challenges require new governmental and political arrangements that take into account the new reality in Gaza and the need for a Palestinian-Palestinian consensus based on Palestinian unity,” he added. U.S. military member self-immolation A U.S. military service member set himself on fire in an act of protest against the war in Gaza outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington. According to Reuters, an Air Force spokesperson confirmed that the incident, which occurred on Sunday afternoon and was live-streamed on Twitch, involved an active-duty airman. “I will no longer be complicit in genocide,” said the man, wearing military fatigues, in the live video as he approached the embassy. He then doused himself in a clear liquid and set himself on fire, repeatedly screaming, “Free Palestine,” in the viral footage. NBC News has reported that the man, identified by social media as Aaron Bushnell, has succumbed to his wounds. Similarly, in December 2023, CNN reported a person set themselves on fire outside the Israeli consulate in Atlanta. https://mondoweiss.net/2024/02/operation-al-aqsa-flood-day-143-gaza-famine-is-man-made-says-unrwa-chief/
    MONDOWEISS.NET
    ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 143: Gaza famine is ‘man-made,’ says UNRWA Chief
    UNRWA says that the famine in northern Gaza can be avoided if more food convoys are allowed in, but Israel continues to hold up over 2000 aid trucks. Meanwhile, Netanyahu reaffirms plans to invade Rafah, where 1.5 million Gazans have sought shelter.
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  • Vaccines Could Affect Mortality and Risks of Other Diseases: Study
    A recent review found non-live vaccines tend to increase a person’s risks of all-cause mortality, as well.

    Vaccines Could Affect Mortality and Risks of Other Diseases: Study
    (OSORIOartist/Shutterstock)
    Apart from potentially preventing a particular disease, vaccines may cause persistent nonspecific effects that can affect a person’s lifetime survival.

    In a review published on Dec. 26, 2023, in Vaccine, researchers found that non-live vaccines such as influenza, COVID-19, hepatitis B, and diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTaP) tend to cause adverse nonspecific effects (NSE), increasing a person’s risks of all-cause mortality and infections from other diseases.
    A live vaccine contains a weakened form of the pathogen, which is less virulent but capable of replicating in the body, thus mimicking the actual disease progression. Non-live vaccines use inactivated viruses, fragments, or genes of the pathogen to trigger an immune response without pathogen replication.

    Live vaccines elicit a much stronger immune defense, typically requiring only one shot, while non-live vaccines result in a weaker response, often necessitating multiple shots.

    So far, research has identified several non-live vaccines that cause adverse NSEs, namely DTaP and Tdap, influenza H1N1, malaria, hepatitis B, inactivated polio, and COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

    The Vaccine study singled out DTaP, influenza, malaria, hepatitis B, and COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

    On the other hand, live vaccines such as the oral live polio vaccine, the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine for tuberculosis, and the smallpox vaccines all have beneficial NSEs, according to the study.

    “Live vaccines ... elicit epigenetic alterations that train the innate immune system and increase immunity to unrelated infections. In opposition, non‐live vaccines may promote ‘tolerance’ that increases susceptibility to unrelated illnesses,” the authors suggested.

    The study was primarily based on decades of work from Danish researchers Dr. Christine Stabell Benn and Peter Aaby.

    “Our work is a tribute to their great scientific work that has not been recognized,” biologist Alberto Rubio-Casillas, one of the study’s authors, told The Epoch Times.
    Non-Live Vaccines Are Like ‘Ill-Prepared’ Army

    “Historically, we’ve thought about the innate immune system as the first line of defense,” Dr. Benn told The Epoch Times.

    It was thought that innate immunity couldn’t store memory. To use war as an analogy, the innate immune system’s “army” couldn’t learn from previous battles with pathogens. Adaptive immunity, on the other hand, could learn and be trained, forming antibodies to fight against the infection.

    Therefore, for a long time, vaccines were evaluated based on their effects on the adaptive immune system, and antibodies were measured following vaccination.

    However, researchers in the Netherlands have since shown that the innate immune system can be trained. After vaccinating people with the BCG vaccines and harvesting some of the patients’ innate immune cells, researchers found that after vaccination, the innate cells exhibited a more robust immune response and demonstrated improved clearance of tuberculosis, as well as other bacteria and fungi, when compared to patients’ prevaccination status.
    However, the opposite was shown for non-live vaccines.
    Thus, the innate immune system actually does learn something from its previous battles. This is called trained innate immunity.

    Live vaccines, which mimic an actual disease, enhance the effectiveness of the innate immune system in defending against infections. Non-live vaccines, on the other hand, weaken the immune system’s ability to fend off infections.

    In a TED talk, Dr. Benn compared infections to a competitive tennis match and live vaccines to a tennis coach. The tennis coach may change tactics and strategies, training the body to have “a wide variety of tricks” against the pathogen. Non-live vaccines, however, are like tennis ball machines that shoot out balls at a specific speed and spot. If a person only trains with a tennis ball machine, he or she will be less prepared for an actual match.

    “So you may be ill-prepared and even worse off when a real opponent enters the court, and the balls start coming and hitting elsewhere than what you trained for,” Dr. Benn said.
    Nonspecific Effects

    Some vaccines result in positive NSEs, but others may result in overall adverse NSEs. The order in which vaccines are administered also factors in.

    While non-live vaccines cause negative NSEs, administering a live vaccine after a non-live one neutralizes negative NSEs, Dr. Benn said.

    This has been shown in studies evaluating the safety of measles vaccines, which are often given at about the same time as DTP, a non-live vaccine. Studies have found that if the measles vaccine is given after the DTP vaccine, there is an overall positive effect, whereas if this order is reversed, then there is a negative effect.

    “It seems that effects are strongest as long as the vaccine is the most recent vaccine,” Dr. Benn said.

    Dr. Benn added that the BCG vaccine has long-term beneficial NSEs “in spite of other vaccines being given afterward.”

    The DTaP vaccine has arguably the most evidence of adverse NSEs. Girls who took the DTaP vaccine had a 50 percent higher risk of dying than boys who took it. Compared to girls who were DTaP-unvaccinated, vaccinated girls’ risk of dying was more than 2.5 times higher.
    Dr. Benn’s studies have generally shown that girls are at a greater risk of developing adverse NSEs after being administered non-live vaccines.
    Live Vaccines Replaced With Non-Live Vaccines

    Non-live vaccines are increasingly replacing live vaccines. For example, live oral polio vaccines are no longer available on the U.S. market, and a non-live version is administered instead.

    This substitution of live vaccines with non-live can pose potential health risks to the general immunity of the population, as the immune systems become less trained and potentially “lazy,” Dr. Benn said.

    However, the main reason non-live vaccines are preferred over live vaccines is that they’re believed to be safer for people with depleted immune systems.

    Since a live vaccine causes mild disease in the body, people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome can develop a disease from the injection and may die since their bodies are unable to clear infections. Conversely, non-live vaccines comprise only disease components, so they can’t induce disease.

    In this aspect, the “risk of getting the real disease with the live vaccines has been seen as a bigger threat than I think it deserves,” Dr. Benn said.

    Research suggests that people with weaker immune constitutions because of age or chronic disease may sometimes benefit from having their immune systems trained using live vaccines.

    In one study involving hospitalized older patients randomized to get the BCG vaccine or a placebo, the incidence of disease among those who took the BCG vaccine was about half the incidence of disease in the placebo group.
    Health Authorities Still Skeptical

    Despite the evidence suggesting the potential superiority of live vaccines, Dr. Benn’s research has been largely unacknowledged by the mainstays of academia.
    “In my interpretation, whereas most researchers now acknowledge nonspecific effects, the major health organizations are reluctant to accept our findings because [the findings] imply the possibility that some vaccines may sometimes be harmful. So it is easier just to dismiss the whole thing,” she said.

    “The vaccine skeptics, on the other side, may find that our observations on non-live vaccines confirm their worst fears—vaccines can be harmful—but they may be more reluctant to accept the beneficial effects. And their focus on the negative effects may make the vaccine supporters take an even more rigid stance.”

    Immunologists now largely agree that some vaccines cause NSEs, but how these effects should be quantified remains controversial.

    This is because the NSEs of vaccines are dependent on context, whereas a vaccine’s specific effects are generally considered context-independent. For example, females may make more antibodies than males, and younger people more than older, but most people still get some form of immunity.

    “In contrast, because the nonspecific effects act on the broader innate and general immune system, they are dependent on other factors going on in the immune system ... like other health interventions that can alter and modify the nonspecific effects,” Dr. Benn said, noting that not everybody will have the same benefit.

    Additionally, pharmaceutical companies may be more reluctant to produce live vaccines because they’re harder to culture and manufacture.

    “If you have ever tried to bake with sourdough, it’s a little bit like live vaccines; they are very dependent on the temperature of the room, the water used to culture it, and so on,” Dr. Benn said.

    “But basically, all the live vaccines I’m talking about—they have no patents anymore, they’re super cheap to produce, and it’s some of the cheapest vaccines we have to make.”
    Vaccine Safety: NSEs Versus Adverse Events

    Though live vaccines tend to cause positive NSEs, that isn’t to say they can’t potentially cause adverse events. NSEs are considered a separate entity from adverse events, Dr. Benn said. According to her, in rare cases, live vaccines may induce the actual disease in some recipients, such as people born with gross defects in their immune systems or who have severe immunodeficiencies, such as fulminant AIDS.

    In the case of COVID-19 vaccines, live vaccines were likely not considered due to concerns about the formation of recombinant viruses when a vaccinated person comes into contact with the circulating viral strain.
    However, despite their potential beneficial NSEs, the COVID-19 vaccines may still be associated with adverse events because of the presence of highly toxic spike proteins, which studies now link to long COVID and vaccine injuries.
    In the medical textbook “The Immune Response,” the authors wrote that in isolated cases, live viral strains administered to individuals can regain virulence, causing disease in recipients. There’s also a risk of contamination with other viral strains during manufacturing.

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/health/vaccines-can-impact-long-term-survival-from-other-diseases-study-5559895
    Vaccines Could Affect Mortality and Risks of Other Diseases: Study A recent review found non-live vaccines tend to increase a person’s risks of all-cause mortality, as well. Vaccines Could Affect Mortality and Risks of Other Diseases: Study (OSORIOartist/Shutterstock) Apart from potentially preventing a particular disease, vaccines may cause persistent nonspecific effects that can affect a person’s lifetime survival. In a review published on Dec. 26, 2023, in Vaccine, researchers found that non-live vaccines such as influenza, COVID-19, hepatitis B, and diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTaP) tend to cause adverse nonspecific effects (NSE), increasing a person’s risks of all-cause mortality and infections from other diseases. A live vaccine contains a weakened form of the pathogen, which is less virulent but capable of replicating in the body, thus mimicking the actual disease progression. Non-live vaccines use inactivated viruses, fragments, or genes of the pathogen to trigger an immune response without pathogen replication. Live vaccines elicit a much stronger immune defense, typically requiring only one shot, while non-live vaccines result in a weaker response, often necessitating multiple shots. So far, research has identified several non-live vaccines that cause adverse NSEs, namely DTaP and Tdap, influenza H1N1, malaria, hepatitis B, inactivated polio, and COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. The Vaccine study singled out DTaP, influenza, malaria, hepatitis B, and COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. On the other hand, live vaccines such as the oral live polio vaccine, the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine for tuberculosis, and the smallpox vaccines all have beneficial NSEs, according to the study. “Live vaccines ... elicit epigenetic alterations that train the innate immune system and increase immunity to unrelated infections. In opposition, non‐live vaccines may promote ‘tolerance’ that increases susceptibility to unrelated illnesses,” the authors suggested. The study was primarily based on decades of work from Danish researchers Dr. Christine Stabell Benn and Peter Aaby. “Our work is a tribute to their great scientific work that has not been recognized,” biologist Alberto Rubio-Casillas, one of the study’s authors, told The Epoch Times. Non-Live Vaccines Are Like ‘Ill-Prepared’ Army “Historically, we’ve thought about the innate immune system as the first line of defense,” Dr. Benn told The Epoch Times. It was thought that innate immunity couldn’t store memory. To use war as an analogy, the innate immune system’s “army” couldn’t learn from previous battles with pathogens. Adaptive immunity, on the other hand, could learn and be trained, forming antibodies to fight against the infection. Therefore, for a long time, vaccines were evaluated based on their effects on the adaptive immune system, and antibodies were measured following vaccination. However, researchers in the Netherlands have since shown that the innate immune system can be trained. After vaccinating people with the BCG vaccines and harvesting some of the patients’ innate immune cells, researchers found that after vaccination, the innate cells exhibited a more robust immune response and demonstrated improved clearance of tuberculosis, as well as other bacteria and fungi, when compared to patients’ prevaccination status. However, the opposite was shown for non-live vaccines. Thus, the innate immune system actually does learn something from its previous battles. This is called trained innate immunity. Live vaccines, which mimic an actual disease, enhance the effectiveness of the innate immune system in defending against infections. Non-live vaccines, on the other hand, weaken the immune system’s ability to fend off infections. In a TED talk, Dr. Benn compared infections to a competitive tennis match and live vaccines to a tennis coach. The tennis coach may change tactics and strategies, training the body to have “a wide variety of tricks” against the pathogen. Non-live vaccines, however, are like tennis ball machines that shoot out balls at a specific speed and spot. If a person only trains with a tennis ball machine, he or she will be less prepared for an actual match. “So you may be ill-prepared and even worse off when a real opponent enters the court, and the balls start coming and hitting elsewhere than what you trained for,” Dr. Benn said. Nonspecific Effects Some vaccines result in positive NSEs, but others may result in overall adverse NSEs. The order in which vaccines are administered also factors in. While non-live vaccines cause negative NSEs, administering a live vaccine after a non-live one neutralizes negative NSEs, Dr. Benn said. This has been shown in studies evaluating the safety of measles vaccines, which are often given at about the same time as DTP, a non-live vaccine. Studies have found that if the measles vaccine is given after the DTP vaccine, there is an overall positive effect, whereas if this order is reversed, then there is a negative effect. “It seems that effects are strongest as long as the vaccine is the most recent vaccine,” Dr. Benn said. Dr. Benn added that the BCG vaccine has long-term beneficial NSEs “in spite of other vaccines being given afterward.” The DTaP vaccine has arguably the most evidence of adverse NSEs. Girls who took the DTaP vaccine had a 50 percent higher risk of dying than boys who took it. Compared to girls who were DTaP-unvaccinated, vaccinated girls’ risk of dying was more than 2.5 times higher. Dr. Benn’s studies have generally shown that girls are at a greater risk of developing adverse NSEs after being administered non-live vaccines. Live Vaccines Replaced With Non-Live Vaccines Non-live vaccines are increasingly replacing live vaccines. For example, live oral polio vaccines are no longer available on the U.S. market, and a non-live version is administered instead. This substitution of live vaccines with non-live can pose potential health risks to the general immunity of the population, as the immune systems become less trained and potentially “lazy,” Dr. Benn said. However, the main reason non-live vaccines are preferred over live vaccines is that they’re believed to be safer for people with depleted immune systems. Since a live vaccine causes mild disease in the body, people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome can develop a disease from the injection and may die since their bodies are unable to clear infections. Conversely, non-live vaccines comprise only disease components, so they can’t induce disease. In this aspect, the “risk of getting the real disease with the live vaccines has been seen as a bigger threat than I think it deserves,” Dr. Benn said. Research suggests that people with weaker immune constitutions because of age or chronic disease may sometimes benefit from having their immune systems trained using live vaccines. In one study involving hospitalized older patients randomized to get the BCG vaccine or a placebo, the incidence of disease among those who took the BCG vaccine was about half the incidence of disease in the placebo group. Health Authorities Still Skeptical Despite the evidence suggesting the potential superiority of live vaccines, Dr. Benn’s research has been largely unacknowledged by the mainstays of academia. “In my interpretation, whereas most researchers now acknowledge nonspecific effects, the major health organizations are reluctant to accept our findings because [the findings] imply the possibility that some vaccines may sometimes be harmful. So it is easier just to dismiss the whole thing,” she said. “The vaccine skeptics, on the other side, may find that our observations on non-live vaccines confirm their worst fears—vaccines can be harmful—but they may be more reluctant to accept the beneficial effects. And their focus on the negative effects may make the vaccine supporters take an even more rigid stance.” Immunologists now largely agree that some vaccines cause NSEs, but how these effects should be quantified remains controversial. This is because the NSEs of vaccines are dependent on context, whereas a vaccine’s specific effects are generally considered context-independent. For example, females may make more antibodies than males, and younger people more than older, but most people still get some form of immunity. “In contrast, because the nonspecific effects act on the broader innate and general immune system, they are dependent on other factors going on in the immune system ... like other health interventions that can alter and modify the nonspecific effects,” Dr. Benn said, noting that not everybody will have the same benefit. Additionally, pharmaceutical companies may be more reluctant to produce live vaccines because they’re harder to culture and manufacture. “If you have ever tried to bake with sourdough, it’s a little bit like live vaccines; they are very dependent on the temperature of the room, the water used to culture it, and so on,” Dr. Benn said. “But basically, all the live vaccines I’m talking about—they have no patents anymore, they’re super cheap to produce, and it’s some of the cheapest vaccines we have to make.” Vaccine Safety: NSEs Versus Adverse Events Though live vaccines tend to cause positive NSEs, that isn’t to say they can’t potentially cause adverse events. NSEs are considered a separate entity from adverse events, Dr. Benn said. According to her, in rare cases, live vaccines may induce the actual disease in some recipients, such as people born with gross defects in their immune systems or who have severe immunodeficiencies, such as fulminant AIDS. In the case of COVID-19 vaccines, live vaccines were likely not considered due to concerns about the formation of recombinant viruses when a vaccinated person comes into contact with the circulating viral strain. However, despite their potential beneficial NSEs, the COVID-19 vaccines may still be associated with adverse events because of the presence of highly toxic spike proteins, which studies now link to long COVID and vaccine injuries. In the medical textbook “The Immune Response,” the authors wrote that in isolated cases, live viral strains administered to individuals can regain virulence, causing disease in recipients. There’s also a risk of contamination with other viral strains during manufacturing. https://www.theepochtimes.com/health/vaccines-can-impact-long-term-survival-from-other-diseases-study-5559895
    WWW.THEEPOCHTIMES.COM
    Vaccines Could Affect Mortality and Risks of Other Diseases: Study
    A recent review found non-live vaccines tend to increase a person’s risks of all-cause mortality, as well.
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  • Ai Weiwei: ‘I don’t think the West has freedom of speech’

    "The artist compared the state of free speech today to “70 years ago in the Nazi times, and 60 years ago during China’s Cultural Revolution”. He added: “That’s what is happening here today.”

    Ai continued: “When [the] West thinks we have freedom of expression I say that it’s the biggest lie. You don’t have freedom of expression.” He added: “I don’t think the West has freedom of speech.”

    https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/26869

    Boost RobinMG
    Ai Weiwei: ‘I don’t think the West has freedom of speech’ "The artist compared the state of free speech today to “70 years ago in the Nazi times, and 60 years ago during China’s Cultural Revolution”. He added: “That’s what is happening here today.” Ai continued: “When [the] West thinks we have freedom of expression I say that it’s the biggest lie. You don’t have freedom of expression.” He added: “I don’t think the West has freedom of speech.” https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/26869 ➡️ Boost RobinMG 🚀
    WWW.VARSITY.CO.UK
    Ai Weiwei: ‘I don’t think the West has freedom of speech’
    Ai Weiwei came to Cambridge to discuss his thoughts on art, politics and current affairs
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  • Covid mRNA Vaccines Required No Safety Oversight
    Debbie Lerman
    When everyone from the President to your primary care doctor declared loudly and wholeheartedly in December 2020 that the newly FDA-authorized Covid mRNA vaccines were “safe and effective” – what were those claims based on?

    In this article, I will review the contractual and regulatory framework applied by the US government to the initial development, manufacture, and acquisition of the Covid mRNA shots. I will use the BioNTech/Pfizer agreements to illustrate the process.

    The analysis will show that:

    The Covid mRNA vaccines were acquired and authorized through mechanisms designed to rush medical countermeasures to the military during emergencies involving weapons of mass destruction.
    These mechanisms did not require the application of, or adherence to, any laws or regulations related to vaccine development or manufacturing.
    The FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization for the vaccines was based on clinical trials and manufacturing processes conducted with no binding legal standards, no legally proscribed safety oversight or regulation, and no legal redress from the manufacturer for potential harms. (This last point is being challenged in multiple court cases, so far to no avail.)
    What all of this means is that none of the laws or regulations that we count on to protect us from potentially harmful, or deadly, medical products was applied to the Covid mRNA vaccines. The assertion of “safe and effective” was based entirely on aspirations, opinions, beliefs, and presumptions of government employees.

    In Part 1 of this article I will provide a summary of the main contractual and legal points and explain how they excluded any requirements for regulatory oversight. In Part 2, I will go through a detailed analysis of the underlying documentation.

    Contractual Framework for Covid mRNA Vaccines

    When the US government entered into its Covid vaccine agreement with Pfizer, which was acting on behalf of the BioNTech/Pfizer partnership, in July 2020, the agreement encompassed a minimum of 100 million doses of a “vaccine to prevent COVID-19” and a payment of at least $1.95 billion. The agreement also allowed for future procurement of hundreds of millions of additional doses.

    That’s a lot of money for a lot of items, especially since the vaccines had not yet been tested, approved, or manufactured to scale and, as the agreement stated, were purely “aspirational.”

    Obviously, this is not normal procedure. But, then, those were not normal times. The government declared that we were “at war” with a catastrophically dangerous virus that would kill millions and millions of people of all ages unless we could develop “medical countermeasures” (a military term) and get everyone to take them as quickly as possible.

    In keeping with the declaration of war, it was a military framework that was used for acquiring the aspirational products that became known as Covid mRNA vaccines.

    Military Acquisition

    The government side to the agreement with Pfizer was the Department of Defense (DoD), represented by a convoluted chain of parties, each operating as a subcontractor, or co-contractor, for the next.

    You’ll find details about the role of each of these military procurement groups in Part 2 of this article. The important point to recognize is that all of these bodies are charged exclusively with military objectives: “ensuring military readiness,” “enhancing the mission effectiveness of military personnel,” and “supporting the Army and Unified Land Operations, anytime, anywhere.”

    This is crucial, because the laws and procedures governing military procurement have a very different set of assumptions and cost-benefit considerations than those used in civil society.

    In fact, agencies governing civilian and public health, like the NIH, NIAID and HHS, do not have the authority to grant certain types of special acquisition contracts, which is why the Covid vaccine contracts had to be overseen by the Department of Defense.

    Thus, HHS “partnered” with DoD to “leverage DoD’s OTA authorities … which HHS lacked.” [ref]

    What are “OTA authorities?”

    Other Transaction Authority/Agreement (OTA)

    (NOTE: OTA is used interchangeably to refer to Other Transaction Agreement and Other Transaction Authority.)

    The OTA is a procurement method that, according to Department of Defense guidelines, has been used since 1958 to “permit a federal agency to enter into transactions other than contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements.”

    What types of transactions are we talking about?

    First and foremost, the OTA acquisition structure “operates outside the Federal Acquisition Regulations.” This means no federal laws related to government purchases apply to OTAs. Such laws generally involve things like ensuring competition, accounting standards, cost management, record-keeping and labor practices. For purchases of medical products, they also include things like oversight of research on human subjects and privacy laws.

    Why is it a good idea to bypass all these acquisition regulations? For the military, OTAs can provide “access to state-of-the-art technology solutions from traditional and non-traditional defense contractors.” More specifically, according to DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), OTAs are designed to “avoid many of the hurdles that scare away private industry,” including “burdensome regulations.”

    The second defining aspect of OTAs is that they apply to projects that are

    …directly relevant to enhancing the mission effectiveness of personnel of the Department of Defense or improving platforms, systems, components, or materials proposed to be acquired or developed by the Department of Defense, or to improvement of platforms, systems, components, or materials in use by the armed forces.

    In other words, OTA is not a pathway for government acquisitions primarily intended for civilian populations.

    In fact, from the time of OTA inception in 1958 until Covid, the vast majority of OTAs were awarded for weapons, military supplies, and information technologies. For example, in an overview from 2013-2018, the top OTAs dealt with underwater weapons, ground vehicles, rocket propulsion systems, and “technologies related to the use of the electromagnetic spectrum or the information that rides on it.”

    What About OTAs for Medical Products?

    In 2015, DoD announced the establishment of the CBRN Medical Countermeasure Consortium, whose purpose was to use the OTA acquisition pathway to “work with DoD to develop FDA licensed chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear medical countermeasures.”

    Broadly speaking, this included “prototype technologies for therapeutic medical countermeasures targeting viral, bacterial, and biological toxin targets of interest to the DoD.” Furthermore, such technologies could include “animal models of viral, bacterial or biological toxin disease and pathogenesis, assays, diagnostic technologies, or other platform technologies.”

    Note that there is a mention of FDA licensing, which means a medical product cannot be purchased through OTA without any FDA involvement. The extent of that involvement will be discussed in the section on Regulations below.

    But before we get to the FDA, just looking at what an OTA can be applied to, it does not look like manufacturing 100 million doses of anything is even in the ballpark.

    Pfizer’s Other Transaction Agreement (OTA)

    DoD can make three types of agreements under OTA: research, prototypes, and manufacturing. Importantly, according to National Defense Magazine, the agreements (which are “other than contracts”) are supposed to start with prototypes and then move “from prototypes to production contracts.” In other words, you start with an OTA for a prototype and then get an actual production contract.

    In contrast, the agreement between Pfizer and the US government, routed through the Department of Defense and the CBRN Medical Countermeasure Consortium, classified what Pfizer agreed to deliver as a “prototype project” and “manufacturing demonstration.” As stated in the agreement:

    The intent of this prototype project is to demonstrate that Pfizer has the business and logistics capability to manufacture 100M doses of its currently unapproved mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine for the Government [(b)(4) redaction]

    So the military acquisition branch of the government is paying Pfizer to show that it can manufacture 100 million doses of a never-before produced or tested product, while also acquiring those 100 million doses, and potentially hundreds of millions more. The “prototype” somehow includes not just the manufacturing process, but also the 100 million doses created through that process.

    Nowhere in the history of Other Transaction Agreements is there anything remotely resembling this conflation of a prototype (“a preliminary model of something,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary) and the manufacturing of millions of exemplars of that prototype. Actually, it is unclear from the wording of the OTA whether the “prototype” applies to the mRNA Covid vaccine, the mRNA platform for manufacturing the vaccine, the actual manufacturing of 100 million vaccines, or all of the above.

    Regulatory Framework for Covid mRNA Vaccines

    What about regulatory oversight of the development and manufacturing processes?

    For pharmaceutical products, like vaccines, this would include: 1) clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the products, and 2) compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices to ensure what is in each dose is actually what is supposed to be in each dose.

    Who is responsible for this type of oversight in the context of Pfizer’s OTA?

    Pfizer will meet the necessary FDA requirements for conducting ongoing and planned clinical trials, and with its collaboration partner, BioNTech, will seek FDA approval or authorization for the vaccine, assuming the clinical data supports such application for approval or authorization.

    What are the FDA requirements “for approval or authorization?”

    According to the Pfizer OTA, those requirements are whatever it takes to “grant an Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) under Section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.”

    In fact, the two regulations applied to the authorization of the Pfizer mRNA Covid vaccines were EUA and its partner, the PREP Act, which grants legal immunity from prosecution to anyone who has anything to do with the vaccines, unless they commit outright fraud.

    Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)

    EUA is a very special way to authorize a medical countermeasure in very specific types of emergencies. It was designed, according to the Department of Justice, to quickly make available effective vaccines and treatments against – among other CBRN agents – potential biowarfare/bioterror agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, Ebola, and plague.

    As explained in Harvard Law’s Bill of Health, “Ultimately, it was the War on Terror that would give rise to emergency use authorization.” The article continues,

    The record indicates that Congress was focused on the threat of bioterror specifically, not on preparing for a naturally-occurring pandemic.

    You can read about the details of EUA regulations in part 2 of this article. In summary, an Emergency Use Authorization can be granted by the Food and Drug Administration once the HHS and/or DoD have declared that there is an attack, threat of an attack, or national security threat created by a CBRN agent (a weapon of mass destruction).

    Significantly, as the Harvard Law article explains, EUA was not intended to cover brand-new vaccines:

    The only vaccine ever to have received an EUA prior to the current pandemic was AVA, an anthrax vaccine that had already been formally approved for other purposes.

    This is extremely important: EUA was meant for dire situations of warfare or terrorism, not to protect the entire population from naturally occurring pathogens. For this reason, EUA products do not require the type of legal safety oversight that is applied in civilian contexts by the FDA.

    And without adherence to legal safety standards in clinical trials and manufacturing, there is no way of knowing whether the products, in this case the Covid mRNA vaccines, are actually safe.

    No Legal or Regulatory Standards Apply to the FDA’s Decision to Grant EUA

    Here’s the kicker about EUA: because it was intended to be issued only in war and WMD-related emergencies, there are no legal requirements for how it is issued, beyond the determination of the FDA that such authorization is appropriate. No legal standards for how clinical trials are conducted. No laws regulating the manufacturing processes. Only “reasonable beliefs” based on whatever evidence is available to the FDA at the time that it makes its determination.

    This is how it is described in U.S. Code 360bbb-3, which covers EUA:

    Criteria for issuance of authorization

    An agent referred to in a declaration [by the HHS Secretary] can cause a serious or life-threatening disease or condition
    Based on the totality of scientific evidence available to the Secretary, including data from adequate and well-controlled clinical trials, if available, it is reasonable to believe that
    The product may be effective in diagnosing, treating or preventing such disease or condition
    The known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks, taking into consideration the material threat posed by the CBRN agent(s)
    There is no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the product
    In Its EUA Guidance for Industry and Other Stakeholders, the FDA recommends that EUA applications contain information about clinical trials, manufacturing processes, potential risks, etc. Crucially, as stated at the top of every page, these are merely “nonbinding recommendations.”

    It’s up to the EUA applicant to decide what information to submit, and it’s up to the FDA to decide whether that information meets the “statutory requirements” (as stated above).

    PREP Act

    If you agree to develop, manufacture, and sell hundreds of millions of aspirational products to the government under the contract-like Other Transaction Agreement and bioterror-contingent Emergency Use Authorization, you need very good liability protection.

    This is provided by the PREP (Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness) Act that was designed to go hand-in-hand with EUA. Again, it is possible to envision a bioterrorism scenario, like an anthrax attack, in which the government needs to get lots of countermeasures very quickly. Many people will inevitably die in the attack, but if there’s a chance that the countermeasure will work, it needs to get made and distributed as quickly as possible. If it has some bad side effects, or even if it kills some people, one could argue that the manufacturer should not be held liable.

    Clearly, this was never intended to apply to a new, untested vaccine used to counter a naturally occurring virus in hundreds of millions of people.

    What, then, are the standards for determining the necessity of a PREP Act declaration?

    Here’s how the Health and Human Services (HHS) website describes the factors considered by the HHS Secretary:

    In deciding whether to issue a PREP Act Declaration, HHS must consider the desirability of encouraging the design, development, clinical testing or investigation, manufacture, labeling, distribution, formulation, packaging, marketing, promotion, sale, purchase, donation, dispensing, prescribing, administering, licensing, and use of the countermeasure recommended in the Declaration. HHS may also consider other relevant factors.

    As with the EUA determination, there are no legally binding standards or directives for issuing a PREP Act. If the products made under EUA cause harm or death, no one involved in making or administering those products can be held accountable, as long as there is accompanying PREP Act protection.

    Conclusion

    The BioNTech/Pfizer Covid mRNA vaccines were authorized for use in the entire population of the United States based on the application of the following sequence of agreements and determinations:

    Department of Defense uses “contract-like” Other Transaction Authority (OTA) to buy aspirational products. DoD is not responsible for overseeing clinical trials or manufacturing. Pfizer is responsible for getting authorization from the FDA.
    The FDA is permitted to issue Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Pfizer for mRNA vaccines because the HHS Secretary declares that there is an emergency that warrants EUA.
    FDA makes its EUA determination based on whatever evidence and considerations it feels are appropriate, given the emergency situation. There are no legal standards that apply to the FDA’s considerations, except that it believes the product may be effective, the benefits outweigh the risks based on available information, and there is no alternative product.
    The Health and Human Services Secretary grants total legal immunity through the PREP Act to anyone involved in developing, making, shipping, or administering the vaccines, based on his determination that there is an emergency that justifies this action.
    That’s what the “safe and effective” claim for the BioNTech/Pfizer Covid mRNA vaccines was based on in December 2020, when millions of people – including children and pregnant women – were mandated to take the injections. Objectors were ridiculed, silenced, ostracized, and fired. Harms and deaths were, and continue to be, covered up, uninvestigated, and uncounted.

    Questions About the Legality of the EUA for Covid mRNA Vaccines

    It sounds like something in this whole process must be illegal, right?

    So far, trying to charge pharmaceutical companies with wrongdoing related to Covid vaccines has failed, because the EUA + PREP combo means they were not required to apply any legal/regulatory standards to their clinical studies or manufacturing processes.

    But what about the government?

    Since the OTA, EUA, and PREP regulations are intended for use during a catastrophic CBRN emergency, we might ask ourselves: did the US government believe SARS-CoV-2 was an engineered potential bioweapon? Did the government use what we might consider an extra-legal (in civilian terms) acquisition and authorization process based on the assumption that the entire population was threatened by the equivalent of a bioterrorism or biowarfare attack? It sure seems like they did. And if so, did they have a legal obligation to inform the public of this situation in order to resort to the OTA and EUA procurement and authorization pathway?

    Moreover, even if the government considered Covid-19 to be a disease caused by a potential bioterror agent, how could the HHS Secretary justify an Emergency Use Authorization that required him to determine that “there is a public health emergency that has a significant potential to affect national security” when it was known that Covid-19 was deadly almost exclusively in old and infirm populations?

    In December 2020 the following facts were known about Covid-19 without a reasonable doubt:

    The infection fatality rate (IFR) for the entire population was less than 1%.
    The IFR for anyone under 55 was 0.01% or lower.
    The IFR for children was near zero.
    [ref][ref][ref][ref][ref][ref]

    A disease that has significant potential to affect national security has to be very severe, especially in its effect on the military. Yet in December 2020 military-aged people were known to be at nearly no risk from Covid-19. And still the HHS Secretary determined that there was an emergency that warranted EUA for the mRNA vaccines. And all military personnel were mandated to get the injections.

    I hope that by publishing this information as widely as possible we can eventually find a way to demand some measure of accountability.

    Acknowledgements

    Sasha Latypova and Katherine Watt have been trying to draw attention to this shocking legal and regulatory framework for a long time. I am deeply grateful for, and indebted to, their in-depth research and tireless work to disseminate this information.

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
    For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author.

    Author

    Debbie Lerman, 2023 Brownstone Fellow, has a degree in English from Harvard. She is a retired science writer and a practicing artist in Philadelphia, PA.

    View all posts
    Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/covid-mrna-vaccines-required-no-safety-oversight/
    Covid mRNA Vaccines Required No Safety Oversight Debbie Lerman When everyone from the President to your primary care doctor declared loudly and wholeheartedly in December 2020 that the newly FDA-authorized Covid mRNA vaccines were “safe and effective” – what were those claims based on? In this article, I will review the contractual and regulatory framework applied by the US government to the initial development, manufacture, and acquisition of the Covid mRNA shots. I will use the BioNTech/Pfizer agreements to illustrate the process. The analysis will show that: The Covid mRNA vaccines were acquired and authorized through mechanisms designed to rush medical countermeasures to the military during emergencies involving weapons of mass destruction. These mechanisms did not require the application of, or adherence to, any laws or regulations related to vaccine development or manufacturing. The FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization for the vaccines was based on clinical trials and manufacturing processes conducted with no binding legal standards, no legally proscribed safety oversight or regulation, and no legal redress from the manufacturer for potential harms. (This last point is being challenged in multiple court cases, so far to no avail.) What all of this means is that none of the laws or regulations that we count on to protect us from potentially harmful, or deadly, medical products was applied to the Covid mRNA vaccines. The assertion of “safe and effective” was based entirely on aspirations, opinions, beliefs, and presumptions of government employees. In Part 1 of this article I will provide a summary of the main contractual and legal points and explain how they excluded any requirements for regulatory oversight. In Part 2, I will go through a detailed analysis of the underlying documentation. Contractual Framework for Covid mRNA Vaccines When the US government entered into its Covid vaccine agreement with Pfizer, which was acting on behalf of the BioNTech/Pfizer partnership, in July 2020, the agreement encompassed a minimum of 100 million doses of a “vaccine to prevent COVID-19” and a payment of at least $1.95 billion. The agreement also allowed for future procurement of hundreds of millions of additional doses. That’s a lot of money for a lot of items, especially since the vaccines had not yet been tested, approved, or manufactured to scale and, as the agreement stated, were purely “aspirational.” Obviously, this is not normal procedure. But, then, those were not normal times. The government declared that we were “at war” with a catastrophically dangerous virus that would kill millions and millions of people of all ages unless we could develop “medical countermeasures” (a military term) and get everyone to take them as quickly as possible. In keeping with the declaration of war, it was a military framework that was used for acquiring the aspirational products that became known as Covid mRNA vaccines. Military Acquisition The government side to the agreement with Pfizer was the Department of Defense (DoD), represented by a convoluted chain of parties, each operating as a subcontractor, or co-contractor, for the next. You’ll find details about the role of each of these military procurement groups in Part 2 of this article. The important point to recognize is that all of these bodies are charged exclusively with military objectives: “ensuring military readiness,” “enhancing the mission effectiveness of military personnel,” and “supporting the Army and Unified Land Operations, anytime, anywhere.” This is crucial, because the laws and procedures governing military procurement have a very different set of assumptions and cost-benefit considerations than those used in civil society. In fact, agencies governing civilian and public health, like the NIH, NIAID and HHS, do not have the authority to grant certain types of special acquisition contracts, which is why the Covid vaccine contracts had to be overseen by the Department of Defense. Thus, HHS “partnered” with DoD to “leverage DoD’s OTA authorities … which HHS lacked.” [ref] What are “OTA authorities?” Other Transaction Authority/Agreement (OTA) (NOTE: OTA is used interchangeably to refer to Other Transaction Agreement and Other Transaction Authority.) The OTA is a procurement method that, according to Department of Defense guidelines, has been used since 1958 to “permit a federal agency to enter into transactions other than contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements.” What types of transactions are we talking about? First and foremost, the OTA acquisition structure “operates outside the Federal Acquisition Regulations.” This means no federal laws related to government purchases apply to OTAs. Such laws generally involve things like ensuring competition, accounting standards, cost management, record-keeping and labor practices. For purchases of medical products, they also include things like oversight of research on human subjects and privacy laws. Why is it a good idea to bypass all these acquisition regulations? For the military, OTAs can provide “access to state-of-the-art technology solutions from traditional and non-traditional defense contractors.” More specifically, according to DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), OTAs are designed to “avoid many of the hurdles that scare away private industry,” including “burdensome regulations.” The second defining aspect of OTAs is that they apply to projects that are …directly relevant to enhancing the mission effectiveness of personnel of the Department of Defense or improving platforms, systems, components, or materials proposed to be acquired or developed by the Department of Defense, or to improvement of platforms, systems, components, or materials in use by the armed forces. In other words, OTA is not a pathway for government acquisitions primarily intended for civilian populations. In fact, from the time of OTA inception in 1958 until Covid, the vast majority of OTAs were awarded for weapons, military supplies, and information technologies. For example, in an overview from 2013-2018, the top OTAs dealt with underwater weapons, ground vehicles, rocket propulsion systems, and “technologies related to the use of the electromagnetic spectrum or the information that rides on it.” What About OTAs for Medical Products? In 2015, DoD announced the establishment of the CBRN Medical Countermeasure Consortium, whose purpose was to use the OTA acquisition pathway to “work with DoD to develop FDA licensed chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear medical countermeasures.” Broadly speaking, this included “prototype technologies for therapeutic medical countermeasures targeting viral, bacterial, and biological toxin targets of interest to the DoD.” Furthermore, such technologies could include “animal models of viral, bacterial or biological toxin disease and pathogenesis, assays, diagnostic technologies, or other platform technologies.” Note that there is a mention of FDA licensing, which means a medical product cannot be purchased through OTA without any FDA involvement. The extent of that involvement will be discussed in the section on Regulations below. But before we get to the FDA, just looking at what an OTA can be applied to, it does not look like manufacturing 100 million doses of anything is even in the ballpark. Pfizer’s Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) DoD can make three types of agreements under OTA: research, prototypes, and manufacturing. Importantly, according to National Defense Magazine, the agreements (which are “other than contracts”) are supposed to start with prototypes and then move “from prototypes to production contracts.” In other words, you start with an OTA for a prototype and then get an actual production contract. In contrast, the agreement between Pfizer and the US government, routed through the Department of Defense and the CBRN Medical Countermeasure Consortium, classified what Pfizer agreed to deliver as a “prototype project” and “manufacturing demonstration.” As stated in the agreement: The intent of this prototype project is to demonstrate that Pfizer has the business and logistics capability to manufacture 100M doses of its currently unapproved mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine for the Government [(b)(4) redaction] So the military acquisition branch of the government is paying Pfizer to show that it can manufacture 100 million doses of a never-before produced or tested product, while also acquiring those 100 million doses, and potentially hundreds of millions more. The “prototype” somehow includes not just the manufacturing process, but also the 100 million doses created through that process. Nowhere in the history of Other Transaction Agreements is there anything remotely resembling this conflation of a prototype (“a preliminary model of something,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary) and the manufacturing of millions of exemplars of that prototype. Actually, it is unclear from the wording of the OTA whether the “prototype” applies to the mRNA Covid vaccine, the mRNA platform for manufacturing the vaccine, the actual manufacturing of 100 million vaccines, or all of the above. Regulatory Framework for Covid mRNA Vaccines What about regulatory oversight of the development and manufacturing processes? For pharmaceutical products, like vaccines, this would include: 1) clinical trials to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the products, and 2) compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices to ensure what is in each dose is actually what is supposed to be in each dose. Who is responsible for this type of oversight in the context of Pfizer’s OTA? Pfizer will meet the necessary FDA requirements for conducting ongoing and planned clinical trials, and with its collaboration partner, BioNTech, will seek FDA approval or authorization for the vaccine, assuming the clinical data supports such application for approval or authorization. What are the FDA requirements “for approval or authorization?” According to the Pfizer OTA, those requirements are whatever it takes to “grant an Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) under Section 564 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” In fact, the two regulations applied to the authorization of the Pfizer mRNA Covid vaccines were EUA and its partner, the PREP Act, which grants legal immunity from prosecution to anyone who has anything to do with the vaccines, unless they commit outright fraud. Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) EUA is a very special way to authorize a medical countermeasure in very specific types of emergencies. It was designed, according to the Department of Justice, to quickly make available effective vaccines and treatments against – among other CBRN agents – potential biowarfare/bioterror agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, Ebola, and plague. As explained in Harvard Law’s Bill of Health, “Ultimately, it was the War on Terror that would give rise to emergency use authorization.” The article continues, The record indicates that Congress was focused on the threat of bioterror specifically, not on preparing for a naturally-occurring pandemic. You can read about the details of EUA regulations in part 2 of this article. In summary, an Emergency Use Authorization can be granted by the Food and Drug Administration once the HHS and/or DoD have declared that there is an attack, threat of an attack, or national security threat created by a CBRN agent (a weapon of mass destruction). Significantly, as the Harvard Law article explains, EUA was not intended to cover brand-new vaccines: The only vaccine ever to have received an EUA prior to the current pandemic was AVA, an anthrax vaccine that had already been formally approved for other purposes. This is extremely important: EUA was meant for dire situations of warfare or terrorism, not to protect the entire population from naturally occurring pathogens. For this reason, EUA products do not require the type of legal safety oversight that is applied in civilian contexts by the FDA. And without adherence to legal safety standards in clinical trials and manufacturing, there is no way of knowing whether the products, in this case the Covid mRNA vaccines, are actually safe. No Legal or Regulatory Standards Apply to the FDA’s Decision to Grant EUA Here’s the kicker about EUA: because it was intended to be issued only in war and WMD-related emergencies, there are no legal requirements for how it is issued, beyond the determination of the FDA that such authorization is appropriate. No legal standards for how clinical trials are conducted. No laws regulating the manufacturing processes. Only “reasonable beliefs” based on whatever evidence is available to the FDA at the time that it makes its determination. This is how it is described in U.S. Code 360bbb-3, which covers EUA: Criteria for issuance of authorization An agent referred to in a declaration [by the HHS Secretary] can cause a serious or life-threatening disease or condition Based on the totality of scientific evidence available to the Secretary, including data from adequate and well-controlled clinical trials, if available, it is reasonable to believe that The product may be effective in diagnosing, treating or preventing such disease or condition The known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks, taking into consideration the material threat posed by the CBRN agent(s) There is no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the product In Its EUA Guidance for Industry and Other Stakeholders, the FDA recommends that EUA applications contain information about clinical trials, manufacturing processes, potential risks, etc. Crucially, as stated at the top of every page, these are merely “nonbinding recommendations.” It’s up to the EUA applicant to decide what information to submit, and it’s up to the FDA to decide whether that information meets the “statutory requirements” (as stated above). PREP Act If you agree to develop, manufacture, and sell hundreds of millions of aspirational products to the government under the contract-like Other Transaction Agreement and bioterror-contingent Emergency Use Authorization, you need very good liability protection. This is provided by the PREP (Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness) Act that was designed to go hand-in-hand with EUA. Again, it is possible to envision a bioterrorism scenario, like an anthrax attack, in which the government needs to get lots of countermeasures very quickly. Many people will inevitably die in the attack, but if there’s a chance that the countermeasure will work, it needs to get made and distributed as quickly as possible. If it has some bad side effects, or even if it kills some people, one could argue that the manufacturer should not be held liable. Clearly, this was never intended to apply to a new, untested vaccine used to counter a naturally occurring virus in hundreds of millions of people. What, then, are the standards for determining the necessity of a PREP Act declaration? Here’s how the Health and Human Services (HHS) website describes the factors considered by the HHS Secretary: In deciding whether to issue a PREP Act Declaration, HHS must consider the desirability of encouraging the design, development, clinical testing or investigation, manufacture, labeling, distribution, formulation, packaging, marketing, promotion, sale, purchase, donation, dispensing, prescribing, administering, licensing, and use of the countermeasure recommended in the Declaration. HHS may also consider other relevant factors. As with the EUA determination, there are no legally binding standards or directives for issuing a PREP Act. If the products made under EUA cause harm or death, no one involved in making or administering those products can be held accountable, as long as there is accompanying PREP Act protection. Conclusion The BioNTech/Pfizer Covid mRNA vaccines were authorized for use in the entire population of the United States based on the application of the following sequence of agreements and determinations: Department of Defense uses “contract-like” Other Transaction Authority (OTA) to buy aspirational products. DoD is not responsible for overseeing clinical trials or manufacturing. Pfizer is responsible for getting authorization from the FDA. The FDA is permitted to issue Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Pfizer for mRNA vaccines because the HHS Secretary declares that there is an emergency that warrants EUA. FDA makes its EUA determination based on whatever evidence and considerations it feels are appropriate, given the emergency situation. There are no legal standards that apply to the FDA’s considerations, except that it believes the product may be effective, the benefits outweigh the risks based on available information, and there is no alternative product. The Health and Human Services Secretary grants total legal immunity through the PREP Act to anyone involved in developing, making, shipping, or administering the vaccines, based on his determination that there is an emergency that justifies this action. That’s what the “safe and effective” claim for the BioNTech/Pfizer Covid mRNA vaccines was based on in December 2020, when millions of people – including children and pregnant women – were mandated to take the injections. Objectors were ridiculed, silenced, ostracized, and fired. Harms and deaths were, and continue to be, covered up, uninvestigated, and uncounted. Questions About the Legality of the EUA for Covid mRNA Vaccines It sounds like something in this whole process must be illegal, right? So far, trying to charge pharmaceutical companies with wrongdoing related to Covid vaccines has failed, because the EUA + PREP combo means they were not required to apply any legal/regulatory standards to their clinical studies or manufacturing processes. But what about the government? Since the OTA, EUA, and PREP regulations are intended for use during a catastrophic CBRN emergency, we might ask ourselves: did the US government believe SARS-CoV-2 was an engineered potential bioweapon? Did the government use what we might consider an extra-legal (in civilian terms) acquisition and authorization process based on the assumption that the entire population was threatened by the equivalent of a bioterrorism or biowarfare attack? It sure seems like they did. And if so, did they have a legal obligation to inform the public of this situation in order to resort to the OTA and EUA procurement and authorization pathway? Moreover, even if the government considered Covid-19 to be a disease caused by a potential bioterror agent, how could the HHS Secretary justify an Emergency Use Authorization that required him to determine that “there is a public health emergency that has a significant potential to affect national security” when it was known that Covid-19 was deadly almost exclusively in old and infirm populations? In December 2020 the following facts were known about Covid-19 without a reasonable doubt: The infection fatality rate (IFR) for the entire population was less than 1%. The IFR for anyone under 55 was 0.01% or lower. The IFR for children was near zero. [ref][ref][ref][ref][ref][ref] A disease that has significant potential to affect national security has to be very severe, especially in its effect on the military. Yet in December 2020 military-aged people were known to be at nearly no risk from Covid-19. And still the HHS Secretary determined that there was an emergency that warranted EUA for the mRNA vaccines. And all military personnel were mandated to get the injections. I hope that by publishing this information as widely as possible we can eventually find a way to demand some measure of accountability. Acknowledgements Sasha Latypova and Katherine Watt have been trying to draw attention to this shocking legal and regulatory framework for a long time. I am deeply grateful for, and indebted to, their in-depth research and tireless work to disseminate this information. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Author Debbie Lerman, 2023 Brownstone Fellow, has a degree in English from Harvard. She is a retired science writer and a practicing artist in Philadelphia, PA. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/covid-mrna-vaccines-required-no-safety-oversight/
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    Covid mRNA Vaccines Required No Safety Oversight ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    The FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization for the vaccines was based on clinical trials and manufacturing processes conducted with no binding legal standards, no legally proscribed safety oversight or regulation, and no legal redress from the manufacturer for potential harms. (This last point is being challenged in multiple court cases, so far to no avail.)
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  • Covid mRNA Vaccines Required No Safety Oversight: Part Two
    Debbie Lerman
    In part one of this article, I reviewed the contractual and regulatory framework applied by the US government to the initial development, manufacture, and acquisition of the Covid mRNA shots, using the BioNTech/Pfizer agreements to illustrate the process.

    I showed that Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) was granted to these products based on clinical trials and manufacturing processes conducted with

    no binding legal standards,
    no legally proscribed safety oversight or regulation, and
    no legal redress from the manufacturer for potential harms.
    In this follow-up article, I will provide a detailed analysis of the underlying documentation.

    Other Transaction Authority/Agreement (OTA): A Military Acquisition Pathway

    The agreement between the US government, represented by the Department of Defense (DoD), and Pfizer, representing the BioNTech/Pfizer partnership, in July 2020, for the purchase of a “vaccine to prevent COVID-19” was not an ordinary acquisition contract.

    It was an agreement under Other Transaction Authority (OTA) – an acquisition pathway that, according to Department of Defense guidelines, has been used since 1958 to “permit a federal agency to enter into transactions other than contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements.”

    [BOLDFACE ADDED]

    A thorough review of the use of OTA by the DoD, including its statutory history, can be found in the February 22, 2019 Congressional Research Service report. This report, along with every other discussion of OTA, specifies that it is an alternative acquisition path for defense and military purposes. It is not intended, nor has it ever been used before Covid, for anything intended primarily for civilian use.

    If you look for OTA laws in the US Code, this is the path you will go down:

    Armed Forces -> General Military Law -> Acquisition -> Research and Engineering -> Agreements -> Authority of the DoD to carry out certain prototype projects

    This legal pathway very clearly shows that OTA laws are intended for acquisition of research and engineering prototypes for the armed forces.

    According to the DARPA website,

    The Department of Defense has authority for three different types of OTs: (1) research OTs, (2) prototype OTs, and (3) production OTs.

    These three types of OTs represent three stages of initial research, development of a prototype, and eventual production.

    Within those three types, there are specific categories of projects to which OTA can apply:

    Originally, according to the OTA Overview provided by the DoD, the Other Transaction Authority was “limited to apply to weapons or weapon systems proposed to be acquired or developed by the DoD.”
    OTA was later expanded to include “any prototype project directly related to enhancing the mission effectiveness of military personnel and the supporting platforms, systems, components, or materials proposed to be acquired or developed by the DoD, or to improvement of platforms, systems, components, or materials in use by the Armed Forces.”
    So far, none of that sounds like an acquisition pathway for millions of novel medical products intended primarily for civilian use.

    Is There any Exception for Civilian Use of OTA That Might Apply to Covid mRNA Vaccines?

    The FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136) contained a section that gave Other Transaction Authority to “the head of an executive agency who engages in basic research, applied research, advanced research, and development projects” that “have the potential to facilitate defense against or recovery from terrorism or nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological attack.”

    This provision was extended until 2018, but does not appear to have been extended beyond that year. Also, note that even in this exceptional case of non-DoD use of OTA, the situation must involve terrorism or an attack with weapons of mass destruction (CBRN).

    What Other OTA Laws Might Apply?

    The 2019 CRS report cited above provides this chart, showing that a few non-DoD agencies have some OTA or related authorities:


    According to this table, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has some research and development (R&D) Other Transaction Authorities. The law pertaining to the OT Authority of HHS is 42 U.S.C. §247d-7e.

    Where is this law housed and what does it say?

    The Public Health and Welfare -> Public Health Service -> General Powers and Duties -> Federal-State Cooperation -> Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) -> Transaction Authorities

    So there is a place in the law related to civilian health and welfare where OTA might be applicable, although it is valid only for research and development, not prototypes or manufacturing.

    The law states that the BARDA secretary has OT Authority

    with respect to a product that is or may become a qualified countermeasure or a qualified pandemic or epidemic product, activities that predominantly—

    (i) are conducted after basic research and preclinical development of the product; and

    (ii) are related to manufacturing the product on a commercial scale and in a form that satisfies the regulatory requirements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act [21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.] or under section 262 of this title.

    [BOLDFACE ADDED]

    The “regulatory requirements” enumerated in the law mean that it would be impossible for BARDA/HHS to enter into agreements – even just R&D – for any medical products (like the mRNA vaccines) that did not undergo rigorous safety testing and strict manufacturing oversight.

    HHS “Partnership” with DoD Circumvented Civilian Protection Laws

    To summarize the predicament of Other Transaction Authority/Agreements with respect to civilian authorities, in general, and Covid mRNA vaccines, in particular:

    OTA was written and codified as a way for the military to acquire weapons and other necessary systems and equipment without a lot of bureaucratic red tape. It covers research and development, prototypes, and subsequent manufacturing.
    The only OTA for a public health agency is for the HHS and it only covers Research & Development, not prototypes or manufacturing.
    Even the R&D OTA given to the HHS still requires products to be manufactured “in a form that satisfies the regulatory requirements” for drug and vaccine safety.
    In other words: There is no way HHS could have used its very limited OTA to sign contracts for hundreds of millions of novel medical products.

    So what did HHS do?

    As the Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted in its July 2021 report on “Covid-19 Contracting:” HHS “partnered” with DoD to “leverage DoD’s OTA authorities…which HHS lacked.” (p. 24)

    What are DoD’s OT Authorities for Medical Products?

    As discussed, OTA is intended to help the military get equipment and technology without lots of bureaucratic hassle. None of the original laws pertaining to OTA mentioned anything other than “platforms, systems, components, or materials” intended to “enhance the mission effectiveness of military personnel.”

    But five years before Covid, an exceptional use of OTA was introduced:

    In 2015, DoD announced the establishment of the CBRN Medical Countermeasure Consortium, whose purpose was to use the OTA acquisition pathway to “work with DoD to develop FDA licensed chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear medical countermeasures.” [FDA = Food & Drug Administration]

    As described in the 2015 announcement, this included “prototype technologies for therapeutic medical countermeasures targeting viral, bacterial, and biological toxin targets of interest to the DoD.” The list of agents included the top biowarfare pathogens, such as anthrax, ebola, and marburg.

    The announcement went on to specify that “enabling technologies can include animal models of viral, bacterial or biological toxin disease and pathogenesis (multiple routes of exposure), assays, diagnostic technologies or other platform technologies that can be applied to development of approved or licensed MCMs [medical countermeasures].”

    Although this still does not sound anything like the production of 100 million novel vaccines for civilian use, it does provide more leeway for OTA than the very limited Other Transaction Authority given to HHS.

    While the HHS OTA requires adherence to extensive development and manufacturing regulations, the OTA pathway for the DoD to develop medical countermeasures requires only “FDA licensure.”

    Thus, using DoD Other Transaction Authorities, it would theoretically be possible to bypass any safety regulations – depending on the requirements for FDA licensing of an OTA-generated product. As we will see, in the case of the Covid mRNA vaccines, Emergency Use Authorization was granted, requiring no legal safety oversight at all.

    Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)

    Here’s how the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) describes its EUA powers:

    Section 564 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360bbb–3) allows FDA to strengthen public health protections against biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological agents.

    With this EUA authority, FDA can help ensure that medical countermeasures may be used in emergencies to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions caused by biological, chemical, nuclear, or radiological agents when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives (among other criteria).

    It’s extremely important to understand that these EUA powers were granted in 2004 under very specific circumstances related to preparedness for attacks by weapons of mass destruction, otherwise known as CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) agents.

    As explained in Harvard Law’s Bill of Health,

    Ultimately, it was the War on Terror that would give rise to emergency use authorization. After the events of September 11, 2001 and subsequent anthrax mail attacks, Congress enacted the Project Bioshield Act of 2004. The act called for billions of dollars in appropriations for purchasing vaccines in preparation for a bioterror attack, and for stockpiling of emergency countermeasures. To be able to act rapidly in an emergency, Congress allowed FDA to authorize formally unapproved products for emergency use against a threat to public health and safety (subject to a declaration of emergency by HHS). The record indicates that Congress was focused on the threat of bioterror specifically, not on preparing for a naturally-occurring pandemic.

    The wording of the EUA law underscores the fact that it was intended for use in situations involving weapons of mass destruction. Here are the 4 situations in which EUA can be issued:

    a determination by the Secretary of Homeland Security that there is a domestic emergency, or a significant potential for a domestic emergency, involving a heightened risk of attack with a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents;
    a determination by the Secretary of Defense that there is a military emergency, or a significant potential for a military emergency, involving a heightened risk to United States military forces, including personnel operating under the authority of Title 10 or Title 50, of attack with—
    a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents; or
    an agent or agents that may cause, or are otherwise associated with, an imminently life-threatening and specific risk to United States military forces;
    a determination by the Secretary that there is a public health emergency, or a significant potential for a public health emergency, that affects, or has a significant potential to affect, national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad, and that involves a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents, or a disease or condition that may be attributable to such agent or agents; or
    the identification of a material threat pursuant to section 319F–2 of the Public Health Service Act [42 U.S.C. 247d–6b] sufficient to affect national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad.
    Nowhere in these four situations is there any mention of a naturally occurring epidemic, pandemic, or any other kind of public health situation that is not caused by “biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear agent/s.”

    Could SARS-CoV-2 qualify as such an agent?

    If you look for the definition of “biological agents” in the US Legal Code, you will go down the following pathway:

    Crimes and Criminal Procedure -> Crimes -> Biological Weapons -> Definitions

    So in the context of United States law, the term “biological agents” means biological weapons, and the use of such agents/weapons is regarded as a crime.

    Wikipedia provides this definition:

    A biological agent (also called bio-agent, biological threat agent, biological warfare agent, biological weapon, or bioweapon) is a bacterium, virus, protozoan, parasite, fungus, or toxin that can be used purposefully as a weapon in bioterrorism or biological warfare (BW).

    On What Legal Basis was EUA Issued for Covid mRNA Vaccines?

    It would seem, based on the laws regarding EUA, that none of the four possible situations described in the law could be applied to a product intended to prevent or treat a disease caused by a naturally occurring pathogen.

    Nevertheless, this law was used to authorize the mRNA Covid vaccines.

    Given the four choices listed in the EUA law, the one that was used for Covid “countermeasures” was

    C) a determination by the Secretary that there is a public health emergency, or a significant potential for a public health emergency, that affects, or has a significant potential to affect, national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad, and that involves a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents, or a disease or condition that may be attributable to such agent or agents.

    When applied specifically to Covid, this is how it was worded:

    the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) determined that there is a public health emergency that has a significant potential to affect national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad, and that involves the virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)…

    There is no doubt here that “the virus that causes COVID-19” is deemed to be the equivalent of “a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents.”

    It is also important to note that the EUA “determination of a public health emergency” is completely separate from, and not in any way reliant on, any other public health emergency declarations, like the ones that were made by the WHO, the US government, and the President at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    So even when the WHO, the US government, and the President declare that the pandemic is over, there can still be Emergency Use Authorization if the HHS Secretary continues to claim that the situation described in section C) exists.

    Looking at all of the EUAs for hundreds of Covid-related medical products, it is very difficult to see how the HHS secretary could justify the claim that “there is a public health emergency that has a significant potential to affect national security or the health and security of US citizens living abroad” in most, if not all, of these cases.

    Additional “Statutory Criteria” for FDA to Grant Emergency Use Authorization

    Once the HHS Secretary declares that there is a public health emergency that warrants EUA, based on one of the four situations listed in the law, there are four more “statutory criteria” that have to be met in order for the FDA to issue the EUA. Here’s how the FDA explains these requirements:

    Serious or Life-Threatening Disease or Condition
    For FDA to issue an EUA, the CBRN agent(s) referred to in the HHS Secretary’s EUA declaration must be capable of causing a serious or life-threatening disease or condition.

    NOTE: This criterion repeats the specification of a CBRN agent, which is legally defined as a weapon used in committing a crime.

    Evidence of Effectiveness
    Medical products that may be considered for an EUA are those that “may be effective” to prevent, diagnose, or treat serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions that can be caused by a CBRN agent(s) identified in the HHS Secretary’s declaration of emergency or threat of emergency under section 564(b).

    The “may be effective” standard for EUAs provides for a lower level of evidence than the “effectiveness” standard that FDA uses for product approvals. FDA intends to assess the potential effectiveness of a possible EUA product on a case-by-case basis using a risk-benefit analysis, as explained below.

    [BOLDFACE ADDED]

    LEGAL QUESTION: How can anyone legally claim that a product authorized under EUA is “safe and effective” if the legal standard for EUA is “may be effective” and the FDA declares that this is a “lower level of evidence” than the standard used for regular product approvals?

    Risk-Benefit Analysis
    A product may be considered for an EUA if the Commissioner determines that the known and potential benefits of the product, when used to diagnose, prevent, or treat the identified disease or condition, outweigh the known and potential risks of the product.

    In determining whether the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks, FDA intends to look at the totality of the scientific evidence to make an overall risk-benefit determination. Such evidence, which could arise from a variety of sources, may include (but is not limited to): results of domestic and foreign clinical trials, in vivo efficacy data from animal models, and in vitro data, available for FDA consideration. FDA will also assess the quality and quantity of the available evidence, given the current state of scientific knowledge.

    [BOLDFACE ADDED]

    LEGAL NOTE: There is no legal standard and there are no legal definitions for what it means for “known and potential benefits” to outweigh “known and potential risks.” There is also no qualitative or quantitative legal definition for what constitutes acceptable “available evidence” upon which the risk-benefit analysis “may be” based. There could be zero actual evidence, but a belief that a product has a lot of potential benefit and not a lot of potential risk, and that would satisfy this “statutory requirement.”

    No Alternatives
    For FDA to issue an EUA, there must be no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the candidate product for diagnosing, preventing, or treating the disease or condition. A potential alternative product may be considered “unavailable” if there are insufficient supplies of the approved alternative to fully meet the emergency need.

    LEGAL QUERY: Aside from the egregious and potentially criminal vilification/outlawing of alternative Covid-19 treatments like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, at what point was there an approved alternative for “preventing Covid-19” (the only thing the mRNA vaccines were purchased to do) – Paxlovid, for instance – which would render an EUA for the mRNA vaccines no longer legal?

    Here’s how all of these “statutory criteria” were satisfied in the actual Emergency Use Authorization for the BioNTEch/Pfizer Covid mRNA vaccines:

    I have concluded that the emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 when administered as described in the Scope of Authorization (Section II) meets the criteria for issuance of an authorization under Section 564(c) of the Act, because:

    SARS-CoV-2 can cause a serious or life-threatening disease or condition, including severe respiratory illness, to humans infected by this virus;
    Based on the totality of scientific evidence available to FDA, it is reasonable to believe that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine may be effective in preventing COVID-19, and that, when used under the conditions described in this authorization, the known and potential benefits of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine when used to prevent COVID-19 outweigh its known and potential risks; and
    There is no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine to prevent COVID-19.
    [BOLDFACE ADDED]

    NOTE: The only context in which the FDA weighed the potential benefits and risks of the vaccine, and in which the FDA determined it “may be effective” was in preventing Covid-19.

    There is no consideration, no evidence of actual or potential benefit, and no determination that there is any potential effectiveness for the vaccine to do anything else, including: lowering the risk of severe disease, lowering the risk of hospitalization, lowering the risk of death, lowering the risk of any conditions actually or potentially related to Covid-19.

    THEREFORE, one might reasonably question the legality of any claims that the vaccine is “safe and effective” in the context of anything other than “when used to prevent COVID-19” – which the vaccines were known NOT TO DO very soon after they were introduced.

    If people were told the BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA vaccines were “safe and effective” at anything other than preventing Covid-19, and if they were threatened with any consequences for failure to take the vaccine for anything other than preventing Covid-19, might they have a legitimate argument that they were illegally coerced into taking an unapproved product under fraudulent claims?

    Third-Tier Requirements for EUA for Unapproved Products

    Once we have the EUA-specific emergency declaration, and once the FDA declares that the product may be effective and that whatever evidence is available (from zero to infinity) shows that its benefits outweigh its risks (as determined by whatever the FDA thinks those might be), there is one more layer of non-safety, non-efficacy related regulation.

    Here’s how a 2018 Congressional Research Service report on EUA explains this:

    FFDCA §564 directs FDA to impose certain required conditions in an EUA and allows for additional discretionary conditions where appropriate. The required conditions vary depending upon whether the EUA is for an unapproved product or for an unapproved use of an approved product. For an unapproved product, the conditions of use must:

    (1) ensure that health care professionals administering the product receive required information;

    (2) ensure that individuals to whom the product is administered receive required information;

    (3) provide for the monitoring and reporting of adverse events associated with the product; and

    (4) provide for record-keeping and reporting by the manufacturer.

    LEGAL QUESTION: What exactly is the “required information?” We know that people were informed that the vaccines were given Emergency Use Authorization. But were they told that this means “a lower level of evidence” than is required for “safe and effective” claims on other medical products? Were they informed that there are different levels of “safe and effective” depending on whether a product has EUA or another type of authorization?

    NOTE: The law requires that there be a way to monitor and report adverse events. However, it does not state who monitors, what the standards are for reporting, and what the threshold is for taking action based on the reports.

    EUA Compared to Every Other Drug/Vaccines Approval Pathway

    As researcher/writer Sasha Latypova has pointed out, many people were confused by EUA, because it sounds a lot like EAU, which stands for “Expanded Access Use.” This is a type of authorization given to medical products when there is urgent need by a particular group of patients (e.g., Stage IV cancer patients whose life expectancy is measured in months) who are willing to risk adverse events and even death in exchange for access to an experimental treatment.

    Emergency Use Authorization is in no way related to, nor does it bear any resemblance to, Expanded Access Use.

    The various legal pathways for authorizing medical products are neatly presented in a table highlighted by legal researcher Katherine Watt. The table is part of a 2020 presentation for an FDA-CDC Joint Learning Session: Regulatory Updates on Use of Medical Countermeasures.


    Comparison of Access Mechanisms
    This table shows very clearly that the EUA process is unlikely to provide information regarding product effectiveness, is not designed to provide evidence of safety, is not likely to provide useful information to benefit future patients, involves no systematic data collection, requires no retrospective studies, no informed consent, and no institutional review board.

    Moreover, in a 2009 Institute of Medicine of the National Academic publication, also highlighted by Watt, entitled “Medical Countermeasures: Dispensing Emergency Use Authorization and the Postal Model – Workshop Summary” we find this statement on p. 28:

    It is important to recognize that an EUA is not part of the development pathway; it is an entirely separate entity that is used only during emergency situations and is not part of the drug approval process.

    Does this mean that approvals of Covid-19 countermeasures that were based on EUAs were illegal? Does it mean that there is no legal way to claim an EUA product is “safe and effective” because it is NOT PART OF THE DRUG APPROVAL PROCESS?

    Conclusion

    It is eminently apparent, given all the information in this article, and in the preceding Part 1, that the BioNTach/Pfizer Covid mRNA vaccines were developed, manufactured, and authorized under military laws reserved for emergency situations involving biological warfare/terrorism, not naturally occurring diseases affecting the entire civilian population.

    Therefore, the adherence to regulations and oversight that we expect to find when a product is deemed “safe and effective” for the entire civilian population was not legally required.

    Can this analysis be used to challenge the legality of the “safe and effective” claim by those government officials who knew what EUA entailed? Are there other legal ramifications?

    I hope so.

    Importantly, in legal challenges to Covid mRNA vaccines brought so far, there have been no rulings (that I am aware of) on whether military law, like OTA and EUA, can be applied to civilian situations. However, there has been a statement by District Court Judge Michael Truncale, in his dismissal of the case of whistleblower Brook Jackson v. Ventavia and Pfizer, that is important to keep in mind.

    Here the judge acknowledges that the agreement for the BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA vaccines was a military OTA, but he refuses to rule on its applicability to the non-military circumstances (naturally occurring disease, 100 million doses mostly not for military use) under which it was issued:

    The fact that both military personnel and civilians received the vaccine does not indicate that acquiring the vaccine was irrelevant to enhancing the military’s mission effectiveness. More importantly, Ms. Jackson is in effect asking this Court to overrule the DoD’s decision to exercise Other Transaction Authority to purchase Pfizer’s vaccine. But as the United States Supreme Court has long emphasized, the “complex subtle, and professional decisions as to the composition, training, equipping, and control of a military force are essentially professional military judgments.” Gilligan v. Morgan, 413 U.S. 1, 10 (1973). Thus, it is “difficult to conceive of an area of governmental activity in which the courts have less competence.” Id. This Court will not veto the DoD’s judgments concerning mission effectiveness during a national emergency.

    This is just one of many legal hurdles that remain in the battle to ultimately outlaw all mRNA products approved during the Covid-19 emergency, and any subsequent mRNA products whose approval was based on the Covid-19 approval process.

    Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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    Author

    Debbie Lerman, 2023 Brownstone Fellow, has a degree in English from Harvard. She is a retired science writer and a practicing artist in Philadelphia, PA.

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    https://brownstone.org/articles/covid-mrna-vaccines-required-no-safety-oversight-part-two/
    Covid mRNA Vaccines Required No Safety Oversight: Part Two Debbie Lerman In part one of this article, I reviewed the contractual and regulatory framework applied by the US government to the initial development, manufacture, and acquisition of the Covid mRNA shots, using the BioNTech/Pfizer agreements to illustrate the process. I showed that Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) was granted to these products based on clinical trials and manufacturing processes conducted with no binding legal standards, no legally proscribed safety oversight or regulation, and no legal redress from the manufacturer for potential harms. In this follow-up article, I will provide a detailed analysis of the underlying documentation. Other Transaction Authority/Agreement (OTA): A Military Acquisition Pathway The agreement between the US government, represented by the Department of Defense (DoD), and Pfizer, representing the BioNTech/Pfizer partnership, in July 2020, for the purchase of a “vaccine to prevent COVID-19” was not an ordinary acquisition contract. It was an agreement under Other Transaction Authority (OTA) – an acquisition pathway that, according to Department of Defense guidelines, has been used since 1958 to “permit a federal agency to enter into transactions other than contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements.” [BOLDFACE ADDED] A thorough review of the use of OTA by the DoD, including its statutory history, can be found in the February 22, 2019 Congressional Research Service report. This report, along with every other discussion of OTA, specifies that it is an alternative acquisition path for defense and military purposes. It is not intended, nor has it ever been used before Covid, for anything intended primarily for civilian use. If you look for OTA laws in the US Code, this is the path you will go down: Armed Forces -> General Military Law -> Acquisition -> Research and Engineering -> Agreements -> Authority of the DoD to carry out certain prototype projects This legal pathway very clearly shows that OTA laws are intended for acquisition of research and engineering prototypes for the armed forces. According to the DARPA website, The Department of Defense has authority for three different types of OTs: (1) research OTs, (2) prototype OTs, and (3) production OTs. These three types of OTs represent three stages of initial research, development of a prototype, and eventual production. Within those three types, there are specific categories of projects to which OTA can apply: Originally, according to the OTA Overview provided by the DoD, the Other Transaction Authority was “limited to apply to weapons or weapon systems proposed to be acquired or developed by the DoD.” OTA was later expanded to include “any prototype project directly related to enhancing the mission effectiveness of military personnel and the supporting platforms, systems, components, or materials proposed to be acquired or developed by the DoD, or to improvement of platforms, systems, components, or materials in use by the Armed Forces.” So far, none of that sounds like an acquisition pathway for millions of novel medical products intended primarily for civilian use. Is There any Exception for Civilian Use of OTA That Might Apply to Covid mRNA Vaccines? The FY2004 National Defense Authorization Act (P.L. 108-136) contained a section that gave Other Transaction Authority to “the head of an executive agency who engages in basic research, applied research, advanced research, and development projects” that “have the potential to facilitate defense against or recovery from terrorism or nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological attack.” This provision was extended until 2018, but does not appear to have been extended beyond that year. Also, note that even in this exceptional case of non-DoD use of OTA, the situation must involve terrorism or an attack with weapons of mass destruction (CBRN). What Other OTA Laws Might Apply? The 2019 CRS report cited above provides this chart, showing that a few non-DoD agencies have some OTA or related authorities: According to this table, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has some research and development (R&D) Other Transaction Authorities. The law pertaining to the OT Authority of HHS is 42 U.S.C. §247d-7e. Where is this law housed and what does it say? The Public Health and Welfare -> Public Health Service -> General Powers and Duties -> Federal-State Cooperation -> Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) -> Transaction Authorities So there is a place in the law related to civilian health and welfare where OTA might be applicable, although it is valid only for research and development, not prototypes or manufacturing. The law states that the BARDA secretary has OT Authority with respect to a product that is or may become a qualified countermeasure or a qualified pandemic or epidemic product, activities that predominantly— (i) are conducted after basic research and preclinical development of the product; and (ii) are related to manufacturing the product on a commercial scale and in a form that satisfies the regulatory requirements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act [21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.] or under section 262 of this title. [BOLDFACE ADDED] The “regulatory requirements” enumerated in the law mean that it would be impossible for BARDA/HHS to enter into agreements – even just R&D – for any medical products (like the mRNA vaccines) that did not undergo rigorous safety testing and strict manufacturing oversight. HHS “Partnership” with DoD Circumvented Civilian Protection Laws To summarize the predicament of Other Transaction Authority/Agreements with respect to civilian authorities, in general, and Covid mRNA vaccines, in particular: OTA was written and codified as a way for the military to acquire weapons and other necessary systems and equipment without a lot of bureaucratic red tape. It covers research and development, prototypes, and subsequent manufacturing. The only OTA for a public health agency is for the HHS and it only covers Research & Development, not prototypes or manufacturing. Even the R&D OTA given to the HHS still requires products to be manufactured “in a form that satisfies the regulatory requirements” for drug and vaccine safety. In other words: There is no way HHS could have used its very limited OTA to sign contracts for hundreds of millions of novel medical products. So what did HHS do? As the Government Accountability Office (GAO) noted in its July 2021 report on “Covid-19 Contracting:” HHS “partnered” with DoD to “leverage DoD’s OTA authorities…which HHS lacked.” (p. 24) What are DoD’s OT Authorities for Medical Products? As discussed, OTA is intended to help the military get equipment and technology without lots of bureaucratic hassle. None of the original laws pertaining to OTA mentioned anything other than “platforms, systems, components, or materials” intended to “enhance the mission effectiveness of military personnel.” But five years before Covid, an exceptional use of OTA was introduced: In 2015, DoD announced the establishment of the CBRN Medical Countermeasure Consortium, whose purpose was to use the OTA acquisition pathway to “work with DoD to develop FDA licensed chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear medical countermeasures.” [FDA = Food & Drug Administration] As described in the 2015 announcement, this included “prototype technologies for therapeutic medical countermeasures targeting viral, bacterial, and biological toxin targets of interest to the DoD.” The list of agents included the top biowarfare pathogens, such as anthrax, ebola, and marburg. The announcement went on to specify that “enabling technologies can include animal models of viral, bacterial or biological toxin disease and pathogenesis (multiple routes of exposure), assays, diagnostic technologies or other platform technologies that can be applied to development of approved or licensed MCMs [medical countermeasures].” Although this still does not sound anything like the production of 100 million novel vaccines for civilian use, it does provide more leeway for OTA than the very limited Other Transaction Authority given to HHS. While the HHS OTA requires adherence to extensive development and manufacturing regulations, the OTA pathway for the DoD to develop medical countermeasures requires only “FDA licensure.” Thus, using DoD Other Transaction Authorities, it would theoretically be possible to bypass any safety regulations – depending on the requirements for FDA licensing of an OTA-generated product. As we will see, in the case of the Covid mRNA vaccines, Emergency Use Authorization was granted, requiring no legal safety oversight at all. Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Here’s how the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) describes its EUA powers: Section 564 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 360bbb–3) allows FDA to strengthen public health protections against biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological agents. With this EUA authority, FDA can help ensure that medical countermeasures may be used in emergencies to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions caused by biological, chemical, nuclear, or radiological agents when there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives (among other criteria). It’s extremely important to understand that these EUA powers were granted in 2004 under very specific circumstances related to preparedness for attacks by weapons of mass destruction, otherwise known as CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) agents. As explained in Harvard Law’s Bill of Health, Ultimately, it was the War on Terror that would give rise to emergency use authorization. After the events of September 11, 2001 and subsequent anthrax mail attacks, Congress enacted the Project Bioshield Act of 2004. The act called for billions of dollars in appropriations for purchasing vaccines in preparation for a bioterror attack, and for stockpiling of emergency countermeasures. To be able to act rapidly in an emergency, Congress allowed FDA to authorize formally unapproved products for emergency use against a threat to public health and safety (subject to a declaration of emergency by HHS). The record indicates that Congress was focused on the threat of bioterror specifically, not on preparing for a naturally-occurring pandemic. The wording of the EUA law underscores the fact that it was intended for use in situations involving weapons of mass destruction. Here are the 4 situations in which EUA can be issued: a determination by the Secretary of Homeland Security that there is a domestic emergency, or a significant potential for a domestic emergency, involving a heightened risk of attack with a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents; a determination by the Secretary of Defense that there is a military emergency, or a significant potential for a military emergency, involving a heightened risk to United States military forces, including personnel operating under the authority of Title 10 or Title 50, of attack with— a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents; or an agent or agents that may cause, or are otherwise associated with, an imminently life-threatening and specific risk to United States military forces; a determination by the Secretary that there is a public health emergency, or a significant potential for a public health emergency, that affects, or has a significant potential to affect, national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad, and that involves a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents, or a disease or condition that may be attributable to such agent or agents; or the identification of a material threat pursuant to section 319F–2 of the Public Health Service Act [42 U.S.C. 247d–6b] sufficient to affect national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad. Nowhere in these four situations is there any mention of a naturally occurring epidemic, pandemic, or any other kind of public health situation that is not caused by “biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear agent/s.” Could SARS-CoV-2 qualify as such an agent? If you look for the definition of “biological agents” in the US Legal Code, you will go down the following pathway: Crimes and Criminal Procedure -> Crimes -> Biological Weapons -> Definitions So in the context of United States law, the term “biological agents” means biological weapons, and the use of such agents/weapons is regarded as a crime. Wikipedia provides this definition: A biological agent (also called bio-agent, biological threat agent, biological warfare agent, biological weapon, or bioweapon) is a bacterium, virus, protozoan, parasite, fungus, or toxin that can be used purposefully as a weapon in bioterrorism or biological warfare (BW). On What Legal Basis was EUA Issued for Covid mRNA Vaccines? It would seem, based on the laws regarding EUA, that none of the four possible situations described in the law could be applied to a product intended to prevent or treat a disease caused by a naturally occurring pathogen. Nevertheless, this law was used to authorize the mRNA Covid vaccines. Given the four choices listed in the EUA law, the one that was used for Covid “countermeasures” was C) a determination by the Secretary that there is a public health emergency, or a significant potential for a public health emergency, that affects, or has a significant potential to affect, national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad, and that involves a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents, or a disease or condition that may be attributable to such agent or agents. When applied specifically to Covid, this is how it was worded: the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) determined that there is a public health emergency that has a significant potential to affect national security or the health and security of United States citizens living abroad, and that involves the virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)… There is no doubt here that “the virus that causes COVID-19” is deemed to be the equivalent of “a biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear agent or agents.” It is also important to note that the EUA “determination of a public health emergency” is completely separate from, and not in any way reliant on, any other public health emergency declarations, like the ones that were made by the WHO, the US government, and the President at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. So even when the WHO, the US government, and the President declare that the pandemic is over, there can still be Emergency Use Authorization if the HHS Secretary continues to claim that the situation described in section C) exists. Looking at all of the EUAs for hundreds of Covid-related medical products, it is very difficult to see how the HHS secretary could justify the claim that “there is a public health emergency that has a significant potential to affect national security or the health and security of US citizens living abroad” in most, if not all, of these cases. Additional “Statutory Criteria” for FDA to Grant Emergency Use Authorization Once the HHS Secretary declares that there is a public health emergency that warrants EUA, based on one of the four situations listed in the law, there are four more “statutory criteria” that have to be met in order for the FDA to issue the EUA. Here’s how the FDA explains these requirements: Serious or Life-Threatening Disease or Condition For FDA to issue an EUA, the CBRN agent(s) referred to in the HHS Secretary’s EUA declaration must be capable of causing a serious or life-threatening disease or condition. NOTE: This criterion repeats the specification of a CBRN agent, which is legally defined as a weapon used in committing a crime. Evidence of Effectiveness Medical products that may be considered for an EUA are those that “may be effective” to prevent, diagnose, or treat serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions that can be caused by a CBRN agent(s) identified in the HHS Secretary’s declaration of emergency or threat of emergency under section 564(b). The “may be effective” standard for EUAs provides for a lower level of evidence than the “effectiveness” standard that FDA uses for product approvals. FDA intends to assess the potential effectiveness of a possible EUA product on a case-by-case basis using a risk-benefit analysis, as explained below. [BOLDFACE ADDED] LEGAL QUESTION: How can anyone legally claim that a product authorized under EUA is “safe and effective” if the legal standard for EUA is “may be effective” and the FDA declares that this is a “lower level of evidence” than the standard used for regular product approvals? Risk-Benefit Analysis A product may be considered for an EUA if the Commissioner determines that the known and potential benefits of the product, when used to diagnose, prevent, or treat the identified disease or condition, outweigh the known and potential risks of the product. In determining whether the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks, FDA intends to look at the totality of the scientific evidence to make an overall risk-benefit determination. Such evidence, which could arise from a variety of sources, may include (but is not limited to): results of domestic and foreign clinical trials, in vivo efficacy data from animal models, and in vitro data, available for FDA consideration. FDA will also assess the quality and quantity of the available evidence, given the current state of scientific knowledge. [BOLDFACE ADDED] LEGAL NOTE: There is no legal standard and there are no legal definitions for what it means for “known and potential benefits” to outweigh “known and potential risks.” There is also no qualitative or quantitative legal definition for what constitutes acceptable “available evidence” upon which the risk-benefit analysis “may be” based. There could be zero actual evidence, but a belief that a product has a lot of potential benefit and not a lot of potential risk, and that would satisfy this “statutory requirement.” No Alternatives For FDA to issue an EUA, there must be no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the candidate product for diagnosing, preventing, or treating the disease or condition. A potential alternative product may be considered “unavailable” if there are insufficient supplies of the approved alternative to fully meet the emergency need. LEGAL QUERY: Aside from the egregious and potentially criminal vilification/outlawing of alternative Covid-19 treatments like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, at what point was there an approved alternative for “preventing Covid-19” (the only thing the mRNA vaccines were purchased to do) – Paxlovid, for instance – which would render an EUA for the mRNA vaccines no longer legal? Here’s how all of these “statutory criteria” were satisfied in the actual Emergency Use Authorization for the BioNTEch/Pfizer Covid mRNA vaccines: I have concluded that the emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 when administered as described in the Scope of Authorization (Section II) meets the criteria for issuance of an authorization under Section 564(c) of the Act, because: SARS-CoV-2 can cause a serious or life-threatening disease or condition, including severe respiratory illness, to humans infected by this virus; Based on the totality of scientific evidence available to FDA, it is reasonable to believe that Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine may be effective in preventing COVID-19, and that, when used under the conditions described in this authorization, the known and potential benefits of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine when used to prevent COVID-19 outweigh its known and potential risks; and There is no adequate, approved, and available alternative to the emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine to prevent COVID-19. [BOLDFACE ADDED] NOTE: The only context in which the FDA weighed the potential benefits and risks of the vaccine, and in which the FDA determined it “may be effective” was in preventing Covid-19. There is no consideration, no evidence of actual or potential benefit, and no determination that there is any potential effectiveness for the vaccine to do anything else, including: lowering the risk of severe disease, lowering the risk of hospitalization, lowering the risk of death, lowering the risk of any conditions actually or potentially related to Covid-19. THEREFORE, one might reasonably question the legality of any claims that the vaccine is “safe and effective” in the context of anything other than “when used to prevent COVID-19” – which the vaccines were known NOT TO DO very soon after they were introduced. If people were told the BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA vaccines were “safe and effective” at anything other than preventing Covid-19, and if they were threatened with any consequences for failure to take the vaccine for anything other than preventing Covid-19, might they have a legitimate argument that they were illegally coerced into taking an unapproved product under fraudulent claims? Third-Tier Requirements for EUA for Unapproved Products Once we have the EUA-specific emergency declaration, and once the FDA declares that the product may be effective and that whatever evidence is available (from zero to infinity) shows that its benefits outweigh its risks (as determined by whatever the FDA thinks those might be), there is one more layer of non-safety, non-efficacy related regulation. Here’s how a 2018 Congressional Research Service report on EUA explains this: FFDCA §564 directs FDA to impose certain required conditions in an EUA and allows for additional discretionary conditions where appropriate. The required conditions vary depending upon whether the EUA is for an unapproved product or for an unapproved use of an approved product. For an unapproved product, the conditions of use must: (1) ensure that health care professionals administering the product receive required information; (2) ensure that individuals to whom the product is administered receive required information; (3) provide for the monitoring and reporting of adverse events associated with the product; and (4) provide for record-keeping and reporting by the manufacturer. LEGAL QUESTION: What exactly is the “required information?” We know that people were informed that the vaccines were given Emergency Use Authorization. But were they told that this means “a lower level of evidence” than is required for “safe and effective” claims on other medical products? Were they informed that there are different levels of “safe and effective” depending on whether a product has EUA or another type of authorization? NOTE: The law requires that there be a way to monitor and report adverse events. However, it does not state who monitors, what the standards are for reporting, and what the threshold is for taking action based on the reports. EUA Compared to Every Other Drug/Vaccines Approval Pathway As researcher/writer Sasha Latypova has pointed out, many people were confused by EUA, because it sounds a lot like EAU, which stands for “Expanded Access Use.” This is a type of authorization given to medical products when there is urgent need by a particular group of patients (e.g., Stage IV cancer patients whose life expectancy is measured in months) who are willing to risk adverse events and even death in exchange for access to an experimental treatment. Emergency Use Authorization is in no way related to, nor does it bear any resemblance to, Expanded Access Use. The various legal pathways for authorizing medical products are neatly presented in a table highlighted by legal researcher Katherine Watt. The table is part of a 2020 presentation for an FDA-CDC Joint Learning Session: Regulatory Updates on Use of Medical Countermeasures. Comparison of Access Mechanisms This table shows very clearly that the EUA process is unlikely to provide information regarding product effectiveness, is not designed to provide evidence of safety, is not likely to provide useful information to benefit future patients, involves no systematic data collection, requires no retrospective studies, no informed consent, and no institutional review board. Moreover, in a 2009 Institute of Medicine of the National Academic publication, also highlighted by Watt, entitled “Medical Countermeasures: Dispensing Emergency Use Authorization and the Postal Model – Workshop Summary” we find this statement on p. 28: It is important to recognize that an EUA is not part of the development pathway; it is an entirely separate entity that is used only during emergency situations and is not part of the drug approval process. Does this mean that approvals of Covid-19 countermeasures that were based on EUAs were illegal? Does it mean that there is no legal way to claim an EUA product is “safe and effective” because it is NOT PART OF THE DRUG APPROVAL PROCESS? Conclusion It is eminently apparent, given all the information in this article, and in the preceding Part 1, that the BioNTach/Pfizer Covid mRNA vaccines were developed, manufactured, and authorized under military laws reserved for emergency situations involving biological warfare/terrorism, not naturally occurring diseases affecting the entire civilian population. Therefore, the adherence to regulations and oversight that we expect to find when a product is deemed “safe and effective” for the entire civilian population was not legally required. Can this analysis be used to challenge the legality of the “safe and effective” claim by those government officials who knew what EUA entailed? Are there other legal ramifications? I hope so. Importantly, in legal challenges to Covid mRNA vaccines brought so far, there have been no rulings (that I am aware of) on whether military law, like OTA and EUA, can be applied to civilian situations. However, there has been a statement by District Court Judge Michael Truncale, in his dismissal of the case of whistleblower Brook Jackson v. Ventavia and Pfizer, that is important to keep in mind. Here the judge acknowledges that the agreement for the BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA vaccines was a military OTA, but he refuses to rule on its applicability to the non-military circumstances (naturally occurring disease, 100 million doses mostly not for military use) under which it was issued: The fact that both military personnel and civilians received the vaccine does not indicate that acquiring the vaccine was irrelevant to enhancing the military’s mission effectiveness. More importantly, Ms. Jackson is in effect asking this Court to overrule the DoD’s decision to exercise Other Transaction Authority to purchase Pfizer’s vaccine. But as the United States Supreme Court has long emphasized, the “complex subtle, and professional decisions as to the composition, training, equipping, and control of a military force are essentially professional military judgments.” Gilligan v. Morgan, 413 U.S. 1, 10 (1973). Thus, it is “difficult to conceive of an area of governmental activity in which the courts have less competence.” Id. This Court will not veto the DoD’s judgments concerning mission effectiveness during a national emergency. This is just one of many legal hurdles that remain in the battle to ultimately outlaw all mRNA products approved during the Covid-19 emergency, and any subsequent mRNA products whose approval was based on the Covid-19 approval process. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License For reprints, please set the canonical link back to the original Brownstone Institute Article and Author. Author Debbie Lerman, 2023 Brownstone Fellow, has a degree in English from Harvard. She is a retired science writer and a practicing artist in Philadelphia, PA. View all posts Your financial backing of Brownstone Institute goes to support writers, lawyers, scientists, economists, and other people of courage who have been professionally purged and displaced during the upheaval of our times. You can help get the truth out through their ongoing work. https://brownstone.org/articles/covid-mrna-vaccines-required-no-safety-oversight-part-two/
    BROWNSTONE.ORG
    Covid mRNA Vaccines Required No Safety Oversight: Part Two ⋆ Brownstone Institute
    It is eminently apparent, given all the information in this article, and in the preceding Part 1, that the BioNTach/Pfizer Covid mRNA vaccines were developed, manufactured, and authorized under military laws reserved for emergency situations involving biological warfare/terrorism, not naturally occurring diseases affecting the entire civilian population.
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  • Fact Check: Is the Damon Imani Klaus Schwab video real? Viral 2024 WEF footage debunked
    Deeksha
    Modified Jan 17, 2024 16:15 GMT

    follow icon Follow Us
    A video circulating on the internet featuring Damon Imani allegedly hurling abuses at Klaus Schwab during the 2024 Davos Meeting, has sparked curiosity among netizens. The video claims that a 'New WEF participant does the unthinkable at 2024 Davos Meeting.' However, it is worth noting that the video is satire and the incident did not occur in reality.


    Expand Tweet

    For those unaware, Imani is an Iranian producer and artist based in Denmark. Specializing in creating video content covering a range of topics, including societal issues, news, and current events, Imani is known for his satirical approach.

    The video of Damon Imani came at a time when the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting held in 2024 brought together nearly 3,000 global leaders from over 125 countries to discuss the challenges and crises the world faces.

    During the first plenary of the Annual Meeting, Klaus Schwab, the Founder and Executive Chairman of WEF, highlighted the need to rebuild trust in each other. Despite the geographical interconnectedness, Schwab noted that the world is currently more divided and fragmented.

    The Damon Imani-Klaus Schwab video is not real

    The video in question is an edited one shared by Imani. He even posted on X in which he said,

    "Satire but true. This video is also available on Rumble here and Klaus Schwab can go f himself."
    As social media users came across this viral video, some of them jokingly wished that it had really happened.


    Expand Tweet

    Imani's content gained traction between 2016 and 2020 as he garnered attention from social media users on both sides of the political spectrum as well as prominent figures like Donald Trump, Joe Rogan, Alex Jones, and Elon Musk. His work has even been featured in major media outlets such as USA Today, InfoWars, The Associated Press, and BPR Politics And Business.

    This video came to light after the WEF 2024 meeting in which WEF President Borge Brende emphasized the complexity of the security landscape and the fragility of the global economy.

    Brende also said,

    "We have nearly 3,000 participants from more than 125 countries here at the 54th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum. We are seeing a very complicated security landscape and a very fragile global economy. The most urgent issues faced by companies and countries including on security, climate and cyberspace are not limited by borders. They do travel without passports."
    Despite challenges, Brende seemed optimistic about cooperation among nations and companies. He looked forward to progress in addressing these pressing issues during the Davos meeting.


    Fact Check: Is the Damon Imani Klaus Schwab video real? Viral 2024 WEF footage debunked
    https://www.sportskeeda.com/pop-culture/news-fact-check-is-damon-imani-klaus-schwab-video-real-viral-2024-wef-footage-debunked
    Fact Check: Is the Damon Imani Klaus Schwab video real? Viral 2024 WEF footage debunked Deeksha Modified Jan 17, 2024 16:15 GMT follow icon Follow Us A video circulating on the internet featuring Damon Imani allegedly hurling abuses at Klaus Schwab during the 2024 Davos Meeting, has sparked curiosity among netizens. The video claims that a 'New WEF participant does the unthinkable at 2024 Davos Meeting.' However, it is worth noting that the video is satire and the incident did not occur in reality. Expand Tweet For those unaware, Imani is an Iranian producer and artist based in Denmark. Specializing in creating video content covering a range of topics, including societal issues, news, and current events, Imani is known for his satirical approach. The video of Damon Imani came at a time when the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting held in 2024 brought together nearly 3,000 global leaders from over 125 countries to discuss the challenges and crises the world faces. During the first plenary of the Annual Meeting, Klaus Schwab, the Founder and Executive Chairman of WEF, highlighted the need to rebuild trust in each other. Despite the geographical interconnectedness, Schwab noted that the world is currently more divided and fragmented. The Damon Imani-Klaus Schwab video is not real The video in question is an edited one shared by Imani. He even posted on X in which he said, "Satire but true. This video is also available on Rumble here and Klaus Schwab can go f himself." As social media users came across this viral video, some of them jokingly wished that it had really happened. Expand Tweet Imani's content gained traction between 2016 and 2020 as he garnered attention from social media users on both sides of the political spectrum as well as prominent figures like Donald Trump, Joe Rogan, Alex Jones, and Elon Musk. His work has even been featured in major media outlets such as USA Today, InfoWars, The Associated Press, and BPR Politics And Business. This video came to light after the WEF 2024 meeting in which WEF President Borge Brende emphasized the complexity of the security landscape and the fragility of the global economy. Brende also said, "We have nearly 3,000 participants from more than 125 countries here at the 54th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum. We are seeing a very complicated security landscape and a very fragile global economy. The most urgent issues faced by companies and countries including on security, climate and cyberspace are not limited by borders. They do travel without passports." Despite challenges, Brende seemed optimistic about cooperation among nations and companies. He looked forward to progress in addressing these pressing issues during the Davos meeting. Fact Check: Is the Damon Imani Klaus Schwab video real? Viral 2024 WEF footage debunked https://www.sportskeeda.com/pop-culture/news-fact-check-is-damon-imani-klaus-schwab-video-real-viral-2024-wef-footage-debunked
    WWW.SPORTSKEEDA.COM
    Fact Check: Is the Damon Imani-Klaus Schwab video real? Viral 2024 WEF footage debunked
    A video circulating on the internet featuring Damon Imani allegedly hurling abuses at Klaus Schwab during the 2024 Davos Meeting, has sparked curiosity among netizens.
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  • The Cyber Threat Intelligence League
    Claudio RestaJanuary 18, 2024

    VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel

    $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts
    Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State.

    There is a vast plan for global censorship by US and British military contractors:



    US military contractor Pablo Breuer (left), UK defense researcher Sara-Jayne “SJ” Terp (center), and Chris Krebs, former director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (DHS-CISA)

    – Documents received by investigative journalists Michael Shellenberger, Alex Gutentag and Matt Taibbi from an anonymous but “highly credible” whistleblower reveal new details about how the US censorship industrial complex – a network of more than 100 government agencies, private companies, universities and organizations non-profit – seeks to control and criminalize “wrong thinking”.
    – The documents describe how modern digital censorship programs were created and the various roles of the military, US intelligence agencies, civil society organizations and commercial media.
    They also describe the methods and techniques used, such as the creation and use of “sock puppet” accounts to spy on and direct online discussions and propagate desired narratives, and the discrediting of dissidents “as a necessary prerequisite for requiring censorship in their comparisons.”
    – Documents show that the weaponization of the financial sector originated with the Cyber Threat Intelligence League (CTIL), which specifically sought to get banks to “cut off financial services to individuals organizing gatherings or events.”
    – CTIL files also show that there was a clear intent to circumvent the First Amendment by outsourcing censorship to the private, non-governmental sector. According to the informant, “the ethic was that if we get away with it, it’s legal.”

    Documents received by investigative journalists Michael Shellenberger, Alex Gutentag and Matt Taibbi from an anonymous but “highly credible” whistleblower reveal new details about how the US censorship industrial complex – a network of more than 100 government agencies, private companies, universities and non-profit organizations – regulates and criminalizes “wrong thinking”.


    as Ursula Van der Leyen, the president of European Commission since 2019,

    stated at the WEF in Davos on January 17th, 2023 similar censorship are the most urgent and necessary policies (!) and will be implemented everywhere

    They describe the activities of an “anti-disinformation” group called the Cyber Threat Intelligence League, or CTIL, which officially began as a volunteer project of data scientists and defense and intelligence veterans, but whose tactics over time appear to have been absorbed into multiple official projects, including those of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

    The CTI League documents provide missing answers to key questions not addressed in the Twitter Files and Facebook Files. Together, they offer a complete picture of the rise of the “anti-disinformation” industry, or what we have called the Censorship Industrial Complex.”

    The documents describe how modern digital censorship programs were created and the various roles of the military, US intelligence agencies, civil society organizations and commercial media.

    They also describe the methods and techniques used, such as the creation and use of “sock puppet” accounts to spy on and direct online discussions and propagate desired narratives, the discrediting of dissidents, and the deliberate weaponization of the financial industry against them .

    According to the whistleblower, the CTIL was also involved in the creation of a counter-disinformation project to “avoid a repeat of 2016”, a reference to Brexit and Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the elections, two situations in which the democratic processes have actually won.

    As Jimmy Dore noted, it wasn’t about preventing the circulation of false information.

    It was about ensuring that no political outsider could ever enter the Oval Office again.

    The instruction to prevent a repeat of 2016 was a direct call to undermine, if not eliminate, the process of free and fair elections.

    Importantly, the documents admit that censorship efforts against Americans must be carried out by private sector partners, because the government does not have “legal authority” to do so.

    The new series of documents and videos reveals that 2019 was a pivotal year for the censorship industrial complex. According to Public, it was then that “US and British military and intelligence contractors, led by a former British defense researcher, Sara-Jayne ‘SJ’ Terp, developed the blanket censorship framework.”



    These contractors became co-leaders of CTIL, whose original founders were a former Israeli intelligence official, Ohad Zaidenberg, the person responsible of Microsoft security Nate Warfield, Chris Mills, another Microsoft security official, and Marc Rogers, the head of security operations at the hacker convention DEF CON.

    According to media reports , these highly trained and in-demand professionals have made the altruistic decision to offer their services to help billion-dollar hospitals with their cybersecurity, for free and with no strings attached. It wasn’t a believable cover story then, and it certainly hasn’t gotten any better.

    Within a month of CTIL’s founding in March 2020, this supposedly entirely volunteer group had grown to 1,400 “invitation-only” members in 76 countries and entered into an official partnership with Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency (CISA) of the United States Department of Homeland Security. As reported by Public:

    Parallel censorship agencies

    In spring 2020, CISA also created the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) – a consortium composed of the Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO), the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, the Atlantic’s Digital Forensic Research Lab Council and from Graphika (a social media analytics company) – and outsourced what would otherwise have been illegal and unconstitutional censorship.

    During the 2020 election cycle, EIP and CISA worked with the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) and the DHS-supported Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC) to influence and monitor political discussions online. EIP coordinated the removal of unwanted content using a real-time chat application shared by DHS, EIP, and social media companies.

    At the same time, CTIL monitored and reported anti-blockade views on social media. A “law enforcement” channel was created specifically to spy on and monitor social media users posting anti-lockdown hashtags. CTIL even kept a printout detailing their Twitter biographies.

    According to Public, the CTIL has also “engaged in offensive operations to influence public opinion, discussing ways to promote ‘counter-messaging,’ co-opting hashtags, diluting unfavorable messaging, creating sock puppet accounts, and infiltrating private groups by invitation.” In February 2021, the EIP was renamed the Virality Project, at which point its censorship focus shifted from elections to COVID-related issues.

    Government infiltration and takeover

    Although CTIL member Bonnie Smalley responded to a Public question by saying that CTIL has “nothing to do with the government,” the evidence shows otherwise. At least a dozen government employees working with DHS, the FBI, and CISA were also active members of CTIL.

    According to the whistleblower, CTIL’s goal “was to become part of the federal government.” Terp’s plan called for the creation of “MisinfoSec communities” that would include the federal sector, and documents show that this goal was achieved. In April 2020, Chris Krebs, then director of CISA, also publicly announced the agency’s partnership with CTIL.

    The audience continues:“The documents also show that Terp and his colleagues, through a group called the MisinfoSec Working Group, which included Renee DiResta, head of research at the Stanford Internet Observatory, created a censorship, influence and counter-disinformation strategy called

    Adversarial Misinformation and Influence Tactics and Techniques (AMITT).

    SJ on X: "AMITT (Adversarial Misinformation and Influence Tactics and Techniques) includes the left-of-boom misinformation activities that are often missed by other analyses, where ”left of boom” covers activity before an incident

    They wrote AMITT by adapting a cybersecurity framework developed by MITER… Terp then used AMITT to develop the DISARM framework, which the World Health Organization then used to “counter anti-vaccination campaigns across Europe.”

    A key component of Terp’s work through CTIL, MisinfoSec and AMITT has been to bring the concept of “cognitive security” to the fields of cybersecurity and information security…

    The ambitions of the 2020 pioneers of the censorship industrial complex went far beyond simply requiring Twitter to place a warning label on tweets or blacklist individuals.

    The AMITT framework calls for discrediting people as a necessary prerequisite for requiring censorship of them. Invite influencers to train to spread messages. And he invites us to try to convince banks to cut financial services to individuals who organize demonstrations or events.”

    The arming of the financial sector was born with the CTIL

    Now we know where this financial sector weapon comes from. It originated with the CTIL, which hspecifically sought to induce banks to “cut financial services to individuals who organize rallies or events”.

    Clearly, as my case and that of many others demonstrates, even banks and online payment processors have been tricked into cutting off services to people who simply expressed opposing views. It’s not just demonstration organizers who are being targeted.

    Under the cover of altruism

    Although CTIL officials have repeatedly stressed that the organization was founded on purely altruistic principles, the clear goal of its leaders was to “build support for censorship among national security and cybersecurity institutions,” writes Public, and they built that support by promoting Terp’s idea of “cognitive safety.”

    The choice of the term “cognitive safety” takes on a rather sinister flavor in light of Dr. Michael Nehls’ findings that over the past four years there has been what appears to be an intentional effort to destroy autobiographical memory function in the public’s brain , thus facilitating mass indoctrination and inhibiting personal will and critical thinking.vast plan for global censorship by US and British military contractors

    The Indoctrinated Brain - By Michael Nehls (hardcover) : Target

    He presents his thesis in the book “The Indoctrinated Brain: How to Successfully Fend Off the Global Attack on Your Mental Freedom”, published in mid-December 2023.

    The whistleblower material clearly reveals that sophisticated military tactics have been turned against the American public, powerful psychological tools – the same tools that, according to Nehls, can literally alter the biological functions of the brain.

    Public cites a MisinfoSec report in which “the authors called for placing censorship efforts within ‘cybersecurity,’ while acknowledging that ‘disinformation security’ is entirely different from cybersecurity. They wrote that the third pillar of the “information environment”, after physical and cyber security, should be the “cognitive dimension”.

    Indeed, your mind – your cognition, your very ability to think independently – is the battlefield of today’s war, as Nehls proposes in his book. The scary part is that the tools used have the power to reprogram who we are.

    We are indeed “hackable animals,” as proposed by Yuval Noah Harari, and the censorship industrial complex has already hacked the brain structure of billions of people over the past four years. Gutentag also talks about it in an article dated December 3, 2023:”What was once considered a “conspiracy theory”, according to which military and intelligence forces manipulated public opinion through inorganic interventions, has now been confirmed .

    Our study of the censorship industrial complex has exposed a far-reaching plan to subvert the democratic process and engage in activities that have a basis in military techniques and that amount to attempts at thought or mind control.”

    ”It’s legal if we can get away with it”

    The CTIL files also demonstrate that there was a clear intent to circumvent the First Amendment by outsourcing censorship to the private, non-governmental sector.

    According to the informant:“The ethos was if we get away with it, it’s legal, and there were no First Amendment problems because we have a ‘public-private partnership’ – that’s the word they used to mask these problems. Private individuals can do things that public officials cannot do, and public officials can provide leadership and coordination.”

    Good news, bad news

    ”The good news is that more and more information is coming out about the U.S. government’s illegal outsourcing of censorship, and with it, legal challenges that pose roadblocks to this circumvention of the Constitution.

    The three activists also achieved other victories. In August 2022, DHS was forced to shut down the Disinformation Governance Board due to public backlash. CISA also deleted information about its national censorship work from its website and dismantled its Misinformation, Disinformation, and Malinformation (MDM) subcommittee.

    The federal government’s Select Subcommittee on Armaments is also continuing its search for the truth and will (hopefully) use all the power at its disposal to put an end to the abuses. Its latest report, “The Weaponization of ‘Disinformation’ Pseudo-Experts and Bureaucrats: How the Federal Government Partnered with Universities to Censor Americans’ Political Speech” was released on November 6, 2023.

    Unfortunately, there is a global effort underway not only to normalize, but also to legalize this type of censorship by third parties.

    In short, they are trying to restructure the censorship industry “away from a top-down government-led model” to a “competitive brokerage model” in which “content management” (read censorship) is simply outsourced to third-party organizations.

    In this way, a “legal” market for disinformation compliance is created, while the government can claim to have nothing to do with controlling the information. In essence, we are witnessing the emergence of organized corporate censorship.

    There is no clear solution to this threat other than to continue to oppose all efforts to legalize, standardize and normalize censorship. Vocally oppose, refuse to use intermediaries like NewsGuard, and boycott any company or organization that uses intermediaries or engages in censorship of any kind.”

    Claudio Resta was born in Genoa, Italy in 1958, he is a citizen of the world (Spinoza), a maverick philosopher, and an interdisciplinary expert, oh, and an artist, too.

    Grew up in a family of scientists where many sciences were represented by philosophy to psychoanalysis, from economics to history, from mathematics to physics, and where these sciences were subject to public display by their subject experts family members, and all those who they were part of could participate in a public family dialogue/debate on these subjects if they so wished. Read Full Bio

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    https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/01/the-cyber-threat-intelligence-league/
    The Cyber Threat Intelligence League Claudio RestaJanuary 18, 2024 VT Condemns the ETHNIC CLEANSING OF PALESTINIANS by USA/Israel $ 280 BILLION US TAXPAYER DOLLARS INVESTED since 1948 in US/Israeli Ethnic Cleansing and Occupation Operation; $ 150B direct "aid" and $ 130B in "Offense" contracts Source: Embassy of Israel, Washington, D.C. and US Department of State. There is a vast plan for global censorship by US and British military contractors: US military contractor Pablo Breuer (left), UK defense researcher Sara-Jayne “SJ” Terp (center), and Chris Krebs, former director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (DHS-CISA) – Documents received by investigative journalists Michael Shellenberger, Alex Gutentag and Matt Taibbi from an anonymous but “highly credible” whistleblower reveal new details about how the US censorship industrial complex – a network of more than 100 government agencies, private companies, universities and organizations non-profit – seeks to control and criminalize “wrong thinking”. – The documents describe how modern digital censorship programs were created and the various roles of the military, US intelligence agencies, civil society organizations and commercial media. They also describe the methods and techniques used, such as the creation and use of “sock puppet” accounts to spy on and direct online discussions and propagate desired narratives, and the discrediting of dissidents “as a necessary prerequisite for requiring censorship in their comparisons.” – Documents show that the weaponization of the financial sector originated with the Cyber Threat Intelligence League (CTIL), which specifically sought to get banks to “cut off financial services to individuals organizing gatherings or events.” – CTIL files also show that there was a clear intent to circumvent the First Amendment by outsourcing censorship to the private, non-governmental sector. According to the informant, “the ethic was that if we get away with it, it’s legal.” Documents received by investigative journalists Michael Shellenberger, Alex Gutentag and Matt Taibbi from an anonymous but “highly credible” whistleblower reveal new details about how the US censorship industrial complex – a network of more than 100 government agencies, private companies, universities and non-profit organizations – regulates and criminalizes “wrong thinking”. as Ursula Van der Leyen, the president of European Commission since 2019, stated at the WEF in Davos on January 17th, 2023 similar censorship are the most urgent and necessary policies (!) and will be implemented everywhere They describe the activities of an “anti-disinformation” group called the Cyber Threat Intelligence League, or CTIL, which officially began as a volunteer project of data scientists and defense and intelligence veterans, but whose tactics over time appear to have been absorbed into multiple official projects, including those of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The CTI League documents provide missing answers to key questions not addressed in the Twitter Files and Facebook Files. Together, they offer a complete picture of the rise of the “anti-disinformation” industry, or what we have called the Censorship Industrial Complex.” The documents describe how modern digital censorship programs were created and the various roles of the military, US intelligence agencies, civil society organizations and commercial media. They also describe the methods and techniques used, such as the creation and use of “sock puppet” accounts to spy on and direct online discussions and propagate desired narratives, the discrediting of dissidents, and the deliberate weaponization of the financial industry against them . According to the whistleblower, the CTIL was also involved in the creation of a counter-disinformation project to “avoid a repeat of 2016”, a reference to Brexit and Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the elections, two situations in which the democratic processes have actually won. As Jimmy Dore noted, it wasn’t about preventing the circulation of false information. It was about ensuring that no political outsider could ever enter the Oval Office again. The instruction to prevent a repeat of 2016 was a direct call to undermine, if not eliminate, the process of free and fair elections. Importantly, the documents admit that censorship efforts against Americans must be carried out by private sector partners, because the government does not have “legal authority” to do so. The new series of documents and videos reveals that 2019 was a pivotal year for the censorship industrial complex. According to Public, it was then that “US and British military and intelligence contractors, led by a former British defense researcher, Sara-Jayne ‘SJ’ Terp, developed the blanket censorship framework.” These contractors became co-leaders of CTIL, whose original founders were a former Israeli intelligence official, Ohad Zaidenberg, the person responsible of Microsoft security Nate Warfield, Chris Mills, another Microsoft security official, and Marc Rogers, the head of security operations at the hacker convention DEF CON. According to media reports , these highly trained and in-demand professionals have made the altruistic decision to offer their services to help billion-dollar hospitals with their cybersecurity, for free and with no strings attached. It wasn’t a believable cover story then, and it certainly hasn’t gotten any better. Within a month of CTIL’s founding in March 2020, this supposedly entirely volunteer group had grown to 1,400 “invitation-only” members in 76 countries and entered into an official partnership with Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency (CISA) of the United States Department of Homeland Security. As reported by Public: Parallel censorship agencies In spring 2020, CISA also created the Election Integrity Partnership (EIP) – a consortium composed of the Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO), the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, the Atlantic’s Digital Forensic Research Lab Council and from Graphika (a social media analytics company) – and outsourced what would otherwise have been illegal and unconstitutional censorship. During the 2020 election cycle, EIP and CISA worked with the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) and the DHS-supported Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC) to influence and monitor political discussions online. EIP coordinated the removal of unwanted content using a real-time chat application shared by DHS, EIP, and social media companies. At the same time, CTIL monitored and reported anti-blockade views on social media. A “law enforcement” channel was created specifically to spy on and monitor social media users posting anti-lockdown hashtags. CTIL even kept a printout detailing their Twitter biographies. According to Public, the CTIL has also “engaged in offensive operations to influence public opinion, discussing ways to promote ‘counter-messaging,’ co-opting hashtags, diluting unfavorable messaging, creating sock puppet accounts, and infiltrating private groups by invitation.” In February 2021, the EIP was renamed the Virality Project, at which point its censorship focus shifted from elections to COVID-related issues. Government infiltration and takeover Although CTIL member Bonnie Smalley responded to a Public question by saying that CTIL has “nothing to do with the government,” the evidence shows otherwise. At least a dozen government employees working with DHS, the FBI, and CISA were also active members of CTIL. According to the whistleblower, CTIL’s goal “was to become part of the federal government.” Terp’s plan called for the creation of “MisinfoSec communities” that would include the federal sector, and documents show that this goal was achieved. In April 2020, Chris Krebs, then director of CISA, also publicly announced the agency’s partnership with CTIL. The audience continues:“The documents also show that Terp and his colleagues, through a group called the MisinfoSec Working Group, which included [Renee] DiResta, head of research at the Stanford Internet Observatory, created a censorship, influence and counter-disinformation strategy called Adversarial Misinformation and Influence Tactics and Techniques (AMITT). SJ on X: "AMITT (Adversarial Misinformation and Influence Tactics and Techniques) includes the left-of-boom misinformation activities that are often missed by other analyses, where ”left of boom” covers activity before an incident They wrote AMITT by adapting a cybersecurity framework developed by MITER… Terp then used AMITT to develop the DISARM framework, which the World Health Organization then used to “counter anti-vaccination campaigns across Europe.” A key component of Terp’s work through CTIL, MisinfoSec and AMITT has been to bring the concept of “cognitive security” to the fields of cybersecurity and information security… The ambitions of the 2020 pioneers of the censorship industrial complex went far beyond simply requiring Twitter to place a warning label on tweets or blacklist individuals. The AMITT framework calls for discrediting people as a necessary prerequisite for requiring censorship of them. Invite influencers to train to spread messages. And he invites us to try to convince banks to cut financial services to individuals who organize demonstrations or events.” The arming of the financial sector was born with the CTIL Now we know where this financial sector weapon comes from. It originated with the CTIL, which hspecifically sought to induce banks to “cut financial services to individuals who organize rallies or events”. Clearly, as my case and that of many others demonstrates, even banks and online payment processors have been tricked into cutting off services to people who simply expressed opposing views. It’s not just demonstration organizers who are being targeted. Under the cover of altruism Although CTIL officials have repeatedly stressed that the organization was founded on purely altruistic principles, the clear goal of its leaders was to “build support for censorship among national security and cybersecurity institutions,” writes Public, and they built that support by promoting Terp’s idea of “cognitive safety.” The choice of the term “cognitive safety” takes on a rather sinister flavor in light of Dr. Michael Nehls’ findings that over the past four years there has been what appears to be an intentional effort to destroy autobiographical memory function in the public’s brain , thus facilitating mass indoctrination and inhibiting personal will and critical thinking.vast plan for global censorship by US and British military contractors The Indoctrinated Brain - By Michael Nehls (hardcover) : Target He presents his thesis in the book “The Indoctrinated Brain: How to Successfully Fend Off the Global Attack on Your Mental Freedom”, published in mid-December 2023. The whistleblower material clearly reveals that sophisticated military tactics have been turned against the American public, powerful psychological tools – the same tools that, according to Nehls, can literally alter the biological functions of the brain. Public cites a MisinfoSec report in which “the authors called for placing censorship efforts within ‘cybersecurity,’ while acknowledging that ‘disinformation security’ is entirely different from cybersecurity. They wrote that the third pillar of the “information environment”, after physical and cyber security, should be the “cognitive dimension”. Indeed, your mind – your cognition, your very ability to think independently – is the battlefield of today’s war, as Nehls proposes in his book. The scary part is that the tools used have the power to reprogram who we are. We are indeed “hackable animals,” as proposed by Yuval Noah Harari, and the censorship industrial complex has already hacked the brain structure of billions of people over the past four years. Gutentag also talks about it in an article dated December 3, 2023:”What was once considered a “conspiracy theory”, according to which military and intelligence forces manipulated public opinion through inorganic interventions, has now been confirmed . Our study of the censorship industrial complex has exposed a far-reaching plan to subvert the democratic process and engage in activities that have a basis in military techniques and that amount to attempts at thought or mind control.” ”It’s legal if we can get away with it” The CTIL files also demonstrate that there was a clear intent to circumvent the First Amendment by outsourcing censorship to the private, non-governmental sector. According to the informant:“The ethos was if we get away with it, it’s legal, and there were no First Amendment problems because we have a ‘public-private partnership’ – that’s the word they used to mask these problems. Private individuals can do things that public officials cannot do, and public officials can provide leadership and coordination.” Good news, bad news ”The good news is that more and more information is coming out about the U.S. government’s illegal outsourcing of censorship, and with it, legal challenges that pose roadblocks to this circumvention of the Constitution. The three activists also achieved other victories. In August 2022, DHS was forced to shut down the Disinformation Governance Board due to public backlash. CISA also deleted information about its national censorship work from its website and dismantled its Misinformation, Disinformation, and Malinformation (MDM) subcommittee. The federal government’s Select Subcommittee on Armaments is also continuing its search for the truth and will (hopefully) use all the power at its disposal to put an end to the abuses. Its latest report, “The Weaponization of ‘Disinformation’ Pseudo-Experts and Bureaucrats: How the Federal Government Partnered with Universities to Censor Americans’ Political Speech” was released on November 6, 2023. Unfortunately, there is a global effort underway not only to normalize, but also to legalize this type of censorship by third parties. In short, they are trying to restructure the censorship industry “away from a top-down government-led model” to a “competitive brokerage model” in which “content management” (read censorship) is simply outsourced to third-party organizations. In this way, a “legal” market for disinformation compliance is created, while the government can claim to have nothing to do with controlling the information. In essence, we are witnessing the emergence of organized corporate censorship. There is no clear solution to this threat other than to continue to oppose all efforts to legalize, standardize and normalize censorship. Vocally oppose, refuse to use intermediaries like NewsGuard, and boycott any company or organization that uses intermediaries or engages in censorship of any kind.” Claudio Resta was born in Genoa, Italy in 1958, he is a citizen of the world (Spinoza), a maverick philosopher, and an interdisciplinary expert, oh, and an artist, too. Grew up in a family of scientists where many sciences were represented by philosophy to psychoanalysis, from economics to history, from mathematics to physics, and where these sciences were subject to public display by their subject experts family members, and all those who they were part of could participate in a public family dialogue/debate on these subjects if they so wished. Read Full Bio Latest Articles (2023-Present) Archived Articles (2019-2022) ATTENTION READERS We See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion. About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy Due to the nature of uncensored content posted by VT's fully independent international writers, VT cannot guarantee absolute validity. All content is owned by the author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images are the full responsibility of the article author and NOT VT. https://www.vtforeignpolicy.com/2024/01/the-cyber-threat-intelligence-league/
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    The Cyber Threat Intelligence League
    There is a vast plan for global censorship by US and British military contractors: US military contractor Pablo Breuer (left), UK defense researcher Sara-Jayne “SJ” Terp (center), and Chris Krebs, former director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (DHS-CISA) – Documents received by investigative journalists Michael Shellenberger, Alex Gutentag...
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  • What do you know about Solana?

    10 interesting facts about Solana:

    1. High Throughput: Solana is known for its high throughput, capable of processing over 65,000 transactions per second, making it one of the fastest blockchain networks.

    2. Proof of History (PoH): Solana uses a unique consensus mechanism called Proof of History, which helps in ordering transactions before they are added to the blockchain, enhancing efficiency.

    3. Low Transaction Costs: With its high throughput and low fees, Solana aims to provide cost-effective transactions, attracting developers and users looking for affordable blockchain solutions.

    4. Fast Confirmation Times: Solana achieves fast confirmation times, often settling transactions in a matter of seconds, contributing to a seamless user experience.

    5. Dynamic Sharding: Solana employs dynamic sharding, allowing the network to adapt and optimize its performance based on demand, ensuring scalability as the user base grows.

    6. Rust Programming Language: Solana is built using the Rust programming language, known for its memory safety and performance, contributing to the platform's reliability.

    7. Decentralized Applications (DApps): The Solana ecosystem hosts a variety of decentralized applications, ranging from DeFi platforms to gaming and NFT projects, showcasing its versatility.

    8. Serum DEX: Solana is home to Serum, a decentralized exchange (DEX) that operates on the blockchain, providing users with a platform for trading various assets in a trustless manner.

    9. Interoperability: Solana is designed to be interoperable with other blockchain networks, fostering collaboration and allowing assets to move seamlessly between different platforms.

    10. Active Community: Solana has a vibrant and active community of developers, contributors, and enthusiasts, fostering innovation and continuous improvement within the ecosystem.

    Solana themed Robot NFT:
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    What do you know about Solana? 10 interesting facts about Solana: 1. High Throughput: Solana is known for its high throughput, capable of processing over 65,000 transactions per second, making it one of the fastest blockchain networks. 2. Proof of History (PoH): Solana uses a unique consensus mechanism called Proof of History, which helps in ordering transactions before they are added to the blockchain, enhancing efficiency. 3. Low Transaction Costs: With its high throughput and low fees, Solana aims to provide cost-effective transactions, attracting developers and users looking for affordable blockchain solutions. 4. Fast Confirmation Times: Solana achieves fast confirmation times, often settling transactions in a matter of seconds, contributing to a seamless user experience. 5. Dynamic Sharding: Solana employs dynamic sharding, allowing the network to adapt and optimize its performance based on demand, ensuring scalability as the user base grows. 6. Rust Programming Language: Solana is built using the Rust programming language, known for its memory safety and performance, contributing to the platform's reliability. 7. Decentralized Applications (DApps): The Solana ecosystem hosts a variety of decentralized applications, ranging from DeFi platforms to gaming and NFT projects, showcasing its versatility. 8. Serum DEX: Solana is home to Serum, a decentralized exchange (DEX) that operates on the blockchain, providing users with a platform for trading various assets in a trustless manner. 9. Interoperability: Solana is designed to be interoperable with other blockchain networks, fostering collaboration and allowing assets to move seamlessly between different platforms. 10. Active Community: Solana has a vibrant and active community of developers, contributors, and enthusiasts, fostering innovation and continuous improvement within the ecosystem. Solana themed Robot NFT: https://bit.ly/3vm2gdg #nfts #nft #buynft #nftcollectibles #nftcollection #nftart #nftartwork #nftartist #facts #solana #sol #crypto #cryptocurrency
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  • What do you know about Ethereum?

    Top 10 interesting facts about Ethereum:

    1. Ethereum is renowned for introducing smart contracts to blockchain technology, enabling self-executing contracts with predefined rules and conditions.

    2. Founded by a team led by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum's development began in late 2013, with its mainnet going live on July 30, 2015.

    3. Ethereum's native cryptocurrency is called Ether. It serves as both a fuel for executing smart contracts and a store of value within the Ethereum network.

    4. Ethereum facilitates the creation of decentralized applications, leading to a thriving ecosystem of diverse DApps across various industries like finance, gaming, and supply chain.

    5. Ethereum has undergone significant upgrades through hard forks. The most notable ones include Ethereum Classic (ETC) splitting from Ethereum after the DAO hack and the transition to Ethereum 2.0 for scalability improvements.

    6. Ethereum is transitioning from a Proof-of-Work (PoW) to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism with Ethereum 2.0. This aims to enhance scalability, security, and energy efficiency.

    7. Established in 2017, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) is a consortium of companies and organizations working to develop standards and frameworks for enterprise-level applications using Ethereum.

    8. The ERC-20 standard on Ethereum has facilitated the creation of numerous tokens, leading to the widespread use of initial coin offerings (ICOs) for fundraising.

    9. The Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) incident in 2016 resulted in a contentious hard fork to reverse the effects of a significant hack, leading to the creation of Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC).

    10. Ethereum has consistently been one of the most dominant cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, showcasing its significant impact on the blockchain and crypto space.

    Ethereum NFT:
    https://bit.ly/41IbWLi

    #nfts #nft #buynft #nftcollectibles #nftcollection #nftart #nftartwork #nftartist #facts #eth #Ethereum #crypto #cryptocurrency
    What do you know about Ethereum? Top 10 interesting facts about Ethereum: 1. Ethereum is renowned for introducing smart contracts to blockchain technology, enabling self-executing contracts with predefined rules and conditions. 2. Founded by a team led by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum's development began in late 2013, with its mainnet going live on July 30, 2015. 3. Ethereum's native cryptocurrency is called Ether. It serves as both a fuel for executing smart contracts and a store of value within the Ethereum network. 4. Ethereum facilitates the creation of decentralized applications, leading to a thriving ecosystem of diverse DApps across various industries like finance, gaming, and supply chain. 5. Ethereum has undergone significant upgrades through hard forks. The most notable ones include Ethereum Classic (ETC) splitting from Ethereum after the DAO hack and the transition to Ethereum 2.0 for scalability improvements. 6. Ethereum is transitioning from a Proof-of-Work (PoW) to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism with Ethereum 2.0. This aims to enhance scalability, security, and energy efficiency. 7. Established in 2017, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) is a consortium of companies and organizations working to develop standards and frameworks for enterprise-level applications using Ethereum. 8. The ERC-20 standard on Ethereum has facilitated the creation of numerous tokens, leading to the widespread use of initial coin offerings (ICOs) for fundraising. 9. The Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) incident in 2016 resulted in a contentious hard fork to reverse the effects of a significant hack, leading to the creation of Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC). 10. Ethereum has consistently been one of the most dominant cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, showcasing its significant impact on the blockchain and crypto space. Ethereum NFT: https://bit.ly/41IbWLi #nfts #nft #buynft #nftcollectibles #nftcollection #nftart #nftartwork #nftartist #facts #eth #Ethereum #crypto #cryptocurrency
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    Ethereum Details Illustration - LimeWire
    "Check out Ethereum Details Illustration from Nftcraft on LimeWire"
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  • Bitcoin Facts (Bonus NFT).

    1. Halving events occur approximately every four years, reducing the rate at which new bitcoins are created and impacting the overall supply dynamics. The most recent halving took place in 2020.

    2. The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto remains unknown, leading to various theories and speculations about the true identity of the cryptocurrency's creator.

    3. Bitcoin is often referred to as "digital gold" due to its store of value characteristics and being a hedge against inflation, similar to traditional precious metals.

    4. The first Bitcoin exchange, BitcoinMarket.com, was established in March 2010, allowing users to trade bitcoins for fiat currency.

    5. Some major companies and institutions, including Tesla and MicroStrategy, have added Bitcoin to their balance sheets as a strategic reserve asset.

    6. Bitcoin is divisible up to eight decimal places, providing flexibility for microtransactions and allowing for precision in the transfer of value.

    7. Several countries have embraced Bitcoin as legal tender, with El Salvador being the first nation to officially adopt it for everyday transactions in 2021.

    8. Wallets can be categorized as hot wallets (connected to the internet) or cold wallets (offline), each with its own security considerations.

    9. The Lightning Network is a layer-2 scaling solution for Bitcoin, aiming to enable faster and cheaper transactions by conducting some transactions off the main blockchain.

    10. Bitcoin has inspired the creation of thousands of alternative cryptocurrencies, collectively known as altcoins, each with its unique features and use cases.

    Bitcoin NFT:
    https://bit.ly/4aDbrpT

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    Bitcoin Facts (Bonus NFT). 1. Halving events occur approximately every four years, reducing the rate at which new bitcoins are created and impacting the overall supply dynamics. The most recent halving took place in 2020. 2. The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto remains unknown, leading to various theories and speculations about the true identity of the cryptocurrency's creator. 3. Bitcoin is often referred to as "digital gold" due to its store of value characteristics and being a hedge against inflation, similar to traditional precious metals. 4. The first Bitcoin exchange, BitcoinMarket.com, was established in March 2010, allowing users to trade bitcoins for fiat currency. 5. Some major companies and institutions, including Tesla and MicroStrategy, have added Bitcoin to their balance sheets as a strategic reserve asset. 6. Bitcoin is divisible up to eight decimal places, providing flexibility for microtransactions and allowing for precision in the transfer of value. 7. Several countries have embraced Bitcoin as legal tender, with El Salvador being the first nation to officially adopt it for everyday transactions in 2021. 8. Wallets can be categorized as hot wallets (connected to the internet) or cold wallets (offline), each with its own security considerations. 9. The Lightning Network is a layer-2 scaling solution for Bitcoin, aiming to enable faster and cheaper transactions by conducting some transactions off the main blockchain. 10. Bitcoin has inspired the creation of thousands of alternative cryptocurrencies, collectively known as altcoins, each with its unique features and use cases. Bitcoin NFT: https://bit.ly/4aDbrpT #btc #bitcoin #crypto #cryptocurrency #nft #nfts #nftart #nftartist #nftartwork
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    NFT by Nft_craftt
    Bitcoin NFT #btc #bitcoin #crypto #cryptocurrency #nft #nfts #nftart #nftartist #nftartwork...
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