UPDATE 12/24/20 2000 EST Ugur Sahin, CEO of Germany’s BioNTech which developed the Pfizer vaccine said the virus will be with us for a decade…
“The virus will stay with us for the next 10 years,” Sahin said during a Tuesday press conference, adding “We need to get used to the fact that there’ll be more outbreaks.”
“If the virus becomes more efficient…we might need a higher uptake of the vaccine for life to return to normal.”
These are very self-serving statements to say the least…
Guest post by a security analyst based in Ukraine
I have some questions about the whole timeline of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. There are a few things that don’t make complete sense in terms of the timing. According to the 60 Minutes special on the Pfizer vaccine that came out last weekend, the German-Turkish CEO of BioNTech, the German company that actually developed the ‘Pfizer’ vaccine, said on the air that he read an article on January 24th about the Wuhan outbreak. He seems to be saying that it was clear to him in January that a pandemic was already underway. The Wuhan lockdown was only announced on January 21st by Chinese health authorities. It wasn’t clear yet that this was actually going to be a global pandemic until much, much later. The 60 minutes program says that “by February, BioNTech had already developed 20 versions of messenger RNA that triggered immune responses in mice and monkeys.”
Until late February, all reported global cases were confined to Asia. By the third week in February, the first cases were reported in Iran, which was considered to be the second epicenter after Asia at the time. But COVID still was not considered to be a pandemic yet. The first cases in Europe were reported in the 9th week of 2020 — late February. At the very beginning of March, Germany reported 51 cases, France reported 30, and Italy reported 93 cases on 23 February. The US reported 16 cases on 2 March. According to data provided by the WHO, it wasn’t clear that this was going to be a pandemic until at least the second week in March. But BioNTech already knew by January that this was going to be a pandemic after the Wuhan outbreak. That’s pretty prescient I’d say. In mid-March, China’s Fosun already announced that they had invested over $150mn in BioNTech.
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You probably know that one of the main reasons why a vaccine was never created for SARS or MERS was because the huge cost of developing a SARS and MERS vaccine could not be justified given the fact that SARS and MERS turned out to be only regional outbreaks and not pandemics. The other reason is also obviously because viruses mutate rapidly, so by the time you develop, test, get approval for and roll out a vaccine, the vaccine could very well be obsolete already.
But by May, the Pfizer vaccine was ready for clinical trials. Operation Warp Speed wasn’t even announced until mid-May.
Perhaps BioNTech simply is a very clairvoyant biotech firm.
1. No RNA vaccine has ever been invented prior to now in more 30 years of research. But then overnight, Pfizer the ‘Uberman’ suddenly creates a miracle vaccine in record time, essentially in a few months’ time, namely because the company’s head of vaccine research, a German woman, was “defermined” and “angry” about people dying. See recent 60-minute piece on the vaccine’s development if you haven’t.
2. Pfizer was the only vaccine developer to refuse US government funding for the vaccine. Why refuse US government funding and then position yourself as the leading vaccine? Every other vaccine developer accepted money from USG except Pfizer. But then instead of accepting US government money, Pfizer was glad to accept investment from one of the co-owners of China’s National Pharmaceutical Company, or Sinopharm, China’s state-owned vaccine developer. The claim that the co-owner of China’s state-owned Sinopharm, which is Fosun, is supposedly a ‘private’ company and not synonymous with the CCP just is not credible. The CCP has its hands on everything. And if you look at everything that Fosun owns, there is just no way that a private company could own such a diverse range of assets around the world.
Fosun jointly owns China’s Sinopharm along with the Communist Party. Fosun invested hundreds of millions of seed capital into the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine back in March. Anybody heard about that happening? I think Americans have the right to know this before they take the irreversible decision to take the vaccine. The vaccine may be fine but a German company developing a Chinese-funded vaccine (at least in part) along with a Chinese conglomerate with obvious links to the CCP really have no moral right to make money off a pandemic that Chinese themselves spread. Imagine, they caused all this chaos and economic damage and now want to make money on top of it through the vaccine. And who knows what the health implications are for this vaccine, which is being literally forced into peoples’ arms.
- I am a risk analyst for a leading financial NGO. I am based outside of the U.S., originally from Sacramento. I was educatedat Boston U., Oxford and the London School of Economics – Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude.
- I now work as a risk analyst/national security analyst for a DC-based private contracting firm.
- While I understand that vaccination is important for the country and economy right now, the country is extremely vulnerable and I feel it is under attack. I feel that America has become a hard target by the Chinese Communist Party and that the CCP has its talons deep inside the country, and deep into the hearts of our political class.
- Should we trust a vaccine made outside of the U.S. by a GermanTurkish company (BioNTech) where one of the first-stage investors in the vaccine’s development is a Chinese private front company that is probably actually owned by the Chinese government (Fosun International), and which is also one of the two shareholders in state-owned Sinopharm – which is also developing a vaccine? Wuhan is already open for business while the virus has killed almost 300,000 Americans and continues to ravage our country and economy and the rest of the world. Don’t Americans have a right to know that the Pfizer vaccine was jointly invested in by a private Chinese conglomerate that is most obviously also owned by the Communist Party? A quick look at Fosun’s massive portfolio should quickly put to rest any ideas that this is a “private” company. Does this company, which has close ties to the CCP if it’s not indirectly owned by the CCP (which it probably is – the CCP has no real ‘private sector partners’ as you probably know), have any moral right at all to profit from the world’s biggest ever public health crisis that the CCP actually allowed to spread internationally and wreak chaos on the world?
- I am not an anti-vaxxer but I feel there is a huge conflict of interest here. The vaccine may be fine, but in the very least Americans who choose to get vaccinated have the right to know who put the money down on the table to co-develop it before it becomes an irreversible health decision. And Pfizer has the obligation to reassure the world that the CCP did not in any way influence the vaccine’s development before people take it – and especially since vaccine makers cannot be sued in court under US law, which I am sure you know.
In November 2020, Pfizer Inc and BioNTech, Moderna, the University of Oxford (in collaboration with AstraZeneca), and the Gamaleya Institute announced positive results from interim analyses of their Phase III vaccine trials. Bahrain gave emergency marketing authorization for the vaccine manufactured by China’s state-owned Sinopharm,  followed by the United Arab Emirates. In December, the United Kingdom, Bahrain, the UAE, Canada, theUnited States and Mexico approved the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use. .
BioNTech SE (/ˈbaɪ.ɒn.ˌtɛk/; short for Biopharmaceutical New Technologies) is a German biotechnology company based in Mainz, Germany – founded by husband and wife Turkish immigrants – that develops and manufactures active immunotherapies for patient-specific approaches to the treatment of diseases.
Pfizer is one of the single largest lobbying interests in United States politics. For example, in the first 9 months of 2009 Pfizer spent over $16.3 million on lobbying US congressional lawmakers, making them the sixth largest lobbying interest in the US (following Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), which ranked fourth but also represents many of their interests). A spokeswoman for Pfizer said the company “wanted to make sure our voice is heard in this conversation” in regards to the company’s expenditure of $25 million in 2010 to lobby health care reform.
According to U.S. State Department cables released by WikiLeaks, Pfizer “lobbied against New Zealand getting a free trade agreement with the United States because it objected to New Zealand’s restrictive drug buying rules and tried to get rid of New Zealand’s former health minister, Helen Clark, in 1990.
COVID-19 vaccine development
BioNTech is working to develop the BNT162b2 RNA vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 with Pfizer and Fosun.
In March, Fosun invested in Germany’s BioNTech in a $135 million agreement. Pfizer acquired US rights soon after. Pfizer said it would apply for US Emergency Use approval in about three weeks. To acquire the vaccine rights for China, Fosun made a $50 million investment in BioNTech (which has since tripled) and will pay up to $85 million in milestones.
BioNTech and Pfizer signed contracts to supply 300 million doses of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for the European Union, 40 million doses for the United Kingdom, 100 million doses for the United States and 120 million doses for Japan, if proven effective, safe, and licensed.
China National Pharmaceutical Group Corp. (CNPGC) known as Sinopharm is a Chinese state-owned enterprise. The corporation was the indirect major shareholder of publicly traded companies Sinopharm Group (SEHK: 1099, via a 51–49 joint venture, Sinopharm Industrial Investment, with Fosun Pharmaceutical), China Traditional Chinese Medicine [zh] (SEHK: 570, mostly via Sinopharm Group Hongkong Co., Ltd.). Shanghai Shyndec Pharmaceutical (SSE: 600420, via a wholly owned research institute based in Shanghai) and Beijing Tiantan Biological Products (SSE: 600161, via China National Biotec Group).
Sinopharm Group Co., Ltd. is a Chinese pharmaceutical company. The parent company of Sinopharm Group was Sinopharm Industrial Investment, a 51–49 joint venture of state-owned enterprise China National Pharmaceutical Group and civilian-run enterprise Fosun Pharmaceutical.
If you aren’t yet convinced that Fosun is actually owned by the Chinese government since it is also a shareholder in Sinopharm, here’s what else Fosun owns throughout the world:
Fosun has a wide array of business activities, including investing in other firms, managing a number of private equity funds, and entering joint ventures.
Fosun has invested in a number of businesses throughout different sectors, such as asset management, insurance, and industrial operations.
China Financial Services Holdings (SEHK: 605, 4.9%)
Fosun Eurasia Capital (in Russia)
Hauck & Aufhäuser (99.91%)
Resolution Property (in UK)
Rio Bravo Investmentos (in Brazil)
Banco Comercial Português (27.06%)
China Minsheng Bank (2.22%)
Cirque du Soleil (25% via private equity funds managed by Fosun International and associated company Yuyuan Tourist Mart)
Club Med (90.10%)
Studio 8 (60%)
Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C.
Folli Follie (10%, additional 3.89% stake held by Pramerica-Fosun China Opportunity Fund)
Silver Cross (87.23%)
St John (70.00%)
Tom Tailor (28.89%)
Food and Drink
Sanyuan Foods (20.45%)
St Hubert (98.12%)\
Tsingtao Brewery (17.99%)
Fosun Pharmaceutical (37.94%)
Hainan Mining (51.57%)
Fosun High Technology (100%)
Roc Oil (100%)
Zhaojin Mining (3.57%)
Ameritrust Group (100%)
Fosun United Health Insurance (20.00%) NAGICO Insurances (through Peak Reinsurance) Peak Reinsurance (86.93%)
Pramerica Fosun Life Insurance (50.00%)
New China Life Insurance (3.28%)
United Family Healthcare
Yong’an P&C Insurance (40.68%)
Fosun Finance (86%)
Fosun Hani Securities (100%)
Guide Investimentos (in Brazil)
Focus Media (5.00%)
Luz Saúde (98.79%)
Starcastle Senior Living (50.00%)
Shanghai Forte Land (100%)
Shanghai Zendai Property (14.0%)
Fosun Property Holdings (100%)
126 Madison Avenue (New York)
28 Liberty Street (New York)
73 Miller Street (Sydney)
a project in Donggang [zh] (Dalian) (64%) Citigroup Center (Tokyo)
Lloyds Chambers (London)
The Bund Finance Center (50.00%)
Yuyuan Tourist Mart (26.45%)
The Floow Limited (15%)
Atlantis Sanya Resort (99.81%) MakeMyTrip (1%)
Fosun-Managed Private Equity Funds Carlyle-Fosun
Fosun RZ Capital
Ji’nan Financial Development Investment Fund
Pramerica-Fosun China Opportunity Fund
Shanghai Sunvision Binhe Equity Investment Center
Shanghai Sunvision Xicheng Equity Investment Center
Star Capital (Shanghai Star Equity Investment L.P.)
Zhejiang Growth Fund
Nanjing Nangang Iron and Steel United (60% share capital, 50% voting rights)
Besino Environment (100%)
Nanjing Iron and Steel Company (SSE: 600282, 48.19%)
Pramerica–Fosun Life Insurance (50%)
Former Equity Investments
China Huarong Asset Management
Thomas Cook Group Plc (5.76% via Fidelidade) – Entered Compulsory Liquidation 23 September 2019