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Show us the money
When grifters won't talk, money speaks
The Covid era anti-vax movement is funded by Big Oil, Big Tech, and a network of fraudulent, grifting 501c3 “charities. Profit and far-right politics are what have been driving this movement. So we’ve stopped arguing every piece of disinformation and started asking about the money behind the misinformation.
We’ve previously discussed extremist anti-vax and anti-CRT organization MythinformedMKE’s questionable 501c3 status as well as RFK Jr.’s illegal donation of $50,000 from his anti-vax 501c3 Children’s Health Defense to the Republican Attorneys General Association. MythinformedMKE has gone from retweeting with Joe Rogan to a Twitter ban and begging for legal support. Children’s Health Defense, a Defeat the Mandates sponsor, was removed from Meta but is still going strong spreading political vaccine disinformation on Twitter.
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Disinformation Dozen member RFK Jr. worked with the original anti-vax doctor Andrew Wakefield, MAGA billionaire and Stop the Steal speaker Del Bigtree, and anti-vax insurrectionist physician Simone Gold now being sued for embezzlement by her own fraud organization. Gold and America’s Frontline Doctors ignored letters from the Select Subcommittee requesting financial information from the tele-health platform SpeakWithAnMD they used to sell hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin for COVID. They also do not appear to have paid their taxes.
Here are the IRS 501c3 charitable filing status information for the Big 4 physician-led anti-vax organizations:
America's Front Line Doctors (AFLDS) better known to the IRS as FREE SPEECH FOUNDATION info: EIN 85-2279624
Associated with CNP via AFLDS member Drs Simone Gold and James Todaro
Associated with Defeat the Mandates via AFLDS member Dr. Richard Urso
Associated with ‘Nuremberg 2.0 LTD’ opposing AB2098 via AFLDS member Bret Barker DNP
The Front Line Covid 19 Critical Care Alliance Inc. IRS Info: EIN 85-2270146
The Unity Project IRS info: EIN 87-3468824
The Great Barrington Declaration’s ongoing effort is funded by Koch money
Brownstone Institute aka American Brownstone Institute IRS info: EIN 87-1368060 | Austin, TX, United States
Charles Koch is a key ally of the Council for National Policy
In addition, Defeat the Mandates is further sponsored by:
Freedom Of Religion United Solutions aka FOR-US IRS info: EIN 84-3876800 | Agoura, CA, United States
Physicians For Informed Consent IRS info: EIN 81-0941400 | Newport Beach, CA, United States
Informed Consent Action Network (Del Bigtree) IRS info: EIN 81-4540235 | Austin, TX, United States
Children’s Health Defense (Robert F. Kennedy Jr.) IRS info: EIN 26-0388604 | Riverview, FL, United States
The Great Barrington Declaration was sponsored, through a convoluted network, by Koch money. This web was first discussed by Walker Bragman and Alex Kotch at ExposedByCMD.
The “spiritual child” of the Great Barrington Declaration, the Brownstone Institute, is an outlet for political anti-science (and is no fans of ours). The Brownstone Institute has worked with three of the ‘Big 4’ physician-led anti-vax groups (plus the Unity Project) - with the notable exception of Dr. Simone Gold’s America’s Frontline Doctors. AFLDS are also not directly involved in the Defeat the Mandates rally series. This isn’t altogether surprising as in an email to co-conspirators, Ron Johnson said no one wanted to touch hydroxychloroquine “with a 10’ pole” (source: Covid Oversight Committee). However, he was more than happy to continue working with AFLDS.
The Council for National Policy
Speaking of Big Oil, Charles Koch is a major ally to the secretive far-right Council for National Policy that created AFLDS under the direction of CNP Action Committee chair Ginni Thomas. Dr. Jay Bhattacharya has spoken at a CNP dinner. Dr. Simone Gold MD JD Insurrectionist is a new member. Former Vice President Mike Pence - a target of the Insurrection Gold participated in - is also a member. Former CNP member Steve Bannon has orchestrated an all-out assault on the public through his own media outlets, relationships with far-right mainstream media juggernaut Fox News, social media (Cambridge Analytica), and evangelical Christian programming (a pipeline to QAnon). The CNP is also involved anti-abortion, anti-climate science, and pro-gun efforts.
The CNP has launched an attack on school boards and it is worth noting that Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s parents are members. This mirrors what we have seen in the HARTLeaks out of the UK, tied to former CNP member Bannon. Compare with the failed MAGA Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Kleefisch’s nationally-funded but failed school board recall in the Mequon-Theinsville, WI over Covid mandates and CRT teaching and Ron DeSantis’s “Moms for Liberty”.
Like Bannon and Trump, the CNP is deeply tied to Russia, as discussed in the documentary “People You May Know” available on Amazon.
While Big Oil invests in anti-science to protect their right to continue treating the earth as an infinite resource for their profit, Big Tech has been watching. Tech billionaires Elon Musk and Peter Thiel have followed their lead in what appears to be their attempt to fight censorship and profit off hate speech. Thiel funds the far-right video platform Rumble and Musk now owns Twitter. Reminder, free speech absolutism is what brought us QAnon via 8kun and the father-son duo of Jim and Ron Watkins.
GOP mega donor Thiel is old Stanford friends with Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a signer of the Koch-funded Great Barrington Declaration. This policy was topic of a Covid Oversight report called “The Atlas Dogma: The Trump Administration’s Embrace of a Dangerous and Discredited Herd Immunity via Mass Infection Strategy”. Thiel’s friend Bhattacharya has worked with Elon Musk’s beneficiary and “misinformation superspreader” tech millionaire Steve Kirsch, appearing on Kirsch’s MIT panel streamed on Rumble.
While Bhattacharya got into the Trump White House, Kirsch has gotten into the Senate thanks to his relationship with Ron Johnson. Additionally, Kirsch has sponsored/spoken at the money-generating traveling Defeat the Mandates rally series launched on Musk friend Joe Rogan’s Spotify podcast. Dr. Peter McCullough used Rogan’s podcast to promote Kirsch’s fake $1-2million “debate” offer (which was further promoted by MythinformedMKE on Twitter). Kirsch also appeared in the widely panned conspiracy film ‘Died Suddenly’, that took off like wildfire on Elon’s Twitterverse.
The GOP, and Ron Johnson in particular, cry about Big Tech censorship while benefiting from their allies in the industry.
Furthermore, as was revealed in the HARTLeaks out of the UK, the international disinformation network helmed by Bannon once again utilized his connections from Cambridge Analytica - namely former lead psychologist Patrick Fagan. US disinformation doctors like McCullough worked in this European network as well as the US and Canadian networks. See our UK partner the Counter Disinformation Project for more.
Early Treatment Grift
As discussed in the final Covid Oversight report, disinformation doctors grifted over $6million with their tele-health scheme. They sold ivermectin on SpeakWithAnMD (or, more accurately, a nurse who openly admits to knowing nothing about Covid or its treatment) for $240 for a 28 day supply plus a consultation fee. Ivermectin is a cheap generic drug that costs roughly 5 cents per pill so a 28 day supply would only cost $1.40. Quick math: 240/1.40 * 100 = 17142.86% markup.
Before switching to the direct to consumer ‘small pharma’ grift, McCullough had long been a Big Pharma grifter. According to OpenPayments, between 2014 and 2020 he took over $2million in non-research related payments from the pharmaceutical industry he claims to fight. He and his colleagues like Simone Gold loves to point out that he is the most published cardiologist when this is because he was an editor of a cardiac journal exposed for hiding conflicts of interest back in 2012. You know how Trump said he was going to DC to drain the swap while being the swamp monster? Same idea.
McCullough was on Australian ivermectin studies carried out by the GI doctor who holds the Ziverdox pharma patent for IVM for Covid along with US gastroenterologist Dr. Sabine Hazan. A July STAT News piece described how far-right disinformation doctors from the AFLDS successor the FLCCC were switching to IVM for long Covid as it failed to prevent Covid. Because, like hydroxychloroquine for Covid, these studies were based on fraud and redacted. Just ask FLCCC co-founder Dr. Pierre Kory.
The FLCCC is now so desperate to maintain their revenue stream they are recommending Viagra 100mg 3x daily for vaccine injuries which is just an insane dose and also healthcare workers (the most vaccinated group) and data are not seeing this major vaccine injury issue that the Kory Klan claims to exist. Before Trump’s super cringe superhero NFTs, the FLCCC was hawking merchandise depicting their corrupt doctors as super heroes. With the exception of FLCCC co-founder Dr. Paul Marik, these clowns still have their medical license, somehow.
Political Grift Cannot Be Ignored
Simone Gold was able to raise hundreds of thousands from the mischaracterization of her Insurrection arrest. Her cult leader Trump raised millions from his supporters to fight the election he lost (both popular and electoral this time) and squandered that money on himself and his allies, just as Gold has done with their own dirty money.
Just as the AFLDS ignored the Covid Oversight letters requesting their tele-health financial information, Steve Bannon ignored the January 6th Committee and is now headed to prison. Ron Johnson ignored the FBI last year over their concern he was being targeted for a Russian disinformation campaign. We cannot ignore this any longer and will continue to follow the money into the dark heart of political interference that has cost lives so as to stop further avoidable destruction.
People like Trump and Gold think they are above the law and will lie. Their money doesn’t. The American people need transparency on the magnitude of this grifting scheme and where that money is going. The far-right anti-vax movement is inextricably tied to their party’s assault on truth. The antidote is transparency.
Dark money is the Broad Street Pump of Covid disinformation. In order to stop the madness, we much expose and cut off the disinformation pipeline. Follow the money, not Elon’s white rabbit.