The Pfizer-sponsored CDC Foundation has teamed up with Big Tech and Big Pharma giants Facebook and Merck, among others, in order to promote Covid vaccines.
The pressure group calls itself the Alliance for Advancing Health Online and some details about its purpose and organization are revealed in an email sent to the White House and obtained and shared by the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN).
Other than the CDC Foundation, Facebook’s partners are the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, Sabin Vaccine Institute, the Bay Area Global Health Alliance, and the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
During the fiscal years 2014 through 2018, the CDC Foundation reportedly received $79.6 million from companies Pfizer, Biogen, Merck, and others. Pfizer continues to be listed as a current donor.
ICAN noted that it emerges from the email – sent by Facebook’s US Public Policy head Payton Iheme – that the purpose of the initiative is to use social media and platforms “to build confidence in and drive uptake of vaccines.”
ICAN is a network whose mission is to promote putting authority over health choices in the hands of people whom these decisions affect, and parse out true medical information from that tainted by financial interest and advertising, which, they say, leads to “medical coercion” rather than tangible understanding of issues.
Now the group is suggesting there is conflict in the CDC Foundation forming an alliance to drive home the message of the need to get vaccinated as a matter of public health concern – when those selling the vaccines are members of that alliance. This is particularly pertinent as Facebook has been censoring some criticism of Pfizer vaccines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the US public health agency, but it is a handy technicality in this and similar instances that the CDC Foundation has been set up as a private nonprofit incorporated in Georgia, established by Congress through the Public Health Service Act.
Facebook and Merck are throwing in $40 million each to start off the operation, and the money will go towards research into “advancing public understanding of how social media and behavioral sciences can be leveraged to improve the health of communities around the world.”
The first grants will be given to researchers and organizations who are exploring ways of using social media and digital platforms to build confidence in and drive uptake of vaccines, the email said.
Facebook’s representative also wrote that the corporation and its partners in the alliance are looking to expand their work.