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The Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-Accelerator) is a multinational collaboration, and multistakeholder initiative including the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), GAVI the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund, UNICEF, Unitaid, Wellcome Trust, the World Bank and governments, to raise financial support of accelerated research and development, production, and globally-equitable access to COVID-19 tests, therapies, and vaccines.


Pandemic Funding Scandal

POLITICO September 14, 2022

Special Report - How Bill Gates and his partners took over the global Covid response By Erin Banco, Ashleigh Furlong and Lennart Pfahler

Four health organizations, working closely together, spent almost $10 billion on responding to Covid across the world. But they lacked the scrutiny of governments, and fell short of their own goals, a POLITICO and WELT investigation found.

While nations were still debating the seriousness of the pandemic, the groups identified potential vaccine makers and targeted investments in the development of tests, treatments and shots. And they used their clout with the World Health Organization to help create an ambitious worldwide distribution plan for the dissemination of those Covid tools to needy nations, though it would ultimately fail to live up to its original promises.

The four organizations had worked together in the past, and three of them shared a common history. The largest and most powerful was the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest philanthropies in the world. Then there was Gavi, the global vaccine organization that Gates helped to found to inoculate people in low-income nations, and the Wellcome Trust, a British research foundation with a multibillion dollar endowment that had worked with the Gates Foundation in previous years. Finally, there was the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, or CEPI, the international vaccine research and development group that Gates and Wellcome both helped to create in 2017.

POLITICO and WELT examined meeting minutes as well as thousands of pages of financial disclosures and tax documents, which revealed that the groups have spent nearly $10 billion since 2020 — the same amount as the leading U.S. agency charged with fighting Covid abroad. It is one of the first comprehensive accountings of expenditures by global health organizations on the global fight against the pandemic.

Jeremy Farrar, the Wellcome Trust director - - defended the ACT-Accelerator (Act-A) partnership as “the best mechanism we have for delivering lifesaving Covid-19 tools across the world.”

“Before ACT-A was set up, there was no formal mechanism in place to coordinate and accelerate the development, production and equitable access to Covid-19 interventions globally,” he said. “While ACT-A may not be perfect … the global response would have been poorer and far more fragmented without it.”

The POLITICO and WELT investigation found, however, that ACT-A’s structure diminished accountability. ACT-A representatives set funding priorities and campaigned for donations. But the money — $23 billion in total — went directly to the entities involved in the initiative, such as Gavi and CEPI. Although ACT-A’s website keeps track of how much money was raised, it is nearly impossible to tell exactly where all of it went.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., leaders of the organizations were also in contact with senior U.S. health officials. Emails obtained by Republicans on Capitol Hill illustrate the extent to which Farrar, the director of Wellcome, was in touch with officials in some of the highest levels of the U.S. government on a sensitive health and national security issue.

The emails,2) released this year, show Farrar in the early weeks of the pandemic discussing the possibility of Covid having leaked from a lab in China with top U.S. health officials including Anthony Fauci and National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins.3)

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