The numbers are in, ‘billionaires have had a terrific pandemic’ – and Fauci too!

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(Video: CNN)

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on economies worldwide, some of the wealthiest among us have seen their fortunes grow even larger despite the negative effects of pandemic-related policies imposed on the world’s population writ large.

CNN’s chief business correspondent Christine Romans joined the network’s “New Day” on Tuesday and reviewed findings reported in a study from Oxfam International. The study showed an increase of $5 trillion among those in the billionaire stratum over the last 21 months, with Romans describing the pandemic as a “profit machine for the world’s richest people.” In fact, she said, the world’s ten richest men have seen their combined fortunes rise from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion.

“When times are tough, the rich get richer. When times are good, the rich get richer,” Romans summarized. “All told, their total worth is six times greater than the world’s poorest 3.1 billion people. It’s almost mind-boggling.”

Oxfam International’s Executive Director Gabriela Bucher pointed out in the study that 99 percent of the world’s population saw their income decline over the last two years, and the rich, she said, ought to be taxed heavily for their financial gains. She suggested that particular tax revenue could go toward increasing vaccine production, addressing climate change and providing universal healthcare and social safety nets.

Bucher wrote in the study:

Billionaires have had a terrific pandemic. Central banks pumped trillions of dollars into financial markets to save the economy, yet much of that has ended up lining the pockets of billionaires riding a stock market boom. Vaccines were meant to end this pandemic, yet rich governments allowed pharma billionaires and monopolies to cut off the supply to billions of people. The result is that every kind of inequality imaginable risks rising. The predictability of it is sickening. The consequences of it kill.

 

Though he might not be counted among the super-wealthy, Dr. Anthony Fauci also had his fair share of pandemic-induced windfall monies. His household raked in a cool $1,776,479 during the health crisis. The federal government paid Fauci and his wife Christine Grady, who also works at the National Institutes of Health, $868,812 in 2020, according to The Federalist. Added to that, the Faucis received royalties and stipends totaling at least $113,298 and their investment accounts increased by $794,369.

Without knowledge of their investment portfolio, one might guess that some of those holdings are in Big Pharma.

That being said, Fauci’s net worth is reported at $10.4 million. In 2019 he was paid $417,608, which makes him the highest paid government employee in the U.S.

During a Senate Health Committee hearing last week, Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) asked Fauci if the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director would be “willing to submit to Congress and the public a financial disclosure that includes your past and current investments?”

“I cannot find them. Our office cannot find them. Where would they be if they are public knowledge?” Marshall asked.

In response, the doctor claimed that “my financial disclosure is public knowledge” and said the Kansas Republican was “so misinformed, it’s extraordinary” and called him a “moron” on a hot mic.

As BPR reported, Marshall then published Fauci’s unredacted financial disclosures.

“Dr. Fauci lied to the American people. He is more concerned with being a media star and posing for the cover of magazines than he is being honest with the American people and holding China accountable for the COVID pandemic that has taken the lives of almost 850 thousand Americans,” Marshall remarked to Fox News Digital in a statement.

“Just like he has misled the American people about sending taxpayers dollars to Wuhan, China, to fund gain-of-function research, about masks, testing, and more, Dr. Fauci was completely dishonest about his financial disclosures being open to the public — it’s no wonder he is the least trusted bureaucrat in America,” the senator asserted.

Pharmaceutical companies as well have enjoyed huge cash infusions of taxpayer money in exchange for the rapid development of COVID vaccines. Not surprisingly, the loudest advocates for repeated booster shots designed by Pfizer and BioNTech have been the vaccine developers themselves.

BPR reported in August of 2021 that Pfizer has profited greatly from the sale of its Covid-19 vaccine, to the tune of $11.3 billion in the first half of 2021 alone, according to Open Secrets, published by the Center for Responsive Politics. In a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Pfizer stated that the US government spending accounted for “12% and 14% of total revenues for the three and six month” periods in 2021.

These increases were seen even before the emergency use authorization was received from the Food and Drug Administration for the Pfizer vaccine. Revenues in all Pfizer’s vaccine programs in the first half of 2020 was $2.9 billion, compared to $14.1 billion (for all vaccine programs) in the first half of 2021.

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Frank Webster

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