What are Obama’s investments in biotech companies apparently developing the “bird” and “swine” flu vaccine?Posted: July 24, 2009
by Jane Burgermeister
George W. Bush announced the International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza at the United Nations General Assembly on September 14, 2005, placing the US under UN and WHO law in the event of a pandemic “emergency”.
Earlier that year, in April, 2005, Barack Obama introduced the first comprehensive bill to deal with the bird flu threat, the Avian act. According to reports, Obama made significant investments in biotech companies involved in the development of bird and swine flu.
Obama’s ties to Baxter in addition to Chicago HQ
February 22, 2005
“Less than two months after ascending to the United States Senate, Barack Obama bought more than $50,000 worth of stock in two speculative companies whose major investors included some of his biggest political donors.
One of the companies was a biotech concern that was starting to develop a drug to treat avian flu. In March 2005, two weeks after buying about $5,000 of its shares, Mr. Obama took the lead in a legislative push for more federal spending to battle the disease.”
“But he put $50,000 to $100,000 into an account at UBS, which his aides say was recommended to him by a wealthy friend, George W. Haywood, who was also a major investor in both Skyterra and AVI BioPharma, public securities filings show.”
“Within two weeks of his purchase of the biotech stock that Feb. 22, Mr. Obama initiated what he has called “one of my top priorities since arriving in the Senate,” a push to increase federal financing to fight avian flu.”
“His first step came on March 4, 2005, when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved his request for $25 million to help contain the disease in Asia; the full Senate later approved that measure. And in April 2005, he introduced a bill calling for more research on avian flu drugs and urging the government to increase its stockpiles of antiviral medicines.
Mr. Obama repeated this call in a letter that Aug. 9 to Michael O. Levitt, the health and human services secretary. And in September 2005, Mr. Obama and Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, succeeded in amending another bill to provide $3.8 billion for battling the flu.
Meanwhile, the drug company in which he invested, AVI BioPharma, had been working to develop its own medicine to treat avian flu victims. In a conference call with Wall Street analysts on March 8, 2005, the company’s chairman, Denis R. Burger, said the firm was “aggressively going forward” with its avian flu research and hoped to work with federal agencies on it.”
April 28, 2005
“Senator Obama introduces the AVIAN Act (S. 969). Senator Obama introduces the first comprehensive bill to address the threat of an avian influenza pandemic.”
Obama warns of a flu pandemic in 2005
June 6, 2005
“Grounding a Pandemic
By BARACK OBAMA and RICHARD LUGAR”
“It is essential for the international community, led by the United States, to take decisive action to prevent a pandemic.”
“So what should we do? Recently, the World Health Organization called for more money and attention to be devoted to effective preventive action, appealing for $100 million.”
“Accelerating research into avian flu vaccines and antiviral drugs.”
“Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois, is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Richard Lugar, Republican of Indiana, is its chairman.”