If we ever want to have some semblance of honor and integrity restored to our governing institutions, the first thing we must do as Americans is begin to expect more of both from our elected political leaders.
Because until we do that, our politicians will continue to be corrupt.
Montana’s GOP governor, Greg Gianforte, is the latest case in point.
Over the summer Gianforte made it a point to encourage residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19 which, admittedly, other governors have done.
“There couldn’t be a more important time to get vaccinated. The vaccines have been researched, they have been rigorously tested, they are safe and they work,” Gianforte said at a press conference in Helena.
Montana Public Radio added:
COVID-19 cases in Montana have shown exponential growth this summer. The state added 720 new cases Tuesday, one of the largest single-day increases this year. In recent weeks, health care officials have raised concerns about staffing shortages and hospital capacity.
But here’s the difference: While most governors in the country have encouraged their residents to get the vaccine as well, they don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in one of the three big pharma vaccine makers — in this case, Pfizer.
When Gianforte was Montana’s sole U.S. House member in 2018, he had nearly $798,000 invested in the pharmaceutical company, according to Open Secrets.
Gianforte toured from town to town advocating for the Pfizer “Vaccine” and highly advised that people such as Veterans and others take it and even called it “safe and effective” on multiple occasions. This, however, is false. Not only are Pfizer injections unsafe, they do not slow down the transmission of Covid-19 according to the CDC but rather just minimalize symptoms.
Health Officer Joe Russell of Flathead County stated that “1 out of 4” citizens “vaccinated” in Flathead County have been hospitalized.
Gianforte has been coercing people statewide to “get the vaccine” for many, many months now.
To his credit, Gianforte has not tried to implement a vaccine or mask mandate in his state, and anyway, Joe Biden’s mandate does not look like it’s going to stand after being slapped down by federal courts. But the fact that a politician is advocating for a product manufactured by a company in which he holds stock is not ethical any way you slice it.
But he’s by far not the only politician on Big Pharma’s payroll, as Stat News reported in June. In fact, the outlet noted that fully two-thirds of Congress cashed pharma checks last election cycle:
Pfizer’s political action committee alone contributed to 228 lawmakers. Amgen’s PAC donated to 218, meaning that each company helped to fund the campaigns of nearly half the lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Overall, the sector donated $14 million.
The breadth of the spending highlights the drug industry’s continued clout in Washington. Even after years of criticism from Congress and the White House over high prices, it remains routine for the elected officials who regulate the health care industry to accept six-figure sums.
Stat claimed that most drug companies are partial to Republicans, but in fact, the donations are nearly evenly split: $7.1 million went to Republicans, and $6.6 million went to Democrats.
And here’s another factor: The COVID pandemic has been particularly good for vaccine makers’ bottom lines. In May, CNN reported that the vaccines had created nine new billionaires.
“Topping the list of new billionaires are Moderna (MRNA) CEO Stéphane Bancel and Ugur Sahin, the CEO of BioNTech (BNTX), which has produced a vaccine with Pfizer (PFE). Both CEOs are now worth around $4 billion, according to an analysis by the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a campaign group that includes Oxfam, UNAIDS, Global Justice Now and Amnesty International,” the outlet reported.