(NaturalNews) If you're someone looking to fleece the American taxpayer and the U.S. government out of hundreds of millions of dollars, one of the best ways to do it is to invent a medical crisis and promise to deliver a new vaccine "cure" for it.
Someone in Japan figured out that this is a pretty good angle for a scam, and has used it to extract $300 million from our broke government, with the promise of developing a vaccine for the Zika virus.
As reported by Fierce Biotech, the government's public health emergency agency, BARDA, is footing the bill, paying Japanese Big Pharma firm Takeda to develop the vaccine, "as new figures suggest billions are now at risk of the disease" – the symptoms of which, by the way, are extremely mild, mainly consisting of red eyes, muscle aches and a low-grade fever.
The scandal deepens – and gets more expensive
In terms of the deal, BARDA will initially pay out $19.8 million to cover the costs of developing the vaccine through Phase I. That price tag could rise as high as $312 million, however, "should things go well," Fierce Biotech reported. "Going well" must mean maximum fleecing of the taxpayer.
In all, the agency will fund research through Phase III, along with filing all the proper paperwork and requests for distribution in the United States.
The Japanese firm has a history of working on vaccines, and is currently engaged in developing them for dengue fever, norovirus and polio programs. Under the deal, Takeda claims it will use the money infusion to develop an inactivated, adjuvanted, whole Zika virus vaccine. If it comes to the manufacturing stage, that will take place at the company's facilities in Hikari, Japan.
"Working with BARDA, Takeda is deploying its world-class expertise and capabilities in vaccine development for emerging infectious diseases, and our outstanding team and manufacturing facilities in Hikari, Japan," Dr. Rajeev Venkayya, president of the Global Vaccine Business Unit at Takeda, said.
But is all this really necessary? No, according to John P. Thomas of Health Impact News. He notes that before January of this year, Zika – which has been around for decades – was a nearly-harmless virus. That suddenly changed, however, and now it's some monster global pandemic that is going to infect "billions."
It's as though Zika is being treated like the modern-day version of Europe's medieval "black plague," which reportedly killed 60 percent of Europeans between 1346 and 1353.