Saturday, February 6, 2021

Who Profits From Columbia University's Teachers College?

"Non-Profit" Teachers College of Columbia University's 525 W. 120th St. building. (photo by Bohao Zhao (wikicommons))

 Since January 22, 2021, thousands of Columbia University students of the Upper West Side "non-profit" university have been withholding their tuition payments for the Spring 2021 semester, in support of the following 5 demands:

"1) Columbia must alleviate the economic burden on students by reducing the cost of attendance and increasing financial aid.

- Reduce the cost of attendance (including tuition, fees, and room & board) by at least 10%.

- Increase financial aid by at least 10%.

- Replace the "student responsibility" with grants.

- Offer financial aid for summer classes for all schools at Columbia

- Forgive all late fees and other forms of retaliation for unpaid bills for the duration of the pandemic.

- We also demand that this reduction and increased aid should not come at the expense of instructor or worker pay, but rather at the expense of bloated administrative salaries, expansion projects, and other expenses that don't benefit students and workers.

"2) Columbia must fulfill its responsibilities to the people of West Harlem by committing to provide employment, education & affordable housing, and to end expansion.

" 3) Columbia must defund Public Safety and invest in community safety solutions that prioritize the safety of Black students and West Harlem residents, and repair harm caused by prior racist practices of Public Safety.

" 4) Columbia must commit to complete transparency about the University's investments and respect the democratic votes of the student body regarding investment and divestment decisions. This includes respecting the referendums at Barnard and Columbia College to divest from companies involved in human rights violations, divesting fully from fossil fuels, and respecting the results of future referendums relating to investment decisions; and

"5) Columbia must bargain in good faith with unions on campus around their key demands for improved compensation, benefits, and protections. This includes guaranteeing protections to international students and granting union recognition for MA and undergrad student-workers."

According to the Columbia University students who initiated the 2021 tuition strike:, "these issues are united by a shared root cause: a flagrant disregard for initiatives democratically supported within the community" and the administration of Columbia University President Lee Bollinger's "unilateral decision-making process" which "has perpetuated the existence of these injustices in our community despite possessing ample resources to confront them with structural solutions."

In response to either the threat of a tuition strike or the tuition strike itself, Columbia University's Bollinger "administration announced it would freeze tuition, suspend fees on late payments, increase spring financial aid and provide a limited amount of summer grants to students," according to a Jan. 26, 2021 In These Times article, titled "Columbia Students Wage the Largest Tuition Strike in Nearly 50 Years," by Indigo Olivier. But "students who" were "withholding tuition were surprised when they learned of multiple cases in which $150 late fees appeared in students' accounts last weekend, though they have not been able to confirm whether they are expected to pay this fee," according to the same article.

In These Times also noted that, on Jan. 22, 2021, Columbia's Board of Trustees "finally formalized its commitment to divest from publicly traded oil and gas companies;" but on Jan. 20, 2021, "the Board of Trustees also quietly announced it was lifting its 2006 to 2020 policy of divestment and non-investment in `companies operating in Sudan.'"

Despite calling their Upper West Side-based private schools "non-profit" institutions, some of the administrators and professors of both Columbia University and Teachers College of Columbia University have, in recent years, apparently been pocketing total annual monetary compensations much higher than what most New York City workers who are still employed are paid; or what most Columbia students are likely to earn annually during the current decade.

According to the 2017 Form 990 financial filing of Teachers College of Columbia University (on whose board of trustees Columbia University President Bollinger has sat next to Rockefeller Brothers Fund Chair of the Board of Trustees and former "confidential assistant" to Secretary Richard Riley at the U.S. Department of Education during the first Clinton administration, Valerie Rockefeller, in recent years), for example, between Sept. 1, 2017 and Aug. 31, 2018, "non-profit" Columbia's Teachers College paid total annual compensations that exceeded $198,000 to the following folks:

1. Teachers College President and later President Emerita Susan Fuhrman's total annual compensation was $1,059,181;

2. Teachers College VP Suzanne Murphy's total annual compensation was $533,206;

3. Teachers College's then-newly-installed President Thomas Bailey's total annual compensation was $468,469;

4. Teachers College VP Harvey Spector's total annual compensation was $465,600;

5. Teachers College Provost & Dean Thomas James's total annual compensation was $465,250;

6. Teachers College Professor Sharon Kagan's total annual compensation was $423,098;

7. Teachers College Enid & Lesk Morse Chair Ruth Vinz's total annual compensation was $373,390;

8. Teachers College Professor Andrew Gordon's total annual compensation was $362,407;

9. Teachers College Professor Jeanne Brooks-Gunn's total annual compensation was $356,392;

10. Teachers College VP Janice Robinson's total annual compensation was $350,941;

11. Teachers College's former Vice-Provost William Baldwin's total annual compensation was $334,607;

12. Teachers College Professor Anne Lin Goodwin's total annual compensation was $330,646;

13. Teachers College Assoc. VP Nancy Streim's total annual compensation was $318,679;

14. Teachers College Vice Provost Catherine Embree's total annual compensation was $279,550;

15. Teachers College Chief of Staff Katharine Conway's total annual compensation was $230,181;

16. Teachers College Vice Provost Steven Goss's total annual compensation was $225,955; and

17. Teachers College's former General Counsel Lori Fox's total annual compensation was $198,594.

In 2018 the "non-profit" Teachers College of Columbia University also had over $149 million invested in "non-public equity funds" and over $28 million invested in "private equity and real estate funds," according to its 2017 Form 990 financial filing.

Between Sept. 1, 2017 and Aug. 31, 2018, the total revenues of Columbia University's Teachers College exceeded $241 million, which included over $47 million that came from "contributions and grants" and over $4 million that came from its investment income. In addition, Teachers College of Columbia University spent $1 million on "lobbying" between Sept. 2017 and August 2018.

So, not surprisingly, in July 2020,the privately-controlled Teachers College of Columbia University was awarded $6.3 million in two publicly-funded U.S. federal government grants from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Science for a "study of the Federal Work-Study program." And in October and November 2020, Multi-Billionaire U.S. Oligarch Bill Gates's Gates Foundation also gave four "charitable" grants, totaling over $1.2 million, to the Teachers College of institutionally racist Columbia University; including, ironically, a $499,000 tax-exempt "charitable" grant "to advance knowledge of which advising reforms disproportionately benefit students of color and students experiencing poverty" and a $100,000 "charitable" grant "to support reporting on racial inequities in education."

Monday, January 4, 2021

Who Profits From `Non-Profit' Columbia University Inc. In 2021?

 

Columbia University Graduate Business School's Uris Hall (wikicommons)

Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, tax-exempt Columbia University claims to be a “non-profit” institution. Yet according to the Trustees of Columbia University’s Form 990 Financial Filing for 2017, between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, Columbia’s total revenues of $5,888,095,558 exceeded its total expenses of $5,022,865,551 by over $865 million; and the value of “non-profit” Columbia’s net assets increased from $14.6 billion to $15.7 billion during the same period.


Hundreds of millions of dollars are accumulated by “non-profit” Columbia University as a result of its investment of endowment funds in things like corporate stocks and hedge funds, from which it obtains dividends or additional income from selling some of its corporate stocks at stock market prices higher than the prices it paid at the time the corporate stocks were purchased. Between July 2017 and June 2018, for example, Columbia University’s annual income from its investments exceeded $683 million. In addition, during the same period, Columbia University’s annual rental income from its real estate property exceeded $33 million and its annual income from “royalties” exceeded $24 million.


Some of the $5.8 billion in annual revenues that the administration of Columbia University pocketed between July 2017 and June 2018 was then passed on to “sub-recipients” of Columbia’s tax-exempt government and foundation grant money like NYU, Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, University of Pennsylvania, M.I.T., Harvard University, Stanford University, Northwestern University, University of Pittsburgh, Yale University, University of Michigan, Georgetown University, Emory University, California Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, Cornell University, JH Piego Corporation and The Rand Corporation for “research,” in the form of “sub-recipient” grants. The Columbia administration, for example, gave:

$2,225,976 in sub-recipient grant money to NYU;

$1,985,135 in sub-recipient grant money to Johns Hopkins University;

$1,849,519 in sub-recipient grant money to Duke University;

$1,835,855 in sub-recipient grant money to University of Pennsylvania;

$1,524,713 in sub-recipient grant money to M.I.T.;

$1,285,545 in sub-recipient grant money to Harvard University;

$1,276,330 in sub-recipient grant money to Stanford University;

$1,139,952 in sub-recipient grant money to Northwestern University;

$1,098,060 in sub-recipient grant money to University of Pittsburgh;

$960,611 in sub-recipient grant money to Yale University;

$863,723 in sub-recipient grant money to University of Michigan;

$741,411 in sub-recipient grant money to Georgetown University;

$736,807 in sub-recipient grant money to Emory University;

$685,038 in sub-recipient grant money to California Institute of Technology;

$622,477 in sub-recipient grant money to University of Chicago;

$609,593 in sub-recipient grant money to Cornell University; 

$511,313 in sub-recipient grant money to JH Piego Corporation; and

$329,639 in sub-recipient grant money to The RAND Corporation.

And much of Columbia University’s $5.8 billion in annual revenues between July 2017 and June 2018 was used to provide total annual compensation payments to some Columbia University administrators and professors that exceeded by a lot the annual average salaries paid to most people who live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Total annual compensation payments that exceeded $450,000, for example, were made by Columbia University to the following university administrators or professors:

Columbia University Executive Vice-President of Investment Management Peter Holland received a total annual compensation of $6,523,075;

Columbia University Clinical Professor David Silvers received a total annual compensation of $4,225,843;

Columbia University Professor of Surgery Craig Smith received a total annual compensation of $4,119,778;

Columbia University Professor of Surgery Lawrence Lenke received a total annual compensation of $4,119,778;

Columbia University Professor of Surgery Kiehyun Riew received a total annual compensation of $3,343,152;

Columbia University President Lee Bollinger received a total annual compensation of $2,648,682;

Columbia University Professor of Surgery Ronald Lehman Jr. received a total annual compensation of $2,455,483;

Columbia University Executive VP for Health Sciences Lee Goldman received a total annual compensation of $1,930,675;

Columbia University Provost John Coatsworth received a total annual compensation of $834,731;

Columbia University Senior Executive VP Gerald Rosberg received a total annual compensation of $801,407;

Columbia University Executive VP for Finance and IT Anne Sullivan received a total annual compensation of $786,051;

Columbia University Executive VP of University Development and Alumni Relations Amelia Alverson received a total annual compensation of $778,731;

Columbia University Executive VP of Arts and Sciences David Madigan received a total annual compensation of $765,451;

Columbia University General Counsel Jane Booth received a total annual compensation of $707,781;

Columbia University Executive VP of Facilities David Greenberg received a total annual compensation of $551,922; and

Columbia University Trustees’ Secretary Jerome Davis received a total annual compensation of $464,575.


In addition, 5,716 other administrators or faculty members of “non-profit” and corporate tax-exempted “Columbia University Inc.” each individually received--between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018--total annual compensations that exceeded $100,000.

According to its Form 990 financial filing for 2017, between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, "non-profit" Columbia University was also the "direct controlling entity" of business firms like the following:

Merit Energy Partners LLP;

Sanjeevini Investment Holding;

GCM Grosvenor Blue LP;

India Equity Fund Limited;

Canaan Resources Partners Drilling Fund;

Vectra Energy Drill Fund LLP;

Star Asia Opportunity Fund;

Fathom Knowledge Network; and

Freezer Box Inc. 

And in addition, the Cayman Islands-based FPCM Inflation Linked Opportunities Ltd. investment firm was another business firm in which Columbia University was also the "direct controlling entity," between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.

Perhaps it’s now time for the Upper West Side’s “non-profit” Columbia University to finally begin to start paying a fair share of municipal, state and federal taxes during the 2021 fiscal year?

Monday, June 1, 2020

Columbia University's Public Health School and NYC's `Corona-Gates' Scandal: Conclusion

Columbia U.'s Public Health School at 722 W. 168th St. in Manhattan: Failed to protect NYC's public health in 2020?
Time To Redistribute Columbia Public Health School’s “Charitable” Grants Directly To Families Of NYC’s COVID-19 Victims In 2020?

It may be too early to tell whether or not the initially predicted number of estimated deaths “from COVID-19” in 2020 in NYC, in the absence of federal, state and city government “mitigation” policy decisions to establish more “social distancing,” was an initially accurate prediction? And it may be too early to tell to what degree the “new normal” of a daily life shut-down that was established in NYC and elsewhere in the USA actually prevented more fatalities; or whether the “new normal” of daily life which, for example, might attempt to ban gatherings of more than 50 people, will become a permanent “new normal" in NYC and the USA?

But it’s probably not too early to assume that the “public health researchers” at Gates Foundation-funded Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health will continue to receive a lot more money in “charitable grants” for their academic research projects during the next five years. Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health website, for example, indicates, on its “Grants and Gifts” page, that the following grants have been “awarded” to its academic “public health” researchers in recent years:

“Grants and Gifts

“Merlin Chowkwanyun and David Rosner received a $457,649 award from the National Science Foundation for a project titled “ToxicDocs Research Infrastructure Project,” for the period August 1, 2018 to July 31, 2021.

“Alwyn Cohall received a $10,300,000 award from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Criminal Justice Involvement Initiative for a project titled “Youth Opportunity Hub,” for the period July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2021.

“Mark Hatzenbuehler received a $3,068,202 award from the National Institute of Mental Health for a project titled “Structural Stigma and HIV Prevention Outcomes,” for the period July 19, 2017 to April 30, 2022.

“Mark Hatzenbuehler received a $955,143 award from the Centers for Disease Control for a project titled “Anti-Bullying Laws and Youth Violence in the United States: A Longitudinal Evaluation of Efficacy and Implementation,” for the period September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2020.

“Mark Hatzenbuehler received a $350,000 award from the William T. Grant Foundation for a project titled “Evaluating Strategies for Reducing Homophobic Bullying,” for the period July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2023.

“Matthew Lee received a $120,000 award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for a project titled “Health Policy Research Scholars Cohort Two-2017,” for the period July 1, 2017 to August 31, 2022.

“Lisa Rosen Metsch received a $7,968,704 award from the National Institute for Drug Abuse for a project titled “A Multi-Setting RCT of Integrated HIV Prevention and HCV Care for PWID,” for the period September 30, 2017 to July 31, 2022.

“Marita Murrman received a $3,069,880 award from the Health Resources and Services Administration for a project titled “Public Health Training Centers,” for the period July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2022.

“Constance Nathanson received a $936,550 award from the National Institute for Child Health and Development for a project titled “Gender, Sexuality, and Health Training Grant,” for the period September 4, 2017 to April 30, 2022.

“Rachel Shelton received a $785,000 award from the American Cancer Society for a project titled “Sustainability of Lay Health Advisor Programs to Address Cancer Disparities,” for the period July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2022.

“Rachel Shelton (with Shakira Suglia of Emory University) received a $3,198,926 award from the National Institute on Aging for a project titled “Stress, Epigenetics, and Aging,” for the period July 1, 2018 to February 28, 2023.

“Karolynn Siegel and Eric Schrimshaw received an award from the National Institute for Minority Health Disparities for a project titled “Exchange Sex and HIV Risk Among MSM Online,” for the period September 25, 2017 to May 31, 2021.

“Hawi Teizazu received a $120,000 award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for a project titled “Health Policy Research Scholars Cohort Three-2018,” for the period September 1, 2018 to August 31, 2023.”

Yet, instead of awarding future “charitable grants” to Columbia’s School of Public Health middle-class researchers, perhaps all this “public health” research grant money should now be redistributed to the families of those New Yorkers (disproportionately of African-American racial background or elderly) who lost their lives or their jobs in 2020? Because New York City’s public health system was apparently not adequately prepared by Columbia’s Public Health School to prevent the spread of 21st-century viruses like COVID-19 in NYC or to provide equal and effective medical care and treatment medication for all patients, with underlying health conditions or living in local nursing homes, who contracted COVID-19 during NYC’s “Corona-Gates” Scandal of 2020. (end of article)


Sunday, May 31, 2020

Columbia University's Public Health School and NYC's `Corona-Gates' Scandal: Part 6

Columbia U.'s Public Health School: Also funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Columbia U. School of Public Health’s Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Connection

Besides receiving millions of dollars in “charitable grant” money since 1998 from the Mailman Foundation and the Gates Foundation, Columbia University and its Mailman School of Public Health has also received a lot of “charitable grant” money from the Robert Wood Johnson [RWJ] Foundation.

With assets then exceeding $9.6 billion, RWJ was the fifth–largest U.S. foundation in 2017; and, as long ago as 1980, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation controlled about 20 percent of the stock of the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson for-profit Big Pharma corporation, that had “a long history of secrecy” and preferred “to keep as low a profile as is humanly possible,” according to the 1980 edition of the Everybody’s Business Almanac: An Irreverent Guide To Corporate America. The same 1980 book also noted that “the Johnson Foundation funds programs in health care, thereby giving money,” coincidentally, “to institutions such as hospitals that are good J & J customers.”

But on July 30, 2008 the RWJ Foundation also gave a “charitable grant” of $4,446,132 to Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism because “this project will brand the Columbia effort as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Program in Health and Science Journalism thus promoting our influence with health and health care journalists,” according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation website. And between 2011 and 2013, three additional “charitable grants,” totaling over $3.6 million, were given to Columbia University by the RWJ Foundation.

Then, in 2014, yet another RWJ “charitable grant” of $1,465,000 was given to Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.

In 2020, New York City’s public health system apparently also had not been adequately prepared during the 21st-century by the administrations of either former NYC Mayor Bloomberg or current NYC Mayor De Blasio to provide effective medical care and treatment medication for the more than 22,000 New York City residents,  many with underlying health conditions or living in local nursing homes, who are estimated to have died after contracting COVID-19. Yet according to a press release, headlined “Health Policy Insiders Reveal Details Of The Data-Driven Process Behind The City’s Public Health Successes; Approach Can Be A Model For Other Cities,” about the results of a RWJ Foundation-funded “research study” at Columbia‘s Mailman School of Public Health that was posted on the school’s website on Dec. 19, 2013, academic researchers there then claimed:

“As Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s term comes to a close, the latest research conducted by the Mailman School of Public Health indicates that he leaves a legacy of ambitious public health policies…that have improved the health and increased the life expectancy of New Yorkers. The paper takes a behind-the-scenes look at the Bloomberg Administration to evaluate the evidence and build public support for improving health in the city—which also can serve as a blueprint for health policy in cities across the country…Support for the study was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.” (end of part 6)


Saturday, May 30, 2020

Columbia University's Public Health School and NYC's `Corona-Gates' Scandal: Part 5

Columbia U./WHO Funder and Big Pharma Investor Bill Gates speaking at Columbia U. in 2005
Columbia U. School of Public Health’s Gates Foundation Connection

As Laurie Garrett noted in her 2000 book Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health, “the World Health Organization, once the conscience of global health, lost its way in the 1990s;” and “demoralized, rife with rumors of corruption, and lacking in leadership, WHO floundered.” And between 2016 and 2017, around 14 percent of the annual budget of the WHO (that apparently failed to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to NYC in 2020) came from Microsoft Multi-Billionaire Bill Gates’s Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation [BLGF], whose “research and funding favor pharmaceutical multinationals like GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Roche, Sano, Gilead and Pfizer,” in which Gates and his foundation “hold shares in;” thus leading “to a clear conflict of interest,” according to a Nov. 19, 2017 Dandc.eu website article by Barbara Unmussig, titled “The Gates Foundation: Private-sector billionaires setting global agenda.” As the same 2017 article noted “the corporations profit from the Gates Foundation’s focus on pharmaceutical strategies, and the resulting corporate profits put dividends back into the donors’ pockets.”

Yet since 2019, the WHO still accepted over $200 million in “charitable grants” from Big Pharma Investor Bill Gates’s Gates Foundation.

As long ago as May 17, 2002, the Wall Street Journal, in an article titled “Gates Foundation Buys Stakes in Drug Makers” by David Bank and Rebecca Buckman, revealed that “the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has purchased shares in nine big pharmaceutical companies valued at nearly $205 million;” and in addition, the Los Angeles Times, in a Jan. 7, 2007 article by Charles Piller, Edmund Sanders and Robyn Dixon, reported that:

“…The Times found that the Gates Foundation has holdings in many companies that have failed tests of social responsibility because of environmental lapses, employment discrimination, disregard for worker rights, or unethical practices…In addition, The Times found the Gates Foundation endowment had major holdings in...pharmaceutical companies that price drugs beyond the reach of AIDS patients...As of this September [2007], the Gates Foundation held $169 million in Abbott stock. In 2005, the foundation held nearly $1.5 billion worth of stock in drug companies whose practices have been widely criticized as restricting the flow of key medicines to poor people in developing nations.

“On average, shares in those companies have increased in value about 54 per cent since 2002. Investments in Abbott and other drug makers probably have gained the foundation hundreds of millions of dollars….Microsoft monopolies in computer operating systems and business software depend upon the same intellectual-property and trade-law approaches favored by drug companies…”

So, not surprisingly, in a June, 2013 News Junkie blog post, titled “Bill Gates, Big Pharma, Bogus Philanthropy,” Ruben Rosenberg Corlorn noted that “as an investor in Merck & Co., Pfizer Inc., Johnson & Johnson and others, the Gates foundation shares financial interests with the makers of AIDS drugs, diagnostic tools, vaccines and other drugs;” and he characterized the foundation that funds the WHO in the following way:

“The Bill & Melinda Gates `Foundation’ is essentially a huge tax-avoidance scheme for enormously-wealthy capitalists who have made billions from exploiting the world’s people. The foundation invests, tax free, money from Gates and the `donations’ from others, in the very companies in which Gates owns millions in stocks, thus guaranteeing returns through both sales as well as intellectual-property rights. To add insult to injury, the system perpetuates the spread of disease rather than aids in their eradication, thus perpetually justifying his endeavors to `eradicate’ them (solving a problem they are creating)….It is almost certain that if enormously wealthy individuals and firms were held accountable for their actions instead of being allowed to `whitewash’ them in misleading and dishonest philanthropy, the world would be better. It is almost certain that if philanthropy was genuine, and not designed as a tax-avoidance scheme and one in which `donations’ serve as investments into the very firms in which the donors have enormous stakes, the world would be better….”

In his March 17, 2020 article in The Nation magazine about WHO Funder Bill Gates’s foundation, titled “Bill Gates’s Charity Paradox,” Tim Schwab also reported that “The Nation found close to $250 million in charitable grants from the Gates Foundation to companies in which the foundation holds corporate stocks and bonds: Merck, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Vodafone, Sanofi, Ericsson, LG, Medtronic, Teva, and numerous start-ups—with the grants directed at projects like developing new drugs and health monitoring systems and creating mobile banking services;” and noted that “a foundation giving a charitable grant to a company that it partly owns—and stands to benefit from financially—would seem like an obvious conflict of interest.” So, not surprisingly, the “non-profit” Gates Foundation’s “$50 billion endowment has generated $28.5 billion in investment income over the last five years,” yet “during the same period, the foundation has given away only $23.5 billion in charitable grants,” according to The Nation magazine’s March 17, 2020 article.

According to an article by Jacob Levich, titled “The Real Agenda of the Gates Foundation,” that appeared in the May 2014 issue of Aspects of India’s Economy:

“The Gates Foundation exercises power not only via its own spending, but more broadly through an elaborate network of `partner organizations’ including non-profits, government agencies, and private corporations. As the third largest donor to the UN's World Health Organization (WHO), it is a dominant player in the formation of global health policy….Such arrangements allow BMGF to leverage its stake in allied enterprises, much as private businesses enhance power and profits through strategic investment schemes….At the same time the Foundation supports NGOs that lobby governments to increase spending on the initiatives it sponsors.

“The Gates operation resembles…a massive, vertically integrated multinational corporation (MNC), controlling every step in a supply chain that reaches from its Seattle-based boardroom...Emulating his own strategies for cornering the software market, Gates has created a virtual monopoly in the field of public health… Vastly endowed, essentially unaccountable, unencumbered by respect for democracy…, it is ideally positioned to intervene swiftly and decisively on behalf of the interests it represents. As Bill Gates remarked, `I’m not gonna get voted out of office.’…

“In the wake of the 2007-08 financial crisis…the super-rich experienced popular anger more directly than at any time since the Great Depression….The avowedly anti-capitalist Occupy Wall Street movement received extensive…press coverage... Particularly worrisome to the mega-rich was the extent to which they themselves, rather than vague complaints about `the system,’ became the focus of discontent….BMGF’s publicity operation was quick to respond. The Foundation exploited `multiple messaging avenues for influencing the public narrative’ including the creation of `strategic media partners’ – ostensibly independent news organizations whose cooperation was ensured via the distribution of $25 million in annual grant money….At the same time BMGF expanded its online operations, using Twitter and Facebook to disseminate pseudo-scientific... images to millions of `followers’ worldwide…. Apart from the promotion of specific corporate interests and imperialist strategic aims, BMGF’s expertly publicized activities have the effect of laundering the enormous concentration of wealth in the hands of a few supremely powerful oligarchs….Thus the Gates Foundation, like the MNCs it so closely resembles, seeks to manufacture consent for its activities through the manipulation of public opinion.”

Coincidentally, the same foundation of Bill Gates that funds in a big way the WHO, which apparently failed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to New York City in 2020, also has funded Columbia’s School of Public Health and Columbia University in a big way during the last two decades with tax-deductible “charitable grants.” In May 1999, for example, “Columbia University's Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health” was “awarded $50 million from Bill and Melinda Gates,” according to a May 19, 1999 Columbia University Record website article. And although the $50 million “charitable grant” from Bill Gates’s foundation that Columbia’s School of Public Health received apparently did not improve New York City’s public health system’s capacity to prepare for expected 21st-century viruses like COVID-19, the same article quotes then-Columbia University president George Rupp as claiming that “the he Gates Foundation gift is of critical importance” and “with the combined efforts of a private foundation, a research university and government and community-based assistance organizations, we have the best chance of improving health care in areas of the world where the need is greatest."

Then, on Feb. 14, 2003, the Gates Foundation gave another tax-exempt “charitable grant” of $488,200 to Columbia University “to support a forum and broadcast production of a global health dialogue between Bill Gates and Bill Moyer at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health,” according to the Gates Foundation’s website. And on July 1, 2006, another $10 million in “charitable grant” money was given to Columbia University by the Gates Foundation “to support the Mailman School of Public Health Building Campaign.,” according to the Gates Foundation’s website.

In addition, between 1998 and Sept. 17, 2019, Gates’s Gates Foundation gave Columbia University and the Teachers College of Columbia University the following other “charitable grants:”

1. An April 1998 grant of $160,000 to Columbia University;

2. An April 10, 1998 grant of $610,000 to Columbia University;

3. A Sept. 1, 2002 grant of $4,746,533 to Columbia University “to support a randomized trial of male circumcision;”

4. A Nov. 2002 grant of $10 million to Columbia University;

5. A Nov. 15, 2006 grant of $240,687 to Teachers College of Columbia University “to carry out activities aimed at helping a national audience of journalists report on issues;”

6. A Nov. 2008 grant of $5,182,505 to Columbia University “to determine the causes of pediatric pneumonia…to inform prioritization of microbial targets for vaccine development;”

7. A March 23, 2012 grant of $2,502,000 to Teachers College of Columbia University “for general operating support;”

8. A July 2, 2013 grant of $273,083 to Columbia University “to examine key aspects of fecal sludge treatment;”

9. An April 1, 2016 grant of $1.3 million to Teachers College of Columbia University “for general operating support;”

10. A July 2016 grant of $7,905,046 to Columbia University “to support development of the Columbia Tutoring and Learning Center as a state of the art technology enabling tutoring program;”

11. A Nov. 2, 2016 grant of $1 million to Columbia University “to provide general operating support;”

12. A Jan. 29, 2018 grant of $1.5 million to Columbia University “for general operating support;”

13. A March 14, 2018 grant of $1.5 million to Columbia University “to support the development of computational methods for optimization of antibodies and vaccines and the application of these methods to important problems in global health;”

14. A March 16, 2018 grant of $1,911,540 to Columbia University;

15. An Aug. 2015 grant of $1,625,009 to Teachers College of Columbia University;

16. A Sept. 5, 2018 grant of $328,850 to Columbia University;

17. An Oct. 22, 2018 grant of $100,000 to Teachers College of Columbia University;

18. A Nov. 2018 grant of $250,000 to Columbia University; and

19. A Sept. 17, 2019 grant of $1.3 million to Teachers College of Columbia University “to provide general operating support.” (end of part 5)

Friday, May 29, 2020

Columbia University's Public Health School and NYC's `Corona-Gates' Scandal: Part 4

Columbia U.'s Mailman School of Public Health: Renamed in exchange for $33 million from Mailman Foundation
Columbia U. School of Public Health’s Historical Mailman Foundation Connection

One reason Columbia University’s School of Public Health was re-named the “Mailman School of Public Health” in 1998 was that, in the words of a Sept. 4, 1998 Columbia University Record website article, “the largest single gift ever made to a school of public health,” as of that year (prior to the Gates Foundation's subsequent "charity grant" of $50 million in 1999 [equal to over $78 million in 2020]), of $33 million [equal to over $52 million in 2020], “was received” that “summer by the Columbia School of Public Health (CSPH) from the New York City-based Mailman Foundation, Inc.” According to the same 1998 article:

“The family-run Mailman Foundation, founded by the late Joseph Lawrence Mailman,…was made possible by his business success. He and his brother, Abraham, formed the Utica Knife and Razor Company, the Pal Blade Company, and later the Mailman Corporation, one of the earliest conglomerates in North America. In the course of his enterprising career, Mailman was president of the Persona Blade Company and the British Rubber Company and chairman of the board of Air Express International.”

Prior to resigning in 1984 as chairman of the then-biggest cargo forwarder at the JFK airport in NYC, Air Express International (whose annual revenues exceeded $250 million in 1983), Joseph Mailman and his family owned around 30 percent of Air Express International [AEI]’s stock. But on Oct. 19, 1981, Circuit Court Judges Godbold, Morgan and Henderson issued a decision in Air Express International’s appeal of a National Labor Relations Board decision which stated:

“We enforce the Board's order as relevant to the remainder of miscellaneous violations of the Act. Based on substantial evidence, the Board found that AEI discriminatorily threatened to withhold raises from some employees while granting and promising raises to others all in order to discourage union activity and weaken the pro-union majority, that AEI threatened employees with various other reprisals because of their support of the union, and that AEI created the impression of surveillance and otherwise interfered with the freedom of employee's union activities by interrogating employees about such activities, by warning of `harassment’ from Board agents, and by soliciting employees not to testify before the Board.”

According to a July 10, 1990 New York Times obituary, Joseph Mailman and Abraham Mailman also later “acquired substantial interests” in “Diamond T Motors, Gulfstream Land and Development and Republic Aviation.” As a result of his special economic interest in the Gulfstream Land and Development real estate firm in Florida, the wealthy businessman for whom Columbia’s “School of Public Health” was renamed in 1998, ironically, also sat next to Canadian liquor mogul Edgar M. Bronfman, the then-chairman of both Seagram Company Ltd. and Joseph E. Seagram and Sons Inc.--whose corporations apparently profited, in part, from the sale of liquor to some folks whose health declined due to excessive drinking. (end of part 4)

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Columbia University's Public Health School and NYC's `Corona-Gates' Scandal: Part 3

Chinese Government's NIVDC Funded Its Joint Research Lab "Arrangement" In China
Columbia U. Public Health School’s Chinese Government Connection Revisited

One reason the Center for Infection and Immunity [CII] of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health may have neglected to spend enough of its time between 2013 and 2019 focused on preparing New York City’s public health system to respond more effectively to the spread of expected viruses like COVID-19 is that the Columbia’s CII director, Professor of Epidemiology Lipkin, was, instead, also apparently spending his time serving as one of the scientific directors of the “market socialist” Chinese state-capitalist government’s National Institute for Viral Disease Control[NIVDC]-funded Joint Research Laboratory for Pathogen Discovery in Beijing, China between 2013 and 2019.

According to a May 28, 2013 Columbia Mailman School of Public Health website article, titled “In An Historic Arrangement, Columbia University and the Chinese CDC Open Joint Pathogen Discovery Lab In Beijing,” the purpose of this “historic arrangement” was “to conduct surveillance, identify new infectious microbes, establish novel platforms for diagnostics, and develop drugs and vaccines to treat diseases in humans and animals..” And the same 2013 article also quoted Columbia’s Center for Infection and Immunity [CII] Director Lipkin as claiming that the Columbia’s arrangement with the Chinese Center for Disease Control [CDC]’s NIVDC would “enable CII and Chinese CDC investigators to work side-by-side developing solutions for pandemic threats to global health.”

Yet between 2013 and 2019 no effective “drugs and vaccines to treat” the over 21,000 estimated New Yorkers who possibly died from COVID-19 in 2020 were apparently developed from Columbia’s Chinese government connection; and Columbia’s “historic arrangement” with the Chinese CDC did not apparently help New York City’s public health system develop particularly “effective solutions for pandemic threats” to New York City’s public health.

Another reason the Center for Infection and Immunity of Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health may have also neglected to spend enough of its time between 2013 and 2019 focused on preparing New York City’s public health system to respond more effectively to COVID-19 is that the Columbia’s CII director, Professor of Epidemiology Lipkin, predicted in 2013 that “in 2013 the threat is not the SARS coronavirus—this time the imminent threats are the H7N9 influenza virus and the new coronavirus emerging in the Middle East,” according to the same May 2013 press release. Yet by 2020 the threat to New York City ‘s public health, which produced so many elderly patient fatalities and deaths of patients with underlying health conditions in New York City, apparently turned out to be a “coronavirus” that did not emerge “in the Middle East.”

After receiving an email from this writer, asking him why he predicted in May 2013 that “the threat is not the SARS coronavirus—this time the imminent threats are the H7N9 influenza virus and the new coronavirus emerging in the Middle East,” Mailman School of Public Health CII Director and Professor Epidemiology Lipkin, by email, provided the following reply:

“It seems that you are asking why I did not predict the emergence of SARS-Co-V-2 and suggesting that this failure means that the Mailman School of Public Health has failed to protect the health of New Yorkers.

“Perhaps your disappointment is rooted in nomenclature. COVID is not SARS. SARS-CoV-2 is not the same virus as SARS CoV.

“We do our best to promote public health. I told my colleagues at the NIH and the CDC about a new coronavirus circulating in Wuhan in December. I went to China in January and related my concerns in interviews while I was there and after my return. We have also produced public service messages, developed diagnostic tests, evaluated the utility of drugs, and are running plasma trials.”

Yet in an article posted on Apr. 6, 2020 on the Science Alert website, University of Texas A& M University-Texarkana Professor of Biology Benjamin Neuman noted that “SARS-CoV-2 is genetically very similar to other human respiratory coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV;” and “SARS-CoV-2 has all the same genetic equipment as the original SARS-COV…but with around 6,000 mutations sprinkled around in the usual places where coronaviruses change. Think whole milk versus skim milk.”

Ironically, despite the “historic arrangement” between “Columbia University and the Chinese CDC Open Joint Pathogen Discovery Lab In Beijing,” in a March 27, 2020 International Federation of Journalists website blog post, Louisa Lim asserted that “with its latest propaganda blitz on the novel coronavirus...Beijing is attempting to gaslight the world as it escalates its propaganda push to obscure the source of the disease;” and involved in “an effort to distract attention from accusations that its initial cover-up is responsible for the rest of the world’s plight, in particular the looming economic catastrophe.” According to Lim:

“The composition of China’s coronavirus task force highlights its priorities: Two out of nine members are from the propaganda bureau. They faced a challenging job in shifting the narrative when Beijing’s cover-up of the initial outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year allowed the virus to spread unabated. There was further dismal publicity after nine doctors who tried to raise the alarm were punished. When one of them, Li Wenliang, died from COVID-19, the domestic groundswell of anger was so intense that a gratitude campaign thanking the state for its efforts had to be dropped. That popular rage is still evident. Touring a residential compound in Wuhan, Vice Premier Sun Chunlan was greeted by a chorus of shouts of `Fake! All this fake!’ resounding out of the safe anonymity provided by high-rise apartments….”

According to an Apr. 17, 2020 TASS article, however, China’s Ambassador to Russia Zhange Hanhui claimed in April 2020 that “the virus was imported to China’s Wuhan, instead of emerging there;” and “although the novel coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan, there are no facts determining that the source had originated from there.” The same Apr. 17, 2020 TASS article also reported that the Chinese government’s diplomat claimed “that in late December 2019, the Wuhan Center for Disease Prevention and Control (China CDC) discovered the previously unknown pneumonia cases;” and “starting Jan. 3, 2020, China `promptly and timely provided the World Health Organization (WHO), the US and nations’ relevant agencies with information on the epidemic" and, in addition, on Jan. 4, 2020 “the head of the Chinese CDC contacted the US CDC Director and briefed him on the epidemiologic situation," the envoy said.”

Coincidentally, in New York City-- on the same day that China’s Ambassador to Russia claimed that China “promptly and timely provided the World Health Organization [WHO], the US and other nations’ relevant agencies with information on the epidemic”— Professor of Epidemiology and director of the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health Lipkin (who was also a scientific director of the Chinese CDC Open Joint Pathogen Discovery Lab after 2013) was presented with a medal at the Chinese Consulate in new York City. According to a Jan. 7, 2020 article on the website of Columbia University’s School of Public Health:

“The government of China honored Ian Lipkin with a medal…During the Jan. 3 awards ceremony in the Chinese Consulate in New York, Counsel General Ping Huang presented Lipkin with the medal...The medal...was issued from the Central Government, Central Military Commission, and the State Council. Among attendees were Columbia Mailman School Dean Linda P. Fried and members of China’s Counsel of Science and Technology.

“`It is a great honor to receive this medal,’ said Lipkin. `I will cherish it as a reminder of my dear friends and colleagues in China and all we have accomplished together for the health of the Chinese people and all people around the world.’”

The same Columbia University School of Public Health website article also noted that “today,” Lipkin “continues to consult with the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Chinese Academy of Science, and the Ministry of Health.” And in 2019 “the Chinese Academy of Sciences awarded funding for a collaborative project between” Lipkin’s “CII and Sun Yat-Sen University in zoonotic diseases.” In addition, in 2016, the Columbia University professor of Epidemiology “was honored with the China International Science and Technology Cooperation Award, presented in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, presided by President Xi Jinping.”

Yet if China “promptly and timely provided the World Health Organization [WHO], the US and other nations’ relevant agencies with information on the epidemic” on the same day Professor of Epidemiology and director of the Center for Infection and Immunity (CII) at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health Lipkin was presented with a medal at the Chinese Consulate in New York City in early January 2020, why did Columbia University’s School of Public Health apparently fail in January 2020 to help New York City’s public health system adequately prepare to either prevent the virus from spreading rapidly in New York City or to provide effective treatment medication for the many New Yorkers, with underlying health conditions or living in local nursing homes, who contracted the virus a few months later, as effectively as the Cuban government’s public health system apparently did in January 2020?

According, for example, to an Apr. 17, 2020 article by Charles McKelvey, titled “Covid-19: Lessons from Cuba”:

“In late January, a short time following the confirmation in China that the new coronavirus could be transmitted from person-to-person, Cuban scientists formed two teams, one to assess the knowledge and resources that Cuba had available, and another to focus on the application of measures to respond to the pandemic. They determined that Cuba essentially had the medical personnel, medical equipment, and medicines necessary to respond, but they possibly were short on hospital beds. So, the Ministry of Public Health established the necessary conditions with respect to hospital beds, making adjustments in the hospital infrastructure and incorporating tourist lodging. At the same time, Cuba intensified its previously established structures for the surveillance of incoming travelers at airports and other points of entry. Subsequently, international tourism was stopped, as was the entrance of Cuban citizens living abroad, except for those on medical and educational missions. “

Yet in New York City in late January 2020, instead of apparently helping New York City’s public health system prepare more effectively prepare to confront the COVID-19 virus, Columbia University’s Center for Infection and Immunity Director Lipkin arrived in China on Jan. 30, 2020 (after saying in an article, updated Jan. 28, 2020 on Columbia University's website, that the novel coronavirus was not expected to spread to the same extent as SARS, which reached 33 countries), before he, himself, later eventually tested positive for COVID-19. As a Feb. 3, 2020 Xinhua website article noted, “Ian Lipkin, professor of epidemiology and director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, told Xinhua in a written interview Saturday that he” wanted “`to work hand in hand with Chinese scientists to create vaccines, drugs, diagnostic tests to address this outbreak, and to reduce disease and death among the Chinese people;” although the estimated number of New York City resident fatalities from COVID-19 is apparently turning out to be much higher than the number of estimated fatalities from COVID-19 in China. (end of part 3)