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Big Pharma’s Big Connections: Congress Exposed As Protecting Drug Companies While Opioid Problem Worsens

An in-depth investigation revealed how U.S. Congress effectively weakened the DEA’s ability to go after Big Pharma, despite the worsening opioid epidemic.

Michelle Blair

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Many people often picture drug dealers as these scary individuals selling pills on street corners, but when it comes to the opioid epidemic, these drug pushers don’t exactly fit the stereotype. The true “drug dealers” largely responsible for America’s opioid epidemic aren’t thugs, they’re doctors and members of the U.S. government.

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As former DEA agent Joe Rannazzisi put it, “They weren’t slinging crack on the corner… These were professionals who were doing it. They were just drug dealers in lab coats.”

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You have physicians heavily pushing and marketing opioids, you’ve got countless doctors being paid by Big Pharma to prescribe opioids, and then you have the U.S. government overseeing the opium trade. This isn’t news to many people, as the reality of America’s war on drugs has lain exposed for decades, but mainstream media has been honing in on the deep ties the people we’re expected to trust share with Big Pharma.

An in-depth investigation into the opioid epidemic and the U.S. government’s ties to it was recently conducted by The Washington Post and 60 Minutes, revealing how U.S. Congress effectively weakened the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) ability to go after drug distributors, despite the worsening opioid epidemic.

The Bill That Protected Drug Companies and Fuelled the Opioid Epidemic

The Washington Post‘s report on the opioid epidemic focused on one bill in particular that protected some major drug companies, allowing the flow of opioids to reach more people and creating more profit for their producers in turn. The law was presented as a more “industry-friendly” approach to law enforcement, but it undermined the DEA’s ability to monitor the flow of opioids.

So, corrupt doctors and pharmacists were able to effectively prescribe more pain killers and introduce them into the black market. Big Pharma funded this through lobbying efforts, worked closely with a handful of Congressmen, and even made some hefty donations to political campaigns (to the tune of millions of dollars) to ensure this bill came into fruition.

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The Washington Post stated that the key member of Congress who paved the path for this bill was Pennsylvania Republican Tom Marino, as he allegedly spent years attempting to push this bill. The law Marino so desperately wanted to succeed basically acts as a protective barrier between Big Pharma and the DEA, preventing the DEA from freezing suspicious shipments from companies.

Why was Marino so supportive of this particular bill? Though we clearly do not have the full picture, we do know that he received $100,000 by “political actions committees representing the industry” for his efforts. Marino wasn’t the only lawmaker to accept payments though, as the industry paid a collective $1.5 million to 23 lawmakers who sponsored or co-sponsored the bill (and these are only the known amounts).

“The drug industry, the manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and chain drugstores, have an influence over Congress that has never been seen before,” explained the former head of the DEA’s division responsible for regulating the drug industry, Joseph T. Rannazzisi. “I mean, to get Congress to pass a bill to protect their interests in the height of an opioid epidemic just shows me how much influence they have.”

As per how this bill truly got passed, it remains a mystery. Yes, Big Pharma and Congressman Marino clearly played a huge role, but how did the DEA and Department of Justice accept this? Were they unaware of the effects this would have on the opioid epidemic? Former President Barack Obama, who was responsible for the final sign-off of the bill in 2016, and multiple DEA officials declined to comment on this matter to the Post.

In addition, the DEA and Justice Department refused or delayed requests made by the Post and 60 Minutes for files under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that could provide more information on the law that passed. A number of these FOIA requests have been pending for a year and a half, and so the Post is now suing the Justice Department in hopes of obtaining these files.

DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge John J. Mulrooney II commented on the law, stating that because of it being passed, it’s “all but logically impossible” for the DEA to suspend a Big Pharma company’s operations even when they do not comply with federal law. How can drug companies continue to operate when they’re not even operating under federal law? This is the power that Big Pharma holds over the U.S. government.

The DEA has cracked down far more in the past decade on pharmaceutical companies selling opioids, but Big Pharma has discovered a secret weapon. During this time, pharmaceutical companies and the law firms that represent them have poached 46 DEA officials, hiring them to transition from protecting citizens from drugs to pushing them.

Despite Marino’s history of being “tight” with Big Pharma companies, President Trump  hand picked him to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy. This position is often referred to as the White House’s “drug czar.” However, given the recent controversy fuelled by The Washington Post‘s report, Marino decided to withdraw his nomination.

Of course, his decision was supported by many who were familiar with his role in passing this bill. West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, whose state is no stranger to the devastating effects of the opioid epidemic, sent a letter to President Trump requesting that Marino’s nomination be withdrawn prior to his announcement.

“During the biggest public health crisis since HIV/Aids, we need someone leading the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy who believes we must protect our people, not the pharmaceutical industry,” Manchin said in a statement.

People die every single day from an opioid or heroin overdose, and this problem won’t go away unless we break it wide open and expose what’s going on. This story runs deep, and I encourage you to read the entire Washington Post report.

Further Information on the U.S. Government’s and Doctors’ Ties to the Opium Industry

To clarify, let’s go over what opium is and how it can be made into drugs such as opioids and heroin. Opium is first removed from the poppy plant, which is then refined into morphine, and can then be further refined into heroin. So, if you’re an opium supplier, you could also be contributing to the supply of heroin. This is an important fact to remember when it comes to the role the U.S. government has played in the opioid epidemic.

The term opioid refers to any substance that binds to our opioid receptor sites, and so both heroin and morphine qualify as opioids and opiates. Opiates are made from those same poppy plants as well, though not all opioids are; for example, some are entirely synthetic, and others are semi-synthetic (such as Oxycodone, which is made from both chemicals and opium).

The U.S. government is heavily involved in the opium drug trade. In Southeast Asia (SEA) during the Vietnam War, the CIA worked alongside Laotian general Vang Pao in an effort to help make Laos the world’s largest exporter of heroin.

In fact, the CIA owned and operated a covert drug smuggling airline, referred to as Air Americawhich was used to transport numerous goods, including heroin. The CIA then flew drugs all over SEA, allowing the Golden Triangle (parts of Burma, Thailand, and Laos) to become the world hub for heroin. You can read more about Air America in our CE article here.

However, the CIA’s “heroin problem” didn’t start nor end in SEA.

Afghanistan is another country with a complicated history of involvement in the opium and heroin industries, much of which implicates the CIA. In the 1980s, CIA-supported Moujahedeen rebels were heavily involved in drug trafficking heroin. The CIA supplied trucks and mules, which were used to transport opium. Many of the individuals trafficking the drugs in Afghanistan were actually trained, armed, and funded by the CIA at the time.

Fast forward to when the Taliban started to rule, and all of a sudden the opium trade plummeted, practically eradicating 90% of the world’s heroin. However, after 9/11 occurred and the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, opium production suddenly skyrocketed, as the U.S. started “protecting” the opium fields there.

The U.S. government’s link to heroin/opium/opioids runs deep, and I encourage you to read the following CE article to learn more:

How The CIA-Operated A “Drug Smuggling Airline” For Heroin & The 9/11 Connection

To make matters even more interesting, the government is even using taxpayers’ dollars to create a heroin vaccine, which is ironic given their relationship to the drug trade. You can read more about that in our CE article here.

So, how does Big Pharma relate to all of this?

When you think about it, Big Pharma companies are just like any other business: Their main goal is to provide consumers with products they want or need, and in turn make a profit. Well, how can Big Pharma companies ensure that their market grows and demand increases? By creating products that are not only addictive, but that have negative side effects as well, so they can keep people sick and encourage them to take more drugs.

Final Thoughts 

It’s clear that the opioid problem runs deep in the U.S. and those fuelling it are the people you may least expect, from the government to Big Pharma to physicians. It seems strange that medical practitioners get paid to sell you drugs rather than help you stop taking them. Shouldn’t doctors get paid when you’re actually better, not when you’re sick?

If you’d like to learn more about the opioid epidemic and the opium industry, check out the following CE articles:

U.S. Taxpayers Fund Heroin Vaccine, Despite U.S. Government Being The Biggest Heroin Dealer

Big Pharma Company Caught Faking Cancer Patients To Sell Deadly Opioid Drugs

Study Reveals Big Pharma Paid Doctors Millions of Dollars To Push Opioids

The History Channel’s America’s War On Drugs: How Accurate Was This Docu-Series?

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Abductions & Car Vandalism – Startling Australian UFO Report Unclassified

Gautam Peddada

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An uncovered Australian report performed by their Department of Defence. “Scientific Intelligence — General — Unidentified Flying Objects” is trending again. Those who have done extensive research on UFOs will find the Australian version of disclosure to be far more intellectually honest than the American version. Albeit it was conducted decades ago.

According to ex-US intelligence official Luis Elizondo, the Defense Department’s Inspector General is presently conducting three reviews. The inquiries vary from the Department of Defense’s handling of UFO claims to Elizondo’s alleged whistleblower retribution. The open IG cases are crucial to Australia’s report because they establish beyond a shadow of a doubt that the US Department of Defense is being dishonest and shady when it comes to the UFO subject. For decades, Australia has been a loyal friend of the United States. Within Australia’s boundaries, they share a military installation (Pine Gap). When a close defense ally’s intelligence agencies determined that the US was not being intellectually honest in its approach, perhaps it is reasonable to conclude that there is more to the tale than the 144 incidents studied since 2004 by the UAPTF.

The CIA became alarmed at the overloading of military communications during the mass sightings of 1952 and considered the possibility that the USSR may take advantage of such a situation.

Australian UFO study.

According to the summary, OSI, acting through the Robertson-Panel, encouraged the USAF to use Project Blue Book to publicly “debunk” UFOs. In a tragic twist of fate, when Australian authorities sought explanations from the US Air Force, the allegation was debunked. The authors of the study were depicted as conspiratorial and even crazy by the US Air Force. Ross Coulthart reported this, and it may be heard in a recent Project Unity interview. Courthart is an award-winning investigative journalist who is drawn to forbidden subjects. He also stated on the same podcast that a senior US Navy official identified as Nat Kobitz told him that the US had been in the midst of reverse-engineering numerous non-human craft. According to his obituary, Mr. Kobitz was a former Director of Research and Development at Naval Sea Systems Command.

Continue reading the entire article at The Pulse. 

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Exopolitics

New UFO Film Questions What The US Government Is Hiding

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CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The US recently released its highly anticipated Pentagon UAP report, but it wasn’t much more than a 9 page rundown of what has been known for decades. Regardless, for many, what was promising was that the UFO subject was being taken seriously again – and perhaps many more scientists might get involved.

For decades many have been warning about leaving UFO disclosure in the hands of a government that likes to use crisis’ or current events to expand its defense budgets. Further, why would we suddenly expect a government, who has been lying about this subject for 70 years, to suddenly come forth with the truth? What would inspire them to suddenly change their mind?

Perhaps it’s because the search for ET is an idea who’s time has truly come. We’ve reporting on this for over 13 years, and are mongst a community of researchers who have been encouraging humanity to look at the evidence for more than 70 years. It feels like an idea that human collective consciousness is more than ready to explore.

The impact the ET question has on our individual and collective worldview has the power to truly change the way we view ourselves and the meaning of life here on earth. Think of the implications answers to this question could have on how we set up and run our society as well. Technology, culture, collaboration etc – I spoke about this more in great detail in my extended interview for Greer’s. prior film Close Encounters of The Fifth Kind here.

Now, a new documentary from Dr. Steven Greer, directed by my good friend Michael Mazzola, seeks to explore what the films calls “the current government and media disinformation campaign promoting 3 big lies:”

1. We do not know what these UAPs/ UFOs are. WE DO.
2. Humans cannot make craft that can maneuver like UFOs. WE CAN and WE DO.
3. The UFOs are a threat. THEY ARE NOT.

Bold statements. Watch the film below and see what resonates most with you.

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General

PGA Tour To End COVID Testing For Both Vaccinated & Non-Vaccinated Players

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CE Staff Writer 4 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The PGA Tour has announced that it will stop testing players every week, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not.

  • Reflect On:

    Are PCR tests appropriate to identify infectious people? Should people who are healthy and not sick be tested at all, anywhere?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The picture you see above is of John Rahm, a professional golfer on the PGA tour being carted off the golf course after tournament officials told him he had COVID. He was healthy and had no symptoms, yet was forced to withdraw from the tournament. He was told in front of the camera’s, and a big scene was made out of the event. You would think something like that, especially when you are a big time sports figure, would be done behind closed doors with some privacy.

Earlier on in June a spokesperson for the PGA Tour said that more than 50 percent of players on the PGA tour have been vaccinated. Although it seems that the majority of players on the tour will be fully vaccinated judging by this statement, it does leave a fairly large minority who won’t be, and that’s something we’re seeing across the globe as COVID vaccine hesitancy remains high for multiple reasons.

We are pleased to announce, after consultation with PGA Tour medical advisors, that due to the high rate of vaccination among all constituents on the PGA Tour, as well as other positively trending factors across the country, testing for COVID-19 will no longer be required as a condition of competition beginning with the 3M Open. – PGA tour Senior VP Tyler Dennis

The tour recently announced that the testing of players every week will stop starting in July for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. This was an unexpected announcement given the fact that, at least it seems in some countries, vaccinated individuals will enjoy previous rights and freedoms that everyone did before the pandemic. Travelling without need to quarantine and possibly in the future not having to be tested could be a few of those privileges. Others may include attending concerts, sporting events, or perhaps even keeping their job depending on whether or not their employer deems it to be mandatory, if that’s even legally possible. We will see what happens.

Luckily for professional golfers, regardless of their vaccination status they won’t have to worry about testing positive for COVID, especially if they’re not sick. This is the appropriate move by the PGA tour, who is represented by their players and it’s a move that the players themselves may have had a say in. It’s important because PCR tests are not designed nor are they appropriate for identifying infectious people. A number of scientists have been emphasizing this since the beginning of the pandemic. More recently, a letter to the editor published in the Journal of infection explain why more than half of al “positive” PCR tests are likely to have been people who are not infectious, otherwise known as “false positives.”

This is why the Swedish Public Health agency has a notice on their website explaining how and why polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are not useful for determining if someone is infected with COVID or if someone can transmit it to others, and it’s better to use someone who is actually showing symptoms as a judgement call of whether or not they could be infected or free from infection.

PCR tests using a high cycle threshold are extremely sensitive. An article published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that among positive PCR samples with a cycle count over 35, only 3 percent of the samples showed viral replication. This can be interpreted as, if someone tests positive via PCR when a Ct of 35 or higher is used, the probability that said person is actually infected is less than 3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97 percent. This begs the question, why has Manitoba, Canada, for example, using cycle thresholds of up to 45 to identify “positive” people?

When it comes to golf, the fact that spread occurring in an outdoor setting is highly unlikely could have been a factor, but it’s also important to mention that asymptomatic spread within one’s own household is also considerably rare. It really makes you wonder what’s going on here, doesn’t it?

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