Dr. Ralph Baric – a researcher known for his controversial coronavirus collaborations with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and advocacy for Gain of Function research – received a six-figure grant from Pfizer and routinely failed to disclose the financial conflict of interest with the COVID-19 vaccine maker in dozens of studies, War Room can reveal.
Many of the studies published by Dr. Baric focused on COVID-19 response, natural immunity, and the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines – including Pfizer’s own products.
Baric – who’s attended conferences at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and is described by the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s "bat woman” Shi Zhengli as one of her "longtime collaborators” – has also described lifting bans on gain-of-function research as "critical” and provided the Wuhan lab with humanized mice to likely conduct the controversial form of research with SARS-like coronaviruses.
The unearthed financial ties follow Dr. Baric advising conference attendees in 2018 on how to “make money” during pandemics.
During his 2018 speech "Imagining the Next Flu Pandemic – and Preventing it!” he presents a slide titled "Global Catastrophe: Opportunities Exist.” The slide outlines what type of stocks and industries surged during the Ebola outbreak, which he uses to extrapolate financial advice on how to "make money in the next pandemic.” "I wanted to give you good news. There are winners out there, right? So if you ever want to be prepared and make money in the next pandemic, if that’s what you want to do, buy stock in Hazmat suit makers and protective clothing or companies that make antiviral drugs for that particular pandemic,” he notes.
While speaking over the following slide – "Pandemics: Opportunity” – Baric posits that "pandemics really are times of opportunity.”
"There is an opportunity for people to have political gain, financial gain, and personal gain during times of social upheaval, and that will probably occur,” he adds.
Baric appears to have heeded his own advice, receiving a six-figure grant from Pfizer in June 2020, stealthily revealed on a progress report for his project, the Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Discovery Initiative. From June to July 2020, he took in $323,614 from the COVID-19 vaccine maker “to evaluate the potency of a panel of drugs against SARS-CoV2 replication in vitro and in vivo.” That equates to nearly $11,000 per day.
Confirming this conflict of interest, Dr. Baric has occasionally included his Pfizer affiliation in his research papers including “A nano-luciferase expressing human coronavirus OC43 for countermeasure development.”
Dr. Baric “is a member of the advisory board of VaxArt and Inviyd, and has collaborations with Takeda, Pfizer, Moderna, Ridgeback Biosciences, Gilead, and Eli Lily,” revealed the paper in the conflicts of interest section.
This paper, however, is an anomaly as dozens of papers published under Dr. Baric since he received cash from Pfizer contain no mention of his work with the pharmaceutical giant. Many of these papers directly address COVID-19 vaccines and their efficacy such as:
- SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine induces robust specific and cross-reactive IgG and unequal neutralizing antibodies in naive and previously infected people
- Defining the risk of SARS-CoV-2 variants on immune protection
- Optimization of non-coding regions for a non-modified mRNA COVID-19 vaccine