This month’s annual Party Congress of the Social Democratic Party (SPD)—the senior partner in Germany’s newly formed ‘traffic light’ coalition government—was sponsored by American vaccine titan Pfizer and the Bill Gates-founded Microsoft Corporation.
The fact that the Federal Health Minister’s party’s annual congress had largely been funded by Pfizer, who’s projected to rake in €32 billion this year through sales of its COVID-19 vaccine, was of little interest to Germany’s establishment press, who failed—deliberately or inadvertently—to mention it in any of their publications, the Austrian daily newspaper Exxpress reports.
The ruling leftist Social Democratic Party, which garnered 25.8% of the vote in September’s federal elections, attempted to justify the congress’s funding—which is questionable at best and a clear-cut example of institutionalized corruption at worst—by blaming the party’s dwindling membership.
Heike Hänsel, a former MP for Die Linke (The Left) party, slammed the conference in a tweet, writing: “The ruling party #SPD, which also provides the health minister, has its party conference at the weekend sponsored by #Pfizer, of all things. I find that extremely problematic with regard to the independence in the selection and pricing of the # COVID19 vaccines.”
Norbert Häring, an economist and journalist who reports on finance, business, and the economy for the German newspaper Handelsblatt, reported in his blog that the SPD—while acting as the junior partner in the previous government—has vigorously defended the unlimited patent protection of Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine technology, despite it causing the vaccine’s accessibility (especially in poorer countries) to be vastly reduced, which in turn has resulted in immeasurably more deaths and suffering.
In a separate blog post, Häring highlighted that under the old black-red ‘Grand Coalition’ government—which had been in power since 2013 under the leadership of Chancellor Angela Merkel—Microsoft and other Silicon Valley tech giants had unfettered access to the health data of German citizens. Häring added that through intense lobbying efforts, these companies have done everything in their power to maintain this arrangement under the new SPD-led ‘traffic light’ coalition.
Lastly, Häring notes that although the SPD acknowledged the official sponsors of the party’s congress on its website at the beginning of December, the names of the companies—along with their logos—mysteriously disappeared from the site’s homepage last week.
Robert Semonsen is a political journalist based in Central Europe. His work has been featured in various English-language news outlets in Europe and the Americas. He has an educational background in biological and medical science. His Twitter handle is @R_Semonsen.