You have sent us an Instagram message claiming that “the Wuhan biological laboratory is owned by GlaxoSmithKline [GSK], which owns Pfizer”. It also affirms that such a laboratory has been funded by the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci. These relations are MISLEADING and FALSE. The pharmaceutical company GSK does not own the Wuhan virology laboratory, nor does it own Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. There is also no evidence that Anthony Fauci has individually funded these facilities, although the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), under which his department falls, has funded an organisation that in turn has invested in a coronavirus research project being conducted in Wuhan, among other centres.
“The Wuhan biological laboratory is owned by GlaxoSmithKline, which (accidentally) owns Pfizer (which makes the vaccine against the virus that was initiated (accidentally) at the Wuhan Biological Laboratory and which was (accidentally) funded by Dr. Fauci, who (accidentally) promotes the vaccine."
The message that circulates on Instagram contains basic errors, such as there exists a center known as the Wuhan Biological Laboratory in Wuhan. In any case, if the message made reference to the laboratory where coronaviruses are investigated in Wuhan, it would be the Wuhan Institute of Virology Institute (WIV). It is a center that has been subject of several unsubstantiated theories since the pandemic began. The laboratory is controlled by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) of the Chinese government.
To date, there is no known relationship between this center and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a UK-based pharmaceutical company which, among other things, is involved in the development of a covid-19 vaccine that has not yet been approved in any country. The relationship between GSK and the institute is non-existent, as has already been explained by verification agencies such as Reuters or Snopes. The lab also does not appear in the list of activities of GSK in China.
The relationship between Pfizer and GSK is also fictitious, beyond the creation of a joint venture to produce over-the-counter drugs in 2018, as they point out in a press release in August 2019 . However, this does not mean that GSK owns Pfizer, which, in fact, is a publicly traded company whose major shareholders do not include Pfizer.
Concerning the funding of the laboratory, there is no evidence that Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the USA, has donated to the facility in any particular way. It is true that the National Institutes of Health (NIH), of which the center Fauci directs is a part, transferred $3.4 million to the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance Inc. to fund a project to understand the emergence of coronaviruses in bats, the NIH confirmed to Reuters. This money went to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but also to East China Normal University (Shanghai), the Institute of Pathogen Biology (Beijing) and Duke-NUS Medical School (Singapore).
Neither the Open Society Foundations, nor AXA nor Winterthur
The message also claims that “GlaxoSmithKline is administered by the finance division of BlackRock, which administers the finances of the Open Foundation Company (Soros Foundation), which is managed by the French AXA”. This is FALSE: neither GlaxoSmithKline is managed by BlackRock, nor does this investment fund control the Open Foundation Company, a foundation that does not exist. The foundation owned by billionaire George Soros is called the Open Society Foundations.
"GlaxoSmithKline* is (accidentally) managed by the financial division of Black Rock, which *(accidentally) manages the finances of the Open Foundation Company (Soros Foundation), which (accidentally) manages the French AXA*."
The BlackRock organisation is a fund manager that can be both from the government and individual savers. According to the instagram post, BlackRock manages GSK. While it is true that BlackRock owns 7,5% of GSK shares, according to the financial research website Fintel, it does not manage the pharmaceutical company.
What is false is that BlackRock manages Open Society Foundations (OSF), an organisation focused on funding projects from benefic organisations.
There is no link between Open Society Foundations and BlackRock, although there is a link between the latter and Soros: the tycoon is chairman of an investment fund, called Soros Fund Management, which in the past did hold shares in BlackRock. They were subsequently sold in 2020 (in 2021 they do not appear on the list of holdings either).
The alleged connection between the Open Society Foundations and "French AXA" that the message talks about is also false. There is no evidence of a link between the two organisations, but there is a link between the Soros Fund Management and AXA, albeit through AXA Equitable Holdings, which is a US-based company that partially owns the French company AXA. According to Fintel, the tycoon's foundation owns more than 450,000 shares.
Finally, the message claims that Soros owns the German insurance company Winterthur and that this company built the laboratory in Wuhan. This is FALSE.
“Soros (accidentally) owns the German enterprise Winterthur, which (accidentally) built the laboratory in Wuhan* and was bought by the German company Allianz."
Winterthur was bought in 2006, not by Allianz, but by the insurer AXA. Nor is it true that Soros owns Allianz, although he is a shareholder, through Soros Fund Management, in AXA Equitable Holdings, which is a US-based company partly owned by the French company AXA.
The part of the message that is true is the one linking Vanguard - the world's largest mutual fund manager - to BlackRock, as this organisation is one of its largest shareholders. Vanguard is also one of the largest shareholders of the world's largest financial institutions, such as Citigroup or JPMorgan.
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