Secret ‘COVID-19 Manhattan Project’ Led By Billionaires Seeking To Influence Trump Admin

Last month Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey called for the bold and urgent launch of what he called “a Manhattan Project-type approach” to fight the coronavirus pandemic given the enormity of the health and economic impact, increasingly even harming US defense readiness.

Apparently there has been such a group operating behind the scenes, but very unlike the original Manhattan Project it’s a private sector initiative, funded by a tiny network of ultra-rich industry titans working closely with government contacts. Meet “the secret group of scientists and billionaires pushing Trump on a Covid-19 plan” profiled in a lengthy Wall Street Journal investigation Monday:

These scientists and their backers describe their work as a lockdown-era Manhattan Project, a nod to the World War II group of scientists who helped develop the atomic bomb. This time around, the scientists are marshaling brains and money to distill unorthodox ideas gleaned from around the globe.

They call themselves Scientists to Stop Covid-19, and they include chemical biologists, an immunobiologist, a neurobiologist, a chronobiologist, an oncologist, a gastroenterologist, an epidemiologist and a nuclear scientist. Of the scientists at the center of the project, biologist Michael Rosbash, a 2017 Nobel Prize winner, said, “There’s no question that I’m the least qualified.”

The until now secretive group is led by a 33-year-old physician-turned-venture capitalist, Tom Cahill, and is described as an elite go-between the pharmaceutical industry and Trump administration decision-makers, or an “ad hoc review board” of sorts pursuing cutting edge outside the box ideas.

The scientists include a dozen world renowned researchers, pathology experts and inventors closely networked at institutions ranging from The Scripps Research Lab in La Jolla, California, to Yale University School of Medicine to Harvard to MIT’s Laboratory for Nuclear Security and Policy to private companies and labs like Merck and others.

Recommendations and ideas floated by Scientists to Stop Covid-19 have already reportedly had far-reaching influence, including affecting policy inside FDA and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the group is reportedly advising close Pence aide Nick Ayers.

Among other billionaire influencers and backers to the private initiative include Peter Thiel, Jim Palotta, Michael Milken, Brian Sheth, and Steve Pagliuca, among others.

As an example of how the group was previously able to get a confidential 17-page report (since published by the WSJ) recommending various introductory unorthodox approaches to fighting and treating the pandemic, the WSJ details :

“Steve Pagliuca, co-owner of the Boston Celtics and the co-chairman of Bain Capital — as well as one of Dr. Cahill’s investors — helped copy edit drafts of their report, and he passed a version to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive David Solomon. Mr. Solomon got it to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.”

“Much of the early work involved divvying up hundreds of scientific papers on the crisis from around the world,” the report describes of the team’s daily communications.

“They separated promising ideas from dubious ones. Each member blazed through as many as 20 papers a day, around 10 times the pace they would in their day jobs. They gathered to debate via videoconference, text messages — ‘like a bunch of teenagers,’ Mr. Rosbash said — and phone calls.”

Brian Sheth, co-founder of private-equity firm Vista Equity Partners, via Bloomberg/WSJ.
Brian Sheth, co-founder of private-equity firm Vista Equity Partners, via Bloomberg/WSJ.

Among the ‘big ideas’ described by the network of researchers led by scientist-investor Dr. Cahill, who first gained the attention of aides within the Trump administration when they listened on an early March conference call tailored toward answering investors’ questions, include the following:

  • Experimenting with treatments utilizing powerful anti-Ebola drugs in heavier dosages.
  • The possibility of renaming the virus “SARS-2,” after the 2003 China animal virus, so that the connection is better made in the public mind with a deadly disease: “the name sounded scarier and might get more people to wear face masks. They dropped it.”
  • The group considers Hydroxychloroquine, long a focus of interest and debate in Trump administration circles, to be “a long shot at best”.
  • The team has looked negatively on recent efforts to push antibody testing and ‘immunity passports’ that show recovery from the virus.
  • They’ve sought to reduce FDA hurdles and red tape in order to get potential successful drugs out faster, especially to streamline hoped-for ‘miracle’ cures.
  • The WSJ emphasizes further: “The scientists had in their research identified monoclonal antibody drugs that latch onto virus cells as the most promising treatment.”
  • A saliva test which is easy to administer with ultra-fast results is being pursued, one that offices and companies could utilize to make sure employees come into work virus-free each day.
  • Tech like smartphone apps to help track and gauge symptoms is a major focus.
  • The scientists are also helping to craft state and national reopening strategies for the near and long-term.

Read a copy of the 17-page report drafted by the Scientists to Stop COVID-19 here.

via zerohedge


  1. Before you can deal with any problem, you must know what the problem is. One of the problems associated with the recent pandemics is how research into these viruses is being handled. Another problem is the rather disturbing fact that there is no reliable transparency regarding the research. Insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting different results. If you want different results from what we have recently experienced you must change what you are doing.

    1. While it is true that “doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results” is called one type of insanity, it is ALSO TRUE that research must not be stopped early, only because the first few possibilities did not prove to be successful. For example, the drug Hydroxychloroquine is now being debated as to effectiveness in treating COVID-19. There have been numerous successes reported by some doctors and hospitals, especially in combination with Erythromycin or zinc ; while there have also been some negative effects on people regarding heart conditions, among other things. This should be considered an ongoing study, simultaneously conducted while other remedy possibilities are being tried. It is not helpful that people try to promote their own preferences as being in opposition to, and in exclusion of, those being tested by others. Additional research is not “insane,” but rather is needful. “Remdesivir” (spelling ?) comes to mind. This issue, COVID-19, needs to be attacked on many fronts, simultaneously, in order to bring the earliest positive results. There may be a number of means developed which differ in helpfulness for different people.

  2. Based on years of experience observing the way the rich operate I know that the rich class for the most part don’t give a sh** about the general public. It’s wishful thinking to think that a group of billionaires have decided to work together unselfishly for the benefit of humanity in my opinion.

    1. Spot on! There’s too much MONEY involved with each and every “idea”. They are part of the ‘deep state’ that all the demonrats insist do not exist.
      If there were an altruistic intent to fix, heal, or repair the nation, they’d be giving away the “results” of all their conclaves.

  3. When are our real leaders going to arrest the commies pinkos that started this whole thing. Either hang em or throw everyone of them in Gitmo. Bread n water only.

    1. That would have to be the whole Progressive Socialist Communist Fascist Racist Democrat Party and Soros who owns and controls them. This is how he makes his billions by controlling nations economies. He probably caused this pandemic to control and make billions. He and his whole family should be in prison.

  4. Billionaires are nothing without the general public and their billions are worhtless. It’s like generals are nothing without privates.

  5. Senator Ed Markey is a demonrat, so the whole idea is tainted in the first place. Any time a demonrat enjoins a conclave-collaboration project, it is never for altruistic measures or means. “There’s money to be made!”
    I have been harping on the secretive and subversive nature of this Wuhan Virus shutdown since the beginning. Everyone keeps saying there’s no such thing as a ‘deep state’, and the idea of our own Government working against the people it’s “supposed to protect” is silly.
    Well, no “secret” ever stays underground forever. Just like we keep seeing the ‘numbers’ change on the casualties of the Wuhan Virus every day — that proves it was never as bad as first proselytized; we’ll eventually see evidence of the shutdown as only a tool of the demons to ruin Trump’s economy and hurt his chances of re-election.
    All the deep state good-for-nothings “benevolent” demonrats corralled around Trump and convinced him to go the way of the Chinese Communist containment in Wuhan, to shut down the country as the best way to deal with the virus ‘pandemic’; or rather control the populous, and thereby control the economy. We could have gone with herd immunity like Sweden, who has not fared any worse than prior flu seasons; but did not ruin their economy over the ‘pandemic’.
    I’ve also said over-and-over the CIA and FBI have contingency plans for every action they’ve tried to use to displace Trump as President. Every cognitive adult knows beyond a shadow of doubt that they are indeed capable of ‘creating’ a pandemic scenario.
    These ‘manhattaners’ are part of that scenario.

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