Last week, we shared news of what Russia’s scientific community had touted as a major breakthrough in the development of a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2: A vaccine trial at Moscow’s Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University had yielded the first successful human trials. The American business press slavishly parrots every Moderna press release as the company regurgitates its Phase 1 trial results, despite the fact that the politically-connected biotech company’s stage 3 clinical trials won’t begin until later this month. Meanwhile, its CEO Stephane Bancel and other executives have cashed in on their Moderna shares, prompting SEC chief Jay Clayton to sheepishly caution against credibility-destroying insider selling.
Despite all of this, we didn’t hear a peep out of the western press about the Sechenov trial’s accomplishments. However, a few days later, with anxieties about Russia-backed electoral interference intensifying and ‘national polls’ hinting at a Biden landslide, the British press reported on a new ‘policy paper’ accusing those pesky Ruskies of trying to steal British research involving COVID-19 vaccines. Intel shared by Canada and the US purportedly supported this conclusion, though Russia has vehemently denied the accusations.
But that’s not all: Around the same time, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab accused Russia of trying to meddle in the UK’s December election (which returned the Tories to power and ended the reign of opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn).