The History contributes to understanding of both diseases.
The remarkable date 23rd of April the remarkable year 1984 (The real year, not the one written by Orwell) the US Health Minister Margaret Heckler announced in front of the World Media, that the culprit of the 20th Century real pandemic AIDS was detected; within months medical treatment was to be available; within two years a vaccine would be present to ridden the World from that disease. Robert Gallo was the hero.
Today 36 years later. The Big Pharma has gained millions of dollars from the treatment, but the vaccine is not yet at place – so how can we trust today´s WHO to let us wait for Corona vaccine. AIDS has so far harvested more than 35 million victims that died.
But obviously the Covid disease is aiming at something else then just kill people. The plans are far bigger. Hence we call the disease Covid – 1984, where Covid is the tool. 1984 is the goal of the Globalist to create a NEW WORLD ORDER.
The following text is taken, only very little rewritten, and just translated from Swedish language, from the book Aids Tabu, by the author Kwame Ingemar Ljungqvist. It was printed in Stockholm 1992.
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HIV and AIDS from nature or from the lab
Aids connected to today´s debate over the Corona virus . From the lies of 23rd of April 1984 to Covid – 1984
Assume the AIDS virus underwent natural mutations and by accident , eg an animal bite, passed into humans, maybe in Africa. When the virus
had passed the Atlantic Ocean, it got the possibility to quickly spread among many with the help of the gay’s bathhouses. If this was the case, there was an ample opportunity to openly discuss different human interventions by medicines, vaccines and epidemiological efforts to stop further spread. Everybody could be invited to contribute with his or her knowledge to find out weaknesses in the life cycle of the virus or to strenghten the immune system of the infected person. As a result the humanity could be erradicated from AIDS with a collective effort.
Assume on the other hand the virus was raised in a laboratory and tested upon homosexual men in New York. Then human manipulation must have been involved. Some people, although a few, must have knowledge about what happened. To those, it must of great importance to hide their shortcomings. The trial had went out of their control and been the trigger for an unprecedented world epidemic. To those few, further manipulation was a need.
DR JEKYLL AND MR AIDS: ROBERT GALLO
Robert Gallo could well be called The Dr Jekyll and Mr AIDS of the epidemic.
Robert Charles Gallo was born in March 1937. His paternal grandparents had immigrated from Turin in Italy and his father was a self-made men. He had started his career as a welder and ended up as a director within a small but successful metal workshop. Robert would inherit the properties of capacity and workaholism from his father, and he resembled his mother, who originated from southern Italy, in her carismatic, extrovert, warm lifestyle. He grew up in Waterford, Connecticut on the American east-coast. A turning point in his childhood was when his younger sister Judith contracted leukaemia. At the visits at the hospital bed Robert came in close contact with the science people who fought to save lives of sick children. This triggered in Bob an interest for biology.
Although his sister’s death helped Robert in his descision to become a scientist his results in school just reached the average. He spent more time playing basketball and chasing girls than on his homework. But an accident on the basketball court, where he broke his back, confined him to bed for almost a year. This gave him chance to read everything he came over about biology and where he developed his skills in natural sciences. During his college years he slew scores of mice in the makeshift laboratory above his mother’s garage developing skills in surgery. Gallo’s determination to concentrate on research grew after his first assignment at an acute ward for children with leukaemia. From then he decided not to work with patients anymore.
At the age of 29 he started his research at the NCI. and pointed straight upwards. In 1972, six years after he started of his career, he was appointed director of the NCI. But already in 1970 he had been interested in retroviruses and especially those viruses that hypotetically could create cancer and leukaemia.
In the early 70-ies the method used among virologists was the making of virus cocktails. One, two or more different viruses were injected into a cell culture where there was many opportunities to exchange genetic material between viruses as well as with the cultured cells.
Gallo´s team investigated many cancer causing viruses from monkeys, eg the Simian sarcoma virus, mice retroviruses and even the Visna virus that create a slow developing disease in sheep.
They experimented whether such viruses could also infect human cells. Systematically these trials went on and often in their reports it could be read: “infects human cells”.
When Nobel-prize laureate David Baltimore gave a speech in spring 1970. Gallo was in the audience. The topic of the speech was about Baltimore’s discovery of RT (reverse transcriptase) in cancer cells of mouse and chicken. After the lecture Gallo had told one of his colleagues: “This is what we are going to work on”.
Within a couple of months Gallo published a report that he had also detected RT (reverse transcriptase). This time in cell cultures from a human suffering from leukaemia.
Other scientists were sceptical of Gallo´s findings because they were unable to reproduce his results.
In 1972 Gallo became the director of NCI. 50 researchers worked under him in the well-equipped laboratory at Bethesda, Maryland. Gallo directed the methods of work. He went through the files of grant applications from others and handed over the ideas to his own staff
-“I have never heard him having any ideas himself. They have always come from others,” told one of his former cooperants. Gallo’s personality led to a certain form of adaption and selection among his staff: Only the weak survived. Gallo surrounded himself by yes-nodders. One way of achieveng this was Gallo’s preference of hiring foreign researchers.
-“If they don´t do what I tell them, I can deport them”.
From the position he now had achieved he was also to be praised. According to Dani Bolognesi, AIDS scientist at Duke University: “-Gallo is without doubt one of the best researchers of our time.”
Samuel Broder, Gallo´s superior man at NIH: “- He has influenced our lives to a degree that is impossible to evaluate. I would put him on a list together with Einstein and Freud.”
Flossie-Wong Staal, collaborator in Gallo´s lab says: “First comes God, then Gallo.”
Louis Sullivan, politically responsible for the work at NIH comments on Gallo’s lab. “They are at the cutting edge of science.”
AND ANONYMOUS CRITICISM
All his cooperates were not equally raptured over the lab: “-It was and is a den of thieves and full of mediocrities.”
-“In its quantity of intrigue and capricious purges it resembles a medevial Italian town and I’m surprised somebody hasn´t killed someone there”, said a former employee.
-“Even though you stopped working there, you had to leave in harmony with your former boss, otherwise your chances of succeeding outside were practically zero.”
-“It was hard to be an honest person at that place”. The woman who told so , knew three colleagues who had committed suicide.
GALLO AND FORT DETRICK
1975 was a memorable year for Robert Gallo.
After USA had ratified the international treaty ending development, production and storage of biological armaments, conditions for the military virus research institute at Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland were changed. Frederick is a small town situated a couple of miles from the NCI head quarter in Bethesda. A cosmetic operation was made. The former laboratory in Fort Detrick changed its name into “Cancer research facility” and was placed under a new authority, Gallo’s NCI. From then Gallo had access to another laboratory and which was under the army’s jurisdiction.
1975 one of Gallo’s assistants, Doris Morgan, found by chance a good way to culture white blood cells. When she mentioned her observation at the weekly lab-meeting Gallo was uninterested, but the others encouraged her to go ahead. With the help of Frank Ruscetti they identified the white blood cells as a certain type, T lymphocytes. However Gallo insisted and demanded them to stop their work on what he called “useless molecules”. Doris Morgan was dismissed. Several years later Kendall Smith, influenced by the work done by Doris Morgan, continued and discovered the “molecules” as Interleukin-2 (IL-2). IL-2 is a protein responsible for stimulating growth of T-cells. Then Gallo came back claiming the right of discovery. In the political chronology over AIDS history, instituted after pressure from Reagan and Chirac, it is stated that IL-2 was discovered by Morgan, Ruscetti and Gallo in 1976.
HL-23V, A HUMAN CANCER VIRUS
Also in 1975 Gallo together with Gillespie and Gallagher had published several remarkable articles on a retrovirus called HL -23 found in human leukaemia cells. It was the first virus found by establishment researchers that was associated with cancer. (There is an almost century long history of scientists repeatedly reporting microorganisms including viruses in cancer, which reports have been ignored by mainstream researchers) . The articles published in 1975 correspond with the description Gallo would publish later on , where the virus was renamed HTLV-I.
In 1975 Gallo was disinclined to give out his virus to other institutions for verification. His subordinates have later told how they were ordered to contaminate the tumor cells with other viruses before they were delivered to outside labs. Gallo defended his behaviour to his employees by saying: -“nevertheless I’m more honest to others , than they are to me.”
He viewed his colleagues in the scientific world as competitors.
Anyhow, few, if any, other research team could repeat his experience and for a while the leukaemia virus was called “Human rumor virus” instead of human tumor virus. The test tubes which he sent away were found to contain a cocktail of viruses from monkeys, apes and baboons, when examined by independent scientists.
The official explanation due to these errors from Gallo became:”-My enemies contaminated the tests and made sabotage”. This was later changed into:-“Who the hell knows?”
In Gallo’s official lab the research on HL-23V stood idle for a couple of years. Inside the secret laboratory at Fort Detrick very few people knew what happened to HL-23V.
Not all colleagues had got contaminated cultures. Gallo’s British friends Natalie Teich and Robin Weiss could also study HL-23 V in 1975. As late as in 1978 a research group at the private Litton Bionetics also made studies of HL-23V (Markham -78).
Independent researchers have made different conclusions from the embarrasing publications of HL-23V by Gallo. The Swede Michael G. Koch states that Gallo in his hunt for money and pride was uncautios and took a chance by a too early publication. The German Jakob Segal thinks it really was a new virus, but the military wanted the copyright of it for recombination experiments.
HTLV INSTEAD OF HL-23V
In 1978 a Dutch research team were tracing HL-23V complemented with micro photographs. Then Gallo officially took up his work again. In December 1980 Bernard Poiesz, Franc Ruscetti and Robert Gallo published their report of the “newly-old” virus. Poiesz and Ruscetti had done the research work while Gallo was abroad. When he noticed their finding he was annoyed, but still he added his name on the report, baptizing the virus to HTLV. Contemporary with the Dutch a Japanese team had made similar work that casted light onto the virus as well as to the connected disease, but in Gallo’s final report the Japanese only got two footnotes out of 85.
Gallo’s comments on the Dutch:”- They don’t say anything particularly new.” and on the Japanese -“is really not terribly relevant.”
On this occasion Gallo was met with opposition from Robin Weiss, a retrovirologist from London.-“The Japanese, Hinuma,Ito and Miyoshi made a beautiful work and deserve credit for finding the disease and revealed the connection between the virus, they called ATLV and the disease ATL.”
Until now there exist some irregularities, not about the Japanese discovery – it is verified, but in the American case the virus and the disease doesn’t fit.
Those who really deserved the honor of their findings were not to be rewarded. Gallo took the lead and laid on thick -“One of the most exciting histories in the 20th century of biology”. Gallo’s manner in which he promoted his own work was victorious. In 1982 he was awarded the Lasker Prize, the most prestigious US prize in biomedical research along with the epithet “The Father of Retrovirology” for the discovery of HTLV, the first known virus that causes cancer- the virus triggers an uncontrolled growth of T-lymphocytes.
The true discoverers Gillespie and Gallagher were no longer in the limelight. Japanese and Dutch scientists were manoeuvred out. Gallo had the best connections with the scientific press. Ruscetti was dismissed from Gallo’s staff, but wherever he looked for a new job, although he got a nice letter of recommendation from Gallo, he was refused. The reason was Gallo phoned the new employeer and bad-mouthed Ruscetti on the wire. After half a year of imposed unemployment Ruscetti was rehired by Gallo, but still out of work, because he was given no task to do. The fate of Poiesz was similar. After leaving NCI, he wanted to do further studies in HTLV at the University of Syracuse, but when his application was to be considered Gallo was among the granters. Gallo wrote: “He is not competent enough to do research on HTLV”, although Poiesz was the brain behind the rediscovery of HL 23V/HTLV. Not until Poiesz threatened Gallo by legal action, Gallo changed his statements about Poiesz.
GALLO KNEW HOW TO MARKET HIMSELF
All the business connected with the discovery of HTLV had revealed one thing clear. Gallo knew he had the capability to use threat, manipulation and skilful marketing to direct the scientific world in the position he wanted. Or seen from another viewpoint: He could manoeuvre the world away from that direction where he and his superiors didn’t want them to see. Gallo investigated thoroughly other scientists publications. Meanwhile he was less careful with his own staff’s findings, until the decisive moment. At that crucial moment Gallo was ready to enter the stage. These were properties Gallo would use diligently during the years to come when a new virus – a new disease – with its deathly terminal outcome AIDS would ravage the USA and the world. The virus, HIV, is attracted, similar to HTLV, the T 4 cells. But unlike HTLV, HIV doesn’t cause them to multiply. Instead through some deliberate route it got the T 4 cells to decrease in number, thereby clearing the route for a number of different diseases to invade the host.
In 1979 some doctors in New York noticed a very rare form cancer, Kaposi’s sarcoma, KS, in young formerly healthy homosexuel men. The same symptoms appeared about a year later in San Francisco and similarly the victims were young homosexual men. The number of cases increased, every month. The epidemiologists Donald Francis from CDC ( Center for Disease Control) and Michael Gottlieb made many early attempts to alert others but few listened. Written reports were not to be scientifically published until June 1981. Before that Donald Francis had succeeded in mobilizing the NCI staff to a meeting the 15th of January. Francis wanted to have access to more scientific resources to survey the disease and to trace any possible contagion. The meeting was however disappointing. Although 50 of the leading clinicians had assembled to discuss the connection between immunedeficiency diseases that had already plagued 120 americans and a presumed new contagion, the meeting started in an odd way. Already at the beginning the participants were informed that such a discussion was not permitted. Instead the NCI organizers lectured about Kaposi’s sarcoma and its history and world distribution, especially its appearance in Africa..
CDC and the clinicians had to struggle an unequal fight against the disease. The Reagan administration was cutting down on public expenditures. NCI however, was well of finansially because they were connected to the military. But instead of acting early they hampered the ambitions of their CDC colleagues.
When Gallo, in June 1982, was once again reminded, through a telephone call, about the new disease he showed little interest. Arthur Levine, who worked at a cancer institute for children, asked Gallo if he had heard about what was happening in New York and San Francisco. Gallo answered he had not heard about it. When Levine described the syndrome and proposed that it may be caused by an HTLV related virus, Gallo told him “It is interesting” and hang up the receiver.
GALLO WAITED HIS TIME
Gallo was reluctant to make research at this point in a disease that plagued mainly the gay community in New York and San Francisco. Instead he followed with interest the work of others. One of them was Myron “Max” Essex, Harvard, Boston, who earlier had cooperated with Gallo in studying leukaemia in cats. It was first when Gallo was informed that a research group in Paris was succesfully tracing the AIDS- virus, that he officially joined the debate. The Paris group was made up of Francoise Barre and Jean-Claude Chermann making the scientific work under supervision of Luc Montagnier, who all belonged to the Pasteur Institute.
April 11th 1983, 1195 Americans had been diagnosed with AIDS. 492 already were dead. At that day, the NCI at last took the decision. At a head meeting Gallo told:-“I think a retrovirus is involved and we are going to prove or disprove this within a year. We are going to use one year and nail this down one way or another.”
A few days earlier Gallo received an infected lymph node from the Pasteur Institute. And only four days after the meeting Gallo received the first written report from the Pasteur Institute, where they stated they had found a virus in an AIDS patient.
Gallo made an addition in their report where he stated the French discovery is close related with his HTLV. Gallo then forwarded the report to the scientific journal Science. It was published the 20th May. In the same issue Gallo published three other articles on retroviruses and AIDS. Gallo’s papers attracted much attention in the scientific world. The French , who were the first in the world to isolate the AIDS virus from a patient were more or less neglected..
MAX ESSEX IN COOPERATION WITH GALLO
Myron “Max” Essex had for eight years been studying retroviruses with cat leukaemia as a speciality. He had worked together with Donald Francis. When they discussed AIDS in June 1981, Donald Francis offered the hypothesis this was cat leukaemia although in humans. At that time this was a daring proposal but he succeeded in arousing the interest of Essex. In parallel with his ordinary research work Essex started to examine if HTLV was connected with AIDS. Blood specimens containing HTLV he got from Japan. Then he was offered blood from American AIDS patients. Antibodies against HTLV was ordered from Gallo’s laboratory, in order to evaluate the blood tests.
At a follow up meeting the 26th of July in 1983 at CDC in Atlanta where Gallo, Essex, Francis and others met, Essex close cooperate Mullins informed about his examinations of AIDS infected blood and HTLV- antibodies. When he spoke about the antibodies, Gallo asked sharply where they got them from. When Gallo was answered they came from his lab, he almost exploded: “-How can you collaborate with me and you’re doing stuff behind my back” he shouted. “If you’re using my materials on anything, I need to know about it in advance. You need my approval.” The others were aghast when Gallo spent another 45 minutes berating Mullins and Essex.
In spite of or maybe thanks to Gallo’s burst of fury a long time of close cooperation between him and Essex would follow
Gallo went ahead, often together with Essex to publish findings either at press conferences or in scientific magazines that there is a close association between HTLV and AIDS. On the contrary, to his superiors, Gallo informed them they had only found a small percentage of HTLV positivity in patients clinically diagnosed with AIDS.
Essex and Gallo were the only researchers at that time in United States who were granted research money for AIDS investigations. Others were rejected their grants or even worse. One example was Kalyanaraman, in short Kaly, who discovered a variety of HTLV, named HTLV-II, in November 1982. At that time Kaly worked in Gallo’s lab. He later transferred to CDC in Atlanta. The change of workplace relieved Kaly who wanted to continue, independently with his study of HTLV. But there were to be obstacles. Kaly was refused by Gallo who would not allow Kaly to to bring viruses and anti-bodies to CDC. In August Gallo phoned Don Francis at CDC after failing to convince his colleagues to stop Kaly from changing employee:
-“There is no need for CDC to launch its own retrovirus research. It would just be a duplication of government expenditures. Besides, there is no way we will collaborate with you. Kaly will get nothing. You ain’t ever going to have any retroviruses.”
When Kaly left NCI Gallo told him: “- I will destroy you.”
GALLO VERSUS PASTEUR
Gallo’s first man in the lab in Bethesda the Czech Mika Popovic had after checking the connection between AIDS and HTLV with start in May 1982 very soon realized there was no such relation.
In July 1983 Gallo and Popovic received a sample with cultured AIDS virus from Pasteur, but they didn’t manage to keep it alive. In August the Pasteur team sent a new report about their virus, LAV, to be published in Nature. The report was refused. On 14-15 September one of the first World Congresses on AIDS was held. The conference was held at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island and was dominated by Gallo, where he still talked about his discoveries of HTLV. At the end of the second day, when many participants already had left, Luc Montagnier was given 20 minutes to talk. Montagnier revealed that the French had already developed a decent antibody test, making it easier to trace the virus in patients. He also stated that LAV and HTLV are two clearly different viruses and by electron microscopy LAV had shown a very different shape compared to that of HTLV. In the core of LAV it was a cone shape, while HTLV had a sphere. LAV resembled more the viruses which cause immunedeficiency in horses and sheep, i.e. EIAV and visna.
In front of Gallo and his colleagues, Montagnier pointed out that the effort of Gallo to connect AIDS with HTLV was just a way to disinform the scientific world for almost a year. At question time Gallo took the lead. He merely tore into pieces the contents of Montagnier’s speech. Montagnier sat at a corner looking as though he had been beaten with a sledgehammer.
One week later Gallo’s lab received more of the French cultures. This time Gallo kept part of the sample at his home-lab in Bethesda, where Mika Popovic tried to grow the virus. Another part was sent over to Fort Detrick, to Frederick Cancer Research Facility where Matthew Gonda took photos under the electron microscope. Gonda’s photos once more show it is a lentivirus with a rod-shaped inner core. He was familiar to that type of virus because he has been working with related viruses from horses,cattle, goats and sheep. Gonda’s discovery made Gallo furious. Gonda was phoned by Gallo for an one-hour sermon where Gallo didn’t spare the invectives. Mika Popovic was clearly being used by Gallo in the stealing of the French scientific discoveries: “You know to keep quiet, when the pipe is pointed at you. Here only the boss may speak.”
The boss was really good in talking. HTLV was the real rumor virus. The other rumors spread by Gallo, was that his lab had isolated AIDS-viruses from 18 to 50 patients. The number of patients depended on whom he spoke or wrote to. Rumors he never later could proof.
Another scientist, Jay Levy, at the California University working in collaboration with CDC reported isolating a virus from an AIDS patient in San Francisco. He called his virus ARV (AIDS Related Virus). He didn’t publish his findings until later when he got more confirmed evidence of his result. Levy had by all means made his discovery earlier but was delayed for months, because he couldn’t raise a few thousand dollars to buy an ultra-centrifuge.
KARPAS SECOND IN THE WORLD TO ISOLATE THE AIDS VIRUS
Although the epidemic had its greatest toll in USA, it was another European to be the second in the world to publish a report about the discovery of an AIDS related virus, after the Pasteur group.
In December 1983 Abraham Karpas, a retrovirologist at Cambridge University in Britain, published a report in “Molecular Biology in Medicine” with the title “Unusual virus produced by cultured cells from a patient with AIDS”. Karpas’ text later turned out to be a correct description of the AIDS virus. Even Karpas had difficulties in publishing. Two welknown journals refuted his article. Afterwards his article was criticized by Natalie Teich, who for many years had cooperated with Gallo. Due to Teich’s behaviour Karpas’ work didn’t got the recognition it deserved.
Many more scientists were to be stopped from recognition of their works. On 5th December 1983, Montagnier applied for a US patent for an antibody test on LAV. This would make it possible to test blood in order to prevent AIDS infected blood being used for transfusion. On 28th May 1985 Montagnier got his answer. Patent rights for antibody tests were granted that day, but the rights referred to Gallo’s application through the US government, although it was made on April 23rd 1984, four months after the French. This kind of action from Galo and his superiors were criticized by Karpas who wrote:
In conclusion the AIDS virus could and should have been isolated in the USA for the following reasons:
- It was in the US that AIDS was first recognized as a new disease of man in 1981 by Gottlieb and others.
- The US had the largest number of diagnosed AIDS patients
- The US scientific and medical might, in particular having excellent retrovirologists in Temin, Bishop, Baltimore etc.
The latter could have been sufficient for the US to be the first to isolate the causative virus. However, because of Dr Gallo, the French were first. Progress in AIDS research had been delayed by a full year while Drs Gallo and Essex published eight articles on HTLV, the rare human leukaemia virus, as the cause of AIDS. In the process they prevented directly and indirectly the publication of medical and scientifc data that HTLV was not involved in AIDS and that another virus was the cause of this new disease. As a result many thousands of individuals became infected with contaminated blood and the virus kept spreading at an accelerated pace. Only after Dr Gallo received the AIDS virus from France and managed to grow it did he change its name from LAV to HTLV-III and claimed himself as the discoverer. In order to justify calling it HTLV-III, Gallo with Wong-Staal presented scientific “data” on the similarity of the HTLV-I and HTLV-II which they published in Science and Nature, thereby causing further delay in AIDS research by sending newcomers to this field into blind alleys.
There is no question in my mind that Dr Gallo is responsible for the large number of infections especially Through blood transfusions during the lost year. However, he objects to anyone who tries to keep the record straight while trying to recreate the history of the discovery of HIV and dictate the originality of his own findings. A further example of the way he operates is the letter he wrote asking Dr D Francis to sign the letter. I was told that it was followed by a life-threatening telephone call from Gallo to Francis.
I find it amazing that this situation is being tolerated in the USA. Consider that a democratically elected President had to resign because of the Watergate episode in which not even a single life was lost while Gallo is allowed to continue to dominate USA AIDS research with untold millions from USA tax payers, many of whom became infected by the virus due to his scientific incompetence and ruthlessness.
Abraham Karpas. Assistant Director of Research” (From letter Karpas -88)
By 1984 the French had better understanding of the virus and its properties. Gallo’s lab was also successful in growing the virus from the Paris samples. Gallo stil stubbornly called them HTLV.
To the outside world, to the public and to the majority of the scientific community Gallo’s work was visible.
The next important conference on AIDS took place in Park City, Utah on 6-10th February. 150 scientists, the elite within biomedical field in USA were assembled. Gallo and Esex were among them. Jean-Claude Chermann represented the the Pasteur Institute. Chermann was invited to speak at the end of the second day. But at the same time as the ski-hill outdoors were enticing, an unannonced speaker, William Haseltine, took the rostrum instead of Chermann. Although the organizers tried to stop him he went on with his speech, which reduced the time Chermann could adress the assembly.. After just a couple of minutes, it was all silence in the conference room. For the very first time most scientist’s realized that the French team had really traced disease. They welcomed the implicit news that a blood-test was available. The mysterious disease was no longer a mystery.
“-Gallo was speechless. He has just figured out that the other guy is going to go to Sweden to get the Nobelprize”, was commented in the conference room.
GALLO RENAMED LAV INTO HTLV-III
Gallo was however prepared. During question time he tried to beliitle Chermann’s work by insinuating that their cultures were contaminated. He even proposed that the French should rename their their LAV virus into HTLV-III.
Gallo was now occupied in regaining the initiative. On 30th March he sent four articles to Science publication., in which he referred the virus as HTLV-III. Parts of his material were false. He tried to conceal the fact that his results were derived from the French samples. The main article was signed by Gallo and Popovic. This time there was no delay in publication. All the articles were printed on 4th May. Gallo himself made the following the comment:”- Getting one paper in Science is a lot. getting two is fantastic. getting three was a record. We had four at one time.”
But Gallo knew well that four articles were not enough. He still had to convince the public and the world that he was the “Father of Retrovirology”.
While Popovic was visiting Florida a meeting was planned in the capital.
HECKLER, THE HYPOCRITE
On 23rd April in Washington the government organized a gala performance for the TV cameras and the western world news agencies. Margaret Heckler, secretary of Health in the Reagan administration opened the press conference: “- Today we add another miracle to the long honor roll of American medicine and science. Today’s discovery represents the triumph of science over a dreaded disease. From the very first dat that AIDS was identified in 1981, our scientists and medical allies have never stopped searching for the answers to the AIDS mystery. Without a day of of procrastination the resources have been effectively mobilized. Within six months a blood test would be available and within two years there would be a vaccine”, was her optimistic judgement, but it came from a political direction. The real hero of the gala was Robert Gallo, awarded the epithet as the discoverer of the AIDS virus.
Prior to this, on 9th April Gallo had sent the French virus for mass production making it possible to produce millions of blood tests. In this case Gallo took advantage of the private bio-technical companies situated in the neighbourhood.
The years that followed were to be Gallo’s. He was the big star at the world AIDS conferences in New York, Stockholm, Bryssel,Washington, Atlanta and Paris. “He is like a peacock, spreading his feathers” He was rewarded this epithet from Hans Wigzell, chairman of the Nobel Prize committee. After the award of the Nobel Prize, Gallo yearned even for greater leadership in the world’s AIDS debate. But there there were other prizes for Gallo. He got the Lasker Prize twice. 80 other awards of different dignity has been assembled by Gallo in the scientific competition.
Within a period of 15 years, from 1970 to 1985, since Gallo started explorations and manipulations, e.g. trials of hybridization of retroviruses, a scientific revolution had occured in that field. New discoveries and refined tools had opened new views and possibilities for bio-technics. Also the possibility reads the genes-the nucleotides and thereby easier evaluate the origin and the relatedness between different viruses.
NEW SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERIES REVEALED GALLO
Clouds of disturbancy sailed up on the Gallo’s heaven. Matthew Gonda, who earlier had photographed “Gallo’s” viruses had gone further in comparative studies, by using new technique. With the heteroduplex-hybridization test he showed the AIDS virus and the sheep Visna virus shares many similarities, whereas HTLV-I and the AIDS virus only has a close resemblance in very few segments of the genome. (Gonda -86)
Wain-Hobson at the Pasteur Institute in Paris made a similar conclusion using another method. He mapped nucleotide sequence, the order of the 9300 bases making up the viral RNA. (Alizon -86)
Wain-Hobson was not alone. All around the world AIDS-viruses were mapped and when the scientists compared them and compared their findings they noted the virus mutates in an unpredictable manner from one patient to another. A virus from a patient is like a fingerprint. Except in one case Gallo’s HTLV-III is almost identical to the French LAV. There was now enough scientific evidence Gallo stolen the work of the French team. (Benn -85)
When the French team found this, they quikly took legal action against Gallo for the right of discovery. This process exposed Gallo’s lab dairies to the public, which they couldn’t stand.
AIDS DEVELOPED INTO POLITICS
By this time AIDS was transferred into top-politics. Too much could have been revealed during a lenghty legal process. The heads of state: Ronald Reagan and Jaques Chirac forced Gallo and Montagnier into a compromise. The two of them should together write a mutual history of the AIDS virus and its discovery, now renamed HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
On 23rd March 1987, in a hotel in Frankfurt, Germany, Gallo and Montagnier signed the document that one week later was made public in the White House, Washington.
A political document has for the time being replaced a true scientific historical writing.
Outside the White house in the evening of 31st March, thousands of candlelights were carried, in a quiet protest, by those who by that time had been infected by the virus. At that time 40000 had acquired AIDS in the United States, half of whom were dead. The number of infected asymptomatic carriers was unknown. At that time USA had around 75% of the world wide AIDS cases. It was now known it was a disease that could strike anyone, not just gays.
The same evening , after Montagnier and Gallo had received their awards for their contributions , Ronald Reagan spoke for the first time about the AIDS epidemic.
The battle over who first discovered the virus in a patient had got its political epilogue.
GALLO AND ESSEX ABOUT THE ORIGIN
The battle of the origin of the virus had hardly started and even in that battle Gallo would play a main role.Gallo together with Essex launched the theory that by breaking the species barrier, HIV jumped from monkeys into human beings, in an isolated remote African village. Gallo knew how to market his hypothesis. In 1984 there had been a lot of discussions within AAAS (American Association of Advancement of Science) concerning the risks of creating new organisms using gene technics within military and civilian research and application.
SECRECY LAW AS A GUARD FOR GALLO AND ESSEX?
In order to secure their own research people from the public opinion, the Supreme Court promulgated a new law on 16th April 1985 where CIA got the right to keep secret the names of scientists working for them. (Segal -90)
The same month Essex announced his theory about the African green Monkey to the press during the AIDS conference in Atlanta.
Gallo ordered his collaborators to collect blood samples from Africa, and in one of their first publications Nahmias and Gallo showed that in old blood samples from from Zaire from 1959, 90% were positive to HIV antibodies. That report was was released to the market with an immense effect. When it short thereafter was found that old blood samples were giving false positivity due to unreliable testing methods it had been scientifically just to denounce their first report.
But Gallo and Nahmias went on with further studies on their Zairean blood samples from 1959. They also included samples from 1967 and 1980. Altogether they had 1213 samples. With improved testing methods they now found that 1212 were HIV negative. One was positive. The person who had offered the blood was however unidentified. But in the headline of the report they claimed: EVIDENCE FOR HUMAN INFECTION WITH AN HTLV III/LAV-LIKE VIRUS IN CENTRAL AFRICA 1959. (Nahmias -86). That headline was the origin of thousands of articles in newspapers where the sentence “AIDS in Africa already 1959” was to be rooted in the public opinion.
Even faster and more careless were Gallo together with Flossie Wong-Staal, when they in articles in both Nature and Blood, published maps over the spread of AIDS in Africa. (Wong-Staal -85). At that time, according to the official statistics of WHO there were only 3000 recognized cases of AIDS in the whole African continent. Perhaps Gallo knew already, that AIDS would spread fast in about 10-12 of the 53 states of Africa? The “high-endemic” areas of the map were similar to that of another publication presented already in 1972. Then the Lippencott company presented a map which showed the localisation of the projects within IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer). Gallo’s NCI was a cooperative partner of that agency.
THE BRÜSSEL CONFERENCE WAS SUCCESSFUL FOR GALLO
In November 1985, at the Brüssel conference on African AIDS, the team of Gallo and Essex launched their African Green Monkey theory for the scientific community. Earlier they had tested their theory only to the public, through the media where they had achieved great attention. Even the report from Essex that he had found another retrovirus in an African green monkey had received attention, although he was forced to admit that an error had taken part in his laboratory. The virus he exposed was actually from an experimental rhesus maqaque. By wild maqaques in Asia, this virus is not present.
Essex’ monkey business was to continue. In 1986 he published together with Phyllis Kanki that they isolated a new virus from West-african patients. The virus they named HTLV-IV. Independent researchers could confirm Essex’ attempt this time was another fault. One more time it appeared it was the maqaque virus, that Essex announced as something else.
In spite of these scientific frauds, deliberate or mistaken, Essex succeeded in giving the public the impression that HIV had originated in nature through a monkey. Also a great share of the uncritical scientific world accepted the theory.
The Brüssel conference in 1985 was to be a success for Gallo. Africa and the monkey was announced throughout the world as the origin of AIDS. Everybody had got a plausible theory exhibited. But Gallo knew, even though the majority would uncritically accept his theory, there would be some scientists at the next conference in Naples, Italy to examine his inconsistent hypothesis.
GALLO VERSUS KOCH
Gallo spent a lot of time and power to manipulate his colleagues, not just by “scientific” publications. Gallo also used the conference days to run around, to be familiar with some slandering others.
Many Swedes, from the country of the Nobel Prize, were called on by Gallo, often for confidential talks. A very special relation developed between Gallo and Michael G Koch, a provincial MD from a small town Karlsborg. Koch had contributed to the AIDS research with excellent computer based calculations over the future epidemic, country by country. Gallo tried to convince Koch not to go to Naples. Koch reacted strongly to Gallo’s judgement that the Naples organizers were “criminals”. When Gallo loudly announced to Koch he considered Karpas “craxy, a lunatic” and accused two Italian professors of collaborating with the maffia, Koch was upset. These conversations contributed to Koch’s critical view of Gallo’s scientific publications and Koch very early relied more on other researchers and came to other conclusions in his published material than the Americans, who for a long time very influenced by Gallo. Gallo’s efforts to stop Koch would develop into drastic expressions. The last day of the Geneva AIDS congress in 1986 Gallo brought an envelope from his pocket: “Here I got a five-step-programme to destroy you. First that ridiculous Carnegie Institute in Stockholm, as well as you, your position, your work and your very person.” (Koch letter -87)
When later on Koch published a book on AIDS in German language, AIDS – vom “Molekül zum Pandemie”, the editor had the intention to translate it into English. But problems arose. Robert Gallo forced forced the American Department of Health & Human Services to send aletter to the German editor, where they were threatened by legal action if the book were to be published in English (Windom letter -88). Gallo’s methods towards his international colleagues didn’t differ much from the methods he used towards his employees in the laboratories in Bethesda and Frederick.
Very seldom Gallo made comments about the connection between the hepatitis-B vaccine trials in New York and the outbreak of the American AIDS epidemic. One of the few comments he made in a scientific report was when JAMA published the follow-up article in 1986, where Gallo’s NCI was one of the founders of the investigation. On the other hand , Gallo often got the question from journalists. The best, the most ambigious answer he gave in an interview for New York Native: -“They are homosexuals because they were the ones exposed. Forget all the other hocus-pocus. Why them? No one knows… it was acquired.”
Margaret Heckler had in April 1984 promised a vaccine within two years. After that time elapsed, the knowledge about the virus had increased. Its capability to mutate had surprised the researchers. It also made it extremely difficult to develop a vaccine. Even in this aspect Robert Gallo got a leading position. He was appointed as head of the HIVAC (HIV Vaccine) , an international vaccine group with links in 10 countries. Together with WHO they advocated Africa as an experimental base for these risky projects.
At the Stockholm AIDS congress in 1988 Luc Montagnier, Robert Gallo, Jonathan Mann and Lars-Olof Kallings, the last two representatives of WHO, entered the stage together, in order to launch the world wide campaign against AIDS. All old battles seemed to be forgotten. They wanted to give the impression of unity. They claimed they would do everything to save Africa from a catastrophe.
At the same moment 2000 AIDS patients in New York, in Gallo’s USA, were left to destiny. They couldn’t afford and there was no room for them in the hospitals. They lived and died in the streets.
GALLO’S LAST GALA PERFORMANCE
Gallo’s fame was at a climax, when in November 1989, he was given audience by the Pope in Rome. Between Gallo and the Pope, there existed a personal link: Wolf Szmuness, the man who directed the hepatite- vaccine programme in New York in 1979.
The audience with the Pope was probably Gallo’s last gala performance. Back in USA on 19th November 1989 was a critical moment for Robert C Gallo. That day, John Crewdson, delivered a journalistic masterpiece: “The Great AIDS Quest” in Chicago Tribune. In 16 full pages, John Crewdson elucidated all the intricate details about the discovery of HIV and the scientific battle from the Pasteur team against the fraudelent methods used by Gallo.
In February 1990 NIH made clear to the American National Academy of Sciences that they wanted to assemble a group of scientists to investigate Gallo. The size and and the eminence of the panel was unprecendeted and showed how seriously NIH officials locked upon their task.
One of the first to be investigated was Syed Zaki Salahuddin and his suspect economical transactions with Gallo’s NCI. ( Culliton -90)
Salahuddin was along with Gallagher, Gillespie, Teich and Gallo those who compared and made hybridization trials in the seventies with retroviruses from humans, mice, apes, cats, dogs, monkeys and hamsters.
The panel was soon to face difficulties, because Gallo’s influential friends made manoevres. This lead to a reduction of their task. They limited their investigation to find out what happened in the Gallo’s lab 1983 and 1984 and only emphazised their studies of whom made the real discovery of HIV.
At the same time new accusations arose. The French researcher Zagury had started vaccine trials with an experimental HIV vaccine on previously healthy children in Zaire. Some of the participants died, due to the vaccinations. Gallo was part of the Zagury trials and also US authorities reacted against the repeated ignorance of ethical regulations that Gallo had shown. (Aldhous -91, Dorozynski -91).
In 1991, for the first time Gallo admitted that it was the French virus he had used when he proclaimed himself as the discoverer, but with the rejected choice of words -“The French virus must have been contaminating my cultures”.
What Michael Koch had written in his books already in 1985, was finally accepted as a truth in the summer 1991 at the World AIDS congress in Florence, Italy: That the true discoverers of HIV were the Pasteur group and the attempts of Gallo to claim the honor was a fraud.
Nevertheless, back in USA, after many years of processing, Gallo seemed to avoid any legal action. Backed by his superiors, critical members in the different investigation committees were replaced until a majority could announce Gallo free from legal action. Instead in September 1995, he was replaced, the normal way within a pathriarcate. He was removed from Bethesda to University of Maryland in Baltimore where he is going to head a virus research center where the money funded for Gallo will equip him with 300 employees.
A thorough unbiased investigation into Robert Gallo’s proceedings will also give rise to the following “The Greater AIDS Quest”, but are they ever to be answered?:
1) To lie, to disinform, to mislead, to blame others and to threat was distinctive features of Robert Gallo since 1975. Was it a way he used to safer reach his goal of winning a Nobel Prize or is there a more profound background to his behaviour?
2) The most natural thing and easiest to do to trace the origin of AIDS had been for Gallo, Essex and the NCI to investigate and publish evaluations of the enormous material of bloodsamples collected in connection with the Hepatitis-B-vaccine programme that was performed on young, healthy, mainly white homosexual men in 1978 in New York, 1980 in San Francisco and shortly thereafter in Los Angeles, Denver, S:t Louis and Chicago. Why is Gallo not mentioning this coincidence in the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic?
3) Why were Gallo and Essex with such frenzy searching for retroviruses in monkeys and remote African villages, using unscientific means and fraudelent behaviour? At the same time they avoided to search for potential ancestors of HIV in the retroviruses they themselves used in their earlier experimentations. Why this reluctance in finding the origin of AIDS?
4) Gallo and Gillespie published a report already in 1975, where it is evident that they succeeded in hybridizing the human virus HL-23 V with other animal retroviruses. Why isn’t it allowed to openly discuss these hybrides as a possible artificial source, not only for HIV but for all newly discovered retroviruses in monkeys and other animals?
5) By all Gallo’s “enemies” , Luc Montagnier or even better Francoise Barré; and Jean-Claude Chermann are considered as the true discoverers of HIV. But can’t it still be true that the first in the world to discover the AIDS virus was Robert Gallo, sometime around 1977, when he noticed in the laboratory a new virus was emerging from a cell culture injected with other viruses? If that is the case, wouldn’t Gallo be honored as the first in the world, not as the discoverer, but as the inventor of a human lentivirus?
By Ingemar Ljungqvist
Randy Shilts: And the band played on
John Crewdson: The great AIDS quest, Chicago Tribune
Seth Roberts: RAT, Spy
For references in very special questions. Go for the book Aids Tabu 1992 Carlssons Bokförlag, Stockholm