A protestor with a pitchfork at BlackRock's NYC office (file image)
Investment giant BlackRock is a popular target for protesters and conspiracy theorists.

BlackRock link to COVID-19 review not built on solid ground

Joanna Guelas November 15, 2022

US investment giant BlackRock sponsored the Fault Lines review into Australia's COVID-19 response.


False. The review was jointly funded by three Australian philanthropist organisations. BlackRock had no involvement.

A Facebook video claims US investment giant BlackRock sponsored Fault Lines, an independent review into Australia’s response to COVID-19.

The claim is false. The review, released on October 20, was funded by three philanthropic groups: Paul Ramsay Foundation, Minderoo Foundation and John & Myriam Wylie Foundation.

BlackRock is an American investment, risk management and advisory services company. It is the world’s largest asset manager, overseeing about $US10 trillion in assets.

The claim was made in a live-stream video (screenshot here) on October 26 by Facebook page Stop the Rot Sack the Lot, which purports to be an alternative news service with topics including COVID vaccines, the deep state and general global conspiracy theories.

“Sponsored by BlackRock and backed by all these philanthropists … So that’s who it’s backed by. So straight away guys another false flag. They’re sucking you in,” one of the hosts says of the Fault Lines review (video mark 8min 22sec).

A screenshot of the Facebook video.
 The Facebook video claims BlackRock is pulling the strings in a report on COVID-19 in Australia. 

The claim appears to have its origins in an October 22 Facebook video from Kate Mason, who was a 2022 federal election candidate for the anti-vaccine mandate Informed Medical Opinion Party.

In that video, Ms Mason discusses the three philanthropic groups, alleging they will benefit financially from the review’s recommendations.

Although Ms Mason does not claim the investment giant sponsored the report, she cites the philanthropic groups’ business arms as Fortescue Metals, Ramsay Health Care and Tanarra Capital and then claims BlackRock and Vanguard are among the main shareholders of Fortescue and Ramsay.

She then tells her followers the two investment management companies “own pretty much everything in the world’.

At the time of publication, BlackRock had a 1.48 per cent stake in Fortescue Metals while The Vanguard Group and Vanguard Investments Australia had 1.32 per cent and 0.99 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile BlackRock had a 2.43 per cent stake in Ramsay Health Care with BlackRock Investment Management (Australia) owning 0.96 per cent.

The Vanguard Group controlled 1.92 per cent while Vanguard Investments Australia had 1.15 per cent.

She also uses a quote from BlackRock chairman Larry Fink‘s 2022 letter to CEOs to claim corporations are weakening governments to control society (video mark 6min).

AAP FactCheck has previously debunked claims around BlackRock and Vanguard’s supposed ownership of companies.

Other Facebook users are also using Ms Mason’s video to amplify conspiracy theories.

The Paul Ramsay Foundation, one of the three groups behind the report, said the claim is false, adding that the review was independent and not influenced by anyone.

“The Fault Lines report was completed by an independent review panel and jointly funded by the Paul Ramsay Foundation, Minderoo Foundation and the John & Myriam Wylie Foundation,” a representative told AAP FactCheck in an email.

“The funders of the project had no say over its findings and recommendations.”

A representative of BlackRock also confirmed it did not fund or sponsor the report.

AAP FactCheck has previously debunked other claims from Stop the Rot Sack the Lot (see here and here), as well as separate claims about BlackRock (see here).

The Verdict

The claim US investment giant BlackRock sponsored the Fault Lines report into Australia’s response to COVID is false. The Paul Ramsay Foundation, one of the independent review’s three funders, confirmed to AAP FactCheck that BlackRock was not involved. BlackRock also confirmed it did not sponsor the report.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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