On 1 November 2018, the Trump administration’s senior adviser on drug pricing reform, Daniel Best, was found “unresponsive” near the garage door exit of a Washington, D.C., apartment building. He was pronounced dead at the scene by first responders.
A statement released the same day by Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Alex Azar mourned Best as a “friend and colleague” but addressed neither the circumstances nor the cause of his death. No other details were released to the public.
Two weeks later, on 15 November, the office of Washington, D.C.’s chief medical examiner announced that Best had died of “multiple blunt force injuries.” His death was ruled a suicide. No other information was provided.
And no more information has been provided up to the present time. That link behind the word “found” takes one to the Cleveland.com web site, which doesn’t tell us much more, except that Best sounded very upbeat about what he hoped to accomplish working in the Trump administration:
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma described his death as “a loss to our country and to all of us personally who had the great privilege of working with Dan.” Health insurance trade group CEO Matt Eyles of AHIP called Best “a dedicated leader who brought warmth, compassion and an unmistakable dedication to the American people to his work every single day.”
In a September speech before a pharmacy industry group, Best discussed lowering costs, making it easier for generics and biosimilar drugs to enter the market and rethinking drug rebate programs that drive up prices. “Today, in the marketplace, everybody except the patient wins when price goes up,” said Best.
Probably the most telling thing about Best’s violent death has been the almost total news blackout about it. Maybe the NOMA (national opinion molding apparatus) learned its lesson in the case of Deputy White House Counsel Vincent W. Foster, Jr., during the early months of the Clinton administration. Foster might have been a crony and former law firm colleague of Hillary Clinton (and maybe more), but he was a couple of levels down in the White House with no clear job description. Daniel Best, on the other hand, had a job that gave him a chance to do things that directly touch almost everyone in the country. There’s really no reason why the press couldn’t have given Foster the Daniel Best treatment, which is to say, the technique no. 1 in the Seventeen Techniques of Truth Suppressionand just dummied up. If it’s not in the news it’s as if it never happened.
Try searching “Washington Post Daniel Best” and see what comes up. I found nothing at all, amazing as that may seem. You can put Best’s name after CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, NPR, Fox News and you get the same results, nothing. In the process of doing your search you will probably discover that The Washington Times, which hardly anyone reads, reported his death right after it happened on November 1, but at that point they were just saying that he had died and nothing more, and the Times seems to have been content to leave it at that as far as its obligation to its readers is concerned. It’s as though that they had gotten the word that they were out of line in even reporting the death and they have since joined the others and have dummied up.
I first learned of Best’s death from an email correspondent who sent me the link to the report on Cleveland.com. That was the later article that revealed that Best had “multiple blunt force” injuries and that the death had been ruled a suicide. For some reason, Snopes never links to it, although it does give us those essential, apparently contradictory, facts. The story sounded completely outrageous, that the 49-year-old former CVSHealth and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals executive with three children, a cheerful face and seemingly everything to live for, had taken his own life in what appeared to be an impossible manner. Since I had never heard of Cleveland.com, my first thought was that this must be a fake news site. But then I quickly discovered that the Cleveland Plain Dealer had a routine obituary with a photograph showing that same happy looking open face in a different pose, although it took them five days to post it after Best’s death. It reminds us a bit of Gus Weiss, whose curious “suicide” at the Watergate in Washington, DC, was first belatedly reported in his hometown newspaper of Nashville, Tennessee. See “Connected Gulf War Opponent a ‘Suicide’” and “Three Important Assassinations?”
Only a Snopes editor wouldn’t be suspicious at this point. Everyone should know by now that it might as well be part of their job description to be credulous and call skeptics names, no matter what the issue might be. One might as well have expected Pravda in the old Soviet days to question the latest pronouncement from the Kremlin. To what should be no one’s surprise, they seem to be quite satisfied with all the unanswered questions. Who, exactly, ruled the death a suicide and upon what basis? We are left with the impression that it was the Washington, DC, medical examiner’s office that made the suicide ruling, the same one that told us that he had all those injuries that sound like those that one would most typically receive from a beating, but surely that could not be the case. It isn’t even the medical examiner’s job to determine whether a violent death was a homicide, a suicide, or an accident. He lacks the resources to make that determination. That’s the job of the police.
The name of the responsible person for the suicide ruling and the basis for that ruling are only the beginning of the questions that need to be answered here. Did Best live at that apartment building where he was found fatally injured? Who found him, and how did they happen to find him? Are their security cameras in the area? Were there any other witnesses besides Best’s discoverer(s)? Why has there been no public plea for any witnesses to come forward? Was there any possible motive for suicide? Has anyone even talked to his wife or any other loved ones about his death?
The Real Scandal
Of course, these are the sorts of questions for which a proper free press would be energetically seeking answers. As The Washington Post says, “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” But we’re getting nothing but silence from the press. That is the really big scandal here, and that is the best indicator that something truly foul is afoot.
The claim that Snopes confidently—and ever so predictably—pronounces as false it states thusly: “A medical examiner’s conclusion that Health and Human Services drug pricing adviser Daniel Best died of multiple blunt force injuries contradicts the official ruling that he committed suicide.”
It’s pretty amusing to watch the contortions that Snopes goes through to reach the “false” conclusion. They trot out experts to tell us that one can sustain blunt force trauma, in theory, from any number of ways, from having fallen from a height, from being struck by a vehicle, from being near an explosion, etc. So did Best jump from that apartment building or jump in front of a car or set off an explosion near himself? We don’t have enough information to say, says Snopes, so it’s false to say that the little we have been told about the death is inconsistent with the suicide conclusion.
As one might expect, Snopes, in the process, also makes very heavy use of no. 5 of the Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression, calling the skeptics names:
Internet conspiracy theorists questioned that ruling. Noting the pharmaceutical industry’s objections to the very task Best was hired to accomplish (i.e., lowering prescription drug costs), not to mention President Trump’s announcement days before Best’s death of a plan to reduce Medicare drug prices and the fact that Best died of blunt force injuries, the theorists took to social media to float the idea that Best was the victim of foul play and not suicide.
Far-right conspiracist websites followed suit. An 18 November article on Neon Nettle suggested that the public was being asked to believe that Best had beaten himself to death:
The Chief Medical Examiner’s verdict raised questions among the health community, with many people refusing to believe Best killed himself by repeatedly hitting himself with a blunt object until he died.
Erin Elizabeth of HNN [Health Nut News] described the ruling of Best’s death as “confusing,” saying:
“How does one kill themselves by hitting themselves with a blunt object? Repeatedly?”
Another conspiracy-mongering website, Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children, posed the same sarcastic question:
So did he lie down under a garage door and let it hit him “multiple times” or did he beat himself to death with a baseball bat? How does that work? Add to the very few actual articles on his death — this man was described as one of Trump’s “senior” HHS officials working with Alex Azar. Things that make you go hmm. (all bolding of loaded language added)
But, of course, they don’t make the Snopes folks go “hmm.” What if Snopes had posed its claim to be confirmed or debunked like this, though?
The national press is essentially blacking out the news of the curious violent death of an important official in the Trump administration.
Is there any way that they could pronounce that claim to be false? They might make the feeble observation that it was on Cleveland.com, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer had an obituary and The Washington Times did actually report the death, but in doing so they would only call attention, in the breech, to all the important news organs that they were unable to cite in order to deny the claim.
So what we have here, folks, is a scandal of very great proportions, and the parallels with the Foster death are palpable. Where are all those people in the mainstream press who seem to spare no effort to make Trump look bad? In a word, where is Jim Acosta when you need him? Bill Clinton had his enemies in the conservative press, as well, but it took months before the fake critic, Christopher Ruddy, emerged to voice a bit of skepticism about the Vince Foster “suicide.” Now with the Internet, the only ones so far voicing suspicion are a couple of truly obscure right-wing web sites. But for Mike Rivero’s WhatReallyHappened.com, who publicized the Cleveland.com report and called it a case of a person “beating himself to death,” the news would be almost completely buried.
Why Was Daniel Best Murdered?
Anyone with a pulse should know at this point that Daniel Best must have been murdered. The news blackout across the political spectrum tells us that it was a political murder of major significance. So who did it and why? The obvious conclusion to jump to is that it was Big Pharma. In deserting their ranks, carrying all of the tricks of their trade with him, in order to help Donald Trump bring down the prices of their products he was something of a traitor to them, wasn’t he? A live Daniel Best could have cost them all a great deal of money.
And then there are those other people who threatened Big Pharma’s bottom line. We are talking about the reports of a number of suspicious deaths of practitioners of alternative medicine around the world. That’s another one that Snopes claims to have debunked, so there might well be something to it.
But do the large drug companies as a group have the power to completely muzzle the news media? The mainstream media report apparently critical things about them on a regular basis. Perhaps we have to go a bit more deeply into the Deep State to get answers as to the “why” and the “who” of Best’s apparent murder. For this we go back to an article that we posted a little more than a year ago, “HHS Nominee Deep State Made Man.” It is about the man who made the announcement of Best’s death, the now head of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar. The title refers to the fact that Azar was a member of Kenneth Starr’s team, along with Brett Kavanaugh, that covered up Vince Foster’s murder. Service there has proved to be a sure-fire ticket for establishment promotion. As the defector from their ranks told Accuracy in Media’s Reed Irvine at the time, “They’ll do what it takes to move up the ladder.” And they did.
What was the purpose of putting one of these “made men,” like Kavanaugh and the Clintons, a Yale Law School product, in charge of HHS, I wondered in the article:
After leaving the Starr team he worked for a Washington law firm for five years and then, in August of 2001, President George W. Bush appointed him to be general counsel for Health and Human Services. Having proven himself to be a good and loyal soldier who would go along to get along, as they say, he was in a key position when those mysterious anthrax attacks came along.
Again, Wikipedia reports it blandly: “Azar played an important role in responding to the 2001 anthrax attacks…” Since he had already been carefully vetted by his work on the Starr team, the true perpetrators of the anthrax attacks could be confident that the important role that Azar would play did not involve nosing around too much into the actual origins of the anthrax spores used in the attacks.
But is Azar qualified to be the head of the cabinet office that has the responsibility for overseeing the nation’s health, you might ask. It depends, I think, on what you mean by “qualified” and in whose eyes he might be so. If a major false flag attack of a biological sort is in the works, then I couldn’t think of a better “qualified” person than Azar to head up HHS. Or maybe they just wanted to make sure that our top health guy would continue to perpetuate the myth that the CIA-fueled heroin epidemic that is ravaging the country is really a prescription painkiller “opioid” epidemic, even at the expense of scapegoating his buddies in the pharmaceutical industry.
Azar was head of drug giant Eli Lilly’s entire U.S. operations before being made HHS head, and Wikipedia tells us that during his tenure, which began January 1, 2012, “Prices of drugs rose substantially.” Hmm!
Actually killing Best seems awfully extreme. Couldn’t Azar just have sent him quietly back to the drug industry? Perhaps Best had stumbled upon something more sinister even than the CIA involvement in the illicit drug business. Maybe it involves something truly horrible that our rulers have planned for us that we will only discover when it happens. I speculate along those lines in my article, “Was Katharine Graham Killed for 9/11.” That was a July 2001 death that they called an accident, but as in the case of Best, the authorities were very stingy with the actual details. Had Graham been let in on the 9/11 false flag plans and had she balked at going along with them, I speculate.
Another possibility is that Best might have touched the same dark, sinister political third rail that Vince Foster did. After all, we still don’t know for sure why Foster was killed, as we see in “Was Vince Foster’s Murder PizzaGate-Related?” That netherworld is explored further in “Why Hillary Used a Private Server.”
All we can say for sure is that, by the secretiveness with which they are treating Daniel Best’s violent death, the despots who rule us these days are giving us every reason to believe the worst. “American Gothic,” a poem that I posted more than twenty years ago, is looking better by the day.