John McAfee does damage control after scandalous piece in US magazine
By any stretch, John McAfee is a name to reckon in the computer world. He is the founder of McAfee, the largest computer anti-virus company in the world. For the past two and a half years, he has been living in Belize; more specifically in San Pedro Ambergris Caye. The fact that he had moved to Belize got public attention when he made a generous donation to the local Coast Guard. So when Fast Company Magazine of the US wrote a story on McAfee last week, alleging that he is involved in suspicious behavior, it raised many brows. One of the allegations is that McAfee’s donation of a million-dollar boat to the Coast Guard in January of last year was so that the Coast Guard does not hassle his ferry business, Coastal Express, which came on stream ten months later in October. McAfee, who arrived in the country today, also has plans to start an antibiotic pharmaceutical company using native Belizean plants. He says the article in Fast Company’s magazine was to smear his name and take him out of business. News Five was on hand when he arrived today at the Philip Goldson International Airport.
John McAfee, Founder, McAfee Anti-Virus
“What is happening here is I’m starting a company called Quorum Ex using native plants of Belize to create antibiotics using a brand new method, which has just been discovered in the past few years. I think the question needs to be asked of Fast Company which pharmaceutical company they are working with to create stories like this because if I succeed in what I am doing here in Belize then it will put many of these large international companies out of business. So we are seeing a smear campaign, not just against myself, but against Belize and all the citizens of Belize.”
“Why do you think that company would have some gripe or vendetta against you and your companies?”
“I don’t think they have a gripe against me, I think that the pharmaceutical companies are very afraid of what I’m doing down here. Again, we’re building a brand new type of anti-biotic that’s does not develop resistance to bacteria. If we succeed in this—we have a research plant, we have a station at Galen University, we have a production facility in Orange Walk and we’re very close to producing a product which will put many of these companies out of business. So they don’t have a gripe against me but the pharmaceutical companies like Bayer and Merck are very afraid of what I’m doing.”
“In the article it alleges that the priority area of research is in fact a female form of Viagra.”
“See that again is utter nonsense. We have a website; I invite you and I invite the members of the public of Belize to go to Quorumex.com. Nowhere does it mention anything about a female Viagra, at no point have we ever worked on a female Viagra, our entire focus of research is on antibiotics using native plants here in Belize. So, again it’s just one more aspect of the story which is utterly false and an attempt to discredit the work that I’m doing here. This is not my first bad press. It’s impossible to have nothing but you’re in the press yourself, half of it’s bad, half of it’s good. But when it came out here in Belize I felt it very necessary to say something.”
“Can you tell us what measures are in place to ensure that the project that you’re entering into agreement with that you will start will be sustainable?”
“It’s completely sustainable because all of the products we are using, we are growing ourselves. We have a twenty-two acre growing facility on the banks of New River and four large greenhouses in San Pedro constructed over a year ago that we’ll be using to grow our products. So we are not going into the forests of Belize and harvesting; that’s not our intent.”
McAfee says he will not seek legal redress against Fast Company Magazine for having published the article. The businessman says he has lost a lot of money because of the economic situation, but he still considers himself well off.