Coronavirus: Thread

grarpamp grarpamp at
Wed May 11 19:13:30 PDT 2022

> Nonprofit Watchdog Uncovers $350 Million In Secret Payments To Fauci,
> Collins, Others At NIH

Acting NIH Director Admits Appearance Of Conflict Of Interest In
Secret Royalty Payments To Fauci, Scientists

Undisclosed royalty payments estimated at $350 million from
pharmaceutical and other firms to Dr. Anthony Fauci and hundreds of
National Institutes for Health (NIH) scientists do present “an
appearance of a conflict of interest,” according to the agency’s
acting director.

Dr. Lawrence Tabak, who took over as NIH Director following the
December 2021 resignation of the agency’s long-time leader, Dr.
Francis Collins, told a House Appropriations Committee subcommittee
that federal law allows the royalty payments but he conceded they
don’t look ethical.

Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) told Tabak that “right now, I think the
NIH has a credibility problem and this only feeds into this, and I’m
only just learning about this. People in my district say ‘well,
so-and-so has a financial interest, or they don’t like Ivermectin
because they aren’t benefitting from that royalty …

“You may have very sound scientific reasons for recommending a
medicine or not, but the idea that people get a financial benefit from
certain research that’s been done and grants that were awarded, that
is to me the height of the appearance of a conflict of interest.”

In response, Tabak said NIH does not endorse particular medicines, but
rather “we support the science that validates whether an invention is
or is not efficacious, we don’t say this is good or this is bad … I
certainly can understand that it might seem as a conflict of

Moolenaar seemed taken aback by Tabak’s response and, while pointing
to Fauci, who was also testifying, said “truthfully, I would say
you’ve had leaders of NIH saying certain medicines are not good.”

Tabak said such statements by NIH are based on clinical trials that
are supported by the agency.

Puzzled, Moolenaar then asked Tabak, “but if the agency is awarding
who is the beneficiary of the grant, who is doing the trial, and there
is somehow finances involved, that there is a financial benefit that
could be accrued if someone’s patent or invention is considered
validated, do you not see that as a conflict or at least the
appearance of a conflict of interest?”

After conceding that there is an appearance of a conflict of interest,
Tabak suggested to Moolenaar that “maybe this is the sort of thing
that we can work together on so that we can explain to you the
firewalls that we do have, because they are substantial and

Moolenaar’s reference to Fauci was in regard to his telling the
Associated Press in a 2005 article that first brought the NIH
royalties issues into the headlines that he had donated his royalties
to charity.

But the issue faded from the headlines after 2005, and is only now
getting renewed attention as a result of revelations first reported on
May 9 by The Epoch Times that documents obtained in a Freedom of
Information Act lawsuit brought by a nonprofit government watchdog
show an estimated $350 million in undisclosed royalty payments from
pharmaceutical and other private firms to top NIH executives, as well
as to hundreds of the agency’s health scientists and researchers.

The $350 million in royalty payments were made between 2010 and 2020,
according to Open the Books, the nonprofit that took the NIH to court
when it refused to acknowledge the group’s FOIA request for documents.

Collins received 14 payments, Fauci received 23 payments and his
deputy, Clifford Lane, received eight payments, according to Open the

Adam Andrzejewski, the founder and president of Open the Books, told
The Epoch Times Wednesday that NIH continues to withhold important
information about the royalty payments, including the names of
particular payers and the specific amounts to individuals at NIH.

“With tens of billions of dollars in grant-making at NIH and tens of
millions of royalty dollars from third-party payors flowing back into
the agency each year, NIH needs to come clean with the American people
and open the books. We need to be able to follow the money,”
Andrzejewski said.

“We believe transparency will revolutionize U.S. public policy. There
is no better example of this than the third-party (think
pharmaceutical companies) payments to NIH scientists. Every single
outside payment to a government scientist could be a conflict of
interest,” he added.

The Moolenaar-Tabak exchange took place during a hearing on the Biden
administration’s 2023 budget request.

Rep. Neal Dunn (R-Fla.), who is also a surgeon, told The Epoch Times
that “it’s no secret that the agency needs reform. Their many issues
were exacerbated and highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Providing
the public with transparent access to how the NIH is spending taxpayer
dollars and reaching their decisions is a basic responsibility, and
they must be held accountable. Now more than ever, we must commit to
reforming our federal health agencies and restoring America’s trust in
public health.”

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