“An appearance of a conflict of interest.”

No kidding, really?

The corruption is so deep and endemic in Washington, you need wings to stay above it.

“Acting NIH Director Admits Appearance of Conflict of Interest in Secret Royalty Payments to Fauci, Scientists,” by Mark Tapscott, Epoch Times, May 11, 2022:

Undisclosed royalty payments estimated at $350 million from pharmaceutical and other firms to Dr. Anthony Fauci and hundreds of National Institutes of 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 that they don’t look ethical.

“Right now, I think the NIH has a credibility problem and this only feeds into this, and I’m only just learning about this,” Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) told Tabak. “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 doesn’t endorse particular medicines.

“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 interest,” he said….

Moolenaar’s reference to Fauci was in regard to him 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 it’s 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….



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