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Rochelle Walensky Departs CDC. We Wonder: Which Vaccine Manufacturing/Big Pharma Company Will Hire Her?
Regulators leaving government positions for Pharma is a very illegal part of the game. Here are some of the most egregious examples.
Julie Gerberding - CDC → Merck, following the establishment of an anti-science denialist agenda that forbade the finding of association between vaccines and autism, notably and especially Merck’s Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR and MMRII) vaccines, and also following work designed to make HPV vaccines look safe and effective for teens. Merck sold Gardasil and now sells Gardasil(R)-9 as an HPV vaccine.
Scott Gottlieb - FDA → Pfizer, following efforts to ban natural supplements from being used to stem the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Gottlieb join the Pfizer Board in June 2019, and when the SARS-CoV-2 virus emerged, penned a series of articles urging that the US stem the tide of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine “approval” debacle involved re-labeling the Pfizer’s emergency use authorized injection as “Comirnaty”, slipping past the full requirements for actual FDA approval. Gottlieb has appeared numerous times on US mainstream television news opining about policies about COVID-19, identified only as “Former FDA Director” with no mention of his Pfizer Board membership.
While Director of the EPA, pro-industry Scott Pruitt worked hard to promote oil, Big Chem and pesticide industry interests. In just one example, he met with pesticide manufacturer DOW prior to deciding on whether to ban the pesticide, chlorpyrifos, known to be associated with risk of autism (See: EPA chief met with Dow Chemical CEO before deciding not to ban toxic pesticide - Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)). Later, his political campaigns accepted funds from the companies he was “regulating”.
Where will soon-to-be-former CDC Director Rochelle Walensky land? Should we create a betting pool? That’s not likely legal, so let’s just make our predictions: I expect she’ll be given a sweetheart position at Moderna. Leave your predictions in the comments and please share this article on social media so your friends can participate.
What Can Be Done?
It’s never too late. Each of these individuals should fall under the scrutiny of the United States Office of Government Ethics regarding likely violations of Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), which specifically incorporates, "Employees shall not use public office for private gain," and "Employees shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating the law or the ethical standards set forth in this part." (Title 5 Link). A few well-placed, high-profile prosecutions should put a chill on the revolving door.
Source: 57 FR 35042, Aug. 7, 1992, unless otherwise noted.
(a) Public service is a public trust. Each employee has a responsibility to the United States Government and its citizens to place loyalty to the Constitution, laws and ethical principles above private gain. To ensure that every citizen can have complete confidence in the integrity of the Federal Government, each employee shall respect and adhere to the principles of ethical conduct set forth in this section, as well as the implementing standards contained in this part and in supplemental agency regulations.
(b) General principles. The following general principles apply to every employee and may form the basis for the standards contained in this part. Where a situation is not covered by the standards set forth in this part, employees shall apply the principles set forth in this section in determining whether their conduct is proper.
(1) Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws and ethical principles above private gain.
(2) Employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of duty.
(3) Employees shall not engage in financial transactions using nonpublic Government information or allow the improper use of such information to further any private interest.
(4) An employee shall not, except as permitted by subpart B of this part, solicit or accept any gift or other item of monetary value from any person or entity seeking official action from, doing business with, or conducting activities regulated by the employee's agency, or whose interests may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee's duties.
(5) Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties.
(6) Employees shall not knowingly make unauthorized commitments or promises of any kind purporting to bind the Government.
(7) Employees shall not use public office for private gain.
(8) Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.
(9) Employees shall protect and conserve Federal property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities.
(10) Employees shall not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment, that conflict with official Government duties and responsibilities.
(11) Employees shall disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities.
(12) Employees shall satisfy in good faith their obligations as citizens, including all just financial obligations, especially those—such as Federal, State, or local taxes—that are imposed by law.
(13) Employees shall adhere to all laws and regulations that provide equal opportunity for all Americans regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap.
(14) Employees shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating the law or the ethical standards set forth in this part. Whether particular circumstances create an appearance that the law or these standards have been violated shall be determined from the perspective of a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts.
(c) Related statutes. In addition to the standards of ethical conduct set forth in this part, there are conflict of interest statutes that prohibit certain conduct. Criminal conflict of interest statutes of general applicability to all employees, 18 U.S.C. 201, 203, 205, 208, and 209, are summarized in the appropriate subparts of this part and must be taken into consideration in determining whether conduct is proper. Citations to other generally applicable statutes relating to employee conduct are set forth in subpart I and employees are further cautioned that there may be additional statutory and regulatory restrictions applicable to them generally or as employees of their specific agencies. Because an employee is considered to be on notice of the requirements of any statute, an employee should not rely upon any description or synopsis of a statutory restriction, but should refer to the statute itself and obtain the advice of an agency ethics official as needed.
NB: To not be completely biased, the revolving door at the EPA also involves placement of individuals that find work at environmental groups that litigate and “sue and settle” after being “on the inside” during legal proceedings. See Globalwarming.org for examples there.
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From Vaccine Choice Wisconsin:
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The Revolving Door
Conflicts of Interest
There is a revolving door between government and the very industry they regulate.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Between 2002 and 2009, Dr. Julie Gerberding worked as the Director of the CDC. In January 2010, one year after resigning from the CDC, she began working for Merck, the manufacturer of Gardasil (HPV) and the MMRII vaccines, as President of their Vaccine division. While working at the CDC, Gerberding oversaw the approval of Merck’s Gardasil vaccine for routine use in all girls beginning at age 11-12.1
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Between 2002 and 2008, Dr. Elias Zerhouni served as Director of the National Institutes of Health. In December 2010, French drug and vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur announced that Zerhouni was chosen to lead its drug and vaccine research. In 2019, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, which creates and leads partnerships between private companies and public institutions to accelerate biomedical research, announced that Zerhouni had been elected to the Board of Directors.2
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Within weeks of his resignation from the FDA, Pfizer announced that former commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb had been elected to Pfizer’s Board of Directors. Gottlieb, who led the FDA from May 11, 2017 to Apr. 5, 2019, previously served on the board of directors of pharmaceutical companies Daiichi Sankyo Co and Tolero Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He also served on the investment board of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), one of the largest vaccine makers in the world.3
This should make you question whether our government leaders are looking out for the American people or for the interest of their prospective pharmaceutical industry employers.
1 Merck Merck Announces Appointment of Dr. Julie Gerberding as Executive Vice President for Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy and Population Health Press Release Dec. 10, 2014 (https://tinyurl.com/yymh8m82)
2 Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) Elias Zerhouni, M.D., Joins the FNIH Board of Directors Press Release Jan. 2, 2019 (https://tinyurl.com/y3qdoe6v)
3 TVR Staff Former FDA Commissioner Gottlieb Joins Pfizer the Vaccine Reaction July 10, 2019 (https://tinyurl.com/y65cu9pu)