Watchdog Report Shows Estimated $350M In “Royalties” Paid To Fauci, Others Kept “Secret”

OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

According to a new report by OpenTheBooks.com, a “nonprofit, nonpartisan, charitable organization” working “to capture and post all disclosed spending at every level of government,” Fauci and others at the NIH are receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in “royalties” from third parties like pharmaceutical companies, apparently under the guise of being given credit as “co-inventors” of various drugs and treatments.

“We estimate that between fiscal years 2010 and 2020, more than $350 million in royalties were paid by third-parties to the agency and NIH scientists – who are credited as co-inventors. Because those payments enrich the agency and its scientists, each and every royalty payment could be a potential conflict of interest and needs disclosure. NIH is a revolving door of tens of billions of dollars in government grant-making coupled with hundreds of millions of dollars in private – non-transparent – royalty payments.”

This report is the product of a lawsuit and Freedom of Information Act requests.

“Recently, our organization at OpenTheBooks.com forced NIH to disclose over 22,100 royalty payments totaling nearly $134 million paid to the agency and nearly 1,700 NIH scientists. These payments occurred during the most recently available period (September 2009 – September 2014). The production is the result of our federal lawsuit vs. NIH. The agency admits to holding 3,000 pages of line-by-line royalties since 2009. So far, they’ve produced only 1,200 pages. The next 1,800 pages of production will cover the period 2015-2020.”

But despite pledges for transparency, government agencies rarely make it easy for the public to hold them accountable. They make it as difficult as possible to obtain information, and then make that information as difficult as possible to use. Because the government doesn’t actually want the public to be able to see what they’re doing or be able to hold them accountable. They just want the public to think that they have that capability.

“Since the NIH documents are heavily redacted, we can only see how many payments each scientist received, and, separately, the aggregate dollars per NIH agency. This is a gatekeeping at odds with the spirit and perhaps the letter of open-records laws… It’s been a struggle to get any useful information out of the agency on its royalty payments. NIH is acting like royalty payments are a state secret. (They’re not, or shouldn’t be!)”

“Consider how NIH is using taxpayer money to try and keep taxpayers ignorant and in the dark:

1.      NIH defied the federal Freedom of Information Act law and refused to even acknowledge our open records request for the royalty payments. We filed our FOIA last September.

2.      NIH used expensive taxpayer-funded litigation to slow-walk royalty disclosures (releasing the oldest royalties first). Although the agency admits to holding 3,000 pages, it will take ten months to produce them (300 pages per month). With Judicial Watch as our lawyers, we sued NIH in federal court last October.

3.      NIH is heavily redacting key information on the royalty payments. For example, the agency erased 1. the payment amount, and, 2. who paid it!  This makes the court-mandated production virtually worthless, despite our use of the latest forensic auditing tools

NIH is essentially telling you, the taxpayer, to pay up and shut up. They’ll run things. They have forgotten that they work on behalf of the American people.”

This is also how public schools these days work. Parents are expected to pay up, shut up, and let the school run things their way. You’re welcome to think you have a say or that you know what’s going on, but mostly they just want you to stay out of their way.

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