Pulling Back The Curtain On An Unhealthy Alliance

On Monday, The Epoch Times reported that a watchdog group called “Open the Books” had discovered that an estimated $350 million in undisclosed royalties were paid to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and hundreds of its scientists, including the agency’s recently departed director, Dr. Francis Collins, and Dr. Anthony Fauci.

The article reports:

The first five years, from 2010 to 2014, constitute 40 percent of the total, he said.

“We now know that there are 1,675 scientists that received payments during that period, at least one payment. In fiscal year 2014, for instance, $36 million was paid out and that is on average $21,100 per scientist,” Andrzejewski said.

“We also find that during this period, leadership at NIH was involved in receiving third-party payments. For instance, Francis Collins, the immediate past director of NIH, received 14 payments. Dr. Anthony Fauci received 23 payments and his deputy, Clifford Lane, received eight payments.”

Collins resigned as NIH director in December 2021 after 12 years of leading the world’s largest public health agency. Fauci is the longtime head of NIH’s National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), as well as chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden. Lane is the deputy director of NIAID, under Fauci.

The top five NIH employees measured in terms of the number of royalty payments that they received while on the government payroll, according to a fact sheet published by Open the Books, include Robert Gallo, National Cancer Institute, 271 payments; Ira Pastan, National Cancer Institute, 250 payments; Mikulas Popovic, National Cancer Institute, 191 payments; Flossie Wong-Staal, National Cancer Institute, 190 payments; and Mangalasseril Sarngadharan, National Cancer Institute, 188 payments.

Only Pastan continues to be employed by NIH, according to Open the Books.

The article concludes:

Open the Books is a Chicago-based nonprofit government watchdog that uses the federal and state freedom of information laws to obtain and then post on the internet trillions of dollars in spending at all levels of government.

The nonprofit filed a federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit seeking documentation of all payments by outside firms to NIH and/or current and former NIH employees.

NIH declined to respond to the FOIA, so Open the Books is taking the agency to court, suing it for noncompliance with the FOIA. Open the Books is represented in federal court in the case by another nonprofit government watchdog, Judicial Watch.

It is not news to anyone that many of the Covid guidelines coming from the National Institute of Health had a very tenuous relationship to science. It would be a good idea to follow the money and see if that money can be cut off as a means of influence.

How Much Military Equipment Did We Leave Behind?

Our obvious priority as a country should be to get all Americans and Afghans who helped America out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible. However, as we do that, we should consider how much military equipment we left behind for the Taliban (equipment that will be reverse engineered by the Russians and the Chinese and put to use by the Iranians).

Yesterday Just the News posted an article with the numbers. Congratulations, American taxpayers, you are now funding the military of the Taliban, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and China.

The article reports:

The U.S. military is leaving behind 75,000 vehicles, 600,000 weapons and 208 airplanes/helicopters in Afghanistan as the Taliban takes control of the country, according to the watchdog group Open the Books.

“We’ve made the Taliban into a major U.S. arms dealer for the next decade,” said Adam Andrzejewski, CEO & founder of Open the Books. “They now control 75,000 military vehicles. This is about 50,000 tactical vehicles, 20,000 Humvees they control about 1,000 mine-resistant vehicles, and even about 150 armored personnel carriers.”

In total, the U.S. government spent an estimated $83 billion of taxpayer funds on weapons, vehicles and airplanes for the Afghan military. 

…Andrzejewski said his organization “found a Federal Audit that detailed up to $200 million worth of drones that had disappeared,” adding that “we don’t know where 600,000 weapons are within the country.” 

The Taliban also reportedly has access to biometrics data of Afghans that helped U.S. forces during the war.

The last sentence is the one that scares me the most. We have turned those people over to the Taliban to be tortured and killed.

Hope For The Deficit

Yesterday The Daily Caller reported that the Trump administration’s budget for fiscal year 2021 will take steps to curb what it calls “wasteful” government spending, including cutting funds for, and in some cases outright eliminating, dozens of federal programs, grants and endowments, documents reviewed by the Daily Caller show.

The article reports:

For the first time, the budget features an entire chapter devoted to saving taxpayers’ money and defines five clear categories of waste requiring attention.

The administration used new guidelines to identify fiscally inefficient programs. The cuts will target agencies with overlapping and similar goals, agencies that provide similar or identical services to the same group of recipients, programs without a clearly defined federal role, federal programs that mirror state-level initiatives and erroneous payments.

The budget calls for eliminating the following programs entirely:

    • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Education and Research Centers
    • Department of the Interior’s Highlands Conservation Act Grants
    • National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures Grants
    • National Endowment for the Arts Endowment for the Humanities
    • Corporation for National and Community Service (including AmeriCorps)

The administration also identified several categories of government spending in desperate need of additional government oversight, including travel, employee conferences or workshops, subscriptions, marketing, entertainment, office refreshments and end-of-year “Use It or Lose It” spending. The chapter cites expenditures by 67 federal agencies from December 30-31, 2018 which totaled $97 billion and included more than $15 million worth of fine china, lobster, alcohol, recreational, musical, and workout equipment.

The article notes that the President has had assistance in setting out his program:

The nonprofit group Open the Books, which assisted OMB in calculating spending inefficiencies, lauded the administration for “declaring war on federal waste.”

“The president’s budget to Congress is the first step toward defending the American taxpayer and stopping egregious waste, fraud, duplication, and taxpayer abuse. It’s a target rich environment,” said Open the Books CEO Adam Andrzejewski when asked about the cuts. “Our team of auditors at OpenTheBooks.com is very proud that our oversight reporting and examples of federal taxpayer abuse are being used by the president and the Office of Management and Budget to spearhead cuts. We applaud the president for taking action.”

Getting this done would be an incredible accomplishment and eventually a real benefit to American taxpayers.