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Democrats Silent As Republicans Rip Into Secret Royalty Checks To Fauci, Hundreds Of NIH Scientists

Democrats Silent As Republicans Rip Into Secret Royalty Checks To Fauci, Hundreds Of NIH Scientists

Authored by Mark Tapscott via The Epoch…

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Democrats Silent As Republicans Rip Into Secret Royalty Checks To Fauci, Hundreds Of NIH Scientists

Authored by Mark Tapscott via The Epoch Times,

Top Democratic leaders with oversight of the National Institutes for Health (NIH) are keeping quiet about the $350 million in secret payments to agency leaders like Dr. Anthony Fauci and hundreds of its scientists.

The Epoch Times received no responses from multiple requests to Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) for comment on a report by a non-profit government watchdog estimating that Fauci, former NIH director Francis Collins, and hundreds of NIH scientists got as much as $350 million in undisclosed royalty payments from pharmaceutical and other private firms between 2010 and 2020.

The revelations from Open the Books, which were first reported on May 9 by The Epoch Times, are based on thousands of pages of documents the group obtained from NIH in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in federal court. The suit was filed by Judicial Watch on behalf of Open the Books.

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.

House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) speaks at a hearing in Washington, on June 23, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

Pallone is chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, while Murray is chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Their panels are the main congressional oversight tools for NIH.

A spokesman for NIH also did not respond to multiple requests from The Epoch Times for comment.

Because NIH hands out $32 billion in research grants to medical institutions and researchers annually the undisclosed royalty payments, which are usually for work on a new drug, may indicate the presence of massive and widespread conflicts of interest or the appearance of such conflicts, both of which violate federal ethics laws and regulations.

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.

NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins holds up a model of the coronavirus as he testifies before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee looking into the budget estimates for the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the state of medical research, on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 26, 2021. (Sarah Silbiger/Pool via AP)

Fauci received 23 royalty payments during the period, while Collins was paid 14. Clifford Lane, Fauci’s deputy, got eight payments, according to Open the Books.

While Pallone and Murray were silent on the secret NIH payments, Republicans expressed outrage at what they see as serious conflicts of interest.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) told The Epoch Times, “the NIH is a dark money pit. They covered up grants for gain of function research in Wuhan, so it is no surprise that they are now refusing to release critical data regarding allegations of millions in royalty fees paid to in-house scientists like Fauci.

“If the NIH wants to keep spending taxpayer dollars, they have a responsibility to provide transparency.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said, “This report is disturbing and if it is true that some of our country’s top scientists have conflict of interest problems, the American people deserve to have all the answers.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) asks questions during a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Sept. 21, 2021. (Ken Cedeno/AFP via Getty Images)

Similarly, Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) called for an investigation, noting that, “Of course it’s a direct conflict of interest for scientists like Anthony Fauci to rake in $350 million in royalties from third-parties who benefit from federal taxpayer-funded grants.

“Anthony Fauci is a millionaire that has gotten rich off taxpayer dollars. He is a prime example of the bloated federal bureaucracy. This royalty system should be examined to ensure it isn’t making matters worse.”

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) said the latest revelations are further evidence that Fauci should be fired.

“Fauci and the NIH have repeatedly abused the trust of the American people.

“From lying about gain of function research to walking back claims about COVID-19, this latest allegation is just another nail in the coffin of the integrity of our public health system.

“Dr. Fauci should have been fired a long time ago, and that remains true today,” Carter told The Epoch Times.

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) is seen during a hearing in Washington in a file photograph. (Greg Nash/Pool/Getty Images)

Mike Howell, a veteran congressional counsel and investigator who is now senior adviser on government relations at the Heritage Foundation, told The Epoch Times he thinks NIH could be in for trouble on the Hill in 2023 if voters return Republicans to majority control of the Senate and House in November’s mid-term elections.

“This Congress has not only failed to perform any serious oversight of the Biden administration, but is in many cases complicit in covering for them.

“When new majorities take over next over year, they will have a mandate to get to the bottom of scandals like this.”

Another Heritage expert, Douglas Badger, pointed to the need for a systematic re-examination of federal ethics statutes and an oversight investigation of the NIH royalties by Congress.

“Government scientists who are collecting royalties in connection with work they did in the course of their official duties must disclose this information to the public. The potential for conflict of interest is obvious,” Badger said.

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) building is seen in Washington, on July 22, 2019. (Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images)

“The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should revise its ethics guidance to require such disclosure, federal agencies should respond fully and promptly to freedom of information act requests concerning these royalties, and Congress should conduct an oversight investigation to assure that royalties paid by private companies to government scientists do not compromise the integrity of executive branch agencies.”

Badger is a senior fellow in Heritage’s Center for Health and Welfare Policy.

Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, also pointed to the potential seriousness of the apparent conflicts of interest, and the need for a congressional probe.

“The obvious conflict of interest for the public health scientist recipients of the hundreds of millions of dollars in royalty payments calls into question who they have been working for,” Manning asked.

“Congress must demand a full, non-redacted accounting of these payments along with the projects these public employees have been involved in and stakeholder interests in those projects.

“At a time when the truthfulness of public officials like Dr. Fauci, have come under intense scrutiny, it is critical for these relationships to be fully disclosed,” he said.

In a related development earlier this week, Rep. Brett Guthrie told a meeting of an energy and commerce subcommittee examining Biden’s 2023 budget proposal for HHS that the department that includes NIH needs much more congressional oversight.

“Oversight is especially important given the huge increases in funding requested by the Biden administration. The HHS budget before us today calls for a 12 percent increase in discretionary spending at HHS for Fiscal Year 2023,” Guthrie told the subcommittee.

“The budget specifically gives more than a $6 billion combined boost in funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health, both of which have come under fire recently over controversial masking guidance and COVID-19 research funded by NIH using American taxpayer dollars,” Guthrie continued.

“We need to hold NIH accountable and ensure taxpayer dollars are not going to labs engaging in risky gain-of-function research and ensure researchers are transparent about how they are spending taxpayer funded research grants,” the Kentucky Republican said.

Tyler Durden Thu, 05/12/2022 - 15:01

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International

Modified mRNA Demonstrates 10-Fold Protein Production

Scientists at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology came up with a technique to increase the efficiency and potentially the efficacy of mRNA therapeutics….

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Scientists at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology came up with a technique to increase the efficiency and potentially the efficacy of mRNA therapeutics. mRNA molecules have what is called a poly-A tail, which is basically a string of adenine nucleotides at one end. These researchers discovered that by replacing some of these nucleotides in the mRNA tail with cytidine, a cytosine base with a ribose sugar attached, that they could enhance the resulting protein production of the mRNA and increase its stability and life-span. The technique could lead to more effective mRNA therapies and vaccines, potentially enabling clinicians to achieve similar or better effects with smaller doses.

mRNA therapies have come a long way in just the last few years. The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled this approach from an emerging technology to a mainstay of our vaccine response. The concept is elegant – deliver mRNA strands to the patient, and allow their own cellular machinery to produce the relevant protein that the strands code for. So far, so good – the approach, once considered unrealistic because of the fragility of mRNA, has proven to work very well, at least for COVID-19 vaccines.  

However, there is always room for improvement. One of the issues with current mRNA therapies is that they can require multiple rounds of dosing to create enough of the therapeutic protein to achieve the desired effect. Think of the multiple injections required for the COVID-19 vaccines. Creating mRNA therapies that can induce our cells to produce more protein would certainly be beneficial.

To address this limitation, these researchers have found a way to modify the poly-A tail of synthetic mRNA strands. They found that by replacing some of the adenosine in the mRNA tail with cytidine, they could drastically increase the amount of protein the resulting strands ended up producing when applied to human cells and in mice. This translated to 3-10 times as much protein when compared with unmodified mRNA.

The researchers hope that the approach can enhance the effectiveness and required dosing schedules for mRNA therapies.

“Increasing the protein production of synthetic mRNA is generally beneficial to all mRNA drugs and vaccines,” said Becki Kuang, a researcher involved in the study. “In collaboration with Sun Yat-Sen University, our team is now exploring the use of optimized tails for mRNA cancer vaccines on animal. We are also looking forward to collaborating with pharmaceutical companies to transfer this invention onto mRNA therapeutics and vaccines’ development pipelines to benefit society.”

See a short animation about the technology below.

Study in journal Molecular Therapy – Nucleic Acids: Cytidine-containing tails robustly enhance and prolong protein production of synthetic mRNA in cell and in vivo

Via: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

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International

LIV Golf Expands to Courses Used By PGA Tour

LIV Golf announced three new venues to its 2023 calendar.
The post LIV Golf Expands to Courses Used By PGA Tour appeared first on Front Office Sports.

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LIV Golf is pushing further into the PGA Tour’s turf.

The Saudi Arabia-backed league announced three new venues for its 2023 season, all of which are used regularly by the PGA Tour or DP World Tour.

  • In February, LIV Golf will come to El Camaleón in Mexico’s Mayakoba resort area. The course, designed by Greg Norman prior to his role as LIV Golf CEO, was the PGA Tour’s first course in Latin America.
  • In April, LIV will travel to Sentosa in Singapore, which has hosted the Singapore Open.
  • In June, the tour will make its trip to Spain’s Real Club Valderrama, whose history includes the Ryder Cup and DP World Tour events.

LIV is also adding The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide, Australia, as it grows to 14 events next year.

The PGA Tour, which is under investigation by the Justice Department over antitrust concerns, hired lobbyist and major Republican fundraiser Jeff Miller to improve its standing in Washington.

PGA Tour Hires Top Republican Strategist Amid LIV Golf Clash

The PGA Tour could be seeking help on the antitrust front.
December 1, 2022

Bank Shots

LIV golfers Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia responded to Tiger Woods after the latter called for Norman’s ouster due to his pugilistic stance toward the PGA Tour.

“Greg Norman is our CEO, and we support him,” said Garcia. “We all wish we could come to an agreement. There are people who could have done wrong in both places, but it seems that there are only bad guys on one side.”

Mickelson responded to a comment by Woods that the PGA Tour had to take out a huge loan to survive past the pandemic by tweeting out financial information from the Tour’s public documents.

The post LIV Golf Expands to Courses Used By PGA Tour appeared first on Front Office Sports.

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XPeng stock rises 48% from a double-bottom pattern. Should you buy it?

Shares of XPeng Inc. (NYSE:XPEV) rose 48% on Thursday premarket after promising delivery outlook. XPeng posted 5,811 electric vehicle deliveries in November….

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Shares of XPeng Inc. (NYSE:XPEV) rose 48% on Thursday premarket after promising delivery outlook. XPeng posted 5,811 electric vehicle deliveries in November. Despite the number falling 63% from the prior year, it increased 14% from October. The increase in deliveries reflected the easing of Covid-19 rules, which have hit EV makers in China this year.

XPeng said it expects the deliveries to rise significantly in December 2022. The deliveries will be boosted by a ramp-up in the production of G9s. Analysts project up to 10,000 deliveries in December. The delivery outlook overshadowed a reported Q3 loss of $0.39. XPeng’s revenue, however, rose 19.3% to $959.2 million or £786 million. The positive stock market news and outlook boosted the outlook for XPEV, which is already down 80% YTD.

XPEV recovers above the MA amid a bullish RSI divergence

XPEV Chart by TradingView

On the daily chart, XPEV recovered above the 20-day and 50-day moving averages. It is for the first time that the stock is recovering above the moving averages since July. 

XPEV is also recovering from a double bottom that formed close to $6.2. A bullish RSI divergence also occurred towards $6.2. The level could prove to be the bottom price if XPEV maintains the recovery. The RSI reading of 60 indicates that XPEV is yet to reach overbought levels.

How attractive is XPEV?

This article finds investing in XPEV favourable in the short term. With the deliveries and outlook, XPEV could continue to rise. The levels around $12 and $14 should be watched.

It should be noted that Chinese car sales tend to pick up towards the end of the year. So, it is possible for XPEV to maintain gains in the medium term, with the expectation.

However, we consider the greater stock market risks still high. China also still needs to ease its strict Covid-19 policy further, and it could weigh the automakers.

The post XPeng stock rises 48% from a double-bottom pattern. Should you buy it? appeared first on Invezz.

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