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Dr. Anthony Fauci Received Big Pay Increase To Prevent Pandemics

Dr. Anthony Fauci Received Big Pay Increase To Prevent Pandemics

Authored by Adam Andrzejewski via Forbes,

In a January article published at Forbes, our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com found that Dr. Anthony Fauci was the highest paid federal..

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Dr. Anthony Fauci Received Big Pay Increase To Prevent Pandemics

Authored by Adam Andrzejewski via Forbes,

In a January article published at Forbes, our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com found that Dr. Anthony Fauci was the highest paid federal employee, earning $417,608 (2019).

Dr. Fauci is still the top-paid federal employee earning $434,312 in 2020. Fauci is the Director of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and current Chief Medical Advisor to the President.

Fauci out-earned the U.S. president ($400,000); four-star generals in the military ($282,000); and roughly 4.3 million other federal employees.  

Now, new documents released via our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from the NIH tell us a lot more. Dr. Fauci received a big pay hike for his biodefense research activities. In other words, Fauci was paid to prevent future pandemics.

The documents released to our non-profit organization OpenTheBooks.com reveal that Dr. Fauci was approved for a “permanent pay adjustment” in excess of his regular salary in December 2004, during the George W. Bush Administration.

From 2004 through 2007, Fauci received a 68-percent pay increase from $200,000- to $335,000-a year. This award was permanent and carried forward through 2020.

Fauci’s permanent pay raise was to “appropriately compensate him for the level of responsibility… especially as it relates to his work on biodefense research activities.”

However, critics say that Fauci was funding research that was actually creating pandemic pathogens in labs that, if leaked or if fell into the wrong hands, might create the very human pandemic they were trying to prevent.

Released here, for the first time, is a portion of NIH’s response to our OpenTheBooks FOIA request. These documents highlight Fauci’s central role in pandemic preparedness funding and biodefense strategies in the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Included in the NIH production is a letter, date stamped December 15, 2004, from Dr. Raynard S. Kingston, the then-Deputy Director— which was approved and signed by Dr. Elias Zerhouni, the NIH Director under George W. Bush. The letter reads:

This is to request that the current retention allowance [(b)(6) redaction] for Dr. Anthony S. Fauci be converted to a permanent pay adjustment in the amount [(b)(6) redaction] over his base pay of [(b)(6) redaction] in order to appropriately compensate him for the level of responsibility in his current position of Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health (NIH), especially as it relates to his work on biodefense research activities.”

Redactions labelled (b)(6) under federal FOIA, fall under a large range of categories protecting the employee’s personal information. These redacted items are likely dollar figures, including his salary at the time, which apparently NIH still deems redaction worthy – even 17 years after the fact. 

 We have already posted his salary back to 2010, but our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com discovered Fauci’s salary records as far back as FY2004. It’s settled transparency law that Fauci’s compensation falls under open records law.

So, why is NIH redacting financial information from 2004 that is 17-years old? Perhaps the answer is in the numbers…

Dr. Anthony Fauci year-over-year salary growth, 2004-2020 OpenTheBooks.com

Dr. Fauci’s “biodefense-related research”

Dr. Kingston’s 2004 letter regarding Dr. Fauci explains some background for his proposed raise:

“More recently, Dr. Fauci has been a key figure in the White House and Department’s response to bioterrorism. His contributions to this effort have been outstanding and include the development of the departmental strategy to augment smallpox vaccine supplies and the development of a plan to develop new anthrax vaccine. He serves as an expert consultant to the White House, the Secretary of DHHS, congressional staff, and a number of HHS groups on the development of biodefense-related research, and public health priorities. He is leading the development of a series of research initiatives, has coordinated fast-track initiatives for academia and industry participation in biodefense-related research, and is responsible for the development of future intermediate and long-range research plans and policies for a sustained and committed biomedical research response to bioterrorism threats. During FY2004, under Dr. Fauci’s leadership, NIAID significantly expanded, intensified, and accelerated its research programs in biodefense.”    

Dr. Fauci permanent pay adjustment justification OpenTheBooks.com

The timeline leading up to Dr. Fauci’s “permanent pay adjustment” is key to understanding Dr. Kingston’s recommendation letter and its approval by Dr. Zerhouni.

  • After 9/11 and the ensuing anthrax attacks in the fall of 2001, Dr. Fauci’s NIAID published, in February 2002, a 15-page document for the agency he oversaw at NIH. It was titled “NIAID Strategic Plan for Biodefense Research” and would kick start the NIAID efforts over the next 19 years to try and keep the country safe from bioterrorism.
  • Two years later, on December 15, 2004, Dr. Fauci’s increased workload was recognized by a permanent pay adjustment. To this day, Fauci’s portfolio still includes overseeing NIAID’s biodefense research, a portfolio that recently has grown by billions of dollars.

Biodefense Funding and NIAID’s Pandemic Pathogen Research

Over the years, NIH funding has gone towards numerous grants categorized as pandemic-prevention research, including grants for research on bat coronaviruses, both in the U.S. and abroad. Justification for the funding centered around trying to prevent the next pandemic and preventing a possible spillover of viruses from nature to humans

Some of the biodefense research Dr. Fauci’s NIAID funding came under fire from fellow scientists as too risky. Critics said that Fauci was funding research in labs that was actually creating pandemic pathogens that, if leaked or if fell into the wrong hands, might create the very human pandemic they were trying to prevent.

  • In 2014, President Barack Obama’s Administration enacted a federal funding pause for what was termed “gain-of-function” research. It turns out, through waivers and pause exemptions, Dr. Fauci’s institute was funding many of the very scientists doing the potentially risky pandemic research, including the University of North Carolina coronavirus researcher Ralph Baric, who collaborated with Shi Zhengli, the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s so-called “bat lady,” and New York-based EcoHealth Alliance’s Peter Daszak.
  • In December 2017, weeks after President Donald Trump’s first Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary resigned over a private plane charter scandal, and while the agency was still without a confirmed Secretary (Alex Azar was not confirmed and sworn in until January 2018), NIH and Dr. Fauci’s NIAID quietly restarted funding, with guidance, for what was then termed “enhanced potential pandemic pathogens.” News of the funding restart surprised many in the scientific community.
  • In 2019, Dr. Fauci’s NIAID secretly approved funding for some of the controversial gain-of-function scientists whose very research caused the scientific community’s concern and led to the funding pause under the Obama Administration in 2014.
  • Last month, a rejected 2018 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) grant proposal was leaked and published online by a collaborate group of scientists and researchers known as DRASTIC, a leak detailed in The Intercept. The DARPA proposal included an idea to create a chimeric bat virus in the lab, to insert a special furin cleavage site, to test it in “humanized” mice, and do this all, in part, to study its potential to emerge as a pandemic.

DARPA documents included in the leak show the agency rejected the grant proposal as too risky, but the fact that most all of the DARPA grant applicants are or were at the time recipients of NIH NIAID funds, under Dr. Fauci, either directly or through subgrants, has raised more than a few eyebrows.

Few of these controversies made it into mainstream news cycles, most likely never would have except that in December 2019 the world learned of a novel respiratory coronavirus emerging in Wuhan, China – the very same city that had a lab that did pandemic bat virus research. Ironically, the Wuhan lab was funded with $600,000 in NIAID subgrants from Fauci’s agency’s biodefense funds, as the doctor himself admitted to Congress.

Further background

On January 27 and May 17, 2021, we asked NIH for Dr. Fauci’s fiscal year 2020 and 2021 financial and conflict-of-interest disclosure forms; job descriptions; and all employment contracts, amendments, modifications, and addendums; respectively.

Dr. Fauci is required by federal law to file these forms with his employer, the National Institutes of Health. It has been nine months and NIH has yet to produce most of the requested documents.

To say that that the details of Dr. Fauci’s employment are of the public interest – after almost two years of government decisions influenced by him – is an understatement.

Note: Dr. Fauci and his agency did not respond to our request for comment before publication.

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Tyler Durden Thu, 10/21/2021 - 22:50

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China Suggests It Could Maintain ‘Zero COVID’ Policy For 5 Years

China Suggests It Could Maintain ‘Zero COVID’ Policy For 5 Years

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

China has suggested it will…

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China Suggests It Could Maintain 'Zero COVID' Policy For 5 Years

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

China has suggested it will maintain its controversial ‘zero COVID’ policy for at least 5 years, eschewing natural immunity and guaranteeing repeated rounds of new lockdowns.

“In the next five years, Beijing will unremittingly grasp the normalization of epidemic prevention and control,” said a story published by Beijing Daily.

The article quoted Cai Qi, the Communist Party of China’s secretary in Beijing and a former mayor of the city, who said that ‘zero COVID’ approach would remain in place for 5 years.

After the story prompted alarm, reference to “five years” was removed from the piece and the hashtag related to it was censored by social media giant Weibo.

“Monday’s announcement and the subsequent amendment sparked anger and confusion among Beijing residents online,” reports the Guardian.

“Most commenters appeared unsurprised at the prospect of the system continuing for another half-decade, but few were supportive of the idea.”

Although western experts severely doubt official numbers coming out of China, Beijing claimed success in limiting COVID deaths by enforcing the policy throughout 2021.

However, this meant that China never achieved anything like herd immunity, and at one stage the Omicron variant caused more more coronavirus cases in Shanghai in four weeks than in the previous two years of the entire pandemic.

Back in May, World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus suggested that China would be better off if it abandoned the policy, but Beijing refused to budge.

As we previously highlighted, the only way of enforcing a ‘zero COVID’ policy is via brutal authoritarianism.

In Shanghai, children were separated from their parents in quarantine facilities and others were left without urgent treatment like kidney dialysis.

Panic buying of food also became a common occurrence as the anger threatened to spill over into widespread civil unrest.

Former UK government COVID-19 advisor Neil Ferguson previously admitted that he thought “we couldn’t get away with” imposing Communist Chinese-style lockdowns in Europe because they were too draconian, and yet it happened anyway.

“It’s a communist one party state, we said. We couldn’t get away with it in Europe, we thought,” said Ferguson.

“And then Italy did it. And we realised we could,” he added.

*  *  *

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Tyler Durden Tue, 06/28/2022 - 18:05

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No sign of major crude oil price decline any time soon

Bullish pressure on crude oil markets doesn’t seem to be easing Crude oil prices fell last week, notching their second weekly decline in the face of…

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Bullish pressure on crude oil markets doesn’t seem to be easing

Crude oil prices fell last week, notching their second weekly decline in the face of concern that rising interest rates could push the global economy into recession.

Yet the future of crude oil still seems bullish to many. Spare capacity, or lack of it, is just one of the reasons.

The global surplus of crude production capacity in May was less than half the 2021 average, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Friday.

The EIA estimated that as of May, producers in nations not members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had about 280,000 barrels per day (bpd) of surplus capacity, down sharply from 1.4 million bpd in 2021. It said 60 per cent of the May 2021 figure was from Russia, which is increasingly under sanctions related to its invasion of Ukraine.

The OPEC+ alliance of oil producers is running out of capacity to pump crude, and that includes its most significant member, Saudi Arabia, Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva told Bloomberg last week.

“Some people believe the prices to be a little bit on the high side and expect us to pump a little bit more, but at this moment there is really little additional capacity,” Sylva said in a briefing with reporters on Friday. “Even Saudi Arabia, Russia, of course, Russia, is out of the market now more or less.” Nigeria was also unable to fulfil its output obligations, added Sylva.

Recent COVID-19-related lockdowns in parts of China – the world’s largest crude importer – also played a significant role in the global oil dynamics. The lack of Chinese oil consumption due to the lockdowns helped keep the markets in a check – somewhat.

Oil prices haven’t peaked yet because Chinese demand has yet to return to normal, a United Arab Emirates official told a conference in Jordan early this month. “If we continue consuming, with the pace of consumption we have, we are nowhere near the peak because China is not back yet,” UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei said. “China will come with more consumption.”

Al-Mazrouei warned that without more investment across the globe, OPEC and its allies can’t guarantee sufficient supplies of oil as demand fully recovers from the pandemic.

But the check on the Chinese crude consumption seems to be easing.

On Saturday, Beijing, a city of 21 million-plus people, announced that primary and secondary schools would resume in-person classes. And as life seemed to return to normal, the Universal Beijing Resort, which was closed for nearly two months, reopened on Saturday.

Chinese economic hub Shanghai, with a population of 28 million-plus people, also declared victory over COVID after reporting zero new local cases for the first time in two months.

The two major cities were among several places in China that implemented curbs to stop the spread of the omicron wave from March to May.

But the easing of sanctions should mean oil’s price trajectory will resume its upward march.

In the meantime, in the U.S., the Biden administration is eying tougher anti-smog requirements. According to Bloomberg, that could negatively impact drilling across parts of the Permian Basin, which straddles Texas and New Mexico and is the world’s biggest oil field.

While the world is looking for clues about what the loss of supply from Russia will mean, reports are pouring in that the ongoing political turmoil in Libya could plague its oil output throughout the year.

The return of blockades on oilfields and export terminals amid renewed political tension is depriving the market of some of Libya’s oil at a time of tight global supply, said Tsvetana Paraskova in a piece for Oilrpice.com.

And in the ongoing political push to strangle Russian energy output, the G7 was reportedly discussing a price cap on oil imports from Russia. Western countries are increasingly frustrated that their efforts to squeeze out Russian energy supplies from the markets have had the counterproductive effect of driving up the global crude price, which is leading to Russia earning more money for its war chest.

To tackle the issue, and increase pressure on Russia, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is proposing a price cap on Russian crude oil sales. The idea is to lift the sanction on insurance for Russian crude cargo for countries that accept buying Russian oil at an agreed maximum price. Her proposal is aimed at squeezing Russian crude out of the market as much as possible.

So the bullish pressure on crude oil markets doesn’t seem to be easing.

By Rashid Husain Syed

Toronto-based Rashid Husain Syed is a respected energy and political analyst. The Middle East is his area of focus. As well as writing for major local and global newspapers, Rashid is also a regular speaker at major international conferences. He has provided his perspective on global energy issues to the Department of Energy in Washington and the International Energy Agency in Paris.

Courtesy of Troy Media

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WTI Extends Gains After Unexpected Crude Draw

WTI Extends Gains After Unexpected Crude Draw

Oil prices are higher today following relatively positive news from China (easing some of its…

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WTI Extends Gains After Unexpected Crude Draw

Oil prices are higher today following relatively positive news from China (easing some of its COVID quarantine restrictions), Macron-inspired doubts over the ability of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to significantly boost output, and unrest in Ecuador and Libya helped lift prices.

“We’re in the crunch period, it’s hard to see any meaningful price relief for crude,” said John Kilduff.

There’s a lot of strength with China relaxing its Covid restrictions and starting its independent refiners, “we’re going to have another chunk of demand for crude oil,” as China relaxes its Covid-19 restrictions.

With no EIA data released last week due to a "systems issue" (they have issued a statement confirming that the data - and the newest data - will both be released tomorrow), the only guidance we have for now on the past week's inventory changes is from API...

API (last week)

  • Crude +5.607mm

  • Cushing -390k

  • Gasoline +1.216mm - first build since March

  • Distillates -1.656mm

API (this week)

  • Crude -3.799mm

  • Cushing -650k

  • Gasoline +2.852mm

  • Distillates +2.613mm

Crude stocks unexpectedly fell last week, almost erasing the major build from the week before (according to API). Gasoline stocks rose for the second straight week

Source: Bloomberg

WTI was hovering around $111.75 and pushed up to $112 after the unexpected crude draw...

Finally, we note that the tight supply situation in oil (especially European) is revealing itself in the WTI-Brent spread, grew to $6.19, the widest in almost three months.

“European demand will remain robust, especially as natural gas supplies run out, while the North American demand for crude is weakening,” said Ed Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda.

This is not good news for President Biden as prices are rising...

And his ratings are hitting record lows.

Tyler Durden Tue, 06/28/2022 - 16:37

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