Politico: “Vaccine project contract raises transparency questions”

Patients Over Pharma: “…as part of our effort to ensure that the public can have faith that Operation Warp Speed is operating in their best interests and can trust any vaccine that emerges from the program”

FLASHBACK: “Lack of Transparency, Conflicts of Interest Surround Trump’s ‘Operation Warp Speed’ Vaccine Development Program”

Washington, DC – Today, following new reporting that revealed a suspicious contract from Operation Warp Speed that is being used to pay for the housing of former drug company executives Dr. Moncef Slaoui, Carlo de Notaristefani, William Erhardt, and Rachel Harrigan, Patients Over Pharma filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to shine additional light on the shadowy arrangement.

This request comes after Operation Warp Speed’s (OWS) top scientist Dr. Slaoui lambasted the media coverage of his conflicts of interest and unprecedented lack of transparency, making the claim that coverage of him and scrutiny of OWS slows down and decreases the chances of finding a vaccine.

In the same podcast, he challenged others to give him ideas for how he could improve his ethics, saying “I have done everything, and I am prepared if somebody has an interesting idea… I’m happy to listen to any ideas.”

Since Dr. Slaoui asked for suggestions on how he can satisfy those who are concerned about the shocking lack of transparency and ethics issues at OWS, here’s a start: he can join the federal government as a special government employee and stop hiding behind the contractor designation that allows him to skirt the ethics and disclosure requirements that are standard for government officials with far less power,” said Eli Zupnick, spokesman for Patients Over Pharma. “If he refuses to do that, he can at least release his full financial disclosures, any ethics agreements detailing his conflicts of interests and recusal plans, full details of his federally-funded housing arrangements, and any other compensation he’s receiving from the federal government or drug companies.”

“Since we don’t expect him to do this, we are filing this Freedom of Information request as part of our effort to ensure that the public can have faith that Operation Warp Speed is operating in their best interests and can trust any vaccine that emerges from the program.” 

Read the Freedom of Information Act Release here.

Patients Over Pharma has been raising the alarm about the egregious lack of transparency and accountability surrounding the Trump Administration’s ‘Operation Warp Speed’ vaccine and treatment development process and the serious conflicts of interest facing its leadership.

Last month Patients Over Pharma released a report marking two months since the formal launch of the Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed (OWS) on May 15, 2020. The report laid out the significant connections between OWS leadership and major drug companies, the conflicts of interest that have emerged as multi-billion-dollar decisions have been made, and what we know about the drug companies that have received billions in taxpayer dollars handed out so far.

Additional background on Dr. Slaoui and Operation Warp Speed

July 31: Biggest Federal Vaccine Investment To Date Goes to Dr. Moncef Slaoui’s Former Company

July 15: NEW REPORT – Operation Warp Speed at Two Months: $4 Billion for Drug Companies, Zero Assurances for Patients and Taxpayers

June 25: “New Vaccine Report Highlights Trump Administration’s Drug Company Connections, Need for Vaccine Program Transparency”

June 24: “As Dr. Fauci Expresses Hope for Vaccine By End of Year, Patients Need Assurances That Trump Pressure Won’t Corrupt Development Process”

June 11: “Leading Drug Pricing and Watchdog Organizations Demand Information from Operation Warp Speed Finalists on COVID Vaccine Pricing”

June 8: “Watchdog Calls for Independent Patient Advocate to Audit ‘Operation Warp Speed’”

May 29: “COVID-19: Watchdog Group Files Freedom of Information Requests Following New Warning Signs on Vaccine Pricing”

May 26: “Lack of Transparency, Conflicts of Interest Surround Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” Vaccine Development Program”

May 21: “CONFIRMED: Trump’s ‘Vaccine Czar’ Given Full Ethics/Public Disclosure Exemption, Refuses to Divest from Drug Companies Standing to Make Billions from His Federal Role”

May 20: “Watchdog Group to Azar: Disclose Details of Former Pharma Exec’s “Operation Warp Speed” Appointment”

May 19: “NEW ANALYSIS: Trump’s New ‘Vaccine Czar’ Stands to Receive Up To $450K Tax Break Through Divestment Delay”

May 18: “BREAKING: Drug Company Shows Promising Results on Taxpayer-Funded Vaccine”

May 15: BACKGROUND: “Operation Warp Speed” Leadership and Big Pharma”

May 13: SHOCKER: Another Pharma Executive Reported to Be Headed Into Trump Administration”

###