Speaking on Newsmax’s “Eric Bolling The Balance” on Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) called out the National Institutes of Health, led by Dr. Anthony Fauci, for “stonewalling” by redacting the names of the doctors and companies that are receiving royalty payments from COVID vaccines.
The GOP senator brought up his frustrations regarding the agency hiding information from the American people, revealing that — if Republicans retake the Senate in the midterm elections this year — he will ensure that the truth comes out.
“If Republicans take over the Senate in November, I will use the subpoena power of the committee that I will chair to get every shred of evidence, every piece of paper, and we’re not going to get this stonewalling from the NIH,” Paul said. “People that work in government have a responsibility to let us know if they have a conflict of interest.”
The Kentucky Republican went on to discuss the National Institutes of Health (NIH) redacting the names and companies that had royalty payments transactions related to drugs and treatments developed to fight the COVID pandemic in a court-ordered information release.
“Over the period of time from 2010 to 2016, 27,000 royalty payments were paid to 18,000 NIH employees; we know that not because you told us, but because we forced you to tell us through the Freedom of Information Act,” Paul told Fauci during a hearing in front of a Senate committee last week. “Over $193 million was given to these 18,000 employees. Can you tell me that you have not received a royalty from any entity that you ever oversaw the distribution of money in research grants?”
“You know, I don’t know as a fact, but I doubt it,” Fauci replied, according to the report.
Several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests were filed with the NIH in 2021 from the non-profit organization OpentheBooks.com, including one which requested information regarding royalties paid to both current and former NIH employees.
With the help of another watchdog group, Judicial Watch, OpentheBooks.com filed another lawsuit in October of 2021.
Even though the watchdog groups ultimately won the court case, and the judge ordered the information to be released, much of it was blacked out, according to Paul.
“The government has been forced by the court system to reveal some things,” he said. “What they revealed was 1,800 scientists at the NIH received over $190 million [in royalties], but then they redacted all of the line items where they said the doctor’s name and the company’s name.”
“So, the question I’m asking him is on the vaccine committee,” Paul added. “We’re approving a vaccine. They’re pushing this vaccine on everyone. It’s either mandatory for some workplaces, or mandatory for some schools. The vaccine companies are making billions of dollars.”
“Don’t we deserve to know if any of the scientists on the committee are receiving royalties from those companies?” the senator asked.
Paul went on to reveal that he has sent a letter alongside five of his colleagues in Congress to attempt to get details on the royalty payments.
“We are at war with our own government; our own government is disdainful of Congress,” the senator said. “But it’s Congress’ job to do oversight. There was a time when Democrats cared. When Democrats cared, they would join hands with Republicans, and they would do oversight for the executive branch.”