The Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed has just awarded $2.1 billion — a record amount of taxpayer money — to Sanofi and GSK, pharmaceutical companies working to develop a coronavirus vaccine. The head of Operation Warp Speed, Moncef Slaoui, holds $10 million of shares in GSK. Lower Drug Prices Now has filed an ethics complaint for how the Trump Administration has used a loophole to exempt Slaoui from disclosure rules.
Margarida Jorge, campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now said:
“Americans expect that the government is working on their behalf to develop a safe and affordable COVID vaccine. Instead, what we’ve seen week after week is an administration littered with drug industry insiders putting the profits of pharmaceutical corporations ahead of public health. The Trump White House has now handed more than $15 billion to pharmaceutical corporations whose executives have already made significant profits from selling their own inflated stocks.
Moncef Slaoui, who helms Operation Warp Speed, holds $10 million in shares of GSK, one of the corporations whose stocks are sure to benefit from this award. This kind of conflict of interest is the reason that Slaoui should be subject to the same ethics and conduct rules as other government employees: but he’s not despite a recent investigation into his status.
There’s too much at stake to let pharmaceutical insiders in the Trump Administration put their own financial interest ahead of a vaccine to beat COVID. Congress must step in to ensure accountability, safety and affordability of vaccines and medicines we are funding with taxpayer dollars.”