BLACK REPUBLICAN BLOG: CDC Director Walensky’s Husband Received $5 Million in HHS Grants

By Scott Hounsell | Redstate 

Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times via AP,

When it comes to the swamp that has become D.C., nothing
should surprise anyone anymore, especially when it comes to officials within
the government using resources to personally enrich themselves or failing to
disclose when their families stand to benefit from their governmental
“service.”  While the Left was consistently worried about Trump and his
family using the Presidency to enrich themselves, they seem much less concerned
about Hunter Biden’s travels on the American taxpayer dime to
peddle his father’s influence – or by his current career/money-laundering scheme as an “artist.”

New information provided exclusively to RedState by
syndicated radio talk show host Howie Carr shows that Centers for Disease Control
(CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky is finding multiple ways to benefit from
her new position. Walensky, who took over as director with Biden’s
inauguration, is married to Loren D. Walensky, a renowned pediatric oncology
researcher at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard. In October 2019
Loren Walensky became the scientific
co-founder and a member
of the Board of Directors of Lytica Therapeutics, “an early-stage biotechnology
company working on an innovative platform for developing next-generation
antimicrobials.” (LabCentral)

Just four months later, Walensky’s Lytica received a $16.9 million dollar HHS grant to “develop
antibacterial peptides with broad activity against multidrug-resistant
bacteria.”  Only $5.3 million of that money was initially disbursed to
Lytica, and the remaining $11.6 million is scheduled to be disbursed upon the
achievement of “certain development milestones.” I have previously worked in
the world of grant writing and can tell you most agencies will not give grants
to organizations that have existed for less than a year and organizations that
have no other stream of funding. In this particular case Crunchbase, which monitors funding for corporations and
non-profits, shows that the only funding that Lytica has received to date is
the $5.3 million allocated from the grant received.

Again, the only funding this new company has received to
date – nearly two years after its founding – is the $5.3 million allocated from
the HHS grant.

The grant was funded and organized by the Assistant
Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) with the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services, which oversees and administers the Biomedical
Advanced and Development Authority (BARDA) program, which is similar to the
PREDICT program at the center of Wuhan Institute of Virology gain-of-function
research controversy. The Lytica Therapeutics grant was provided through
BARDA’s CARB-X program. According to the

plays a critical role in the federal government’s National Action Plan for Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant
Bacteria (CARB), 2020-2025. Because making new antibiotics is difficult,
expensive, and low profit for innovative companies, BARDA supports the world’s
largest antibacterial portfolio through public-private partnerships. These
partnerships incentivize companies to focus on antibiotic development by
providing non-dilutive funding to offset high research and development
(R&D) costs and technical assistance to reduce R&D risk.

Projects funded by CARB-X, the group states,
“are in the early stages of research, and there is always a high risk of
failure,” but, if they’re successful, and a for-profit company like Lytica
Therapeutics is behind it, the company (and its shareholders) can profit off of
the drug’s commercialization.

Interestingly, BARDA also has teamed up with the Wellcome
Group, headed by Jeremy Farrar, who many of you may remember was a signer of
the Peter Daszak organized Lancet letter, which sought to
debunk the now-legitimized Wuhan Lab-Leak Theory of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

While Walensky received the grant prior to his wife
becoming director of an HHS-governed organization, his wife was directly
associated with HHS for more than a decade when his company was awarded
the grant. Rochelle Walensky served as the chair of the Office of AIDS Research
Advisory Council, which put her in close contact with Dr. Antnony Fauci, and as
a member of the US Department of Health and Human Services Panel on
Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents (again, with Dr. Fauci).
In fact, when “insiders” were surprised that Walensky was picked, it was
revealed that Fauci had a lot to do with her appointment:

transition team conducted a wide search for a new CDC director, and Walensky’s
name was mentioned by several people, according to an official familiar with
the process. For some, she was a surprise choice. Yet among those recommending
her was Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases, who is serving as a medical adviser to Biden.

of the key people we talked to was Dr. Fauci, and Dr. Fauci really believed
that Dr. Walensky was the right person to lead the CDC, so that was obviously
an important recommendation,” [Biden transition co-chair Jeff] Zients said. “In
Dr. Walensky, we were able to find someone with the experience and the
background to lead the CDC and that turnaround.”

Two top NIAID officials, one of whom worked closely with
Director Walensky in the HIV/AIDS research arena, serve on CARB-X’s
Joint Oversight Committee, which selects which applicants will receive
grants through a competitive process.

The fact that Walensky’s grant was not disclosed as a
portion of his wife’s appointment amounts to a massive lack of transparency. In
her financial disclosures, submitted January 13, 2021, she
lists her husband’s interest in Lytica Therapeutics as a “spousal holding,” but
doesn’t indicate that he is the co-founder of the company and ostensibly
working there since he is the inventor of the technology subject to the CARB-X
grant. She also doesn’t indicate in that filing that his company is receiving a
federal grant from the very agency in which she’s being appointed to a
leadership position – and the agency that still has to make decisions on
whether to award the additional $11.6 million.

Director Walensky had a responsibility to report this
conflict of interest upon taking office, however, no records exist of her doing
so. One can only reach the conclusion that her failure to disclose was because
she suspected that doing so could have disqualified her from consideration for
the position.  Even more alarming is that the Biden Administration either
didn’t do their homework in nominating Director Walensky or simply didn’t care.
This information wasn’t hard to come by either, which is a scathing indictment
of the mainstream media who did not question Director Walensky’s qualifications
or background in her appointment to her position. We all know that if this same
situation existed for a Trump Administration official, the media would have had
a collective meltdown.


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