WASHINGTON, D.C. – Responding to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by a non-profit watchdog group, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been releasing documents that indicate that the agency and its scientists has been receiving a regular series of “private” royalty payments from 2009 through 2020, totaling an estimated $350 million.
Initially, the NIH was incorporative with Open the Books’ FOIA requests – only releasing 51 pages out of hundreds requested – until a federal judge stepped in and ordered the release of the requested records; since that time, the NIH has been turning over 300 pages per month since April.
The first batch amounted to 1,200 pages – all heavily redacted – that showed 22,100 royalty payments being made to 17,000 NIH scientists; an additional 1,800 royalty pages – covering the years from 2015 to 2020 – are still pending release.
Open the Books CEO Adam Andrzejewski announced the royalties last Monday after a protracted legal battle with the NIH. The initially released documents confirm that scientists working for the agency had received payments in the total amount of $134 million between 2009 and 2014, and – based on estimates on additional records that are expected to be released soon – that amount could come to as high as $350 million by 2020.
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Of special note is the fact that National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci had received 23 royalty payments during this time period, according to the records obtained by Open the Books.
However, it is currently unknown exactly what the NIH was receiving royalty payments for, although Andrzejewski indicated that his organization hopes more light will be shed on the situation as additional FOIA requests are granted.
“Today, NIH is a revolving door of tens of billions of dollars in government grant-making coupled with hundreds of millions of dollars in private — non-transparent — royalty payments,” Andrzejewski said. “There needs to be a lot more sunshine on this potentially unholy alliance.”
The news provided by Open the Books’ CEO was talked about by former Donald Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani on his Common Sense podcast on Friday. Giuliani asked his guest – Dr. Maria Ryan, CEO of Cottage Hospital in Woodsville, New Hampshire – how people should be reacting to the news that the NIH and Fauci had been receiving paychecks from entities other than just the U.S. Government, a fact that the agency fought to cover up.
Ryan responded that the records provided by the NIH thus far, all of which having been “heavily redacted” with the source and reasons for the payments essentially hidden, should be a cause for concern.
“They’re so heavily redacted…not only is the money redacted, but what companies gave those royalty checks” she said. “Big Pharma? Was is Pfizer? A lot of people contact us and say that they know there are a lot of issues with transparency and censorship and that they’ve given up because nothing ever happens, but I’m telling people to hold on…I think things are going to happen and things are opening up.”