CDC Director’s husband scored $5 million in HHS grants; has ties to group that tried to debunk lab-leak theory
Posted by: Pat Droney
LAW ENFORCEMENT TODAY
WASHINGTON, DC- Six months ago, Rochelle Walensky was an unknown professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Mass General Hospital in Boston.
Now she’s apparently running the country as the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Infection (CDC). Apparently, she has also raked in a bunch of money from the federal government prior to that appointment through her husband, a bombshell report reveals.
Syndicated radio talk show host Howie Carr told Red State that Walensky’s husband Loren Walensky has managed to enrich himself as scientific co-founder and member of the Board of Directors at a company called Lytica Therapeutics, described as “an early-stage biotechnology company working on an innovative platform for developing next-generation antimicrobials.”
That became very lucrative for the Walenskys, who became affiliated with the company in October 2019. Only four months later, the company managed to receive a grant in the amount of $16.9 million from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in order to “develop antibacterial peptides with broad activity against multidrug-resistant bacteria.”
Information shows that only $5.3 million of that money was initially disbursed to the company, while the remaining $11.6 million is to be disbursed upon the achievement of “certain development milestones.”
The writer of the piece, Scott Hounsell, a former political consultant notes that having previously worked in grant writing, most agencies don’t give grants to companies or organizations that have existed for less than a year, nor have any 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,” he wrote.
In other words, two years after its founding, the only funding the company has received is the $5.3 million allocated from the HHS grant.
The grant was apparently “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. [emphasis added]
The grant received by Lytica was provided through BARDA’s CARB-X program. The website notes:
“BARDA 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 A&D risk.”
CARB-X states that projects funded by the company “are in the early stages of research and there is always a high risk of failure,” but as Hounsell notes, if such a project is successful and a for-profit company such as Lytica is behind it, “the company (and its shareholders) can profit off of the drug’s commercialization.”
This is where things get interesting. BARDA has affiliated with the Wellcome Group, headed by Jeremy Farrar. Remember him? He was a signer of the letter published in The Lancet, organized by Peter Daszak which attempted to debunk the Wuhan Lab-leak theory, since legitimized, over the origin of COVID-19. Interesting.
Hounsell writes that while Walensky’s husband received the grant prior to her becoming CDC director, she was directly associated with HHS for over a decade when her husband’s company was awarded the grant.
Rochelle Walensky had served as the chair of the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council, putting her in close contact with COVID fraud Dr. Anthony Fauci. She was also a member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents with—wait for it—Dr. Fauci.
While some so-called “insiders” were surprised that Walensky was picked to head the CDC, it was discovered that Fauci had a lot to do with her appointment, as reported in Bloomberg:
“Biden’s 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 Infections Diseases, who is serving as a medical adviser to Biden.
‘One 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.”
Another tie-in—two top NIAID officials, including one who worked closely with Rochelle Walensky in the HIV/AIDS research area serve on CARB-X’s Joint Oversight Committee, which decides which applicants receive grants through what is supposed to be a competitive process.
Ironically, receipt of the grant by Loren Walensky was conveniently not disclosed during Rochelle Walensky’s appointment process and in fact smacks of being deliberately omitted.
In her financial disclosures, submitted on January 13, 2021, she only listed her husband’s interests in Lytica Therapeutics as a “spousal holding,” however didn’t indicate he was the company’s co-founder and working there since he was the inventor of the technology subject to the CARB-X Grant.
She also didn’t disclose that his company is receiving a federal grant from the same agency in which she was being appointed to a leadership position, an agency that still will need to decide whether to award the additional $11.6 million.
Remember…White House spokesperson Jen Psaki claims the Biden administration is the “most ethical administration in American history.” So why then did Rochelle Walensky fail to disclose something of such importance? And how was it missed in the first place?
Rochelle Walensky had an obligation to report the clear conflict of interest during the confirmation process, however there is no record that she in fact did so. As Hounsell notes, the assumption must be made that Walensky didn’t disclose the conflict of interest because she likely realized that such a disclosure would disqualify her from consideration for the position.
Even more concerning is the fact that Walensky wasn’t completely vetted by the Biden administration, or more so that having that knowledge, they simply didn’t care. The information was easily available which also calls into question the fact it wasn’t picked up by anyone in the mainstream media, a point not lost on Hounsell.
Aside from the issue of the federal grant, the connections between Rochelle Walensky, Anthony Fauci and BARDA cannot be discounted. That is worthy of a much deeper dive.