A Cure for What Doesn’t Ail You
by Gary Jason | Posted November 27, 2011
The Obama Regime is best known for its crony car and crony green energy capitalism, but there is scarcely any industry it hasn’t tried to corrupt for its own interests.
An unlikely source has now informed us of an especially egregious new variety — what can only be described as crony drug capitalism.
The LA Times — yes, savor that! — reports that another billionaire backer of Obama, Ronald O. Perelman, was able to get a no-bid contract from the government for some dubious vaccine produced by his New York-based company, Siga Technologies. The money involved is Solyndra scale: Perelman’s company will get $433 million in taxpayer cash.
The drug is supposedly a cure for smallpox, if you are unlucky enough — extremely unlucky — to contract it (see below).
Ponder these points:
- Besides donating to Obama’s election campaign, Perelman gave $50,000 to finance Obama’s inaugural party.
- Perelman’s company, Siga, put Obama’s close associate and major supporter, Andrew Stern, former head of the Service Employees International Union, on Siga’s board of directors.
- Smallpox was eliminated as a live disease from the entire planet over 30 years ago. The only known specimens of the virus are said to exist in Russian and American government labs.
- The use of smallpox by our enemies is amply deterred by our own possession of it, as well as by our nuclear weaponry.
- Even supposing someone attacked us with smallpox, we already have a billion-dollar supply of effective vaccine on hand — enough for the whole country.
- This existing vaccine costs $3 a dose.
- Siga’s vaccine costs $255 a dose, i.e., 85 times more than the existing vaccine.
- Siga’s vaccine lasts only 38 months, while the existing vaccine lasts for decades.
- When the Department of Health and Human Services resisted the ludicrously overpriced vaccine, Obama appointee Dr. Nicole Laurie put a new person in charge of negotiations with the company.
- After that change, Siga received a “sole source” contract, meaning that it was the only company asked to submit a bid.
- Even though the contract was supposed to go to a small company, and one such outfit, called Chimerix, wanted a shot at the project, and Siga (since it is affiliated with a large company) didn’t meet the criterion, Chimerix was frozen out.
- Siga’s vaccine has not received (and will not, for ethical reasons, involving needed tests on human subjects, ever receive) FDA approval.
So, because of Obama’s political connections, we are paying nearly half a billion dollars for nothing.
A feculent business, indeed.
Gary Jason is a philosopher and senior editor of Liberty, and the author of Dangerous Thoughts.
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