A Cure for What Doesn’t Ail You


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.

Share This



A Siga investor posts this.

He says the Siga drug is a cure, not a vaccine, and works against 'weaponized' strains, which existing vaccines do not.

He also says smallpox can be homebrewed in a lab, in which case it seems like it could still be a serious terrorism threat.

Do you think his arguments hold water? (Full disclosure: I (sigh) purchased some Siga myself a while back.)

Jon Harrison

The Siga investor is thinking about the stock price; the justifications he puts forward are not to be taken seriously.

There's no need for millions of public dollars to be invested in this company. If there truly is a smallpox threat, vaccination is a proven method of deterrence. This situation certainly gives the appearance of being a political payoff.

Gary Jason

George--I don't know if those claims are true, but they seem dubious--how can someone homebrew a virus that was eradicated years ago, unless he has access to the Russian or American bioweapons labs? But hey, there's an easy answer: let's have Congressional hearings, with Siga's main palyers and scientists all under oath, and find out!

However, I sure as hell wouldn't sell the stock: with this kind of sweetheart deal, it is bound to go through the roof!!! You literally will be in for a nice piece of the loot!!!

Thanks for reading my piece--Gary


I don't know, spending $500 million for nothing is bad.
Spending trillions on military spending that will most likely get lots of US citizens killed is really bad.
Obama has promised, (we'll see), to abide by the sequestration over the wails of Republicans.

It's a matter of perspective. The odds your child will grow up, be killed in military adventures of US troops are much, much greater than they'll be harmed by any vaccine.

Gary Jason

Yes, we will see if Obama will keep his word on defense cuts--his word certainly hasn't been worth crap so far. And if there are cuts, we'll see the results.

But in any case, none of that justifies corrution. And the money comes out of our pockets.

Thanks for reading my piece.


Excellent use of feculent. And excellent reportage, thank you.

Fred Mora


Will the old, long-lasting vaccine doses be destroyed and replaced with Siga's concoction? That would seem the logical extension of this affair. I wasn't able to find anything regarding the fate of the existing vaccine stockpile.

Gary Jason

In answer to your excellent question, Fred, I don't know whether the existing stockpiles are to be replaced--remember, the existing vaccine can last for a decade or more, so surely needs no replacing.

But the latest fascinating news on this scandal is that Sen. Claire--Democrat (!) of MO--has asked the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate this funky deal. Perhaps more information will be forthcoming.

Thanks for your feedback--Gary

© Copyright 2020 Liberty Foundation. All rights reserved.

Opinions expressed in Liberty are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Liberty Foundation.

All letters to the editor are assumed to be for publication unless otherwise indicated.