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Fauci's Response to Paul on Royalty Payments Raises Eyebrows

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Dr. Anthony Fauci had a sharp exchange on Thursday during a Senate hearing about the current status of the federal government’s response to COVID-19.


Paul wanted to know more information about royalty payments scientists at the National Institutes of Health have received.

“Over the period of time from 2010 to 2016, 27,000, royalty payments were paid to 1,800 NIH employees. We know that not because you told us, but because we forced you to tell us through the Freedom of Information Act,” Paul said, noting that more than “$193 million was given to these 1,800 employees.” 

“Can you tell me that you have not received a royalty from any entity that you ever oversaw the distribution of money in research grants?” he asked.

Fauci wasn’t sure but sternly said he doubted it.

Paul pressed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director since the NIH “refuses” to divulge identifying information about the scientists who received royalties. 

“Here's what I want to know. It's not just about you,” he continued. “Everybody on the vaccine committee. Have any of them ever received money from the people who make vaccines? Can you tell me that?” 

"Sound bite number one—Are you going to let me answer a question?" Fauci said as Paul continued to speak.

“OK, so let me give you some information. According to the regulations, people who receive royalties are not required to divulge them even on their financial statement, according to the by Bayh-Dole Act,” Fauci answered. “So let me give you some examples, from 2015 to 2020 I – the only royalties I have was my lab and I made a monoclonal antibody for use in vitro reagent that had nothing to do with patients. And during that period of time, my royalties ranged from $21 a year, to $1,700. And the average per year was $191.46.”


Paul pushed back, however, explaining that important details were redacted. 

“It's all redacted and you can't get any information on the 18,000 scientists,” he said. “So we want to know whether or not people got money from the people who made the manufacturing of vaccines.”

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