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Tipsheet

'Revolving Door': What the WH Left Out of Its Announcement About Nominee for NIH Director

President Biden on Monday nominated Dr. Monica Bertagnolli, a surgical oncologist and head of the National Cancer Institute, to be the next director of the National Institutes of Health, but critics say the White House left out an important detail about her background in the administration’s announcement.  

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“Dr. Bertagnolli has spent her career pioneering scientific discovery and pushing the boundaries of what is possible to improve cancer prevention and treatment for patients, and ensuring that patients in every community have access to quality care,” Biden said in a statement.
 
“As Director of the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Bertagnolli has advanced my Cancer Moonshot to end cancer as we know it. She has brought together partners and resources from different sectors to launch groundbreaking efforts in cancer prevention and early detection, a national navigation program for childhood cancers, and additional programs to bring clinical trials to more Americans,” the statement continued. “Dr. Bertagnolli is a world-class physician-scientist whose vision and leadership will ensure NIH continues to be an engine of innovation to improve the health of the American people.” 

As Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and others pointed out, she’s a “revolving door” nominee. 

“From 2015-2021, Bertagnolli received more than 116 grants from Pfizer, totaling $290.8 million. This amount made up 89% of all her. research grants,” he tweeted. 

Kennedy was sure to point out this doesn’t automatically make her “personally corrupt,” but that she will champion Big Pharma’s viewpoints.  

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“That is how agencies are captured,” he added, commenting later that he was not surprised the White House left this detail out of the announcement. 


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