It has been reported, a company by the name of PharmAthene, which is closely tied to the late Congressman John Murtha and Tara O’Toole, an Under Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has received preferential treatment by our good friends in the federal governmenat the expense of Joe Taxpayer.
BIG GOVERNMENT has learned that a little known entity named the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is adding millions of dollars to a contract awarded way back in 2003 that PharmAthene inherited, rather than conducting a fair and open competition. In government speak, that means PharmAthene is about to get huge sums of additional cash without ever having competed for it. Coverage of this sole-source award has already received significant news coverage and attention from numerous outlets, including Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
But it’s not as if PharmAthene is hiding it. They’re actually promoting the fact that they’re getting sole-source contracts that do away with any competition and fatten their bottom line.
According to a recent PharmAthene press release:
“David P. Wright, President and Chief Executive Officer of PharmAthene, commented, ‘In consultation with BARDA, today PharmAthene submitted a White Paper for advanced development of SparVax(TM) in response to the BAA. If BARDA finds our submission acceptable, a formal proposal will be requested. We believe that, if awarded, funding provided under this BAA, along with potential additional funding under our existing contract with BARDA, will be sufficient to advance SparVax(TM) to a stage where it will be eligible for consideration for a Project BioShield procurement contract.’”
In spite of the fact that Candidate Obama ran and was elected on a pledge to eliminate just these kinds of sole-source contracts, his administration appears to be taking it to a whole new level, particularly when one considers this has do with national security.
The BIG GOVERNMENT question is, why?
BARDA and the Obama Administration (i.e. Tara O’Toole) are propping up PharmAthene all in an effort to position the company to become the national vaccine maker despite having less than 50 employees and a questionable balance sheet .
A little background will be useful here…
Prior to entering the administration, Tara O’Toole ran the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and advised the Alliance for Biosecurity. As has been reported, PharmAthene basically controlled the Alliance and has been working feverishly to get the Center for Biosecurity to become the nation’s government-owned vaccine maker, meaning literally billions for O’Toole’s friends at PharmAthene, who have already enjoyed both earmarks and government contracts at the American people’s expense.
But the timeline here is very interesting. Apparently, the Center for Biosecurity left the Alliance in October of last year, right before O’Toole’s nomination cleared numerous hurdles and she got the job at DHS. Furthermore, in December, with no fanfare whatsoever, PharmAthene got their sole-source contact from BARDA.
And go figure what happens in January? The Center for Biosecurity unceremoniously makes public the fact that they are no longer members of the Alliance, even though they actually resigned in October, just prior to O’Toole’s confirmation and only after PharmAthene got its sole source contract… Makes one wonder, why?
The answer seems to be that media coverage of the Alliance’s exploitation of lobbying rules forced the Center to leave the group because it was threatening O’Toole’s nomination. And in response, they are being rewarded for their profile in courage…
All of this leads us back to PharmAthene being positioned to serve as the federal government’s vaccine maker once the industry is socialized, enriching O’Toole’s friends in the process.
And BIG GOVERNMENT has found something interesting on page 56 of the Obama Administration’s FY 2011 HHS budget request titled “Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund.” Tucked in the budget request is an item stating, “BARDA expects to issue an RFP to support functional design plans for facilities to develop and manufacture biological products.”
What are they referring to? You guessed it folks, the UPMC pork project. They are literally drawing up the plans, and once again, footing the bill for the pay-to-play scheme, the middle class families Obama is planning to burden with additional tax increases.
So let’s sum up, PharmAthene’s radical and Manchurian nominee lands in a key DHS position overseeing the nation’s bioterrorism program after working with PharmAthene’s private equity investors and founders and the company receives highly dubious gifts from Uncle Sam. The quid-pro-quos continue to roll with BARDA serving as the vehicle to pay off Tara OToole’s business associates while positioning a questionable corporate entity – PharmAthene – to become America’s national producer of vaccines.