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HHS officials 'raided' millions from biomedical research fund for unrelated expenses: report

Misappropriation of "hundreds of millions of dollars intended for the development of vaccines, drugs and therapies" allegedly occurred under both the Obama and Trump administrations, the Washington Post reported.

Updated: January 27, 2021 - 2:51pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A bombshell report alleges that government officials raided a federal biomedical research fund for millions of dollars in the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, allegedly using those funds to pay for salaries, administrative concerns and even reportedly the removal of office furniture. 

Federal workers "repeatedly raided" a fund under the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday. The pilfering, which allegedly took place over the course of both the Obama and Trump administrations, drew from "hundreds of millions of dollars intended for the development of vaccines, drugs and therapies," the paper said. 

The info comes via an investigation into a federal whistleblower complaint. That whistleblower alleged that individuals in the federal Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response siphoned money away from the medical fund between 2010-2019. 

The U.S. Office of the Special Counsel is reportedly involved due to federal whistleblower procedures. 

Among the allegations of fiscal wrongdoing, an inspector general report concerning the matter alleged that, "between fiscal years 2013 and 2017, BARDA paid $897,491 for the salaries of staff who did not actually work for the agency."

The inspector general's office said that overall it discovered $2.3 million in expenditures "[that] did not support the BARDA mission."