Ex-whistleblower: It's time for 'new blood' at agency Fauci has led for decades

Jonathan Fishbein said about Fauci, "it seems like he doesn't stick to facts."

Updated: August 7, 2020 - 8:52am

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Dr. Anthony Fauci has led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for more than three decades, but a former ethics officer who successfully blew the whistle on the federal agency says it's time for an infusion of "new blood."

"It's important that government bring in fresh perspectives, fresh ideas, younger people, you know, and people don't get so entrenched, the bureaucracy doesn't get entrenched for decades " said Dr. Jonathan Fishbein, who was fired back in 2004-05 as Director of the Office for Policy in Clinical Research Operations in NIAD's AIDS Division and then returned to his job after his whistleblowing complaint identifying ethical and patient safety concerns was validated.

Fishbein, who an official review determined was the victim of retaliation, discussed his experiences working under Fauci on the latest episode of the Just the News podcast John Solomon Reports.

Fauci, who has been catapulted to national prominence amid the coronavirus pandemic, started serving as the NIAID Director in 1984.

Fishbein said about Fauci that "it seems like he doesn't stick to facts. I think he is in front of the microphone a whole lot, he is doing so many interviews and he doesn't stick to the facts." Referencing comments Fauci made suggesting that people should permanently end the practice of shaking hands, Fishbein said that Fauci "mixes opinion in there, and I don't think that that's particularly appropriate."

Fishbein explained that a study of whether the drug nevirapine could prevent AIDS transmission from a mother to her child was once championed by the NIAID as evidence that the drug was working.

"What happened was when an auditor went to see what was going on at the site, and that typically happens, he was basically horrified because he saw sloppy recordkeeping and" there were side effects that the Division of AIDS and the Food and Drug Administration had not been apprised about, Fishbein said.

Fishbein explained that a Division of AIDS medical officer who reviewed the records reported that the safety of the drug could not be determined, but "when the report was released, the medical officer's concerns had been totally removed."

During the podcast John Solomon discussed a story which he had previously reported about the NIAID conducting a drug trial on foster children which resulted in 10 unexplained fatalities. The children were supposed to be provided with a patient advocate to protect the their interests amid the trial, but in most cases the advocates were not provided, Solomon said.

Fishbein, who was still working for NIAID when Solomon broke the story, said that "the official stance was, 'But we provided these children with life-saving drugs they otherwise would not have had access to.'"

"But down sort of among the workers a lot of us were very concerned. It was embarrassing," Fishbein said, describing the safety lapses as "absolutely reprehensible."

He also said that during a study which Fauci was not involved in but that included a substance which Fauci was a patent co-owner, the investigator brochure which includes information pertaining to negative drug effects had not been updated for some time. 

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