High Drug Prices Bloated War Budget
Biden nominated Dr. Robert Califf as the head of the FDA. Califf, a total shill for Big PhRMA, was not surprised that Bernie announced he was going to oppose his nomination. If you watch the video above, you'll see exactly why Bernie said he would oppose this creep. And early in 2016 Bernie opposed him as well when Obama put him on the FDA. This is what Bernie said when Califf was confirmed at the time:
"I am disappointed that Dr. Califf has been confirmed to be the new FDA commissioner. I opposed his nomination because I was not convinced that he would stand up to the greed of the pharmaceutical industry, one of the most powerful special interests in Washington. In my view, it is unacceptable that the American people pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. At a time when one in five Americans cannot afford to pay for the medications that have been prescribed to them, we have got to do everything we can to lower the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs. A life-saving drug does no good if a sick patient cannot afford it.”
Bernie was equally forthright this time around, at the hearing yesterday at the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee: "After leaving the FDA in 2017, he received consulting fees from Merck, Biogen and Eli Lilly. According to his financial disclosure form, he owns up to $8 million in the stocks of major drug companies. That is exactly the close relationship Big Pharma has exploited to regulate the FDA, instead of the FDA regulating them... I will oppose his nomination."
Joe Manchin and Richard Blumenthal are also opposing Califf's nomination-- and Ed Markey voted "no" in 2016, so he is likely to do so again, since Califf's corruption is even worse now-- but Biden is counting on some of the corrupt Republicans to vote for the disgraceful nomination. Richard Burr (R-NC), a stock-trading crook who was forced to not run again next year after he was exposed, said he will vote to confirm Califf.
Manchin, after yesterday's hearing: "I can’t fathom why we would confirm someone whose actions failed to swiftly curb the tide of the opioid epidemic and protect the public’s health, especially someone who has already helmed FDA as its Commissioner. We need a leader who is ready for reform in pursuit of improving public health outcomes and Dr. Califf is not that candidate. How many more Americans have to die before we see a culture change at the FDA?"
Off the topic, but... since someone brought up seeing people dying, yesterday the Senate voted 86-13 for cloture on the bloated and immoral Pentagon budget. Just 8 Democrats voted against cloture:
Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden (OR)
Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey (MA)
Ben Cardin (MD)
Alex Padilla (CA)
Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)
That sure separated the wheat from the chaff. Remember self-styled progressives who voted with the conservatives for the military industrial complex: Sherrod Brown (OH), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Chris Van Hollen (MD), Raphael Warnock (GA), Mazie Hirono (HI), Brian Schatz (HI), Chris Murphy (CT), Richard Blumenthal (CT) and Tina Smith (MN). No need to list the conservative Democrats or the Republicans; it's what you expect of them.