Friday, November 25, 2011

McCaskill (D) Calls For Probe in to New Smallpox-Vaccine Boondoggle

It is not a bad idea to have maintain the supply of smallpox vaccine around, because even thought it has been eradicated in nature, it is still preserved in a few labs. An accidental or intentional release is a possibility that needs to be defended against. A new vaccine, especially one developed in a no bid contract given to someone with close ties to the administration sounds like a waist of money at best if it is not serious corruption.

"Almost two weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times reported on the peculiar case of Siga Technologies, which got a no-bid contract to supply the Pentagon with an experimental vaccine for smallpox, a dead disease, when we have a plentiful supply of traditional vaccine to handle an outbreak. Siga Technologies has close ties to the Democratic Party with its primary investor, party donor Ronald Perelman, and relatively new board member Andy Stern, the former head of the SEIU and a frequent visitor to the Obama White House. The deal amounts to almost a half-billion dollars for Perelman and Stern, and the White House appears to have intervened to relax contract requirements and eliminate any hint of competition for the project.
The kicker? The FDA has no idea how it will approve the drug for use in humans. In order to do the double-blind testing required for certification, they would have to expose test subjects to live samples of smallpox, since the disease no longer exists outside of a few military laboratories in Russia and the US. Who would want to volunteer to expose themselves to smallpox and hope they don’t draw the placebo card in the trials?

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