Kevin Bae

Non-Social in a Socially Networked World

NIH purposely misled Trump Administration on COVID-19 testing

Meet NIH Director Francis Collins. He likes to keep information from the White House when he feels like it.

What is it with Time Magazine, of all publications, uncovering and outing how the “deep state”, that we were told didn’t exist by major media, repeatedly sabotaged the Trump Administration? They are totally unafraid of any backlash for their collaboration with career bureaucrats to undermine the authority of a duly elected President of the United States.

In May 2020, Dr. Francis Collins, the longtime head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), was called to the White House to meet with Jared Kushner, the then President’s son-in-law and adviser, and Dr. Deborah Birx, the head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. A few weeks earlier, Congress had given the NIH $1.5 billion to try to speed up the process of developing new diagnostic tests for COVID-19, and the White House, which was dubious about increasing the rate of testing, wanted to know more about what the NIH was doing.

Collins is technically the boss of Dr. Anthony Fauci, but during the pandemic he has mostly taken a back seat to America’s most prominent epidemiologist when it comes to media. It’s not that Collins is not a great communicator; he’s known for his ability to talk about science at any level. But he did not wish to become an object of White House attention. So when he met with Kushner, “I did my best to try to describe what we were doing in a way that it wouldn’t attract a lot of desire on their part to interfere,” says Collins. “It was really technical and really geeky.”

In June, Kushner visited the NIH to hear about the new plan, known as RADx (Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics), from other points of view. This time Collins’ engineering staff went into nerd-overdrive detail. “And that was the last we heard of White House interest in what we were doing for diagnostics,” says Collins. “To this day I have never done a briefing about RADx in the White House task force. And that was just fine.”

Time Magazine

I don’t pretend that this doesn’t happen to every President, Governor, or other executive that wins election. We should all be concerned that people being paid by our tax dollars take it upon themselves to undermine the people we elect to represent us and spend that money. What is the point of electing anyone if the regulatory agencies run roughshod without oversight?

This fawning article about Francis Collins, the director of the NIH, paints him as a hero. But, if you read comprehensively it’s not hard to see he is more a politician than a scientist. Like Fauci you don’t stay in a job like this without being a politico.

Keeping exactly the right height of profile is one Collins’ less-appreciated talents, the kind that has kept him at the head of a government agency through three presidential administrations, including the current one, to which he was reappointed in January. Republican Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma calls him “the best politician in D.C.”

Time Magazine

In the paragraph below I highlight Mr. Collins’ true ability at the NIH. He is adept at taking your money and doing with it what he deems appropriate while keeping vital information from those we elect to oversee these agencies.

Collins has had to use every one of those abilities as he has tried to manipulate the levers of scientific mastery and money to confront the pandemic in the U.S. at a time of political instability. If Fauci and his team have been at the forefront of the fight against the coronavirus, Collins has been their staunchest supporter, championing Fauci as he kept hammering the scientific facts home, and creating battle plans that may become the blueprints for the way the U.S. addresses its most besetting diseases in the future.

Time Magazine

Are all our presidents geniuses? No. Most of them are not even “stable geniuses”. But, it’s not the job of unelected employees of the people to just do what ever they want because they don’t like or don’t trust our elected representatives.