MERCK SELLS FEDERALLY FINANCED COVID PILL TO U.S. FOR 40 TIMES WHAT IT COSTS TO MAKE

A FIVE-DAY COURSE of molnupiravir, the new medicine being hailed as a “huge advance” in the treatment of Covid-19, costs $17.74 to produce, according to a report issued last week by drug pricing experts at the Harvard School of Public Health and King’s College Hospital in London. Merck is charging the U.S. government $712 for the same amount of medicine, or 40 times the price.

Last Friday’s announcement that the new medicine cut the risk of hospitalization among clinical trial participants with moderate or mild illness in half could have huge implications for the course of the coronavirus pandemic. Because it’s a pill — as opposed to monoclonal antibodies, a comparable antiviral treatment that is administered intravenously — molnupiravir is expected to be more widely used and, hopefully, will cut the death rate. In the first 29 days of the trial, no deaths were reported among the 385 patients who received the drug, while eight of the people who received a placebo died, according to the statement put out by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, the two companies that are jointly launching it.

In addition to having huge implications for health, the pill could bring staggering profits to both Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. A small Miami-based company, Ridgeback licensed the medicine from Emory University in 2020 and two months later sold the worldwide rights to the drug to Merck for an undisclosed sum. Although Ridgeback remains involved in the development of the drug, some have described the deal as “flipping.”

Like the vast majority of medicines on the market, molnupiravir — which was originally investigated as a possible treatment for Venezuelan equine encephalitis — was developed using government funds. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a division of the Department of Defense, provided more than $10 million of funding in 2013 and 2015 to Emory University, as research done by the nonprofit Knowledge Ecology International has revealed. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, also provided Emory with more than $19 million in additional grants.

 
EPA Officials Exposed Whistleblowers Three Minutes After Receiving Confidential Complaint

Sharon Lerner

Yet only Merck and Ridgeback will reap the profits from the new antiviral, which according to Quartz could bring in as much as $7 billion by the end of this year. After the announcement of the encouraging clinical trial results on Friday, Merck’s stock price climbed, while stock prices of some vaccine makers sagged. Despite its initial investment, the U.S. government seems to be facing a steep markup in prices. In June, the government signed a $1.2 billion contract with Merck to supply 1.7 million courses of the medication at the $712 price. The transaction is due to take place as soon as molnupiravir receives emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

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GOP Mega-Donor Says He Wouldn’t Back Trump 2024

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A top Republican donor said on Monday that he won’t back Trump in 2024 if the former president decides to mount another bid for the White House. 

In a discussion at the Economic Club of Chicago, hedge fund manager Ken Griffin tore into Trump as “pointlessly divisive,” according to comments reported by Bloomberg. He said that it was time for the country to move past the former president. 

“I think it’s time for America to move on,” Griffin told Bloomberg TV’s Erik Schatzker.

Griffin has a long history of funding conservative candidates and causes. He spent more than $60 million to boost Republicans in the 2020 elections, though he did not give directly to Trump. 

Since leaving the White House in January, Trump has repeatedly teased a possible comeback campaign in 2024. He’s ramped up his public activity in recent weeks, and is set to hold a campaign-style rally in Iowa on Saturday, an appearance that’s likely to drive speculation of another presidential run. 

Joe Biden’s Most Awkward Gaffes | Biden 2020 Compilation

If you take this video to 5 best Board Certified Psychiatrists in the US I would firmly believe all 5 would say Joe Biden definitely needs Psychiatric care ASAP. In NO way can he carry out the duties of the President Of The United States.  Lost Springs is a town in Converse CountyWyoming, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 4.….Biden in Lost Springs, Wyoming could NOT carry out the duties of an Animal Control officer….When Pelosi or Chuck Schumer gives him permission to speak to our country, people all over the WORLD are in SHOCK. Please watch the video then you decide.

Stephanie Grisham’s Book Details Trump’s ‘Terrifying’ Temper

 

By DNYUZ


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WASHINGTON — Stephanie Grisham, the former Trump White House press secretary perhaps best known for never holding a televised briefing with reporters, plans to release a tell-all book next week that accuses President Donald J. Trump of abusing his staff, placating dictators like Vladimir Putin of Russia, and making sexual comments about a young White House aide.

In her book, titled “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” Ms. Grisham recalls her time working for a president she said constantly berated her and made outlandish requests, including a demand that she appear before the press corps and re-enact a certain call with the Ukrainian president that led to Mr. Trump’s (first) impeachment, an assignment she managed to avoid.

“I knew that sooner or later the president would want me to tell the public something that was not true or that would make me sound like a lunatic,” Ms. Grisham writes, offering a reason for why she never held a briefing.

After serving as press secretary, Ms. Grisham worked in Melania Trump’s office. She resigned on Jan. 6 as a horde of Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol. Her book was kept a secret from her closest allies in the White House, though by the time she departed Washington that number had dwindled. (She writes that, months before the election, she had moved to Kansas.) Her publisher, HarperCollins, calls the book “The most frank and intimate portrait of the Trump White House yet.”

The former president and his advisers have already moved to discredit Ms. Grisham’s account, and have used increasingly personal terms to disparage her.

“Stephanie didn’t have what it takes and that was obvious from the beginning,” Mr. Trump said in a statement on Tuesday. He said she had become “very angry and bitter” after a breakup. “She had big problems and we felt that she should work out those problems for herself. Now, like everyone else, she gets paid by a radical left-leaning publisher to say bad and untrue things.”

In her book, Ms. Grisham offered a pre-emptive response to the criticism: “This is not, by the way, a book where you need to like me.”

A (fleetingly) tough stance toward Putin is just for show

Ms. Grisham lands on a well-documented theme when she explores Mr. Trump’s love of dictators. But she says Mr. Trump went out of his way to please one in particular: Mr. Putin, whose cold reception of Mr. Trump, she writes, seemed to make the president want to impress him even more.

With all the talk of sanctions against Russia for interfering in the 2016 election and for various human rights abuses, Trump told Putin, ‘Okay, I’m going to act a little tougher with you for a few minutes. But it’s for the cameras, and after they leave we’ll talk. You understand,’” Ms. Grisham writes, recalling a meeting between the two leaders during the Group of 20 summit in Osaka in 2019.

During that meeting, Ms. Grisham listened to Fiona Hill, Mr. Trump’s top adviser on Russia who later became an impeachment witness, who observed what she said were Mr. Putin’s subtle efforts to throw Mr. Trump off guard.

“As the meeting began, Fiona Hill leaned over and asked me if I had noticed Putin’s translator, who was a very attractive brunette woman with long hair, a pretty face, and a wonderful figure,” Ms. Grisham writes. “She proceeded to tell me that she suspected the woman had been selected by Putin specifically to distract our president.”

Sexist language toward women

While he was in the White House, Mr. Trump’s targets included a young press aide whom Ms. Grisham says the president repeatedly invited up to his Air Force One cabin, including once to “look at her,” using an expletive to describe her rear end. Mr. Trump, she writes, instructed her to promote the woman and “keep her happy.” Instead, Ms. Grisham tried to keep her away from the president.

During an Oval Office rant about E. Jean Carroll, who has accused Mr. Trump of raping her in the 1990s, Mr. Trump first insults Ms. Carroll’s looks. Then he gazes into Ms. Grisham eyes and says something that unnerves her.

“‘You just deny it,’” he told Ms. Grisham. ‘That’s what you do in every situation. Right, Stephanie? You just deny it,’ he repeated, emphasizing the words.”

Melania Trump’s quiet rebellion

Ms. Grisham also confirms what she and Melania Trump had long denied: That the first lady was angry after several reports of her husband’s infidelities — and hush money payments — surfaced in the news media.

To the contrary: “After the Stormy Daniels story broke and all the allegations that followed from other women,” Ms. Grisham writes, “I felt that Mrs. Trump was basically unleashed.”

The first lady, she says, found ways to omit her husband from photos and tweets, and made it a point to show up on the arm of a handsome military aide. Mrs. Trump, who is closed off to even her closest aides, begins to open up to Ms. Grisham, telling her that she doesn’t believe her husband’s denials or those from his former fixer, Michael Cohen — “Oh, please, are you kidding me?” she asks at one point. “I don’t believe any of that,” the first lady adds, using an expletive. (This book, it should be said, contains a lot of expletives.)

Ms. Grisham also attempts to illuminate why Mrs. Trump wore a jacket inscribed with the phrase “I Really Don’t Care, Do U?” to visit a Texas camp for child migrants, but focuses more on the president’s reaction: “What the hell were you thinking?” he asked Ms. Grisham and his wife in the Oval Office, before instructing an aide to tweet out a cover story: “You just tell them you were talking to the” news media, he told the group.

The first lady grew more disengaged over time, Ms. Grisham writes, to the point where she was asleep on election night. She was overseeing a photo shoot of a rug on Jan. 6 and declined to comment publicly on what has happening at the Capitol. (For Ms. Grisham, this was the last straw. She resigned later that day.)

In the end, the first lady sided with her husband, doubting the election results — “Something bad happened,” she told Ms. Grisham — and declined to invite Jill Biden, the incoming first lady, to the White House for tea.

“She would always say, ‘Let me think about it’ or ‘Let’s see what the West Wing will do,’” Ms. Grisham writes, “Which meant no. And when exactly did she decide to start following the West Wing’s lead?”

Demands to evict the press from the White House

Ms. Grisham says that a trip to North Korea inspired Mr. Trump to ask her to research ways the press could be permanently evicted from the James S. Brady Briefing Room.

“I researched different places we could put them other than the press briefing room. Each time the president asked me about my progress on the matter, I let him know I was still working on options,” Ms. Grisham writes.

As she tries to please Mr. Trump, whose press coverage was relentlessly negative, she describes his anger toward her and others as “terrifying”: “When I began to see how his temper wasn’t just for shock value or the cameras,” she writes, “I began to regret my decision to go to the West Wing.”

She says one frequent target of Mr. Trump’s ire was Pat Cipollone, who served as White House counsel: “He didn’t like them telling him that things he wanted to do were unethical or illegal. So he’d scream at them. But then he’d usually listen. And then yell at them again later.”

(There were other indignities: Ms. Grisham writes that Mr. Trump called her while aboard Air Force One to defend the size of his penis after Ms. Daniels insulted it in an interview. “Uh, yes sir,” Ms. Grisham replied.)

At one point, she writes, Mr. Trump’s handlers designated an unnamed White House official known as the “Music Man” to play him his favorite show tunes, including “Memory” from “Cats,” to pull him from the brink of rage. (The aide, it is revealed later, is Ms. Grisham’s ex-boyfriend. She does not identify him, but it is Max Miller, a former White House official now running for Congress with Mr. Trump’s support.)

She was a close-up observer of Mr. Trump’s obsession with control, and details a scene in which the president undergoes a colonoscopy without anesthesia — though she doesn’t name the procedure — because, she reasons, even temporarily assigning power to the vice president would have been “showing weakness.”

In the end, Ms. Grisham stood by as three chiefs of staff, two press secretaries, and countless other aides resigned. She notes that Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, seemed to grow more powerful.

Ms. Trump, she said, made it a point to insert herself into meetings where she did not belong, including when she demanded that her father address the nation from the Oval Office during the early days of the pandemic. But Ms. Grisham reserves special ire for Mr. Kushner, whom she calls “Rasputin in a slim-fitting suit.” (At one point, Mr. Trump warns her not to get on Mr. Kushner’s bad side.)

“The truth was that pretty much everyone eventually wore out their welcome with the president,” Ms. Grisham writes. “We were bottles of milk with expiration dates.”

The former press secretary adds, “I should have spoken up more.”

The post Stephanie Grisham’s Book Details Trump’s ‘Terrifying’ Temper appeared first on New York Times.

 

Trump Skipped Anesthesia For A Previously Unreported Procedure At Walter Reed To Avoid Giving Pence Temporary Power, According To New Book

and

 

  • Trump skipped anesthesia for a 2019 procedure to avoid giving Pence temporary power, a new book says.
  • The account of the colonoscopy comes from ex-White House aide Stephanie Grisham’s forthcoming book. 
  • Grisham writes that Trump didn’t want to be “the butt of a joke” of TV comedians. 

President Donald Trump skipped anesthesia for a previously unreported 2019 colonoscopy at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center so he wouldn’t have to temporarily relinquish his presidential powers, a new book says, according to The New York Times.

Trump puzzled reporters with a mysterious, unscheduled November 2019 visit to Walter Reed and added to the confusion by saying the appointment was the first part of his routine annual physical, which is normally done in just one appointment.

Stephanie Grisham, a former White House press secretary and chief of staff to Melania Trump, indicates in a new book that the trip was for a regular colonoscopy. Her memoir “I’ll Take Your Questions Now,” set for publication on October 5, was obtained by The Washington Post and The Times ahead of publication.

Grisham, without naming the cause of the visit, describes it as being for “a very common procedure” for which “a patient is sometimes put under” — and says former President George W. Bush had one while in office.

 

Bush, who underwent a colonoscopy in 2007, temporarily signed over the powers of the presidency to then-Vice President Dick Cheney. 

But Trump, Grisham writes, was so reluctant to hand over those presidential powers to Vice President Mike Pence that he underwent the procedure without anesthesia, the book says, with Grisham adding that Trump didn’t want to be “the butt of a joke” of TV comedians.

 

Grisham writes that Trump could have used the procedure to spread awareness and educate Americans about the importance of routine colonoscopies.

“But as with covid, he was too wrapped up in his own ego and his own delusions about his invincibility,” she writes, according to The Post.

 

The forthcoming book from Grisham, who was in the former first lady’s corner for years, elicited scathing responses from both Melania and Donald Trump.

“Stephanie didn’t have what it takes and that was obvious from the beginning,” the former president said in a statement on Tuesday.

Melania’s post-White House office released a scathing statement of its own two weeks ago as initial leaks of the book began to emerge.

“It is an attempt to redeem herself after a poor performance as press secretary, failed personal relationships, and unprofessional behavior in the White House,” the statement said of Grisham. “Through mistruth and betrayal, she seeks to gain relevance and money at the expense of Mrs. Trump.”

As part of the growing collection of Trump White House tell-alls, Grisham’s book has the potential for unique revelations, given her proximity to the reticent former first lady.

“Stephanie has secrets about Trump that even the first lady doesn’t know,” a publishing-industry source told Politico earlier this month. “Secrets that he doesn’t want her to know. They will be in this book.”

 

America’s Top General Back In The Center Of A Political Battle

 

He has stood up against Republican lawmakers who accused the Pentagon of being too “woke,” issuing a historically expansive rebuke that referenced Mao and Lenin before a head-shaking Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida.

And he has talked, to a succession of authors, about his efforts during the last tumultuous months of the Trump administration to protect the military and American democratic institutions from a president who was searching for avenues to remain in power. Those moves, as described in one book, culminated with General Milley twice calling to reassure his Chinese counterpart and extracting promises from the military chain of command not to launch a nuclear weapon on Mr. Trump’s orders without first alerting him.

In so doing, General Milley has prompted demands from some Republicans to resign and rekindled discussions about the ways that Mr. Trump put the military where the country’s founding fathers said it was not supposed to be: at the center of politics.

On Tuesday, General Milley will appear in what could be the most significant televised congressional hearing involving senior military leaders since Gen. David H. Petraeus was grilled by lawmakers on the fiasco that was the war in Iraq in 2007.

Halfway through his four-year term as the nation’s top military officer, General Milley, along with Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, is certain to face sharp questions about another contentious topic: Afghanistan, including their advice to President Biden not to withdraw all U.S. troops from the country.

The general is also likely to be asked about declaring a U.S. drone attack in Kabul last month “a righteous strike” even after military officials said they were investigating reports of civilian casualties. The Pentagon acknowledged a week later that the strike was a tragic mistake, killing 10 people, including seven children. General Milley tacitly conceded that he spoke too soon, calling the error “heart-wrenching.”

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Trump Faces ‘Substantial’ Legal Risk In Georgia Case, Think Tank Report Says

Greg Bluestein and Tamar HallermanThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta – Ahead of former President Donald Trump’s return to Georgia, legal experts with the Brookings Institution think tank published a detailed analysis Friday of the potential criminal investigation he faces in Fulton County linked to his outspoken efforts to overturn the state’s election results.

The 107-page report, written by seven legal analysts, concludes that Trump’s post-election conduct leaves him at “substantial risk of possible state charges predicated on multiple crimes.” It was published a day before Trump is set to hold a rally in Perry to promote a slate of state Republican candidates.

Much of the report centers on the Jan. 2 phone call between Trump and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger first reported by The Washington Post and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. During that call, Trump badgered the GOP elections official to “find” enough votes to reverse his narrow defeat.

But it also outlines a host of other potential criminal infractions surrounding Trump’s push to invalidate the election, including direct calls to Gov. Brian Kemp and state Attorney General Chris Carr, and efforts by his attorney Rudy Giuliani to lobby state legislators to take extraordinary action.

Overall, the report said, the charges could include criminal solicitation to commit election fraud, intentional interference with performance of election duties, conspiracy to commit election fraud, racketeering and violations of more than a dozen other state statutes.

“Stated simply, soliciting and then threatening senior state officials to alter the outcome of a presidential election does not fall within any reasoned conception of the scope of presidential power,” the group wrote.

Among the report’s authors are Norman Eisen, President Barack Obama’s ethics czar who later became a special counsel to House Democrats during Trump’s first impeachment trial; and Gwen Keyes Fleming, a former DeKalb County district attorney.

The report comes as the Fulton County district attorney’s office continues its 7-month-old criminal probe of Trump’s conduct related to Georgia’s elections.

Prosecutors have appeared before a grand jury seeking subpoenas for documents and witnesses; interviewed at least four of Raffensperger’s closest aides; hired the state’s leading authority on racketeering and conspiracy laws; and begun coordinating with members of Congress investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the Journal-Constitution previously reported.

A spokesman for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said Thursday that the investigation is “active and ongoing” but declined to disclose additional details.

Trump’s advisers have dismissed the probe as politically motivated.

“This is simply the Democrats’ latest attempt to score political points by continuing their witch hunt against President Trump, and everybody sees through it,” confidant Jason Miller said in a statement after the investigation was launched this spring.

As a part of their legal analysis, the authors of the Brookings report explored the legal defenses Trump’s lawyers could mount should the Fulton investigation eventually lead to the courtroom.

They said he can’t be immune because “a candidate who believes he has won an election does not enjoy any legal warrant to commit possible crimes in furtherance of that belief.” And second, because “there is an extraordinary absence of any evidence suggestive of irregularity in any respect in the Georgia process.”

In an interview with the Journal-Constitution, Eisen said the state’s responsibility to count the ballots cast by its citizens and certify the presidential election results is paramount over the desires of a political candidate – even that of a president.

“The president doesn’t have the right to overturn state elections to benefit himself,” Eisen said. “He doesn’t have any role in state elections.”

Eisen said he wouldn’t be surprised if Trump details his grievances about Georgia officials’ handling of the 2020 election during his appearance in Perry over the weekend.

“His statements and those of his allies have unfortunately contained a great deal of false information and disinformation, and that’s another reason that it’s important to put the undisputed facts out there in great detail,” Eisen said, mentioning one of the reasons he and his colleagues produced the report.

 

Trump’s Plan To Stop Biden From Disclosing Details Of What Trump Did As The Capitol Riot Unfolded Won’t Work, Experts Say

 

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  • Trump wants to use executive privilege to stop information from being given to a Capitol-riot probe.
  • The committee requested information from Biden’s White House about Trump’s behavior during the riot.
  • Legal experts said executive privilege doesn’t extend to former presidents.

Former president Donald Trump is unlikely to succeed in his plan to block the release of information about his behavior during the Capitol riot, legal experts said.

A bipartisan congressional committee is probing the events of January 6, which saw the US Capitol stormed by hundreds of rioters, resulting in the deaths of five people, including a police officer.

The committee has requested information on how Trump and his aides behaved during the January 6 insurrection from the White House itself.

That means President Joe Biden’s administration has a role in deciding whether to release it. The Wall Street Journalreported, citing two anonymous sources, that Biden was leaning toward making the information public.

Trump has said that he plans to cite “executive privilege” to try to block different requests for information from the committee, The Journal reported.

Executive privilege is a legal concept that presidents invoke to justify withholding information on the grounds that it would impair the proper functioning of the government.

In order for Trump to invoke it successfully, a court would have to accept that executive privilege can be asserted by somebody even after they leave office. Two legal scholars said that is unlikely to happen.

Barbara McQuade, a legal analyst for MSNBC, said on Thursday that Trump would probably be able to delay the White House’s efforts to release information on the Capitol riot but would not ultimately be able to stop it.

McQuade said: “I think ultimately it will be a decision for the Biden White House, but I think he can do enough to file a lawsuit in the courts and wait for that to get litigated.

“So I think he can try to slow things down, but I think at the end of the day Congress will prevail and get the documents and witnesses they want.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin, a constitutional-law expert and member of the investigative committee probing the events of January 6, told The Washington Post that Trump would be unable to invoke executive privilege because it does not exist for former presidents. 

“It’s not really relevant because there’s no president involved — there’s no such thing as a former president’s executive privilege,” he said. 

The committee on Thursday released its first subpoenas in the investigation to several of Trump’s closest former aides.

It’s also requested records from telecoms and social-media firms, The Wall Street Journal reported.