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Dr. Wilbur H. Chen is a professor of Medicine at the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. He is also a member of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) a key federal regulatory committee that reviews vaccine safety.

And, it turns out, Chen accepts large sums of money from two vaccine makers whose products are subject to regulatory review by the ACIP.

This is a clear financial conflict of interest that must be addressed immediately by removing Chen from the ACIP.

A search of the government website Open Payments reveals Chen accepted $437,250.70 from Emergent BioSolutions and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in 2020.

Research funding

GSK is one of the four largest vaccine makers in the world. GSK makes the incredibly toxic Hep B vaccine (Engerix-B), the troubled HPV vaccine (Cervarix), a meningococcal vaccine that is loaded with aluminum (Bexsero) and various flu vaccines among others.

GSK is also working on a COVID-19 vaccine that is now in Phase 3 clinical trials.

All of GSK’s products must go before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), that Chen sits on, in order to be approved.

Emergent BioSolutions is a contract manufacturer that makes vaccines for others including the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine that has been linked to blood clots and a bleeding disorder.

Emergent BioSolutions has an abysmal safety record. Even though federal regulators are generally like Mr. Magoo when it comes to spotting safety problems, the issues at Emergent’s plant in Baltimore were so egregious that earlier this year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shut down the plant and ordered J&J to take it over and run it themselves.

The FDA also ordered 75 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines manufactured at that plant be destroyed because of contamination. All of the vaccines manufactured at the Emergent BioSolutions plant must first be approved by the ACIP where Chen is a member.

This is completely unacceptable. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 27,550 pediatricians employed in the U.S. There is absolutely no reason for the ACIP to utilize a person with such extensive financial conflicts of interest.

The CDC) must be above reproach in order to have any credibility with the general public. Sadly the CDC appears to do whatever it can get away with — a classic example of the fox guarding the henhouse.

The fact that these decisions involve the health of our children makes corruption all the more appalling.

Please contact the following four officials (as well your elected representatives) to let them know that you are troubled by Chen’s extensive financial conflicts of interest and please ask that he be removed from the ACIP before it meets on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky

Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Roybal Building 21, Rm 12000

1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333

phone: (404) 639-7000

[email protected]

Xavier Becerra

Secretary, Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201

c/o Sean McCluskie

[email protected]

Captain Amanda Cohn

Chief medical officer

National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333 MS C-09

phone: (404) 639-6039

fax: (404) 315-4679

[email protected]

[email protected]

Grace Lee, M.D.

Chair, Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices

Center for Academic Medicine

Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Mail Code: 5660

453 Quarry Road, Stanford, CA 94304

phone: (650) 497-0618

phone: (650) 498-6227

fax: (650) 725-8040

[email protected]

It is beyond alarming that the ACIP has failed to properly monitor financial conflicts of interest amongst its members. All prior ACIP votes involving Chen should be reviewed by an independent outside review board to see if they must be thrown out because of this blatant corruption.

The CDC should also examine and release publicly all financial conflict of interest statements from all remaining ACIP members to determine if there are additional problems before Tuesday.

Originally published on Substack.