This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, June 26, 2020:
Following the death of his son, Beau, from brain cancer in 2015, former Vice President Joe Biden took over an Obama program called Cancer Moonshot. When he left the Obama administration, he renamed it the Biden Cancer Initiative (BCI).
BCI had lofty goals: to “improve the cancer journey … and improve outcomes for all patients” suffering from the disease. It wasn’t a grant-making machine but instead, according to press releases and its website, focused on coordinating data on cancer research between various entities to speed up the process of finding a cure for cancer.
The first clue that this was an impossible goal and possibly simply just a cover to funnel big salaries to Biden friends came from the New York Times’ review of the whole “moonshot” idea: “While Mr. Biden’s focus had already made some meaningful difference … the chances of reaching a moment of victory as the analogy ‘moonshot’ suggests seem entirely unrealistic.”
Nevertheless, Biden plowed ahead with the concept, formally announcing the creation of the BCI in June 2017. He named Greg Simon, long an Obama and Biden political operative, as president. As money began pouring in from some 57 partnerships, which included drug manufacturers and health insurance companies, Simon hired a vice president and staff with fancy titles: a director of communications, a director of engagement, and a director of science policy.
Allegedly to avoid a conflict of interest, Biden left BCI when he announced his run for the presidency on April 25, 2019. Simon closed the outfit in June when donations dried up. Said Simon at the time: “We are suspending activities given our unique circumstances … we thank the [healthcare] community for their incredible response to our mission to improve the cancer journey for patients and to improve outcomes for all patients for generations to come.”
Thanks to the Free Beacon an accounting of BCI’s real mission has been made: BCI received nearly $5 million during its two years of operation, and spent two-thirds of it on salaries to Simon and his staff.
After reviewing the group’s tax returns for 2017 and 2018, the Free Beacon learned how the funnel worked: Simon received $224,539 in 2017 and $429,850 in 2018. Charity Navigator reports that mid-sized nonprofits such as BCI pay their chief executives an average annual salary of $126,000.
BCI’s vice president, Danielle Carnival (who spent seven years in the Obama administration “impacting policy and program changes within the federal government” according to her bio), received a combined total of $391,897 in 2017 and 2018. BIC Director of Communications Cecilia Arradaza was paid $171,012; Director of Engagement Lisa Simms Booth got $197,544; and Director of Science Policy Catherine Young received $170,904.
Most of the rest of the $5 million was spent on travel, speeches, and conferences for Simon and his people.
The New American reported on a poll of registered voters on Thursday that revealed a high degree of skepticism over Biden’s efforts to enrich his family members and friends through his political influence during his days as Vice President.
Those concerns were expanded by the Free Beacon following its review of BCI’s finances:
The Biden cancer group’s financial disclosures may raise new questions about whether the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee allowed associates to profit off their access to him.
Before going on to receive six-figure salaries from the Biden Cancer Initiative, [Greg] Simon and the initiative’s vice president, Danielle Carnival, previously worked for the Obama administration’s Cancer Moonshot program.
Biden’s son Hunter received $50,000 a month to sit on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma despite an apparent lack of qualifications.
James Biden, Joe Biden’s brother, joined a construction firm in 2010 that later won a $1.5 billion contract to build homes in Iraq while Biden oversaw Iraq policy.
With its notable lack of any accomplishment during its two years of operation (Simon didn’t respond to the Free Beacon’s request for any specific goals BCI accomplished during its two years of operation), and the history of Joe Biden’s willingness to let family members and friends benefit and profit from his political influence, one is left with just one conclusion: BCI was another financial funnel to reward his cronies for their friendship and their service to his causes.