President Donald Trump has touted being saved by big pharma drugs to treat his COVID-19 infection, but his work to lower drug prices for Americans might ultimately be a death sentence for his reelection.
Because, now, big pharma’s big money is flowing to Democrat Joe Biden, according to Kaiser Health News.
“Traditionally the industry tends to favor Republicans,” Center for Responsive Politics research director Sarah Bryner told KHN. “But this cycle, we’re seeing that flipped.”
Democrats are raising big dollars and big pharma is jumping on the bandwagon, according to the report.
George Washington University’s Steven Billet says the money movement might be in expectation of a Biden victory, so they then have “leverage” against his vow to address high drug prices, per the report.
Biden’s campaign is pulling nearly three times in donations from big pharma-linked donors than Trump, who had called out “rip-off” drug prices before praising the “great companies” that helped “cure” him amid his personal and administration’s bout against COVID-19.
Trump directly praised Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody cocktail and Gilead Sciences remdesivir amid his quick COVID-10 recovery.
CRP reported 4/5 of the $177,000 given so far to 2020 federal candidates by Regeneron’s employees and political action committee have gone to Democrats.
“This is a company that looks as though they’ve always been committed to Democrats,” Billet told KHN. “And my guess is they just have a Democratic culture in this company.”
Even Regeneron CEO Leonard Schleifer, a billionaire who has known Trump for years and belongs to the Trump National Golf Club Westchester in New York has a long history of giving to Democrats, per the report. He gave $5,400 to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential run and $120,000 in 2018 to a political action committee attempting to flip the Senate to Democratic control.
Schleifer’s son Adam Schleifer lose a Democrat primary run for Congress this summer.
Still, Trump has vowed to make Regeneron’s antibody treatment free to Americans with COVID-19, despite the drug expected to cost thousands of dollars per dose.
And the U.S. government has given Regeneron $450 million to make and supply the antibody cocktail thus far.
Gilead employee donors have given about 2/3 of their $284,000 to Democrats, including $36,000 to directly to Biden, according to CRP.
And Lilly, a company working on a similar antibody treatment as Regeneron, employees have given $45,000 to Biden and just $13,000 to Trump, per CRP.
“Joe Biden has Big Pharma — as well as Big Tech and big banks — in his pocket because he’s worked for them for nearly 50 years, rather than the American people,” Trump campaign spokesperson Samantha Zager told KHN.
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