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Rumsfeld Earns $5 Million On Bird Flu Vaccine Stock Sale

The Independent reports:

Donald Rumsfeld has made a killing out of bird flu. The US Defence Secretary has made more than $5m (£2.9m) in capital gains from selling shares in the biotechnology firm that discovered and developed Tamiflu, the drug being bought in massive amounts by Governments to treat a possible human pandemic of the disease.

Rumsfeld used to be on the board of Gilead Sciences, the company that makes the drug.

Mr Rumsfeld sold some of his Gilead shares in 2004 reaping - according to the financial disclosure report he is required to make each year - capital gains of more than $5m. The report showed that he still had up to $25m-worth of shares at the end of 2004, and at least one analyst believes his stake has grown well beyond that figure.

...The 2005 report showed that, in all, he owned shares worth up to $95.9m, from which he got an income of up to $13m, owned land worth up to $17m, and made $1m from renting it out.

The Pentagon issued a statement to the Independent defending Rumsfeld's holdings:

"Secretary Rumsfeld has no relationship with Gilead Sciences, Inc beyond his investments in the company. When he became Secretary of Defence in January 2001, divestiture of his investment in Gilead was not required by the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Office of Government Ethics or the Department of Defence Standards of Conduct Office.

"Upon taking office, he recused himself from participating in any particular matter when the matter would directly and predictably affect his financial interest in Gilead.

[hat tip Patriot Daily.]

Update: More from a Pakistan paper.

"The rumors of bird flu are being spread by an American company owned by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to boost U.S. sales of costly medicines."
--Dr. Saeed, President of Pakistan's Poultry Doctors Association

Update: More at SlingShot.

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  • Re: Rumsfeld Earns $5 Million On Bird Flu Vaccine (none / 0) (#1)
    by Johnny on Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 12:15:14 PM EST
    This is exactly why, and of course the wrong-wingers will get their panties in a twist, anyone who pursues public office should swear off any and all business dealings before taking office. With random, penetrating audits throughout the course of the public SERVANTS career in government. Immediate dismissal and restitution of any and all financial gains made during office, above and beyond his/her salary, should those be found.

    Gilead took a bunch of heat recently over proposed trials of their drug Viread (tenofovir), using sex workers in Cambodia, Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana. The trials were eventually stopped, after sex workers' groups in each country claimed that the trials were unethical and that the recruitment of test subjects had been deceptive.

    Re: Rumsfeld Earns $5 Million On Bird Flu Vaccine (none / 0) (#3)
    by scarshapedstar on Sun Mar 12, 2006 at 05:55:42 PM EST
    Damn those coincidences. They must all be planned by the librul media.