HHS Coronavirus Response Team Deputy Has History of Mismanagement
Brett Giroir Tapped Despite Questionable Record and Judgment
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Accountable.US criticized President Trump’s Health and Human Services Department for naming Brett Giroir as deputy of the department’s coronavirus/COVID-19 response team. Giroir, who currently serves as HHS Assistant Secretary for Health, has a history of questionable judgment and project mismanagement.
“Our public health is too important to be put in the hands of Trump administration appointees with records of mismanagement and questionable judgment,” said Kyle Herrig, Accountable.US President. “If President Trump and Sec. Azar took this crisis seriously, they would appoint serious people with impeccable credentials. Brett Giroir just doesn’t cut it.”
Giroir will serve under Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec and both men will report directly to HHS Sec. Alex Azar. As a Texas A&M Vice Chancellor, Giroir had a troubling history of entering fraught business partnerships that seem to benefit himself and the former Texas Governor—Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.
Giroir’s Record of Questionable Judgment and Mismanagement:
- 2008: Giroir was hired as vice chancellor of research for the Texas A&M System by Mike McKinney, who once served as then-Texas Governor Rick Perry’s Chief of Staff. Shortly after he joined A&M, Giroir announced a partnership between the university and a financially troubled biotechnology company—XOMA, which Giroir had previously filed 5 patents with. Less than a year later, XOMA was forced to lay off more than 40 percent of its staff and reported heavy financial losses.
- 2009: Giroir led efforts to build the Texas Institute for Genomic Medicine with Lexicon Genetics—a biotech company that also partnered with XOMA and had deep ties to then-Gov. Perry’s major campaign contributors. The collaboration between A&M and Lexicon was for one of Texas’ largest ever job creation grants — arranged by Perry. The decision to give 70% of the grant to Lexicon garnered criticism from A&M faculty, and similar to the XOMA partnership, just two years after receiving the “job creation” grant, Lexicon reduced its staff by more than half amid financial difficulties.
- 2010: Giroir announced another collaboration to construct a vaccine manufacturing facility with a little-known company called “G-Con LLC,” which, like Lexicon, also had ties to several major contributors to then-Gov. Perry’s campaign. The collaboration was financed by Giroir’s former employer, DARPA. When Giroir was later asked about the results of the project, he claimed that he could not discuss them due to a confidentiality agreement but insisted the project was “completed successfully.”
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