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the revolving door of public private pharma spins on
debbie birx becomes CEO of armata pharma
debbie birx came to the white house to head the covid response team under the auspices of the national security advisor. her arrival drove a radical change in policy and she, perhaps more than any other, stands culpable for the single greatest mishandling of a public health issue in american history. she turned teflon tony on a dime and got nine cents of change.
the horrific and pointless own-goal of lockdowns, closures, masking, and a rush to ill conceived and insufficiently tested medicine and vaccines lands heavily upon her shoulders.
the covidian caper was probably the single worst and most costly set of public health choices in human history.
debbie has lied blatantly about her stances on these issues. (and whoo doggie do we have receipts on that one)
she got shellacked in congress famously justifying her hectoring and coercive stance on vaccines as being based on “hope.”
jim jordan: when the government told us the vaccinated could not transmit it (covid), was that a lie or a guess?
debbie birx: “i think it was hope”
pretty wobbly stones upon which to place the foundation of the most aggressive and unconstitutional PH policy in the history of our nation.
“jeez, i hope this works…”
not exactly “follow the science” is it?
now, in the private sector this sort of self and societal immolation would be what is known as “a career ender.”
but not in the public private partnership of regulators and pharma.
there, it does not matter how bad a job you did.
once you’re connected, you can only fail up. daszak, baric, the whole gang of happy viral hotwirers just got new gigs and new sinecures. and now it’s the debster’s turn.
armata is a very early stage company. their balance sheet is rickety. they had about $25 million in cash as of march 31. they burn in excess of $10 million per quarter. they have no meaningful revenue and no commercial products. my estimate would be that right now they are sitting on about $10-12 million in cash and are on track to run out in Q4.
they have a $41 million market cap, $32 million in debt, and an astonishing $45 million in lease liabilities in marina del rey and los angeles (per march 10q). i’m guessing these offices are massive and posh.
seems an iffy choice for such an early company and one that tends to lead to early demise unless some sort of sugar daddy can be found.
and make no mistake, hiring debbie is about finding that sugar uncle. probably uncle sam.
and if history is any guide, in thanks for wrecking your life and livelihood, you’re going to pay to feather her nest.
much of what ARMP is working on is respiratory viruses and antibiotic resistant bacteria. note who the partner on the latter is.
yup, the very same DoD that reared, raised, and elevated dear deborah.
but i’m sure it’s just a coincidence and there could not possibly be any clubby nepotism going on here…
this sentence also raises some eerie parallels:
Proprietary synthetic phage candidates designed to target an undisclosed infectious disease agent are being developed in partnership with Merck
because it sounds an awful lot like the old moderna pipeline. (and wow was that another company living on connections)
i suppose one could try to spin this birx gig as a sign things are getting better. after all, scotty gottlieb left the FDA mid term to joint the pfizer board right before they launched the most profitable pharma product in human history (but after the need for it was likely known to insiders) and poor deb is just getting to helm a microcap with wobbly finances, but i’m not terribly satisfied with that explanation.
it looks more to me like she got installed in vast, gorgeous office in california in a job that likely has a salary in the $1 million a year range (based on past filings).
she was hired to bring in the bacon and raise capital. she’ll do it through public private partnerships or promises thereof to investors who like to bet on sure things.
it’s obvious that this is her first and primary job. she joined a company that’s cooked in 4 months if she can’t. i have real doubts she’d do that on spec. this one was settled before she settled in.
and so the revolving door spins ever onward.
they fail up and we get the bill.
there is a word for systems like this.
it is not “free market economy.”