GlaxoSmithKline

Trump vaccine chief Slaoui fired from board over sexual harassment allegations

Hired outside law firm had substantiated claims against the former Operation Warp Speed leader

Moncef Slaoui, who led the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed, took on a reduced role as a consultant before departing weeks into the Biden administration

.biz
BIZ PRESS GROUP

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced Wednesday that Moncef Slaoui, who led the Trump administration's coronavirus vaccine accelerator, was terminated from the board of directors of Galvani Bioelectronics, a GSK joint venture, following sexual harassment allegations. The company received a letter in February detailing sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct allegations against Slaoui that date back several years, to when he led GSK’s vaccine division, CEO Emma Walmsley said in an internal memo to staff. GSK enlisted an outside law firm to look into the accusations.

“The investigation of Dr. Slaoui’s conduct substantiated the allegations and is ongoing. Dr. Slaoui’s behaviours represent an abuse of his leadership position and violate our company policies, our values, and our commitment to Trust — a commitment I know is shared by all of you,” Walmsley wrote to employees.

Slaoui, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, was chair of the Galvani Bioelectronics board of directors, a joint venture between GSK and Verily Life Sciences.

He left GSK in 2017 and worked in venture capital before the Trump administration tapped him in May 2020 to lead Operation Warp Speed, its effort to accelerate the development of coronavirus vaccines, therapies and tests to market.

When he accepted the job, Slaoui had a seat on the board of vaccine developer Moderna and owned roughly $2.4 million in Moderna shares that he sold off to lead the government venture.

The longtime pharmaceutical executive told POLITICO late last year that he would step down from the Warp Speed project after aiding its transition into Biden officials’ hands. The administration has since abandoned the Warp Speed name because of its association with Trump.

"I do not want my departure from the role to have anything to do with the new administration. I have more affinity for the new administration than the current one," Slaoui, who's a registered Democrat, said at the time. "This doesn't have to be black and white. I can continue to be available as needed."

He took on a reduced role as a consultant before departing weeks into the new administration.

In her letter to GSK staff, Walmsley — one of very few women at the top of a major pharmaceutical company — said she chose to write openly “because these issues are profoundly important to me.”

She continued: “Protecting the woman who came forward and her privacy has been a critical priority throughout this time. This will continue. I respect and admire her courage and strength. I’ve spent many nights lately putting myself in her shoes. More than anything, this simply should not have happened.”

Read more

Elise Stefanik eventually voted in as House Republican's new No. 3 leader

Elise Stefanik cruised to victory in a vote to replace Liz Cheney as House Republicans' third-ranked leader, capping off a tumultuous month in the GOP conference sparked by its bitter divisions over Donald Trump. Stefanik won in a 134-46 secret-ballot vote, defeating her sole challenger Rep. Chip Roy of Texas — an unsurprising outcome after she aggressively campaigned for the No. 3 spot, scooping up endorsements from top party leaders and Trump. The 36-year-old New Yorker, known as a moderate turned Trump ally who's used her fundraising skills to help elect a new class of GOP women.

Biden kills Trump’s sculpture garden of ‘American heroes’

President Joe Biden on Friday revoked several of the executive orders issued in his predecessor’s last year in office that were penned to address conservative cultural grievances, including the sculpture garden he proposed on July 4 at an event at Mount Rushmore.

Senate Democrats urge not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo

A group of Senate Democrats are urging Attorney General Merrick Garland not to fight a court order demanding the release of a 2019 Justice Department (DOJ) memo that essentially cleared former President Trump of criminal wrongdoing following the special counsel's investigation.

Marjorie Taylor Greene is ‘deeply unwell’ after 2019 video surfaces

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said the Republican extremist Marjorie Taylor Greene has a “fixation” on progressive members of Congress, and warned that Greene’s behavior has “raised concerns” among Democrats. Greene, a Trump loyalist and a promoter of the QAnon conspiracy theory, was elected to the House in 2020, and has spent her first months in office harassing Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive Democrats.