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Newly uncovered tax filings show that a cancer charity established by Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden spent the vast majority of millions in contributions on staff salaries but nothing on research.
The former VP and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, launched the Biden Cancer Initiative in 2017 to “develop and drive implementation of solutions to accelerate progress in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, research and care and to reduce disparities in cancer outcomes,” according to the organization’s mission statement filed with the Internal Revenue Service.
However, the organization did not distribute any contributed funds in its first two years of existence, spending more than $3 million instead on salaries of former Washington, D.C., aides that were hired, the New York Post first revealed.
According to tax filings, the initiative raked in $4,809,619 in contributions in fiscal years 2017 and 2018, while spending $3,070,301 on salaries and payroll in those years.
The organization’s president, Gregory Simon, was paid a handsome $429,850 in fiscal year 2018, which spans July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019), the most recent tax filings show.
Simon is a former Pfizer executive and a longtime healthcare lobbyist who managed the Obama administration’s cancer taskforce. His 2018 salary was nearly double the $224,539 he made the previous fiscal year, the Post reported, citing IRS filings.
Meanwhile, Danielle Carnival, the chief of staff for the Cancer Moonshot Task Force, Obama’s cancer initiative, brought home $258,207 in 2018.
As for other expenditures, the Biden initiative spent $56,738 on conferences and another $59,356 on travel in 2018. And the following year, the initiative spent 97,149 on travel along with a whopping $742,953 on conferences, according to the tax filings reviewed by the Post.
However, under “grants,” the charity did not list any expenditures.
The Post said that Simon maintained the principal objective of the charity was not to hand out research grants. Rather, the goal was to find ways to speed treatment of cancer for all, regardless of economic or ethnic backgrounds.
While Obama’s vice president, Biden supposedly led the Cancer Moonshot Task Force after his son, Beau, died of a brain tumor in 2015. Upon leaving office, the Biden Cancer Initiative was supposed to have been a continuance of the Obama-era effort to find “urgent” solutions to treating various cancers, said a 2017 press statement when the charity was launched.
“Every minute, every day matters to patients and we must bring that same sense of urgency to cancer research and care systems,” the Bidens said at the time.
“We are joining everyone who spends their days thinking about preventing cancer, about better understanding its biological basis, about bringing early detection and education to all communities, about developing new treatments and therapies, and about caring for patients and their families through some of the hardest days anyone faces,” their going statement continued. “We are on your team. And we are proud to be working alongside you.”
Board members included FOX Sports’ chief NFL sideline reporter and “Dancing With The Stars” co-host Erin Andrews; Jimmy “Taboo” Gomez with the band “Black Eyed Peas” who is a cancer survivor; and David G. Bradley, the chairman of Atlantic Media Company.
The charity “paused” its activities after two years when Joe Biden decided to launch his presidential bid.
Though still officially active, Simon said in an interview last year that it has fizzled after the Bidens stepped away.
“We tried to power through but it became increasingly difficult to get the traction we needed to complete our mission,” Simon told The Associated Press in 2019, the Post reported.
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