Key Federal Agency Science Leaders Hang in the Balance

Despite the scientific community urging for a speedy confirmation of Dr. Bertagnolli as NIH Director, Senator Sanders (I-VT), has asserted that he will not support any nominee until the White House has moved to slash drug prices. Senator Warren (D-MA), has her own issues, having demanded that Bertagnolli sign expanded ethics agreements that would forbid her from working for or on behalf of major drug companies for four years after leaving NIH. FABBS will continue to monitor the process and encourage the Senate to move with Dr. Bertagnolli’s confirmation.

[FABBS Urges Senate to Confirm Bertagnolli as NIH Director]

A recent investigation conducted by the House Energy and Commerce Committee Majority asserted that 14 National Institutes of Health (NIH) officials – including Dr. Fauci – were not properly reappointed to their positions. According to a letter sent by the committee to HHS Secretary Becerra, HHS failed to comply with this legal requirement in December of 2021. HHS responded by providing the requested information, as well as an overview of their nomination and confirmation processes for Institute and Center Directors.

While these NIH appointments have been stalled and questioned, FABBS is hopeful to see the timely appointment of a new Institute of Education Sciences director before Dr. Schneider leaves office. A swift appointment will be particularly important given that the National Board for Education Sciences (NBES) has been inactive without any meetings or sufficient members for six years. FABBS signed on to a coalition letter encouraging a swift appointment.