Law and Crime
President Donald Trump on Sunday once again touted the potential life-saving benefits of treating coronavirus patients with hydroxychloroquine, a powerful anti-malaria drug, despite a dearth of medical professionals or clinical evidence supporting his claims. It just so happens that one of the largest manufacturers of the drug, Novartis, previously paid Trump’s now-incarcerated former personal attorney Michael Cohen more than $1 million for healthcare policy insight following Trump’s election in 2016.
The Swiss drug maker signed a contract that paid Cohen’s newly formed limited-liability corporation Essential Consultants $100,000 per month in February of 2017. After details of the deal were leaked by the now-jailed Michael Avenatti, whose then-client Stormy Daniels was engaged in a legal dispute with the president, the company’s CEO issued a public apology saying Novartis “made a mistake” in contracting with the president’s personal attorney.
Fast forward a few years and Cohen is currently in federal prison serving a three-year sentence for campaign finance violations, tax fraud, and bank fraud. Novartis, on the other hand, just agreed to donate up to 130 million doses of the unproven drug to help fight COVID-19.
April 6, 2020