Top White House adviser worked for Pfizer before joining administration: disclosure

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Senior White House adviser Anita Dunn counts pharmaceutical giant Pfizer as a former client, according to a recently released ethics disclosure.

Dunn is a senior adviser to President Joe Biden and managing director of SKDKnickerbocker, a public affairs and political consulting firm that has forged ties with major political figures within the Democratic Party.

She was Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign senior adviser and worked for the president in that same capacity from January 2021 until August of that year, when the COVID-19 pandemic was still in full swing, before returning for a brief stint from March 1 to March 8. During that time, she was classified as a “special government employee,” according to The Washington Post.

Dunn, who also served as the White House’s senior adviser and communications director during the Obama administration, returned to the White House as the president’s aide and senior adviser in May, which meant she was bound by the law to file a public disclosure form. .

Dunn consulted with several major companies in the two years prior to his appointment in May: AT&T, Lyft, Micron, Intra-Cellular Therapies, Salesforce, Reddit and Pfizer, according to the recent disclosure, which was first reported by Brian Schwartz from CNBC,

Under “other assets and income”, Dunn also lists Pfizer and says it has a value of $1,001 to $15,000, although the income amount says “None (or less than $201)”.

In February 2021, Dunn reportedly said “COVID is the best thing that ever happened” to President Joe Biden in the book “Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won the President” by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes of NBC News and The Hill. respectively.

Significant investment portfolio

The 93-page financial disclosure document also shows Dunn performed consulting work for the DC-based renewable energy trade group American Clean Power Association; Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company founded by Melinda French Gates; and the Center for American Progress Action, a liberal public policy research and advocacy organization.

She has also done consulting work for the Ford Foundation, which, according to its website, works closely with governments as well as the private sector to help advance human well-being.

The recent disclosure also shows that Dunn and her husband Bob Bauer have a sizable investment portfolio, worth an estimated $16.8 million to $48.2 million, according to CNBC. These investments relate to a series of technology companies, such as Amazon, Alphabet, Apple, Boeing, Bank of America, Chevron, Dow, KKR and Morgan Stanley.

The couple’s portfolio also includes at least $500,000 in a hedge fund.

Following the publication of the recent revelations, Jeff Hauser, executive director of the Revolving Door Project (RDP), a project of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), wondered exactly what Dunn could be working on in his role as senior White Adviser to the House on policy issues due to various ethical issues.

“Anita Dunn consulted for Pfizer, so she shouldn’t be working on health issues. She owns stock and has complex investments in Chevron, so she shouldn’t be working on climate change,” Hauser said in a statement. “She holds bonds at Lockheed Martin, so she shouldn’t be working on military and foreign policy matters. She holds thousands of dollars in Wells Fargo and Visa debt, so she shouldn’t be working on consumer credit issues. And she’s advised companies from Lyft to Salesforce to Reddit, so she shouldn’t be working on most Big Tech issues.

Ethical issues

“What’s left? If the White House takes its ethical obligations seriously and dismisses Dunn from every policy area where it has money at stake, well, what will it even do?

Hauser also noted that Dunn was previously considered a special government employee during her final White House posts and was thus able to avoid filing a public disclosure.

“This only underscores our concerns about Dunn’s two previous visits to the White House, when she tiptoed around disclosure laws and ethical commitments by serving only as a special employee. Now that she finally filed a disclosure, we know she received consulting income from Pfizer,” Hauser said.

“She previously advised the president on boosting COVID-19 vaccination early in his presidency. How is it remotely acceptable for a company making billions on government orders for its vaccine to get policy and communications advice from a recent presidential adviser and then have that adviser return to the White House while the pandemic is raging? It should be disclosed if it were to happen, obviously, but the biggest problem is that it happens at all.

Dunn will divest herself and her husband’s investment portfolio and is recused from all matters involving SKDK and her former clients, White House spokesman Chris Meagher told CNBC in an email on the 11th. august. He said Dunn would not be allowed to attend any meetings involving those companies for two years.

Spokespersons for the White House and Pfizer did not respond within press deadlines to a request for comment from The Epoch Times.

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Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on U.S., global, and business news.

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