Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who has repeatedly expressed doubt about the science behind the coronavirus pandemic, has political and lobbying ties to Gilead, the pharmaceutical giant behind COVID treatment remdesivir, which lobbied the Senate as lawmakers debated the CARES Act this March.
Multiple former Cornyn aides, including a former chief of staff, lobbied on behalf of Gilead's interests, such as prescription drug pricing regulations, novel COVID treatments and CARES Act provisions, according to lobbying disclosure forms.
Republican senators ended up undercutting anti-price gouging language that Democrats inserted in the bill, giving leeway for companies such as Gilead — which has been widely criticized for overcharging consumers on HIV medication — to set prices that put COVID drugs such as remdesivir out of reach of many Americans likely to need them.
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