Mandate for Leadership 2025: Reforming Our Federal Public Health Agencies
My policy proposals to fix the Department of Health and Human Services, including the CDC, NIH, and FDA.
I was pleased when my friend and colleague, Roger Severino, former director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, invited me to help draft key portions of the Health and Human Services Chapter for the Mandate for Leadership 2025, a project of the Heritage Foundation. Heritage published a similar proposal in 1982 that became the blueprint for Ronald Reagan’s policies when he was elected. They revived the project this year in anticipation of next year’s presidential election.
While the book’s subtitle is, “The Conservative Promise,” I must add that the proposals in the HHS chapter include many that could be embraced by liberals who have not embraced the biosecurity paradigm. In this vein, I am grateful that my friend Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has announced that he is running for President as a democrat. I am quite confident that he would embrace with many of my policy proposals for reforming our public health agencies within HHS, including the CDC, NIH, and FDA. Regardless of what happens in the election, I am pleased that RFK Jr. will bring these issues into the democrat primary debates, which otherwise would have ignored them entirely.
The Daily Signal recently published a helpful summary of the HHS Chapter. The article frames the chapter as follows:
“Few areas of life are more important, and more subject to abuse, than public health,” Severino, vice president of Domestic Policy at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in a statement Monday. “Unfortunately, our public health agencies have replaced science and medicine with politics and ideology, and Americans now face shorter life spans as a result. Reform can only happen if entrenched special interests, from lawless bureaucratic leaders and Big Pharma, are reined in and rooted out.”
Severino organized and edited a major report in the book “Mandate for Leadership,” compiled by the 2025 Presidential Transition Project, noting that after the COVID-19 pandemic was over, U.S. life expectancy continued to drop precipitously. A copy of the report on HHS was provided exclusively to The Daily Signal for this article.
The Heritage Foundation helped launch the 2025 Presidential Transition Project (also known as Project 2025) to equip a potential conservative president to govern effectively from Day One.
HHS has an outsized impact on the federal government, from its role in declaring public health emergencies to its management of Medicare and Medicaid to its $1.6 trillion annual budget. Under Presidents Joe Biden and Barack Obama, HHS has also used its power over health policy to promote abortion and transgender ideology.
Severino’s team breaks down the massive bureaucracy of HHS and presents specific recommendations for each branch of the behemoth agency. This article focuses on a few of the specific issues that motivate the major changes he recommends.
Here are the summaries and commentaries on the sections that I drafted:
Many of the report’s critiques and recommendations for a future HHS trace back to the department’s abuses during the COVID-19 pandemic. It notes that while the HHS secretary declared a public health emergency, “the threshold for what constitutes a public health emergency—how many cases, hospitalizations, deaths, etc.—was never defined.”
Severino’s team recommends that Congress “restrict HHS’s ability to declare indefinite public health emergencies,” in part by establishing a set time frame for any emergency.
The report also recommends that the HHS secretary “investigate, expose, and remediate any instances in which HHS violated people’s rights by” colluding with Big Tech companies to silence dissent on COVID-19.
Severino’s team says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should be broken up into two separate organizations: one dedicated to gathering scientific data and one responsible for making public health recommendations—”an inescapably political function.” The report notes that the CDC previously held back public health information on COVID-19 partially due to “fear that the information might be misinterpreted.”
“CDC should report on the risks and effectiveness of all infectious disease-mitigation measures dispassionately and leave the ‘should’ and ‘must’ policy calls to politically accountable parties,” the report suggests. “Congress should ensure that CDC’s legal authorities are clearly defined and limited to prevent” an “arbitrary and vacillating exercise of power,” as the U.S. experienced during the pandemic.
Severino’s report recommends that the Food and Drug Administration, not the CDC, should regulate vaccines, and calls for reforms to prevent the National Institutes of Health’s “inappropriate industry ties that create serious conflicts of interest.”
The report notes that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases—Anthony Fauci’s division of the NIH—”owns half of the patent for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, among thousands of other pharma patents.” According to NIH documents, NIH Director Francis Collins, Fauci, and Fauci’s deputy director, Clifford Lane, all received royalty payments from pharmaceutical companies between 2009 and 2014.
The report faults NIH for funding “gain-of-function viral research that may have been responsible for COVID-19.”
Restoring Religious Liberty
Severino’s team notes that under liberal administrations, the office of HHS that he led, the Office for Civil Rights, “has amassed a poor record of devoting resources to conscience and religious freedom enforcement and is often complicit in approving or looking the other way at the administration’s own attacks on religious liberty.”
The report encourages a prospective conservative president to direct the Office for Civil Rights to return to the Trump-era policies that “initiated robust enforcement of these conscience laws.” It urges HHS to reestablish waivers for state and child welfare agencies, especially for faith-based adoption and foster care agencies, which had previously been excluded from federal programs because they were unwilling to place children with same-sex couples.
Severino’s team encourages HHS to decommission the CDC and NIH Foundations, nonprofit entities “whose boards are populated with pharmaceutical company executives.”
“Private donations to these foundations—a majority of them from pharmaceutical companies—should
not be permitted to influence government decisions about research funding or public health policy,” the report urges.
“We must shut and lock the revolving door between government and Big Pharma,” it adds. “Regulators should have a long ‘cooling off period’ on their contracts (15 years would not be too long) that prevents them from working for companies they have regulated. Similarly, pharmaceutical company executives should be restricted from moving from industry into positions within regulatory agencies.”
Severino’s team recommends more changes to HHS, including a prioritization of fatherhood in the many social programs HHS controls, and the elimination of the Head Start preschool program and the NIH Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
You can order a copy of Mandate for Leadership 2025 here if you are interested in reading more.
Thanks for your talk yesterday in Temecula. I agree that Missouri vs. Biden is the most important free speech lawsuit in American history. You said "if we prevail" it would be the most important free speech case. From my outsider's view, having read the amended suit which includes the mountains of documented evidence and direct interviews with government officials, it seems to me to be the most widespread, cataclysmic abuse of the first amendment I've witnessed in my lifetime. And the administration shows no sign of slowing down or even acknowledging that there's anything even in the gray zone. I think the public needs to be fully aware of it so we can voice our expectation that this lawsuit be given high visibility and that it is handled with the highest ethical standards. We, the public, need to make sure the judges and attorneys know ahead of time that the public is watching this carefully.
The proposal to separate analysis and policy departments is very important, since, as described above, the ability for the analysis - and potential policy development - section to research things properly, and to communicate this to the public and the policy section, is corrupted by the policy section favouring certain types of analysis and being fearful that the public won't be totally on board with their policies if certain aspects of analysis are widely known.
Ex CIA analyst Ray McGovern stated exactly the same principle regarding intelligence agencies in a fascinating interview a few days ago with Katie Halper and Aaron_Maté: https://usefulidiots.substack.com/p/ex-cia-agent-reveals-the-truth-about .
Corruption is like an infectious disease, cancer and fungus all at once. It is endemic to human nature and there is a constant battle to thwart it.
The personal payments of pharma patent royalties to government policy and analysis people is a real concern. Likewise the regulatory agencies' operating budgets coming partly or largely from the corporations they regulate.
With so much money at stake, these authorities are naturally targeted by extremely strongly motivated corporations and the natural outcome is corruption at massive cost to the public, mainly in terms of worse health. It is probably difficult to legislate and enforce, but something needs to be done about the pattern of regulatory staff doing favors for corporate interests and then leaving their posts for a lengthy, well paid, sojourn in the companies they used to regulate.
At https://nutritionmatters.substack.com/p/regulatory-capture-of-the-fda I transcribed some of Chris Cole's dinner date (with a Project Veritas undercover operative sweet-talker) masterclass on FDA corruption, including:
"Industry doesn't want to complain about it too much, but I think FDA is probably . . . I think they are using it to cover other expenses that don't necessarily tie in with the need of the user fees. I don't think there's enough people saying there [FDA]. "Look, that's fine but that's not right. So, we're not going to charge those [user fees]. You don't want to be that person. You're not going to have a long shelf-life in the agency [FDA] if you are always that person. . . . Well, you’ll be marked from getting other jobs because another office is not going to want to hire you if you’ve spoken out about something, right or wrong. . . . It's better just to stay quiet and accept it."
All of humanity is doomed as long as public health and regulatory agencies are swept along with the great preference among most medical professionals, the hospitals, the insurers (whose profits are regulated to a proportion of revenue, and so who want greater medical costs) and pharma companies for expensive, pseudo-sophisticated, solutions to perceived health problems in favour of better nutrition and other simpler, safer, more effective approaches.
This has led the entire industry to avoid recognising, decade after decade, that most people have only a fraction of the 25-hydroxyvitamin D their immune systems need to function properly. This is very easy to fix, but there is no profit in it. To do so would vastly improve human health and probably halve all medical interventions and expenses.
Please see the research articles cited and discussed at: https://vitamindstopscovid.info/00-evi/ . All it takes, for 70 kg body weight without obesity, is 0.125 milligrams of vitamin D3 a day, on average. Every 7 to 10 days is fine. This is also known as the scarily high "5000 International Units" a day, but it is a gram every 22 years. Pharma grade vitamin D3 costs about USD$2.50 a gram, ex factory. Where's the profit in this? There's very little, compared to running humans into the ground and treating the vast array of diseases which result.
Individuals and governments should take much more interest in this. So this is the proper work of analysis and policy development, not spending billions of dollars trying to discover more drugs.
All of humanity needs about a tonne of vitamin D3 a day to attain the 50 ng/mL 125 nmol/L circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D they need for their immune systems to mount full strength responses to cancer cells, bacteria, fungi and viruses, and to properly regulate potentially deadly hyper-inflammatory (indiscriminate cell destroying) immune responses. The ex-factory cost of this at current prices is about USD$1B a year.
Even ignoring COVID-19, influenza, and all other infectious and chronic diseases, we need to do this just to suppress the hyper-inflammatory condition of sepsis, which killed 11 million people in 2017: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(19)32989-7. This is a world war scale death toll, every day, every year - one person dying horribly every 3 seconds.
If you doubt the seriousness of all this, and the need for the authorities to understand the need for vitamin D3 supplementation, please read all the research cited at: https://vitamindstopscovid.info/00-evi/ .
Privately, I can put you in touch with a doctor and vitamin D researcher, with an impeccable record of care and achievement, who spent decades in the United States Public Health Service. He was never able to find a single department in all these organizations which was interested in vitamin D.