According to federal filings, Joe Biden’s cancer charity gave no money to research and instead spent most of its contributions on paying staff.
The former vice president and his wife, Jill Biden, founded the Biden Cancer Initiative in 2017. According to its IRS mission statement, the charity aims to “develop and drive implementation of solutions to accelerate progress in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, research and care and to reduce disparities in cancer outcomes.”
However, no grants were given out in the first two years, yet spent millions for the salaries of its former aides in Washington, DC.
About $4,809,619 were gathered by the charity in contributions from 2017-2018. It spent $3,070,301 on payroll alone on the said two years.
According to the most recent federal tax filings, Gregory Simon, the group’s president, raked in $429,850 in fiscal for 2018 (July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019).
Simon’s fiscal salary in the previous year (2017) was only about half of his pay in 2018, amounting to $224,539.
Simon was a former Pfizer executive and a health care lobbyist who joined the White House’s cancer taskforce under President Barack Obama’s administration.
Danielle Carnival, a former chief of staff of the Cancer Moonshot Task Force, Obama’s cancer initiative, was paid $258,207 in 2018.
Tax filings show that the charity spent $56,738 on conferences and $59,356 on travel in the same year. However, travel expenditure skyrocketed a whopping $97,149 and $742,953 on conferences in the next year.
Yet, under grants distributed, the charity listed zero. Simon argues, “the main point of the charity is not to give grants but to find ways in accelerating treatment for all, regardless of economic or cultural backgrounds.”
Biden took charge of the Cancer Moonshot Task Force during his time as the vice president when his son Beau died in 2015 due to a brain tumor.
After leaving the office, Biden Cancer Initiative aimed to continue providing “urgent” solutions to treating cancer. The Biden couple filled the board with leading oncologists and celebrity cancer survivors, including Jimmy Gomez from the Black Eyed Peas.
However, the charity halted operations when Joe stepped down for the presidential run. According to the IRS, Simon disclosed in a 2019 interview that the charity lost its edge without the Bidens.
“We tried to power through, but it became increasingly difficult to get the traction we needed to complete our mission,” Simon said to the AP in July 2019.