Rick Perry’s recent comments regarding the mission of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) are despicable. Perry calls creating wealth an intent of cancer agency.
Texas legislators used the noblest of language to tout the 2007 bill that created the state’s taxpayer-funded, $3 billion assault on cancer, but Gov. Rick Perry now says creating wealth is a key mission of the cancer agency.
In an interview with the Houston Chronicle this week, Perry said the embattled Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas must regain public trust so it can carry out its dual mission of cure discovery and commercialization.
“The way that the Legislature intended it was to get cures into the public’s arena as soon as possible and at the same time create economic avenues (from) which wealth can be created,” said Perry. “Basic research takes a long time and may or may not ever create wealth.”
Perry made the remarks in response to questions about the scrutiny CPRIT is facing as a result of two grants, totaling more than $30 million, that were awarded without proper review. The problems, both involving grants to commercialize discoveries, have prompted numerous investigations.
Perry has been championing the agency’s commercialization side. In the midst of the controversy, Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus sent CPRIT a letter urging it to move beyond the research foundation already laid and expedite treatment delivery within three to five years.
His remarks to the Chronicle Tuesday marked the first time the governor has publicly said creating wealth should be an important agency goal.
Trickle-down research he should call it. Paul Burka had this to say, “He is creating this supposed legislative intent from whole cloth, years after the fact”. Far too many Texans took Perry and The Lege’s at their word back in 2007. Looking back through the analyses of the Amendments back in 2007 (here and here), wealth creation was never mentioned.
The truly sad part is that many people thought Perry was serious about using this money to find a cure for cancer. Instead it turns out it’s just another one of his privatization schemes to give Texas taxpayer money to his buddies. Cancer research to make money, not cure cancer….despicable! How much longer are the people of Texas, and the Texas GOP, going to put up with this guy?