WASHINGTON — Kellyanne Conway received almost $13,000 for a recent consulting arrangement with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a group playing a central role in organizing the upcoming March for Science in Washington.
Financial disclosure forms released Friday evening by the White House showed that Conway, a senior counselor to President Trump, made thousands of dollars in the past year from a number of consulting arrangements, including jobs with advocacy organizations that oppose abortion and with the trade group that represents dietary supplements and over-the-counter medications.
On Sunday the AAAS told STAT that Conway’s business the Polling Company/WomanTrend — which Conway ran before joining the White House staff — was contracted in 2015 to “facilitate questionnaires about perceptions of science among religious communities.” This was related to the science group’s Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion, which AAAS said seeks to build understanding of how religious communities perceive science. Conway’s company billed the AAAS $12,967.30.
Her work for the AAAS, while only indirectly related to science, stands out because last month the group officially partnered with the Science March. The march, which will take place later this month in D.C., with spinoff demonstrations around the world, is seen by many as a new frontier for activism in the scientific community — and a repudiation of the Trump administration’s science policies, such as the president’s decision to reverse national policies aimed at addressing climate change. Its CEO, however, has been careful to note that the organization views the cause of science as nonpartisan.
Conway’s true income from each of her consulting engagements exceeds $5,000, but it’s unclear by how much — the disclosure forms released by the White House list incomes by categories and ranges, not specific dollar amounts.
Her extensive consulting engagements also included more than $5,000 each in compensation from three groups that oppose abortion: the National Right to Life Committee, Students for Life of America, and the Center for Medical Progress, which burst into the spotlight in recent years by filming undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials.
Just this week, two of the activists behind those Planned Parenthood videos were charged with 14 felonies for allegedly filming women’s health care providers without their consent. The charges were filed by the California attorney general; the activist who runs the Center for Medical Progress, David Daleiden, dismissed the allegations as fake news.
Conway also received more than $5,000 for consulting for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the trade group representing over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements. The organization has in the past pressed for more funding for the Food and Drug Administration to speed up reviews of over-the-counter medicines.
Trump has proposed billions in cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the FDA.
In addition to her consulting work, the disclosure forms show that Conway has holdings worth between $1,000 and $15,000 in Pfizer, which in the last year yielded dividends worth between $201 and $1,000.
Financial disclosure forms for other senior staffers, including policy advisers Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, revealed little by way of holdings in the spheres of science or medicine.
Gary Cohn, a longtime investment banker who advises Trump on economic policy, owns shares in a high-flying but controversial biotech company that aims to reverse baldness and cure arthritis, Forbes reported. The company, Samumed, is valued at a staggering $12 billion, though it has yet to put a drug on the market. Cohn has made two investments in the company, each valued at more than $1 million, Forbes reported.