Comedian and YouTube sensation Russell Brand launched into a tirade against President Biden’s new chief of staff, Jeff Zients, Saturday.
“This is not the kind of politician, the kind of leadership, that America, and indeed the world, are craving. This is the kind of cronyism, corporatism, profiteering, and dare I say it, corruption that we fear,” Brand told his over 6 million followers on YouTube.
He argued that Zients, who formerly served as Biden’s COVID czar, was uniquely unqualified to serve in one of the most powerful positions in the government.
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“Whether you see yourself as Republican or Democrat, left or right, progressive or traditional, none of us want this kind of appointment,” Brand said of Zients.
The reason, Brand suggested, was that Zients made his “$440 million fortune” at least partially through “potentially fraudulent healthcare companies,” citing a profile piece on Zients’ corporate past from The American Prospect.
“Portfolio Logic—the investment firm Zients founded with his own money—agreed to pay almost $7 million to resolve allegations of fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid billing” involving a subsidiary, according to The American Prospect.
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Brand also said that Zients was another example of the incestuous relationship between government and Big Tech.
“How can we not come to conclusion that Big Tech, Big Pharma, for-profit healthcare and the White House collude with one another?” Brand said.
Zients vacated his seat on Facebook’s Board of Directors in 2020 after a two-year stint, joining the Biden administration soon afterwards.
Biden officially announced that Zients would replace Ron Klain as White House chief of staff on Jan. 27.
But Zients, a multimillionaire and former healthcare executive, is already facing controversy after Fox News Digital revealed that he met with Hunter Biden, the president’s son, at least three times in 2016.
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Brand concluded that the U.S. government was not interested in serving the people, but only in helping out its powerful friends in “Big Tech, Big Business” and “Big Pharma.”
“How can [Biden] stand on stage claiming to have beat Big Pharma,” Brand asked, “when appointments like this are regularly made?”
Biden claimed that he “beat Big Pharma” during a 2022 speech at a Democratic National Committee event.
“I’ve been trying to do that since [I was] your age,” Biden said to laughter in the audience.
When Zients was COVID czar, he famously echoed Biden’s ominous warning in 2021 that unvaccinated Americans were facing a winter of “severe illness and death,” a statement that Brand called “outrageous, pious, haughty and damning.”
“Who in the world, other than Zients’ family,” Brand asked, “could possibly be happy about this appointment?”
Fox News’ Chris Pandolfo and Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News