An attorney for notorious "Pharma Bro" and all around garbage human Martin Shkreli says he is filing court papers this week to request a release for his client so that he may conduct "laboratory research" on the coronavirus.
Setting aside the fact that Shkreli has never been known as a scientist — he once claimed on Reddit to have invented a kidney drug, but he came to the world of pharmaceuticals after being a hedge-funder with no moral compass, and proceeded to gain national notoriety for jacking up the prices of certain rarely used malaria and HIV drugs — the notion that a judge might look kindly on letting Shkreli out of his minimum-security prison for "research" is absurd to the point of a wasted eyeroll.
As the Associated Press is reporting, though, attorney Ben Brafman is suggesting that "under strict supervision," Shkreli could save the world from a pandemic if he were given the chance.
"I have always said that if focused and left in a lab, Martin could help cure cancer," Brafman said, no doubt eliciting laughter in the AP newsroom and elsewhere.
Hilariously, in a proposal posted online, Shkreli claims he has no interest in profiting from a coronavirus drug, but that federal authorities should consider him valuable to their efforts.
He writes that he "should be put to work until COVID-19 is no more," because "as a successful two-time biopharma entrepreneur, having purchased multiple companies, [and] invented multiple new drug candidates," he would obviously be essential to the government's cause. "I am one of the few executives experienced in ALL aspects of drug development," he writes, and says, "I do not expect to profit in any way, shape or form from coronavirus-related treatments."
Shkreli was thrown in the clink just over two years ago, having been sentenced to a seven-year term on two counts of securities fraud related to his actions between 2009 and 2014. He was convicted of defrauding investors out of more than $11 million as CEO of Retrophin, the pharma company he founded in 2011. He didn't even start making headlines until 2015 when his company purchased Turing Pharmaceuticals and jacked up the price of the malaria drug Daraprim 5000 percent, from $13.50 to $750 per tablet.
He then came to the Bay Area later that year to buy a significant stake in KaloBios, a South San Francisco biotech startup, whose drug benznidazole — another lifesaving drug used for parasitic infections — he then changed the price of from $100 to around $80,000 per two-month course of treatment.
He went on to be a vocal Trump supporter and further display his absurdly hate-worthy personality in Twitter battles, the flouting of a congressional subpoena, an online beef with Ghostface Killah, and the harassment of a Trump-criticizing female journalist in the days before the 2017 inauguration. Thankfully, when he showed up for a Milo Yiannopoulos shit-stirring event at UC Davis that same month, Shkreli was pelted with actual feces.
Shkreli's now been kicking around a low-security facility in Allenwood, Pennsylvania for two years, and so he's trying this latest act of desperation. But he's only trying to tap into a national trend in which non-violent and white-collar criminals are being released by the thousands in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in prisons.
Good luck, bro!