The justice system has finally caught up with the “bad boys” of the progressive health arena.
Over the past months, two 20-something men have been villainized across social media for representing issues that progressive health policy advocates love to hate — the pharmaceutical industry and the anti-abortion movement. Their names should come as no surprise: Martin Shkreli (aka “PharmaBro”), former CEO of a biotech company known for spiking the price of a HIV drug nearly 6,000 percent overnight, and David Daleiden, the right-wing activist behind the string of misleading videos about Planned Parenthood’s use of fetal tissue.
For some time, both men smirked their way through accusations without facing any legal ramifications for their wrongdoings, which helped cement the hatred among their causes’ opponents. Until recently. Shkreli was arrested in December and Daleiden indicted in January.
Coincidentally, both men appeared at hearings on Thursday — much to their opponents’ delight.
Shkreli was subpoenaed to appear before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Thursday to answer questions about the price increase of Daraprim, the HIV drug. Usually uncensored and outspoken, Shkreli took his attorney’s advice to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and refused to answer any of the committee’s questions, aside from affirming the spelling of his own name.
He did, however, let his face do the talking:
Shkreli shared his thoughts on the hearing through Twitter, shortly after he left Capitol Hill.
Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government.
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) February 4, 2016
Meanwhile, in Houston, Daleiden turned himself in to authorities after being indicted in January by a Texas grand jury for his involvement in the Planned Parenthood smear campaign. The jury was originally formed to investigate the women’s health organization for its use of fetal remains — but instead concluded that Daleidan and his fellow videographer were at fault for falsifying identifying documents in their attempt to bring down Planned Parenthood.
On Thursday, Daleiden quickly posted a $3,000 bond behind closed doors, and, like Shkreli, let his attorney do most of the talking.
“It’s outrageous that David has to present himself to the court, when it’s Planned Parenthood that should be on trial today,” his attorney, Jared Woodfill, told reporters after the brief trial. “The reality is, David is a modern-day hero.”
Daledian’s trial is set for March.