publication date: Jan. 24, 2020

Report describes offshore accounts held by Moffitt scientists involved in China’s Thousand Talents program

Lawyer for former director Thomas Sellers says it’s “nonsense,” prepares defamation suit

By Matthew Bin Han Ong

What’s happening at H. Lee  Moffitt Cancer Center?

A report released by Moffitt officials earlier this week presents one version of events, delivering a public rebuke of six ousted scientists and providing an account of their undisclosed relationships with China and, for the first time, naming four of the six researchers who were “separated” from the institution. See related story here.

In a competing version of events, an attorney for Thomas Sellers, the former director of the cancer center, told The Cancer Letter that Moffitt had drastically overreacted and, failing to establish the facts, overcorrected. “We’ll be filing a lawsuit for defamation, because of the falsities contained in the statements made by Moffitt and the resulting damage to Dr. Sellers’ reputation,” said Brandon Scheele, the attorney. The interview with The Cancer Letter represents the first time Sellers’s version of events is being discussed publicly. See related story here.

On Jan. 21, after a month of eerie silence that followed the firings at Moffitt, there is suddenly a deluge of information, much of it contained in a compilation of documents prepared by a committee of the Florida House of Representatives that’s investigating the events.

This compendium includes FBI documents, investigative notes by the University of Florida, and contracts connected to recruitment programs sponsored by the People’s Republic of China—a weekend’s worth of captivating reading material.

Observers note that the Moffitt case demonstrates that undisclosed relationships involving China are (1) … Continue reading Report describes offshore accounts held by Moffitt scientists involved in China’s Thousand Talents program

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