Senator Charles Grassley says you can chalk one up for the good guys. A “whistleblower” in the National Institutes of Health got his job back this week. Grassley says Doctor Jonathan Fishbein uncovered “deep-seeded” problems in the agency. “As a whistleblower he was, first of all, a very patriotic person because he was working in an organization that by law and by appropriation was supposed to be accomplishing certain things and, quite frankly, they weren’t being done the way they should have been done and he stepped forward,” Grassley says.
Fishbein had worked on AIDS research in the National Institutes of Health, and his “whistleblowing” led to an investigation of misconduct in that research as well as an investigation of sexual harassment in the workplace. Grassley calls Fishbein “consistent and persistent.” Grassley says Fishbein was willing to step forward and tell his story to members of Congress. “The lasting impact of a whistleblower like Dr. Fishbein is it puts administrators and organizations on notice that they’re going to have to do things the right way and not try to cover up things and cook the books,” Grassley says.
Grassley credits Fishbein for uncovering ethical lapses in National Institutes of Health AIDS research involving humans. Grassley has long championed the plight of so-called whistleblowers who report problems within the government agencies in which they work and he authored legislation to try to offer protections from firing or demotion to those who blow the whistle on problems.