Biden adviser’s brother to lobby for Taiwanese company that made a COVID-19 vaccine

Jeff Ricchetti will focus on issues related to 'COVID-19 vaccines accepted for foreign travelers to the United States,' documents show

Jeff Ricchetti, the brother of Biden aide and White House counselor Steve Ricchetti, has been hired to lobby for a Taiwan-based company that developed a COVID-19 vaccine.

Jeff Ricchetti and his Washington-based lobbying firm, Ricchetti Incorporated, were registered to lobby and consult for Medigen Vaccine Biologics, based in Taipei, on Dec. 14, according to a lobbying disclosure report filed last week.


Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp

Charles Chen, chief executive officer of Taiwanese vaccine maker Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. (MVC), poses for photographs with a vaccine sample at its headquarters in Taipei on June 16, 2021.  (Photo by SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The specific lobbying issues Jeff Ricchetti will focus on relate to "COVID-19 vaccines accepted for foreign travelers to the United States," according to the disclosure.

Medigen’s vaccine has only been approved for use in Taiwan and is not listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an accepted vaccine for those traveling into the United States. Hiring Jeff Ricchetti, Medigen’s first lobbyist, could signal that the company is trying to get that to change, CNBC reported.

Jeff Ricchetti has seen an influx of new clients since November 2020, when it was first announced his brother would be counselor to the president in the new Biden administration. He began lobbying the White House at the beginning of this year’s first quarter, with disclosures showing that he was representing pharmaceutical giants Horizon Therapeutics, GlaxoSmithKline and Vaxart Inc., according to financial disclosure reports.

Medigen Vaccine Biologics Crop

Medical staffers from Taiwanese vaccine maker Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. (MVC) work at a lab in Hsinchu on June 17, 2021. (Photo by SAM YEH/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)


Jeff Ricchetti told CNBC in April that he does not lobby his brother and no longer planned to lobby the White House.

"I do not lobby my brother and I have not even mentioned to him the names of clients that I currently represent," he said at the time. "For the better part of the last 30 years I have lobbied members of Congress and their staff, and various individuals who have served in the successive administrations. It is what I do for a living."