A federal judge denied Martin Shkreli’s request to be released from prison to do coronavirus research, the Associated Press reported Sunday.
Shkreli, popularly dubbed “pharma bro” and imprisoned for seven years for fraud, asked if he could do some laboratory work in New York City at his fiancé’s apartment.
U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto was unconvinced. “The court does not find that releasing Mr. Shkreli will protect the public, even though Mr. Shkreli seeks to leverage his experience with pharmaceuticals to help develop a cure for COVID-19 that he would purportedly provide at no cost,” Matsumoto wrote in the decision.
Even Shkreli’s lawyer wasn’t surprised the stunt failed. “Disappointed but not unexpected,” Benjamin Brafman, told the AP.
Shkreli’s probation officers called the attempt at prison release an example of his “delusional self-aggrandizing behavior.”
Shkreli first rose to infamy in 2015 by jacking up the price of a parasite-fighting drug from $13.50 to $750 per pill, to the dismay of infectious disease experts.
Prestigious medical laboratories are currently researching treatments for the respiratory disease, COVID-19, caused by the new coronavirus. There are no proven drugs for the disease and a vaccine is at best a year to 18 months away.
The CDC expects tens of thousands of more deaths in the U.S. this summer, alone.