In a recent development, Senator Bob Menendez’s wife, Nadine Arslanian Menendez, who was indicted alongside him in a corruption case, has come under scrutiny for her ties to a medical lab receiving significant federal COVID-19 funding.
This lab, Fusion Diagnostics Laboratories, has received over $10 million in government funding and has connections to Egypt, mirroring the firms central to the federal charges.
While the federal indictment does not directly mention Nadine Arslanian Menendez’s position at Fusion, it raises questions about her involvement with the company. Senator Menendez’s financial disclosures for 2021 and 2022 show that his wife had two sources of income, one being Strategic International Business Consultants, and the other being Fusion Diagnostics Laboratories. Notably, her association with Fusion coincided with the period of substantial federal funding allocated for pandemic response.
Despite the lack of specific details in Menendez’s disclosures regarding his wife’s role, it has been confirmed that her prior experience in the medical sector was limited to volunteer work on a children’s health advisory committee.
Attempts to obtain further information from Fusion CEO Moataz Abdalla regarding Arslanian Menendez’s position and responsibilities at the lab, as well as the hiring process, were met with denials of any wrongdoing. Abdalla did not disclose whether her position was one of the positions preserved with a Paycheck Protection Program loan received by Fusion in February 2021.
The Paycheck Protection Program was established to prevent layoffs during pandemic-related closures, but records show that Fusion was expanding its operations and hiring staff around the time it received the loan.
Fusion’s access to federal funds was reportedly facilitated through testing programs coordinated by local authorities in Hudson County, Menendez’s political stronghold. Fusion CEO Abdalla’s public support for the Egyptian government, led by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, has also raised questions about potential political ties.
While Fusion received substantial federal funds, there were widespread complaints from New Jersey residents about delayed test results, leading to some test sites being shut down. These issues prompted frustration and criticism from the public.
It has been reported that Fusion received payments through a federal relief fund established under the CARES Act. By July 2021, the lab had received $3.6 million in reimbursements, and by March 2022, this figure had risen to nearly $10 million, coinciding with Arslanian Menendez’s employment at the lab.
Despite Fusion’s significant access to federal funds, its operational shortcomings and the unanswered questions surrounding Arslanian Menendez’s position have added complexity to the broader corruption case involving Senator Menendez and his wife.
While some local political connections have been identified, there is no evidence suggesting direct involvement or advocacy from Senator Menendez or his associates on behalf of Fusion. The situation remains entangled in a web of local, national, and international interests, raising further questions about the broader implications of these ties.