This week, 60 Minutes reported on theCorrespondent Scott Pelley asked Church about a few of the breakthroughs-in-waiting that could transform human health.
Church maintains a detailed online register of his lab's funding sources, which includes donations from the Virgin Islands' foundation of deceased money manager and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. "George M. Church's Tech Transfer, Advisory Roles, and Funding Sources" discloses donations from 2005 to 2007, from the Epstein Foundation in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Pelley asked Church to explain his connection to Jeffrey Epstein. Church says he met Epstein at meetings with other scientists, adding that it was "unfortunate" and "you don't always know your donors as well as you would like."
Asked by Pelley, "Do you regret taking that money now?" Church responded, "I regret not knowing more about the donor." He added, "So-called tainted money can be used for good... like, the tobacco money was used for good things."
In August, Church told the medical news website STAT, "I certainly apologize for my poor awareness and judgment."