WASHINGTON — Empower Oversight sent a letter to Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt outlining research on the origins of COVID-19 relevant to the Attorney General’s ongoing civil suit against China, its Communist Party, the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), and the Chinese Academy of Sciences for their roles in the global pandemic.
The letter points to sources of evidence in the United States that have also avoided accountability—including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), EcoHealth Alliance, and its President, Dr. Peter Daszak. Congress and other authorities have failed to require these U.S.-based entities to provide key evidence on important questions related to risky gain of function research at WIV.
However, AG Schmitt has been a leader in getting to the bottom of COVID-19’s origins and may have an opportunity through the litigation to require the production of documents and testimony.
“Given that your office may soon be in a position to shed additional light on critical matters, I wanted to share with you information that we have gathered regarding sources in the United States that may provide insight into the pandemic’s outbreak in Wuhan, China, and research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Empower Oversight said in the letter.
“China has refused to cooperate with the World Health Organization on an independent examination of its labs. Here in the United States, Empower Oversight has sued the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to compel the agency to provide documents under the Freedom of Information Act related to the deletion of genetic data related to COVID-19 at the request of Chinese researchers,” Empower Oversight continued in the letter.
“For almost a decade, Peter Daszak has funded research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Since the pandemic’s beginning, he has sought to distract the public from questioning whether COVID-19 started from a lab accident in Wuhan. Congress has sought answers, but Daszak has ignored its requests for documents…Daszak and the EcoHealth Alliance appear to have unique insight into the origin of this globally-harmful pandemic. Yet, thus far, no authorities have compelled them to provide documents and testimony. If the court authorizes your office to conduct discovery, you will have the opportunity to take this critical step where others have failed,” Empower Oversight concluded in the letter.
Since its launch, Empower Oversight has been researching the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through crowdsourcing, Empower Oversight compiled a timeline of the origins of COVID-19 and has urged Congress to use its authorities to ensure there is an independent, comprehensive, and nonpartisan examination of COVID-19’s origins. After the NIH failed to respond to an initial Freedom of Information Act request regarding a failure to respond to Congress on a suspicious removal of COVID-19 data, Empower Oversight sued the agency for documents in November, and that litigation remains pending.
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