FOIA Update
January 7, 2022

Transmitted: January 5, 2022

To: Chief FOIA Officer, National Institutes of Health

Full Request: National Institutes of Health FOIA Request (PDF)

RE: FOIA Request Regarding EcoHealth Alliance


Empower Oversight filed a FOIA request with the Chief FOIA Officer at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) seeking more information on EcoHealth Alliance and NIH grants that it received with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) as a “subrecipient”.

In response to a recent FOIA request, NIH released correspondence from April 23, 2021 with EcoHealth Alliance, a group at the center of controversy with the WIV and COVID-19. The letter details NIH’s assessment of the WIV’s compliance with a previous NIH grant and references six separate attachments, but these attachments were not released to the public.  Additionally, the letter references an April 11, 2021 letter sent from EcoHealth Alliance to NIH.

In July 2021, NIH responded to EcoHealth Alliance, requesting more documentation from the WIV in order to satisfy requirements for three of the grants.

Empower Oversight is seeking any response from EcoHealth Alliance to that July letter from NIH, along with all of the excluded attachments and any internal communications within NIH regarding this back-and-forth with EcoHealth Alliance.

Currently, Empower Oversight has pending litigation against NIH for failure to comply with a FOIA request seeking documents regarding deletion of genetic data related to COVID-19. Although NIH has failed to produce any documents thus far, Empower Oversight consented to extend the NIH’s deadline to respond to the suit at the government’s request and based on assurances that NIH was gathering and preparing to turn over the records sought. The new deadline for NIH to file a reply to Empower Oversight’s complaint is February 7, 2022.

As part of its COVID 19 origins project, Empower Oversight also recently wrote to the Attorney General of Missouri to provide information about evidence available in the United States that could be relevant to that state’s lawsuit against the People’s Republic of China, the Chinese Communist Party, and others.

If you have first-hand information you’d like to disclose to assist Empower Oversight with these inquiries, please contact us confidentially here.