In The News
March 23, 2023

Just the News

A federal committee that advises the government on “biological research that has the potential for misuse” met only once between 2017, when a 3-year moratorium on federal funding of gain-of-function (GOF) research was lifted, and 2022, according to its meeting schedule, leaving the panel largely dormant through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, widely believed to have been caused by a virus leaked from a Chinese lab conducting U.S.-funded GoF research.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases twice flagged Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) research funded by grant recipient EcoHealth Alliance for potential GoF elements, before and after the GoF funding resumption, and twice reversed course, according to an HHS inspector general report in January.

Investigative watchdog group Empower Oversight filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the National Institutes of Health and IG in response to the report. 

The open records request seeks “comprehensive communications” regarding the EcoHealth grant and then-NIAID Director Anthony Fauci’s discussions with EcoHealth President Peter Daszak in mid-2019, when, under the terms of the grant, the nonprofit should have reported an “enhanced growth” in a WIV-studied coronavirus. 

Empower Oversight, founded by former Senate Judiciary Committee investigator Jason Foster, said this calls into question NIH’s claim that “it did not believe that either experiment associated with the enhanced growth is associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Read the full article HERE.