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Press Release Published: Oct 13, 2022

Scalise, Comer, Jordan Blast Fauci for Awarding EcoHealth Another Grant to Study Bat Coronaviruses

WASHINGTON—Today, House Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis Ranking Member Steve Scalise (R-La.), House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.), and House Committee on the Judiciary Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) are pressing Dr. Anthony Fauci about the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) awarding EcoHealth Alliance a new grant to study bat coronaviruses in Asia. Recently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found EcoHealth to be out of compliance with the terms of its grant and severed EcoHealth’s contract with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) where it had conducted gain of function research on bat coronaviruses. The Republican lawmakers are requesting Dr. Fauci provide a briefing and produce all documents, communications, and information related to NIAID’s decision to continue funding EcoHealth.

“We have grave concerns that one of your last acts at NIAID is to send even more taxpayer dollars to an organization whose prior involvement in the very same subject may have contributed to a global pandemic. We write seeking information about your decision, including whether anyone at NIH has a financial or other non-official interest in EcoHealth continuing to receive taxpayer funds,” wrote the Republican lawmakers. “Your decision to fund EcoHealth is especially galling because the company continues to stonewall information gathering about the grant-funded work it previously financed at the WIV. NIH has requested all U.S. taxpayer-funded laboratory notebooks and experiment results from EcoHealth’s research conducted at the WIV. As of today, however, EcoHealth has yet to supply the records sought by NIH.”

On September 21, 2022, NIAID awarded EcoHealth Alliance a new grant to study bat coronaviruses in Asia. EcoHealth failed to comply with the terms of previous coronavirus grants and the NIH canceled a subaward to the WIV for potentially dangerous research that may have contributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. EcoHealth has been hiding these WIV-conducted experiments and records from scrutiny by violating transparency requirements of its grant from NIH.

“It is outrageous that the results of U.S. taxpayer-funded experiments are unavailable to the U.S. government, particularly when those experiments could shed light on the origins of a virus that has killed more than one million Americans. It is unconscionable that you would choose to continue to fund a company that has violated its NIH grant terms in a manner that helps to keep this valuable information from the U.S. government and American taxpayers. On April 19, 2022, Members of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis wrote Secretary Becerra requesting a review of EcoHealth’s conduct to determine whether EcoHealth should continue to be eligible for federal government grants and contracts. Based on the totality of circumstances surrounding EcoHealth and the WIV that have transpired over the past two and a half years, your decision to continue funding this entity is downright shocking,” continued the Republican lawmakers.

The letter to Dr. Fauci can be found here.

Additional Resources

May 2021: Comer & Jordan Probe Taxpayer Funds Awarded to Wuhan Lab

June 2021: Comer & Jordan Press Fauci About Taxpayer-Funded, Controversial Research at Wuhan Lab

July 2021: Oversight Republicans Press NIH & NIAID on Taxpayer Funds Awarded to Wuhan Lab

October 2021: Comer, Jordan Call on AG Garland to Initiate DOJ Investigation After EcoHealth Failed to Report Info on Wuhan Experiments

January 2022: Comer & Jordan: Fauci’s Emails Raise Questions of Lab Leak Cover Up

February 2022: Comer, Oversight Republicans Again Press for Information About Taxpayer Funds Awarded to Wuhan Lab and Possible Fauci Cover-Up

April 2022: Scalise, Comer Call for Investigation of EcoHealth’s Unethical Conduct

April 19, 2022: Comer Slams NIH for Continuing to Award Taxpayer-Funded Grants to EcoHealth Alliance