The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General dropped a stunning audit report Wednesday ripping into the National Institutes of Health (NIH) over its grants to EcoHealth Alliance.
Run by British scientist Peter Daszak, a friend of Dr. Anthony Fauci, EcoHealth Alliance is the organization that funneled U.S. grant money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, so that scientists there could study bat viruses.
The Wuhan Laboratory is, of course, the lab where some believe the coronavirus originated and leaked from. This is known as the lab leak theory.
Over the past decade, the NIH has given EcoHealth at least $8 million, an estimated $1.8 million of which the organization then funneled to the WIV.
“Despite identifying potential risks associated with research being performed under the EcoHealth awards, we found that NIH did not effectively monitor or take timely action to address EcoHealth’s compliance with some requirements,” the IG’s audit report reads.
“Although NIH and EcoHealth had established monitoring procedures, we found deficiencies in complying with those procedures limited NIH and EcoHealth’s ability to effectively monitor Federal grant awards and subawards to understand the nature of the research conducted, identify potential problem areas, and take corrective action,” it continues.
In other words, the NIH didn’t provide correct oversight over what EcoHealth was doing with its money.
HHS-OIG’s new audit determines whether NIH grants to EcoHealth Alliance were monitored and managed in accordance with federal requirements. Read more: https://t.co/cxqBMp58OK. pic.twitter.com/sJnJGENAu3
— OIG at HHS (@OIGatHHS) January 25, 2023
The report’s publication came on the same day that Republican Sens. Marsha Blackburn, Bill Hagerty, Roger Marshall, and Tommy Tuberville introduced legislation that would establish a new Office of Inspector General within the NIH itself.
“This comes as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) released findings from their recent audit documenting yet another failure by NIH to properly monitor the use of federal grant funding by grantees and subgrantees,” a press release from the senators reads.
“In this case, the NIH continued to fund grants to EcoHealth Alliance despite the grantee’s failure to submit necessary information documenting the use of funds and scientific activities of its foreign subgrantee, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, between 2019 and 2021,” it continues.
In a statement, lead Sen. Blackburn said, “As the nation’s leading medical research agency, the NIH oversees thousands of researchers and institutes, and they managed a $45.1 billion budget last year. However, they have been far from transparent, covering up grants for gain-of-function (GoF) research in Wuhan and refusing to release critical data regarding allegations of millions in royalty fees paid to in-house scientists.”
She added, “The American people deserve to know that their tax dollars are being spent responsibly and to advance scientific research. Creating an independent Inspector General within the NIH will help restore much-needed accountability to the agency.”
Notice what she said about “gain-of-function” research. Dr. Anthony Fauncy, the former head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), testified to Congress in May of 2021 that the sub-agency had never funded such research at the WIV.
However, the NIH later corrected this false statement:
NIH publicly corrects Fauci lie, finally admits it funded gain-of-function research at Wuhan lab https://t.co/iSF8JCTnSv pic.twitter.com/tHadd7HRT5
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 21, 2021
The NIAID is relevant to all this because it’s the specific sub-agency from where the money to EcoHealth flowed.
“The NIH is comprised of more than two dozen specialized health institutes, among them the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which was led from 1984 until 2022, by Anthony S. Fauci,” according to the Maine Policy Institute’s Maine Wire news site.
“The NIH grant that ultimately ended up funding virological research at WIV in Wuhan flowed through NIAID as part of more than billions of dollars in grants Fauci’s agency awarded every year,” the news site reported Wednesday.
Dovetailing back to the lab leak theory, while it was originally dismissed as a mindless conspiracy theory, a number of scientists have since said it’s possible.
In addition, now that they control the House, congressional Republicans have “commissioned a special investigative panel focused on the coronavirus pandemic, hoping to leverage their new, powerful majority to press scientists and federal officials about the origin of the public health crisis and the government’s response to it,” according to The Washington Post.
“The panel, officially named as the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, essentially replaces a Democrat-led legislative body that had focused its work on monitoring emergency coronavirus aid for fraud. Under Republicans, it does not yet have a leader, but it is expected to hold its first hearing in February,” the Post reported earlier this month.
I’m honored to serve on the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.
It’s time to reveal the truth on the origins of COVID, the authoritarian Democrat response, vaccines, and Fauci’s NIAID involvement in gain-of-function research.https://t.co/76hEq3Fh4z
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (@RepMTG) January 25, 2023
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