Republican lawmakers from the House of Representatives sent a letter to the National Institute of Health demanding an investigation into the NIH’s connections to the virology lab in Wuhan, China, which is generally agreed to be the origin of the global coronavirus pandemic, according to the Daily Caller.
The letter, signed by 28 Republican representatives, was addressed to NIH Inspector General Christi Grimm on Tuesday. It demanded a “prompt and thorough investigation” into several key aspects of the relationship between the two organizations, including how much funding the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) received from the NIH, and whether or not there was any direct communication between NIH officials and WIV officials before or during the initial outbreak.
It has been confirmed that the WIV was conducting experiments for the purpose of studying coronavirus cases in bats just before the pandemic began, with these experiments receiving over $600,000 in American taxpayer dollars. As previously reported, this money had been funnelled to the WIV through grants provided by the NIH to the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance.
EcoHealth’s president Peter Daszak was the only American on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) investigative panel on the WIV and the coronavirus, which came to the conclusion that the virus could not have come from the lab, although these findings have been met with widespread skepticism. Daszak’s involvement has led to claims of possible corruption, with Daszak having a financial motivation to protect the Chinese government from scrutiny following the outbreak.
In the letter, the GOP lawmakers said that “the NIH, unfortunately, has played a major role in supporting WIV and this treacherous research, and the promotion of spurious claims dismissing the NIH-funded lab’s potential role in the COVID-19 pandemic.” The letter also addressed the “alarming” revelation recently that the WIV is still eligible to receive taxpayer funds courtesy of the NIH up through 2024. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that despite the WIV’s active Foreign Assurance filing with the NIH, the lab is not and will not be receiving any taxpayer funds in the immediate future.