HHS Begins Debarment Proceedings Against Peter Daszak, Preventing Him From Receiving Any More Taxpayer Funds

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has initiated formal debarment proceedings against EcoHealth Alliance president Dr. Peter Daszak to prevent him receiving any more federal dollars.

HHS sent Daszak a letter on Tuesday notifying him that it had suspended him and proposed him for debarment, related to his “respective roles as the President of EcoHealth Alliance, Inc. (EHA) and as Program Director (PD)/Principal Investigator (PI) on the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) Grant Number R01AI110964,” to prevent him “from participating in United States Federal Government procurement and nonprocurement programs.”

The move comes three weeks after the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic released a report providing “extensive evidence” that Daszak showed “contempt for the American people, a flagrant disregard for the risks associated with gain-of-function research, and a willful violation of the terms of his NIH grant.”

In 2014, following a number of “bio-safety incidents” at federal research facilities, the Obama administration placed a moratorium on risky Gain-of-Function research, but then then-NIAID Director Anthony Fauci and Daszak skirted the moratorium and continued the experiments in Wuhan, China.

The government funding was laundered through EcoHealth, Daszak’s global health and pandemic prevention nonprofit. Daszak subcontracted the research to “bat lady” Dr Shi Zhengli, head of the infectious disease unit at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

During the early days of the pandemic, Daszak and Fauci both aggressively shot down claims that COVID-19 could have accidentally escaped from the Wuhan lab as “conspiracy theories.”

Daszak orchestrated a statement that was published in The Lancet medical journal in February of 2020, condemning as “conspiracy theories” any suggestions the virus didn’t have a natural origin. The statement was cited by numerous news outlets and by fact check organizations to censor investigative reporting on the true origin of the COVID-19 virus.

On May 15,  based in part on evidence uncovered by the Select Committee, HHS issued an immediate, government-wide suspension on all taxpayer funds allocated to EcoHealth.

During a hearing with National Institutes of Health (NIH) Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak last week, Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) recommended that HHS take the   additional step of individual debarment to prevent Daszak from receiving any more funds from U.S. taxpayers.

“EcoHealth Alliance President Dr. Peter Daszak’s personal debarment will ensure he never again receives a single cent from U.S. taxpayers nor has the opportunity to start a new, untrustworthy organization,” said Wenstrup in a press release Wednesday.

Wenstrup added that the Committee will be taking additional steps to hold Daszak accountable.

“Dr. Daszak’s impending debarment does not shield him from accountability to the American people. It appears that Dr. Daszak may have lied under oath about his relationship with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and his compliance with NIH grant procedures,” Wenstrup said.

As an NIH/NIAID grantee, Daszak was required five year progress report to the government and it was submitted two years too late. Daszak testified under oath that he had tried to submit the report on time, but was “locked out” of the NIH system.

According to Wenstrup, a forensic audit was conducted, and no such system error was detected. The Select Subcommittee did uncover an October 2021 email from Daszak to the personal email account of Dr. Fauci’s Senior Advisor, Dr. David Morens.

In the email, Daszak explained that he didn’t submit the report because his research had already been funded so he assumed he didn’t need to.
“We then had our grant terminated by Trump and assumed we definitely wouldn’t need to at that point,” he added.

“The Select Subcommittee intends to hold Dr. Daszak accountable for any dishonesty and reminds him that this debarment decision does not preclude him from producing all outstanding documents and answering all the questions of this Congressional body,” Wenstrup declared.



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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 1: EcoHealth Alliance President Dr. Peter Daszak appears during a House Select Subcommittee hearing on the Coronavirus Pandemic on Capitol Hill on May 1, 2024 in Washington, DC. The hearing is part of an investigation into Daszak, who's organization is a non-profit whose goal is to prevent pandemics and was involved in investigations into the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

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