SEN. GRASSLEY: Chinese government can’t be trusted, is involved in risky and deadly viral research

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In January of 2020, when reports began to circulate about the coronavirus, I instructed my oversight and investigations staff to get a classified briefing from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of National Security.

Around that time, I publicly said that there were signs that the virus could develop into a worldwide threat.

I also noted my concern that China may not be accurately reflecting the scale or scope of the problem and failing to share information with global health organizations.

Unfortunately, my concerns proved to be true.

From the beginning, my goal has been to ensure a robust federal response to the threat and to better understand the origins of the virus.

Today, as we emerge from the pandemic, the focus has rightly shifted to understanding how the virus originated.

We’ve lost over 500,000 of our fellow Americans and this body has spent trillions of dollars to support the U.S. economy during the pandemic.

We the People have an absolute right to know everything the U.S government knows about the origins of the coronavirus.

On March 8, 2021, I wrote to the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Health and Human Services requesting all intelligence, among other requests, relating to what the government knows about the origins of the coronavirus.

I’ve received some intelligence product.

And it causes very serious concern and further supports my belief that the ongoing review of its origins can’t leave any stone unturned.  The effort must be a whole-of-government approach.

In response to my letter, the National Institutes of Health, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, stated that it hasn’t funded gain-of-function research on coronaviruses.

Recent reports have cast doubt on that position.

Dr. Fauci’s unit provided $3.4 million in taxpayer grants to a research organization called EcoHealth Alliance.  That group then issued sub-grants to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.  It’s been reported that from the $3.4 million, $600,000 to $826,000 was sent to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.  That money – American taxpayer money – was spent on researching bat coronaviruses.

As the Wall Street Journal noted last week, it’s likely that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was doing gain-of-function research. If true, that research could’ve strengthened the virus to the version that caused the global pandemic.

Dr. Fauci has said that Chinese scientists are trustworthy, that “we generally always trust the grantee to do what they say” and “I can’t guarantee that a grantee hasn’t lied to us because you never know.” He also said, “I can’t guarantee everything that’s going on in the Wuhan lab, we can’t do that.”

What a complete mess.

Well, Dr. Fauci, why can’t you know what’s going on inside the “Wuhan lab” if you’re sending taxpayer money to it? For crying out loud, be aggressive and be accountable.

We know the Chinese government can’t be trusted. We know the Chinese government is involved in risky and deadly viral research. We know that sending money to any entity affiliated with the Chinese government is a risky proposition. Which is why any sign of any taxpayer money sent to the Chinese government should be subject to the most rigorous and comprehensive oversight.

If Dr. Fauci and his team know that taxpayer money is going to the Chinese government, what steps did he and they take to oversee how that money was used? Well, that’s exactly what I asked in my March 8, 2021, letter to the Department of Health and Human Services. They failed to answer what, if any, oversight was done.

In my follow-up letter to the Department of Health and Human Services on May 26, 2021, I stated the following:

Your letter failed to describe the steps the Department of Health and Human Services took to oversee the research done at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in light of it being funded by the taxpayer.

The taxpayers expect the federal government to, at a minimum, know what their money is buying.

Congress expects the federal government to perform aggressive oversight, especially when the funded research involves highly infectious and deadly viruses.  Furthermore, if no oversight was performed, then that would call into question the government’s confidence that no gain-of-function research was supported by taxpayer dollars.

The People have a right to know what the government knows about the origins of the coronavirus. The People have a right to know if Dr. Fauci and other government officials were derelict in their duty to conduct oversight of the money that they knew would end up with the communist Chinese government.

Dr. Fauci is constantly going on television to talk about anything he wants to. He should start talking about what, if any, oversight he did with respect to taxpayer money that he knew was going to the communist Chinese government.

Author: Press Release