USA/CHINA: A federal watchdog has launched an official investigation into the National Institutes of Health after it was revealed the government agency gave a whopping $800,000 to the Chinese lab where coronavirus likely originated.
The watchdog will “conduct an extensive audit reviewing how NIH monitored selected grants,” according to Department of Health and Human Services inspector general spokesperson Tesia Williams.
Williams said the HHS-OIG has conducted an initial investigation into the NIH that deemed the investigation urgently necessary.
“We share stakeholders’ concerns regarding compliance and oversight of NIH grant funds,” Williams said.
“We have been monitoring this issue for some time and consider it a high-priority matter that can pose a threat to the integrity of the NIH grant program.”
“Based on our preliminary research and analysis, HHS-OIG has decided to conduct an extensive audit reviewing how NIH monitored selected grants and how the grantees and subgrantees used and managed federal funds between years 2014 through 2021.”
The-sun.com reports: The HHS-OIG will investigate how the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance received $3.75 million in grant funds from the NIH to conduct a study called “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence.”
Over $826,000 of those funds were given to the Wuhan Institute of Virology as a subgrant between 2014 and 2019.
It was recently uncovered by the group Judicial Watch that the lab was set on receiving about $1.5 million from EcoHealth in federal funds from 2014 to 2025.
The nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, previously undercounted just how much the US was sending to the Wuhan lab.
He said during a House Appropriations subcommittee testimony last month the amount given by EcoHealth to the lab “was about $600,000 over a period of five years, so it was a modest amount.”
Fauci’s released emails show that instead, the US sent $826,000 to the Wuhan lab, over $200,000 more than what Fauci had claimed on the Senate floor.
Now the doctor is facing new criticism given his downplaying of the funds.
“These new documents show that funding for the Wuhan Institute was greater than the public has been told,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.