WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and House Committee on the Judiciary Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) today called for a transcribed interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci after new information reveals he may have concealed information from government officials about COVID-19 originating from the Wuhan lab and the virus possibly being genetically manipulated. The new information also indicates Dr. Fauci and former Director of the National Institutes of Health Dr. Francis Collins may have colluded with other scientists to downplay the lab leak theory.
“We write to request a transcribed interview of Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Excerpts of emails we are making public today reveal that Dr. Fauci was warned of two things: 1) the potential that COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute Virology (WIV) and 2) the possibility that the virus was intentionally genetically manipulated. It is imperative we investigate if this information was conveyed to the rest of the government and whether this information would have changed the U.S. response to the pandemic,” wrote Ranking Members Comer and Jordan.
Excerpts of emails released today reveal the following:
January 27, 2020: Dr. Fauci knew NIAID had funded EcoHealth Alliance, the WIV was a subgrantee of EcoHealth, and EcoHealth was not in compliance with its grant reporting, in particular a grant that NIAID knew had gain-of-function potential on novel bat coronaviruses.
February 1, 2020: Dr. Fauci, Dr. Collins, and at least eleven other scientists convened a conference call to discuss COVID-19. On the conference call, Drs. Fauci and Collins were first warned that COVID-19 may have leaked from the WIV and may have been intentionally genetically manipulated.
February 4, 2020: After speaking with Drs. Fauci and Collins, four participants of the conference call abandoned their belief the virus originated from the Wuhan lab and authored a paper entitled “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2.” Prior to final publication in Nature Medicine, the paper was sent to Dr. Fauci for editing and approval.
April 16, 2020: More than two months after the original conference call, Dr. Collins emailed Dr. Fauci expressing dismay that the Nature Medicine article—which they saw prior to publication and were given the opportunity to edit—did not squash the lab leak hypothesis and asks if the NIH can do more to “put down” the lab leak hypothesis.
April 17, 2020: After Dr. Collins explicitly asked for more public pressure, Dr. Fauci cited the Nature Medicine paper from the White House podium likely in an effort to further stifle the hypothesis COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan lab.
“Rather than be transparent with the Committee, HHS and NIH continue to hide, obfuscate, and shield the truth. By continuing to refuse to cooperate with our request, your agencies are choosing to hide information that will help inform the origins of the ongoing pandemic, prevent future pandemics, respond to future pandemics, inform the United States’ current national security posture, and restore confidence in our public health experts. HHS and NIH’s continued obstruction is likely to cause irreparable harm to the credibility of these agencies,” concluded Ranking Members Comer and Jordan.
The letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra can be found here.