House Subcommittee on Coronavirus Pandemic Launches Investigation into Virus Origins

An elderly patient watches a medical worker check on a woman as they receive intravenous d
AP Photo/Andy Wong

House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman Rep. Brad Wenstrup and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) announced an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus on Monday and informed Dr. Anthony Fauci they will be contacting him to “schedule a transcribed interview.”

The chairmen, along with Republicans on the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, directed letters to Fauci – the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) – current Biden Administration officials, and EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszac, notifying them that they “now fall under the purview of” both committees.

Fauci was told that the “Select Subcommittee staff will contact you to schedule a transcribed interview, reserving the right to conduct follow-up interviews if necessary to further our investigation.”

Aside from Fauci, the committee chairmen sent letters to National Intelligence Director Avril Haines, acting science advisor to the president Dr. Francis Collins, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, and Daszak. The letters followed up on “requests for the same documents, information, and testimony” that then-Ranking Member Comer and then-House Judiciary Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH) asked for in December before the Republican majority was sworn in last month.

“The American people deserve real answers after years of suffering through the Coronavirus pandemic and related government policies,” Wenstrup said in a statement. “This investigation must begin with where and how this virus came about so that we can attempt to predict, prepare or prevent it from happening again.”

All of those listed, save Haines, were notified that they will be contacted “to schedule a transcribed interview.”

Collins was requested to turn over his “officials calendars” and “phone records from February 17, 2022, through the present,” as well as documents and correspondence between himself and any employee with the National Institute of Health (NIH), NIAID, and HHS concerning the grant, awarded to EcoHealth Alliance, that funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in the People’s Republic of China.

He is requested to provide “[a]ll documents and communications between [himself] and any employee or official at NIH, NIAID, and/or HHS regarding the WIV” as well as records and communications he had with “any employee or official affiliated with the WIV.”

The Committees called on Becerra to turn over official calendars and phone records dating back to November 19, 2019, for Fauci, Collins, Dr. Lawrence Tabak, Dr. Hugh Auchincloss, Dr. Michael Lauer, and Dr. David Christian Hassell. He was also asked to provide various documents, correspondences, and meeting minutes pertaining to the NIH, NIAID, HHS, and the WIV.

The committee requested Daszak of the EcoHealth Alliance – which, as Breitbart News’s Robert Kraychik noted, “served as an intermediary of funding for viral gain-of-function research in China with research grants it received from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)” –  to provide his calenders and phone records from November 1, 2019, through now. Additionally, the committee requested the calendars and phone records for Dr. Aleksei Chmura, Dr. Kevin Olival, Dr. Armine Arustamyan, and Dr. Hume Field since November 2019.

Among other requests of Daszak, the committee seeks “[a]ll documents and communications between or among EcoHealth Alliance, or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates and the Wuhan Institute of Virology or any other Chinese entity engaged in research or other work related to” the gain of function grant. Moreover, the committee seeks “documents and communications between or among any agency or federal entity, or any sub-agencies, sub-awardees, or affiliates and EcoHealth Alliance” concerning to the grant.

All recipients were given a deadline of February 20 to provide the materials.

“Understanding the origins of COVID-19 is essential to providing accountability and protecting Americans in the future,” Comer said in a statement. “Evidence continues to mount pointing to the virus leaking from an unsecure lab in Wuhan.”

“We know EcoHealth Alliance acted as a middleman, improperly funneling thousands of taxpayer dollars to the Wuhan lab to conduct risky gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses which could have started the pandemic,” he added.


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