House Republicans Demand Briefing on $600K Wuhan Lab Funding, ‘Gain of Function’ Policies

A health worker manipulates a blood sample at the COVID-19 area of the Microanalisis Integral Laboratory in the Versalles Clinic, on June 25, 2020 in Cali, Colombia. (Photo by Luis ROBAYO / AFP) (Photo by LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images)
LUIS ROBAYO/AFP via Getty Images

House Republicans on Thursday demanded a briefing from the White House on $600,000 of taxpayer funding to the Wuhan Lab amid the “gain of function” scandal.

Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted on May 25 the National Institutes of Health funded the Wuhan lab, but he still denies gain of function research support in relation to the origin of the coronavirus.

“This statement amongst a litany of mounting evidence raises legitimate concerns regarding the safety and security of federally funded research to the WIV,” Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) and Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) on the House Science Committee wrote in Thursday’s letter, the New York Post reported Friday.

Waltz explained to the Post:

My committee has, has oversight of the Office of Science and Technology policy, right, which is the that’s the key science advisory office at the White House that directly advises the president. And the letter is getting at what is the role of OSTP, in this 90 day review of what intelligence we have on COVID [Chinese coronavirus] origin.

But we also want to know more broadly, what is OSTP’s position, what are they doing to review the policies and procedures that once led to the resumption of gain of function research more broadly? Not just WIV … although that’s one of the primary institutions that’s conducting this research. And then, what is their position on reviewing grants and sub-grants going forward? So how do we prevent this from happening again?

The demand letter also states that the Office of Science and Technology Policy “has historically played a central role in providing policy guidance and directives to agencies pertaining to GOF activities” in which the briefing is demanded by June 30 regarding its impact on the intelligence investigation President Joe Biden requested.

It is unknown if the White House will take up the committee’s request.

The Republican’s demand comes as Republican Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Rep. James Comer (R-KY) renewed their calls Thursday for their Democrat colleagues to investigate the origins of the Chinese coronavirus and “hold the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) accountable.”

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