Why was a Chinese Communist-controlled lab receiving any U.S. tax dollars? It seems that is the question many inside The Beltway don’t want you asking — especially FBI Director Christopher Wray, based on his comments Tuesday afternoon.
“So here you’re talking about a potential leak from a Chinese government-controlled lab that killed millions of Americans,” Wray told Fox News’ Bret Baier regarding his agency’s assessment that COVID began in Wuhan, China.
“I will just make the observation that the Chinese government, it seems to me, has been doing its best to try to thwart and obfuscate the work,” he added, regarding COVID origins.
In other words, it sounds as if Wray is blaming the pandemic solely on the Chinese government and its Wuhan Institute of Virology. Now, based on all available evidence, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) does indeed deserve plenty of criticism.
Yet just because the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) implicated by Wray was “controlled” by the CCP, that does not automatically mean that actors in the United States are completely faultless for its leak.
Based on data in a recent report published by an internal federal watchdog, the United States of America and its bureaucratic maze of pathogenic research requirements and lackadaisical oversight could also be culpable.
That means that the first “dirty open secret” is that Wuhan did receive taxpayer’s money, albeit indirectly as explained later in this column. But perhaps the larger story being kept in the dark is that that money may have contributed to COVID itself — a possibility that we need more information to answer.
For background, WIV worked with EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S.-based non-governmental organization focusing on scientific research and pandemic prevention for five years between 2014 – 2019. EcoHealth Alliance was using a portion of American taxpayer-backed grants given to it by the National Institutes of Health to partner with WIV, specifically to focus on coronaviruses in bats.
While this sort of transaction is fairly commonplace in the scientific industry, a recently released Health and Human Services Department’s Office of Inspector General report indicates that both NIH and EcoHealth Alliance were careless in their business dealings with the Chinese lab.
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That alleged trail of negligence, it seems, has left numerous questions in its wake — particularly just how dangerous the research being conducted at WIV was and its relation to the COVID pandemic.
According to the IG document released in January, NIH and EcoHealth Alliance had established monitoring procedures for WIV, yet both failed to comply with those measures. Given the potential danger of the experiments being conducted by these groups, irresponsibility raises major alarms, according to the government.
Without going into every detail of the 72-page report, NIH did not believe that EcoHealth Alliance and WIV would be engaged in what’s called “enhanced potential pandemic pathogens (ePPPs)” when it was first given the grant money. Per NIH’s website, “ePPP research is a type of so-called ‘gain-of-function’ (GOF) research …” which requires additional oversight and higher approval (emphasis added).
It should be noted here that Dr. Anthony Fauci was in charge of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at that time. As Daily Wire readers know well, he has long denied that U.S. taxpayers funded gain of function research, which enhances the transmissibility or potency of a virus, in Wuhan.
In 2018, after regulations regarding GOF were lessened, NIH added a special term to its agreement with EcoHealth that, “should experiments proposed in this award result in a virus with enhanced growth by more than certain specified benchmarks involving log growth increases, EcoHealth must notify NIAID immediately.”
According to federal officials, EcoHealth Alliance was instructed to provide a five-year progress report in 2019 about the experiments. The NGO allegedly failed to file a progress report and only did so after NIH requested it in 2021.
However, NIH was two years late in requesting that progress report, according to the federal watchdog.
As previously reported by The Daily Wire, when NIH finally saw the report in 2021, it “believed there was evidence that the research conducted by EcoHealth’s sub recipient WIV during Year 5 resulted in enhanced growth” and that it should have immediately notified NIAID back in 2019.
For its part, EcoHealth Alliance has argued that the specific rules were not clear in the first place and that the conclusion it engaged in “enhanced growth” or GOF “is based on a misinterpretation of what the experiment in question actually showed.”
In 2021, NIH further requested that EcoHealth Alliance retrieve documentation from WIV and submit it to NIH to clarify what happened.
WIV has yet to turn over that documentation and has shown no signs of being willing to comply since 2020.
NIH is blaming EcoHealth Alliance for this mess and vice versa. Both are blaming WIV to varying degrees and claim no conclusion can be reached until it provides more information.
So, that means we may never know what happened at WIV with U.S. taxpayer money right before the pandemic hit.
Now, it appears that the director of the FBI wants all Americans to have their focus squarely on the Chinese government and no other entity regarding COVID. Perhaps he has good reason for doing so.
If COVID actually did come from the lab, then the IG report leads one to wonder whether taxpayer money given by EcoHealth Alliance was involved in its creation.
If that theory were proven true — which EcoHealth Alliance has adamantly denied — then it would be an indictment of America’s entire health establishment and an international embarrassment.
It would also mean that both the Chinese and American governments are to blame for the world’s last three years of misery.
In that case, then it is remarkably easy to see why Wray would publicly scrutinize the “Chinese government-controlled lab” and not the American-funded NGO and U.S. health agency connected to it.
Since we already know that U.S. taxpayers were involved in allegedly questionable research in Wuhan, perhaps Wray doesn’t want any more details about what exactly went on there escaping The Swamp.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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