June 4, 2021
Judicial Watch today announced that it obtained a trove of 280 pages from the Department of Health and Human Services revealing that from 2014 to 2019, $826,277 was given to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for bat coronavirus research by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The documents, some of which were redacted or withheld in their entirety, were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking records of communications, contracts, and agreements with the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (No. 1:21-cv-00696)). The agency is only processing 300 pages of records per month, which means it will take until the end of November for the records to be fully reviewed and released.
The records include a chart of NIAID funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology sent on April 21, 2020, by NIAID’s Chase Crawford to Principal Deputy Director Hugh Auchincloss and other NIAID officials. The agency funds directed to the Wuhan Institute of Virology between the years 2014-2019 total $826,277. All of the projects listed in the chart are titled “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence.”
In an April 15, 2020 email marked “high” importance, Principal Deputy Director of NIH Lawrence Tabak emailed Fauci, NIH Director Francis Collins, and other NIH officials with the subject line: “HEADS UP: Wuhan lab research.” Tabak writes:
WH has strongly embraced concerns raised by Congressman Gaetz who is publicly criticizing HHS/NIH for funding the Wuhan laboratory’s bat research. Here’s this quote from another article: “I’m disgusted to learn that for years the US government has been funding dangerous and cruel animal experiments at the Wuhan Institute, which may have contributed to the global spread of coronavirus, and research at other labs in China that have virtually no oversight from US authorities.”
This is a large multi-country study with Wuhan being one site. The principal investigator, Peter Daszak, is based in NY at EcoHealth Alliance, Inc.
Tabak provides details of the grant to Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, for a project titled “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence.” Tabak continues, saying, “The 3.7M dollar figure is over six years to all sites which include (several in) China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Myanmar. We estimate that approximately $826,300 has been spent at this site since the inception of the grant. Yearly costs appear to be about 80K/year. The grant is in year six of a total of 10 years.
Additional emails show an exchange between NIAID Senior Scientific Advisor Dr. David Morens and Peter Daszak. The emails detail the relationship between the Fauci agency and the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Morens ask, “Hi guys, do any of you have any inside info on this new coronavirus that isn’t yet in the public domain? Or any thoughts?” Daszak replies, “Yes – lots of information and I spoke with Erik Stemmy and Alan Embry yesterday before the news was released.”
On January 23, 2020, a senior NIH official Melinda Hoskins forwarded a Daily Mail article to colleagues discussing NIH/NIAID funding of the bat virus research and noting that Fauci would be briefing senators the following morning. Hoskins says, “Would you please confirm the exact nature of our support to the Wuhan Institute of Virology/Biosafety Lab.”
Another official, Barbara Mulach, responds, “We’ve identified one grant with a sub-grant to Wuhan Institute of Virology (thanks for the lead) and one primary grant to Wuhan University. We are trying to get clarification whether or not the two organizations are related so we know if the second application is relevant to the request or not.”
An April 13, 2020 email from NIH official Emily Erbelding to NIH colleagues, notes that the “entire amount of the new Daszak grant (year 6 funded in FY19) is about 3.64 M. The total amount that will go to Wuhan Institute of Virology under this grant will be about $750K ($76,301 had already been sent to Wuhan in year 1 according to the NOA).” Additionally, the email notes that bat sampling work done during years 2011-2015, in addition to receiving funding from Daszak’s grant, “could also have been supported by USAID Predict program (which was also funding the Wuhan lab).”
Auchinloss forwards Erberlding’s email to Fauci, saying, “This is higher but not extraordinarily higher than I originally indicated which was for some earlier work.” Dr. Fauci replies, “Thanks.”
The trove of documents obtained by Judicial Watch includes further communications demostrating the US government’s involvement with the Wuhan lab.
“These new documents show that funding for the Wuhan Institute was greater than the public has been told,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “That it has taken a year and a federal lawsuit to get this first disclosure on COVID and Wuhan is evidence of cover-up by Fauci’s agency.”