A taxpayer watchdog that targets U.S. health agencies sued the U.S. National Institutes of Health, seeking emails from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), dating back to 2013.
The White Coat Waste Project filed a lawsuit on Tuesday (pdf) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) “seeking the release of records related to origins of the novel coronavirus and ties between the United States government and the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” the lab that has increasingly been suggested to be the source for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.
The lawsuit is seeking to determine whether NIH had any knowledge about EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit research group, “was spending the agency’s money at the Wuhan animal lab, and what NIH and [EcoHealth Alliance] knew about a potential lab leak in late 2019 and early 2020,” the group said, reported the Washington Examiner.
Peter Daszak, the head of EcoHealth Alliance (EHA) who had previously denied the Wuhan Institute of Virology origin theory, thanked Fauci in an email for his statements to media outlets downplaying the theory that the virus came from the lab.
“I just wanted to say a personal thank you on behalf of our staff and collaborators, for publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” Daszak wrote to Fauci last year, according to the emails that were released to several media outlets through a FOIA request this week. “From my perspective, your comments are brave, and coming from your trusted voice, will help dispel the myths being spun around the virus’ origins,”
Fauci, who at the time in April 2020 said that evidence revealed that the virus spread via animal-human-transmission, responded by saying: “Many thanks for your kind note.”
The CCP has denied claims that the virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and has often said the virus was transmitted first to humans at a wet market by a yet-to-be-disclosed animal.
“Taxpayers have a right to know what the NIH knew about how its money was being spent at the Wuhan animal lab, and what NIH knew about a potential lab leak in late 2019 and early 2020,” Justin Goodman, vice president of advocacy and public policy at the White Coat Waste Project, said in a statement on Tuesday. “Transparency and accountability at home and abroad are critical in the quest to identify the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to prevent another outbreak.”
White Coat Waste’s lawsuit is seeking NIH and NIAID funding applications, NIH’s and NIAID’s communication with EHA, disbursement records, and other communications.
The NIH and NIAID were not involved in providing funding for “gain-of-function” research into viruses, Fauci told a congressional hearing last month and confirmed NIH earmarked $600,000 for the Wuhan Institute of Virology over a five-year period to study coronaviruses and provided the funding to EHA.
But Fauci emphatically denied that money was used in “gain of function” research, which he described as “taking a virus that could infect humans and making it either more transmissible and/or pathogenic for humans.”
“That categorically was not done,” he said during the hearing.
Increasingly, more and more U.S. officials and mainstream media reporters in recent days have suggested that the CCP virus may have emerged from the Wuhan lab. President Joe Biden late last month suggested that many members of the U.S. Intelligence Community believe the lab leak hypothesis.
The Epoch Times has reached out to NIAID for comment.