Sen. Paul Says Agencies Refusing to Provide Information on US Funding of Risky Research in China

Sen. Paul Says Agencies Refusing to Provide Information on US Funding of Risky Research in China
Chinese military delegates leave the closing session of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, at The Great Hall of People on Oct. 22, 2022, in Beijing. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Michael Clements
4/26/2023
Updated:
4/27/2023
0:00

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) continued his quest for information on whether the United States helped fund gain-of-function research in China when he questioned Government Accounting Office (GAO) Comptroller General Gene Dodaro.

Paul said he has information that U.S. universities and government agencies have sent money to fund Chinese military research.

“We’re actually funding military research. I think there’s a question of whether it’s being done appropriately, honestly, and, frankly, legally,” Paul told Dodaro during an April 20 hearing before the Senate Homeland Security Governmental Affairs Committee.

“I’m equally concerned about this issue,” Dodaro responded.

Paul’s office did not return calls and emails seeking more details on his allegations.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) at a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Jan. 11, 2022. (Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) at a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Jan. 11, 2022. (Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)

The hearing discussed the 2023 High-Risk List of agencies and programs that need reform. As part of the information on spending, the GAO released the report “Information on U.S. Finding to Entities Located in China.”

The information indicates that much of the money sent to China cannot be accounted for.

According to an email from a GAO spokesman, more information on funding to entities in China is forthcoming.

“We have some work still underway on funding to Chinese entities and it’s not due to be completed and issued for another month or two,” Chuck Young, managing director for public affairs for the GAO, wrote in an email to The Epoch Times.

“It may be covered in the new report, but it’s not complete yet, so I can’t say specifically.”

The universities and government agencies mentioned by Paul did not return emails or telephone calls from The Epoch Times seeking comment.

According to the report, $48 million was provided to Chinese entities between fiscal years 2017–2019. Of this, $22.8 million was assistance awards, and about $25.2 million in contracts.

To explain the difference, the GAO reported that the Department of Health and Human Services obligated funding through assistance awards to study infectious diseases. The Department of State paid for goods and services through contracts to accomplish its mission in the country.

Funding was also provided through subawards from U.S. award recipients to Chinese organizations.

Comptroller General Gene Dodaro of the Government Accountability Office testifies during a hearing before the Coronavirus Crisis Subcommittee of House Oversight and Reform Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 26, 2020. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Comptroller General Gene Dodaro of the Government Accountability Office testifies during a hearing before the Coronavirus Crisis Subcommittee of House Oversight and Reform Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 26, 2020. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“However, the full extent of these subawards is unknown because of limitations in the completeness and accuracy of subaward data reported in government systems,” The GAO report reads. “GAO is currently examining the state of federal government-wide subaward data as part of a separate review.”

But the amounts spent and the reporting requirements were only part of the issue brought up by Paul.

The senator from Kentucky has been pushing for information about money sent to the Chinese military and ascertaining whether any U.S. money was sent to the Wuhan lab for gain-of-function research. He has hit a brick wall each time.

Paul’s quest has resulted in several high-profile battles with Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious diseases.

“We don’t seem to care that we may well have funded this,” Paul said.

Paul said that he received information from whistleblowers and the GAO indicating that at least six American Universities have sent grant money to the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Research. But, when he tries to get more information on what that money was used for, “the agencies will give us nothing.”

He told Dodaro that Congress had declassified the information, which means it should be provided to any member of the public who asks for it. But, so far, the only documents he has been given are from whistleblowers or in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

“We’ve been asking for declassified information for two years, and we get squat,” Paul said.

“Government is so out-of-control that we can’t get information.”

The Epoch Times has reached out to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious for comment.
Michael Clements is an award-winning Epoch Times reporter covering the Second Amendment and individual rights. Mr. Clements has 30 years of experience in media and has worked for outlets including The Monroe Journal, The Panama City News Herald, The Alexander City Outlook, The Galveston County Daily News, The Texas City Sun, The Daily Court Review,
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