Florida Senator Rick Scott on Friday demanded responses from the Biden administration over a surveillance report that said grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) were directed to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, urging the administration , to explain whether she is ruling out future funding into the lab, which some think is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Scott noted that an HHS report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that the NIH was not properly overseeing its grants, including one to the Wuhan lab. The OIG report found that HHS grants to the nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance were not properly monitored as they made their way to the lab.
“The NIH allowed the EcoHealth Alliance to award the grant to the Chinese communist government and failed to exercise adequate oversight,” Scott wrote. “American taxpayers’ money should always be protected from waste, fraud and abuse. It is critical that the NIH monitor how these grant funds are spent.”
The report also recommended that the NIH exclude the Wuhan lab from future grants, and Scott asked the NIH how they would address that recommendation.
FBI DIRECTOR SAYS COVID PANDEMIC ‘HIGHLY LIKELY’ ORIGINS FROM CHINESE LAB
“OIG recommends that the [Wuhan Institute of Virology] should be barred from future federal contracts,” he wrote. “What is the NIH doing about this?”
Scott said that EcoHealth Alliance did not report on how the money was spent due to a general failure to properly oversee grant funding for the Wuhan lab. He argued that some of the missing information related to the Wuhan grant could have shed light on the source of COVID-19, an issue still under debate within the US government. Some federal agencies believe the most likely source of COVID was the Wuhan lab.
“Some of the missing information included data from the [Wuhan lab]’ Scott wrote. “This information, which could provide further clarity on the origin of COVID-19, has been lost.” He added that neither the lab nor the Chinese government had shown any interest in “being transparent and providing information to the NIH . “
Scott also noted that federal standards must be overseen before grants are sent to institutions that may be conducting gains-of-function research. But he said the federal oversight system failed to review the grant to the Wuhan lab.
FAUCI CLAIMS US GIVING $600,000 TO WUHAN LAB RESEARCH; DOCUMENTS SHOW THAT IT WAS MORE
“NIH’s first priority should be to protect taxpayers’ money and ensure that all funds are properly accounted for, with proper oversight of both funding and research,” Scott’s letter reads. “This failure of the NIH is unacceptable.”
Scott listed more than a dozen other questions for Becerra to answer, including how the NIH monitors and determines where its grant money goes and whether EcoHealth will receive additional federal funding.
He called for grants in particular that go to foreign governments to be “scrutinized more closely”.
FAUCI JUMP FOR JOKE THAT HE CREATED COVID-19 IN HIS KITCHEN: ‘TONE DEAF’
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“To allow awardees to give sub-awards to foreign governments, the NIH should require more rigorous scrutiny. Despite knowing that the communist Chinese government received NIH funding [Wuhan lab]NIH maintained a “hands-off” approach and completely ignored the oversight process,” Scott wrote.
Source : www.foxnews.com