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Republican lawmakers once again took aim at Dr. Anthony Fauci in a letter sent to the Biden administration’s chief medical adviser on Thursday.
Reps. Steve Scalise R-La., James Comer, R-Ky., and Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, ripped the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a position he announced he will vacate by the end of the year, over a grant provided to controversial COVID-19 scientist Peter Daszak.
According to the New York Post, the grant amount was $3.3 million and was being administered by Fauci’s agency.
“On September 21, 2022, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases [NIAID], which you currently lead, awarded EcoHealth Alliance a new grant to study bat coronaviruses in Asia,” the three Republicans wrote in their letter, according to Newsmax.
“You awarded this new grant to EcoHealth despite NIAID’s parent agency, the National Institutes of Health [NIH], finding that EcoHealth had failed to comply with the terms of previous coronavirus grants and even canceling a subaward to the Wuhan Institute of Virology [WIV] for potentially dangerous research that may have contributed to the COVID-19 pandemic,” they added.
🚨🚨 Fauci is giving EcoHealth more taxpayer money even after they violated their last contract by conducting risky research at the Wuhan lab.
Outrageous.@Jim_Jordan, @RepJamesComer, and I are demanding answers. Accountability is coming. pic.twitter.com/5KfxwE9zUU
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) October 13, 2022
“Your decision to fund EcoHealth is especially galling because the company continued to stonewall information gathering about the grant-funded work it previously financed at the WIV. NIH has requested all U.S. taxpayer-funded laboratory notebooks and experiment results from EcoHealth’s research conducted at the WIV. As of today, however, EcoHealth has yet to supply the records sought by NIH,” the lawmakers continued.
“It’s outrageous that the result of U.S. taxpayer-funded experiments are unavailable to the U.S. government,” the letter continued, as the lawmakers demanded that he turn over various documents and then make time on his schedule to provide them with a briefing.
Earlier this month, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) accused Dr. Anthony Fauci and other government health officials of taking the wrong approach in assessing COVID-19 vaccines by refusing to consider people’s prior infections.
During a hearing before a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, the Kentucky Republican suggested that government vaccine committee members have not disclosed whether they received any royalties from companies making the vaccines. Paul says they will launch an investigation if Republicans win back control of the Senate in November’s midterms.
“We’ve been asking you and you refused to answer whether anybody on the vaccine committees gets royalties from the pharmaceutical companies,” Paul said. “I asked you last time, and what was your response? We don’t have to tell you. We’ve demanded them through the Freedom of Information Act. And what have you said? We’re not going to tell you. But I tell you this, when we get in charge, we’re going to change the rules and you will have to divulge where you get your royalties from, from what companies, and if anybody in the committee has a conflict of interest, we’re going to learn about it. I promise you that.”
“They are not my committees,” Fauci said in response to the senator.
Earlier, Fauci announced that he would depart his roles as the director of the NIAID and as chief medical officer to President Joe Biden at the end of this year. He said: “I am announcing today that I will be stepping down from the positions of Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation, as well as the position of Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden. I will leave these positions in December of this year to pursue the next chapter of my career.”
Biden released a statement praising Fauci, saying he had an “unwavering” commitment to the work and an “unparalleled spirit, energy, and scientific integrity.”
“Because of Dr. Fauci’s many contributions to public health, lives here in the United States and around the world have been saved. As he leaves his position in the U.S. Government, I know the American people and the entire world will continue to benefit from Dr. Fauci’s expertise in whatever he does next,” Biden said.