House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and House Committee on the Judiciary Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) called on Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and Dr. Kristian Andersen, Professor at Scripps Research Translational Institute, to brief the committees about gain-of-function research conducted at the Wuhan lab and the possibility COVID-19 was engineered to be more contagious.

Dr. Fauci has repeatedly told Congress, under oath, that NIAID has not funded dangerous gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab. However, new emails show a closer relationship between NIAID and the Wuhan lab than previously known, including NIAID funding gain-of-function research without needed oversight and reviews. Ranking Members Comer and Jordan call on Dr. Fauci to provide a briefing about these issues. They previously requested Fauci explain the discrepancy on June 9, 2021.

“NIAID funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and this research did not go through the proper oversight,” wrote the Republican lawmakers. “It is unclear why you would continue to testify otherwise. We therefore ask you again to please clarify what you meant when you said twice—under oath—'[t]he NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the [WIV].’”

Ranking Members Comer and Jordan also call on Dr. Andersen to explain to the committees why he initially stated in an email to Dr. Fauci that COVID-19 appeared to be engineered and then just days later called this idea a “crackpot theory” after speaking with Dr. Fauci.

“In three days, with no explanation as to why, you flipped your perspective entirely and began calling a theory you lent credence to only days earlier a ‘crackpot theory,’” wrote the Republican lawmakers. “It would appear the primary intervening event was the February 1 conference call with Dr. Fauci. We are very interested in understanding what happened on that call or what science came to light that caused such a dramatic change in your own hypothesis as to the engineering of COVID-19.” 

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