House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Health Republican Leader Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Republican Leader Morgan Griffith (R-VA), released a statement in response to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) turning over a limited number of previously requested documents related to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As leaders of the House committee with jurisdiction over public health, the leaders have sent four letters to the NIH since March 18, 2021, asking the NIH to help inform a complete, scientific investigation into the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are reviewing these documents sent to us by the NIH, including EcoHealth Alliance’s Year Five progress report, which should have been submitted to the NIH two years earlier. We now know for certain that EcoHealth Alliance violated the terms of one of their grants that funded research in China.
“We are glad that the NIH is finally pursuing unpublished data from EcoHealth Alliance as we have urged for months, and as we pressed the NIH to do in June. However, it’s unacceptable that the NIH delayed asking EcoHealth Alliance to submit unpublished data about risky research that they were required to do under the terms of their grant.
“The NIH has acknowledged that EcoHealth violated the terms of its grant and has been non-compliant. Yet, at the same time, NIH takes the word of this grant policy violator that EcoHealth is fully accounting for its research and that none of it had anything to do with the pandemic.
“We need full compliance with Congressional oversight. These documents are only the first step from the NIH in rebuilding public trust. They must be fully transparent about any research they have funded in China and how they will ensure proper oversight of risky research in the future. They owe it to the American people to be a better partner in revealing how this pandemic started. Every day that goes by, it will be harder to get answers to best prepare us in preventing future pandemics.”