(RoyalPatriot.com )- In early February, Republican members of the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to Xavier Becerra, the Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary demanding the release of documents related to the National Institutes of Health’s involvement with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and accusing the HHS and NIH of hiding, obfuscating, and shielding the truth.
The letter, which accuses both the NIH and HHS of stonewalling repeated requests for documents, also alleges that the National Institutes of Health has a practice of destroying “potentially pertinent documents related to grant-making decisions.”
In their letter, the Republicans cite November 2021 testimony from an unnamed NIH advisor who claimed to have been “forced” by the National Institutes of Health to destroy notes and shred documents related to Wuhan Institute grants dating back to 2014.
In May 2021, House Republicans had requested HHS and NIH provide documents related to the 2014 NIH grant awarded to EcoHealth Alliance to conduct research in conjunction with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
After receiving nothing, that request was followed by another letter in July 2021.
According to their recent letter, Committee Republicans note that neither the NIH nor HHS has yet to produce any of the documents previously requested.
In the letter, the Committee Republicans noted that since the July 2021 request, their staff has provided several accommodations to both NIH and HHS, including time extensions, scaling back the scope of their request, prioritizing specific documents, and limiting review of certain documents to “in camera.” But still, HHS and NIH have turned over nothing.
The letter urges transparency from the NIH and HHS and warns that their “continued obstruction” would likely cause “irreparable harm” to the institutions’ credibility.
The most recent letter was signed by 18 Republican members of the House, including Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY). In addition to being sent to Xavier Becerra, it was also addressed to NIH acting-Director, Dr. Lawrence Tabak.
The letter offered a deadline of February 16, which has come and gone.