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A series of recent revelations confirms the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded a Chinese scientist who mapped the genome of SARS-CoV-2 two weeks before China told the world about COVID-19, and that in early 2020, the FBI received credible intelligence about a lab leak at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

These revelations came as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) — an agency overseen by the NIH — admitted during closed-door testimony before members of the U.S. House of Representatives that his organization did not conduct oversight of the foreign labs it funded.

Now, members of Congress have called on the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) inspector general to investigate over $50 million the U.S. government provided in grants to Chinese research laboratories, such as the WIV. An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2024 requires the DOD to conduct the review.

This investigation stemmed from revelations made public in 2023 by OpenTheBooks.com, a government spending watchdog, that $1.3 billion in U.S. government funds reached various entities in China and Russia — including up to $2 million to the WIV.

Adam Andrzejewski, CEO and founder of OpenTheBooks.com, discussed these and other revelations, including information about a sharp increase in the finances and net worth of Fauci and his wife, Christine Grady, Ph.D., chief of the NIH Department of Bioethics, on this week’s edition of “The Defender In-Depth” podcast.

DOD has six months to provide information on funding to Chinese labs

Last year, OpenTheBooks.com partnered with Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) on an audit that uncovered the government funds flowing to China and Russia.

“We wanted to know how many taxpayer dollars since 2017 floated into the adversarial countries of China and Russia. And the number was quite staggering,” he said.

Crunching the numbers revealed that, out of these funds, “$2 million was allocated and appropriated to the lab in Wuhan,” Andrzejewski said.

According to OpenTheBooks.com, U.S. government funding to the WIV included a $598,611 subgrant from the EcoHealth Alliance, originating from an NIH and NIAID grant for coronavirus research. EcoHealth Alliance has been implicated in coronavirus research performed at the WIV.

Andrzejewski said there has been some obfuscation on the part of the U.S. government when it comes to the total U.S. government funding the WIV received. He said that after OpenTheBooks.com released its report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) claimed that only $1.4 million in funds actually went to the WIV.

“They used all kinds of different excuses,” Andrzejewski said, citing as an example a $216,000 subgrant from University of California, Irvine, originally from an NIH mental health grant to study transgenic mice. According to the GAO, although the research was completed, the grant was never paid out.

In another example, the GAO claimed that only $815,000 of a $1.1 million sub-agreement from the EcoHealth Alliance through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) grant for coronavirus experiments was actually disbursed.

“We just need clarity on it,” Andrzejewski said.

“Fast forward to the National Defense Authorization Act. Sen. Ernst was able to put the China audit in there, to quantify all Pentagon dollars that funded any entity in China, the Wuhan laboratory, EcoHealth Alliance and any other foreign labs from around the world that are studying viruses,” he said.

As a result, the DOD’s Office of the Inspector General now has “six months to look back a decade and report back to the American people and Congress exactly how much U.S. taxpayer money ended up in China and these entities,” Andrzejewski said.

‘A treasure trove of troubling information’

Calling the documents “a treasure trove of troubling information,” Andrzejewski said the $1.3 billion that flowed to China and Russia included “about $59 million since 2017 on contracts with Chinese entities and contractors.”

This included “$70 million [that] funded the Chinese equivalent of the CDC” and “about $300,000 funded through the Chinese equivalent of the CDC [for] ethical training for Chinese scientists because they were fudging data,” according to Andrzejewski.

“They were abusing human subjects and patients in their clinical trials and other very unethical things,” Andrzejewski said. The U.S. government is “acknowledging that they don’t even have the basics in place to be able to handle this funding.”

In his House testimony earlier this month, Fauci admitted that NIAID was unable to perform oversight of the foreign research laboratories it funded.

“[Fauci] never read the grant proposals. He would just sign off on it,” Andrzejewski said.

“It’s amazing how fast the National Institutes of Health or any federal agency loses track of U.S. taxpayer dollars,” Andrzejewski said. “In this investigation with Sen. Ernst and our team … we found that after a grant gets paid out to an entity and the entity … pays out a subgrant, the subgrant from there isn’t ever tracked.”

“There is the potential for a great taxpayer money laundering scheme at the federal level,” Andrzejewski said. “This is why we need to get to the bottom of this … The American people deserve the hard facts. We deserve to be able to follow the money.”

In September 2023, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services barred the WIV from receiving U.S. funding for the next 10 years, based on evidence that a lab leak was responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andrzejewski said he was “mystified” that this ban was not implemented sooner.

“A prime example of why you should fear government is that it took over three years to make the simple decision to suspend funding at Wuhan,” he said.

Faucis ‘lived a conflict of interest’

Andrzejewski also addressed OpenTheBooks.com’s investigations into the finances of the Fauci family, noting that despite Fauci’s high government salary — which was the largest of any federal employee before his retirement in December 2022 — the “sharp increase” in Fauci’s net worth “can’t be justified … just by his government salary.”

According to Andrzejewski, OpenTheBooks.com filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in 2021 for Fauci’s ethics disclosures, financial disclosures, his contract and any conflict agreements that he had.

OpenTheBooks.com subsequently publicized the documents released as a result of this request.

A 2004 memo uncovered as part of this request “specifically showed that Fauci got a permanent bonus for his work on biodefense,” Andrzejewski said. “He was paid to stop the next pandemic and obviously he failed.”

Instead, Fauci and his wife “profited during the pandemic bigtime,” according to Andrzejewski, who said that the Faucis entered 2020 with a net worth of $7.6 million, but by December 2022, their worth had ballooned to $12.6 million.

Andrzejewski also questioned whether Fauci retired in December 2022, noting that NIH emails obtained by OpenTheBooks.com show Fauci “was extended into the new year, into January.” As a result, “we are completely unclear on when Fauci’s … official retirement date was.”

According to Andrzejewski, this extension may have allowed Fauci to maintain a “taxpayer-provided security protection detail,” which he still receives today.

“[Fauci] never wanted any public accountability. He wanted to be able to spend taxpayer money without answering questions,” Andrzejewski said.

OpenTheBooks.com was also able to obtain Fauci’s work calendar for key periods between 2019 and 2022. Calling it an “important historical document,” Andrzejewski said it was later used in Fauci’s deposition in the Missouri et al. v. Biden et al. First Amendment free speech lawsuit and in his closed-door testimony earlier this month.

In 2022, OpenTheBooks.com filed a lawsuit to obtain documents related to the employment and potential conflicts of interest involving Grady.

Noting that Grady headed “the largest medical ethics organization in the world,” under the NIH, while Fauci was employed by the U.S. government and while they both publicly advocated in favor of vaccine mandates, mask mandates and lockdowns. “We expected to see nepotism waivers in the file, and we didn’t find any.”

“The two Faucis … lived a conflict of interest around the breakfast table, at the office and back around the dinner table,” Andrzejewski said. “With Fauci … there’s always confusion, there’s always murkiness.”

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