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Inspector General Says Gov't 'Did Not Track' Money Sent to Chinese Biolabs Doing Gain-of-Function Research

U.S. Defense Department has no data 'because of “limitations” in the DoD’s information systems'

Inspector General Says Gov't 'Did Not Track' Money Sent to Chinese Biolabs Doing Gain-of-Function Research

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Inspector General has released a management advisory addressing the use of DoD funds awarded to Chinese biolabs conducting gain-of-function research, a process that increases the lethality and transmissibility of viruses.

This report, mandated by Section 252 of the FY 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), was produced to inform Congress and DoD leadership about any potential diversion of funds for “research or experiments that could have reasonably resulted in the enhancement of any coronavirus, influenza, Nipah, Ebola, or other pathogen of pandemic potential,” including the SARS-CoV-2 virus that drove the 2020 pandemic.

According to the report, the DoD awarded funds through various grants and contracts to entities including the People’s Republic of China, the Communist Party of China, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and EcoHealth Alliance.

Specifically, it identifies 12 Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRPs) involving potential enhancement of “pathogens of pandemic potential” in foreign countries, with seven awards involving Chinese entities.

The inspector general, however, was unable to determine if or how much federal funding was used specifically for gain-of-function research because of “limitations” in the DoD’s information systems, which “did not track funding at the level of detail necessary to determine whether the DoD provided funding to Chinese research laboratories or other foreign countries” doing gain-of-function work.

DoD officials interviewed during the review asserted that they did not knowingly fund any research that could enhance pathogens of pandemic potential, in line with U.S. policies prohibiting offensive biological research.

Additionally, the inspector general noted that the DoD maintains no paper trail on grant allocation. The report says the DoD is unable to track the full chain-of-custody of federal funding, and cannot identify contracts, subcontracts, grants, and subgrants that may be used in foreign gain-of-function operations.

Because the DoD cannot produce complete records of grants and subawards, it is unable to conclude that taxpayer money is used for this type of pathogen research.

The report comes amid lingering questions and multiple investigations over the role that the U.S. government and its top officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, may have played in facilitating such gain-of-function research, which is now widely suspected to be the cause of the 2020 pandemic.

After four years of denial and evasion from federal public health officials last month during congressional testimony, National Institutes of Health (NIH) principal deputy director Lawrence Tabak told Congress that U.S. taxpayers funded gain-of-function research at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology in the months and years leading up to the 2020 pandemic.

When Tabak was asked by Rep. Dennie Lesko (R-Ariz.) whether the NIH funded this research, Tabak replied: “It depends on your definition of gain-of-function research. If you’re speaking about the generic term, yes, we did.”

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