Watchdog group seeks records on government funding of gain-of-function research

The group submitted FOIA requests to three separate federal agencies, requesting documentation concerning government funding that was given to the embattled research firm EcoHealth, which is run by Peter Daszak.

Updated: October 14, 2021 - 5:43pm

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The non-partisan government watchdog group Empower Oversight is looking into the origins of COVID-19, and whether the government knowingly or unwittingly contributed monetarily to the Chinese lab at the center of the outbreak.

According to Empower Oversight, the group submitted numerous Freedom of Information Act requests in order to obtain a better understanding of what type of research is being funded by federal agencies, and whether money is being sent to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and to underwrite gain-of-function research.

The group submitted FOIA requests to three separate federal agencies, requesting documentation concerning government funding that was given to the embattled research firm EcoHealth, which is run by Peter Daszak.

According to the New York Post, Daszak is facing widespread pressure from across the scientific community to resign from EcoHealth following reports of his personal ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. 

Empower Oversight is petitioning  for the release of documents from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

According to Empower, at least two of these federally funded agencies provided grant money for Daszak to conduct research in connection with the WIV.

So far, Empower is waiting on responses to the FOIA requests.