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Republicans demand NIH account for possible destruction of COVID-19 records

Writing to NIH acting Director Lawrence Tabak, Wenstrup requested information related to the alleged actions of Dr. David Morens.

Published: September 15, 2023 3:21pm

House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman Brad Wenstrup on Friday demanded that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) account for the alleged destruction of COVID-19 materials by a close ally of Dr. Anthony Fauci as well as its investigation into the matter.

Writing to NIH acting Director Lawrence Tabak, Wenstrup requested information related to the alleged actions of Dr. David Morens, the senior scientific advisor at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). Morens allegedly deleted federal records related to COVID-19 and used a personal email to circumvent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

"The Select Subcommittee found it very concerning that a senior U.S. scientist working on the COVID-19 pandemic was using his personal e-mail to purposely avoid transparency," Wenstrup wrote to Tabak. "As such, on June 29, 2023 we requested Dr. Morens produce a series of documents and communications, including text messages, regarding COVID-19."

"[O]n July 10, 2023 the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) requested the National Institute of Health (NIH) investigate the allegations outlined in the Chairman’s letter," he continued. "On August 9, 2023, NIH responded to NARA’s request by describing its investigative process and certifying that it had 'completed an investigation of allegations of unauthorized disposition and certifies findings that... [it found] no evidence that any federal records within their custody have been prematurely destroyed' (emphasis added)."

Wenstrup then demanded that NIH provide details of the "specific actions" of the NIH investigation. He further set a Sept. 29 deadline for the supply of notes, records, and interview records involving Morens and NIH's efforts to address the matter.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.

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