Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Subcommittee on Health Republican Leader Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Republican Leader Morgan Griffith (R-VA) sent a letter to White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Acting Director Alondra Nelson requesting more information on funding, including proposals for furin cleavage site research or any other cleavage site research.
The members insist that before any additional funding for COVID-19 that the Biden administration has requested is authorized, all prior virus-hunting discovery funding be transparent and accounted for.
LETTER EXCERPT: “We are investigating the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and examining coronavirus research funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Based on our current oversight efforts, it is apparent that there is a lack of transparency in in the U.S. over this virus research.
“In addition, the Biden administration has requested additional spending for the COVID-19 response, including support for coronavirus research. Before committing to additional COVID-19 spending, the U.S. government must make previously funded virus discovery work transparent and accountable.
“Your office can play a vital role by coordinating efforts to provide transparency on a key issue that has emerged in our investigation: the furin cleavage site in SARS CoV-2 and whether U.S. agencies funded any research related to cleavage sites. The furin cleavage site is an unusual feature in the virus that has spurred concerns that such a site may have been the result of a laboratory intervention as opposed to natural origin. Virus experts have noted that this feature is the key to SARS CoV-2 pathogenesis. Concerns about the plausibility of a lab-related pandemic cause were highlighted by the September 2021 disclosure that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) had declined in 2018 to fund a proposal that included a plan to insert a furin cleavage site into a bat coronavirus genetic sequence.”
The members ask that the OSTP survey all federal agencies about whether they have received, reviewed, or funded a proposal that had anything to do with cleavage sites or furin with regards to coronaviruses since April 1, 2017. They ask for a response to their question by May 31, 2022.
CLICK HERE to read the full letter to Acting Director Nelson.