Not only have the FBI and the Energy Department concluded that the Wuhan Institute of Virology brought us COVID, but a new CBS News report shows that the U.S. may have made double payments for research projects through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Diane Cutler, a former federal investigator with a lengthy career fighting healthcare fraud, was hired by Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) to investigate, and what she found was troubling:
What I’ve found so far is evidence that points to double billing, potential theft of government funds. It is concerning, especially since it involves dangerous pathogens and risky research.
The Wuhan story just continues to get whackier and whackier–and more and more corrupt.
Cutler reviewed over 50,000 documents and discovered that the U.S. government seemingly made duplicate payments on a variety of things at several Wuhan labs: medical supplies, equipment, travel, and salaries–and the total could be in the tens of millions of dollars.
Marshall wants a 9/11-style commission to investigate the origins of the virus and this financial mismanagement, telling the NY Post:
Americans deserve the truth, especially if our government had a hand in funding the creation of the coronavirus. I am demanding transparency and accountability for the misuse of taxpayer funds. This probe is a step in the right direction. We must follow the money.
The 62-year-old Kansas senator told CBS:
You’ll have a plane crashes [sic]. We want to find out why the plane crashes. We go to any lengths to do that. And the hope is we don’t have another plane crash for the same reason.
Marshall took the findings to USAID, which is now probing the outlays. The investigation could take up to six months. Neither USAID nor the NIH responded to CBS correspondent Catherine Herridge’s requests for comment.
The Wuhan lab has constantly been in the news again as the virus’ origins continue to be the source of heated debate. Former Trump-era Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield accused former Chief Advisor to the President Dr. Anthony Fauci–who my colleague Mike Miller likes to call the “embattled COVID Gnome(TM)”–of sidelining him in the early days of the pandemic from discussions about the bug’s origins.
A defensive-looking Fauci hit back last week, appearing on Neil Cavuto’s Fox News show to call Redfield’s assertion “unequivocally incorrect.” On Sunday, The Fauch appeared with CNN’s Jim Acosta to make one of the most ludicrous claims that I’ve ever heard him utter–and that’s saying a lot:
A lab leak could be that someone was out in the wild, maybe looking for different types of viruses in bats, got infected, went into a lab and was being studied in the lab, and then came out of the lab. But if that’s the definition of a lab leak, Jim, then that’s still a natural occurrence.
On March 10, the House voted unanimously in a 419-0 vote to declassify intelligence related to the Wuhan Institute and its links to the origin of COVID. The Senate had already passed the measure, so it now goes to President Biden’s desk. He has not said whether he will sign it, but the numbers imply that a veto would be quickly overridden.
It’s nice to see the Republicans actually doing what they said they were going to do: getting some answers. As the various investigations into the pandemic heat up, we can hope they finally unearth where the virus came from–and whether gain-of-function research led to its creation. If so, Fauci needs to be held accountable. Really accountable.
The double-billing related to the labs seems almost comical at this point, adding yet another layer to this unending, sordid tale. Unfortunately, it’s not funny, because it potentially involves tens of millions of taxpayer funds. Let’s hope Senator Roger Marshall and others can get some of it back.