NIH Won’t Release Wuhan Biolab Docs Due To ‘Pending Investigations’

In 2014, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) provided grants to EcoHealth Alliance, a global nonprofit organization which funds research on infectious diseases – including studies of bat coronaviruses in partnership with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), which has become the focus of international investigations into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.


On April 15, when there were just 2 million cases and 128,000 COVID-19 deaths according to official counts (currently at 6.3 million infected / 376,000 fatalities), an organization called White Coat Waste filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the NIH for all correspondence with the State Department regarding the WIV, according to National Review.

Four days later, on April 19, NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, Michel Lauer, wrote in a letter to EcoHealth: “There are now allegations that the current crisis was precipitated by the release from Wuhan Institute of Virology of the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19. Given these concerns, we are pursuing suspension of Wuhan Institute of Virology from participation in federal programs.”

Five days later, Lauer told the organization: “the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), an Institute with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has elected to terminate the project . . . NIH does not believe that the current project outcomes align with the program goals and agency priorities.

So – nine days after the FOIA request from White Coat Waste to the NIH requesting communications with the State Department about the Wuhan institute, the NIH cuts funding to EcoHealth, the organization funneling US taxpayer funds to the lab experimenting with coronaviruses.

The FOIA request hit a brick wall on May 22, however, when the NIH’s FOIA officer, Gorka Garcia-Malene, wrote back:

The records you requested involve pending investigations. I have determined to withhold those records pursuant to Exemption 7(A), 5 U.S.C. § 552 and (b)(7)(a), and section 5.31 (g)(l) of the HHS FOIA Regulations, 45 CFR Part 5. Exemption 7(A) permits the withholding of investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes when disclosure could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.

Lauer, in his original correspondence to EcoHealth, wrote “it is in the public interest that NIH ensure that a sub-recipient has taken all appropriate precautions to prevent the release of pathogens that it is studying.”…

One thought on “NIH Won’t Release Wuhan Biolab Docs Due To ‘Pending Investigations’”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.