Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst has introduced a bill to force more accountability from the NIAID — both about gain-of-function virus research in China and from its employees.
The lawmaker’s new bill, named the Fairness and Accountability in Underwriting Chinese Institutions Act, or FAUCI Act for short, would put a total ban on United States funding for any gain-of-function research, as a comment from Ernst’s office said. The bill would also enforce what Ernst’s office said was “a total accounting of United States involvement in ‘gain-of-function’ research, usually in China.”
And, most notably the NIAID Director Dr. Fauci and the retiring NIH Director Francis Collins, the bill would ensure any NIH employee or grantee who “intentionally lies to Congress, or the Inspector General, will be not be eligible for further federal grants or employment.”
Fauci and Collins were both recently called out after newly exposed evidence that EcoHealth Alliance, a United States based nonprofit that does research with infectious diseases, and its partners at the Wuhan Virology Institute in China worked together concerning risky experiments that broke the terms of their government grant, which included bans on gain-of-function research.
Both Fauci and Collins have routinely denied that the NIH ever financially supported gain-of-function research to make pathogens more transmissible to humans — including Fauci’s testimony to Congress over the summer, during which he argued with Kentucky GOP Senator Rand Paul and vociferously denied gain-of-function research happening with NIH dollars at the Chinese lab. Fauci has continued to deny any connection to wrongdoing even after damning evidence surfaced. And Collins kept misleading the public when confronted by the media about the evidence.
Ernst’s office said her law came in response to Fauci’s lies to the U.S. Congress:
“With revelations continuing to surface concerning the United States government’s involvement in and support for dangerous scientific experiments done overseas under Dr. Fauci—including “gain of function” research within China—Republican Senator Joni Ernst (Iowa) is asking for a complete accounting of how and where American tax dollars are being spent, a total ban on funding of “gain-of-function” research in China, and restrictions on officials who mislead the U.S. Congress.”
Author: Scott Dowdy