House oversight Republicans demand answers from Fauci, Collins over grant to Wuhan lab

Republicans on the House Oversight Committee sent a Thursday letter to National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NAID) Director Anthony Fauci demanding answers about a grant to EcoHealth Alliance, which then conferred the taxpayer funds to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

The letter is led by the Ranking Member Kentucky Rep. James Comer and signed by every Republican on the committee. In it, they will be invoking the Seven Member Rule, which is a law that requires, upon a request of seven Members on the Committee on Oversight and Reform, an executive agency to “submit any information requested of it relating to any matter within the jurisdiction of the committee.”

The Seven Member Rule passed Congress in 1928. The seven lawmakers can be members of either party, or a combination of both, and do not require the approval of the Chair. The difference between the Seven Member Rule and a subpoena is the right to information is codified in law and therefore not subject to delegation by the House.

In the letter, the lawmakers grilled Francis and Fauci for not responding to their inquiries regarding a 2014 grant awarded by the NIH to EcoHealth Alliance, Inc. (EcoHealth) that was then awarded to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. They also renewed their request for all documents and communications between the NIH, WIV, and EcoHealth Alliance regarding the grant, as well as those resulting from any U.S. government-led inspection of the WIV arranged by EcoHealth Alliance. The lawmakers have also requested that Fauci’s revised emails are given to the committee.



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