Press Releases

Herrera Beutler Successfully Advances Provisions to Withhold Taxpayer Dollars from Wuhan Lab, Investigate NIH Deletion of COVID Data

House Committee approves Herrera Beutler amendments demanding accountability for American taxpayer dollars relating to COVID

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Washington, July 15, 2021 | comments

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) today successfully included two of her amendments in the Labor, Health, and Human Services (LHHS) Appropriations bill to investigate withdrawn COVID data by China and to withhold taxpayer dollars from funding the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

“We owe it to the more than 600,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19 and their loved ones – not to mention the small businesses and communities who were decimated – to investigate and hold China accountable for its role in the catastrophic spread of the virus. I’m encouraged that we’re a step closer to such accountability with the provisions I successfully inserted into the LHHS bill that will keep U.S. tax dollars from going to the Wuhan lab and investigate why – at the direction of a Chinese researcher – critical COVID gene sequences were deleted from the National Institutes of Health. Our ultimate goal with these measures is to ensure the Chinese Communist Party is not allowed to repeat the missteps and potential cover-ups that contributed to this global pandemic,” Herrera Beutler said.

Amendment details:

No taxpayer dollars to fund the Wuhan Institute of Virology:

Herrera Beutler’s amendment ensures that none of the funds appropriated in the LHHS Appropriations bill will go to fund the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

 

Investigating withdrawn COVID data from the National Institutes of Health:

A report recently revealed that early COVID gene sequences were withdrawn from the Sequence Read Archive at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), after a researcher in China requested their withdrawal. The samples withdrawn included those collected from Wuhan in January and February of 2020 – during the early stages of the COVID outbreak. Prominent scientists and researchers have called the deletion “unprecedented” and have publicly raised the specter that other data could have potentially been purged.

Herrera Beutler’s amendment directs the NIH to get to the bottom of why these gene sequences were withdrawn by:

    • requesting the total number of requests withdrawn,
    • requesting the number of sequences that were subsequently withdrawn,
    • requesting the reasons provided by the institution for the request for withdrawal,
    • and requesting any pending requests for gene sequence withdrawals.
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