HHS investigates EcoHealth for alleged ‘major fraud’ against US, email shows


The Department of Health and Human Services oversight agency has briefly investigated the EcoHealth Alliance, a New York nonprofit that works with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, for allegations of “massive fraud against the United States,” a new report said. Shown in published email.

The four-month-long investigation, which began in September 2020, centered around the allegation that the COVID 19 virus was produced in China with assistance from the NIH. [National Institutes of Health] forgive. “

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Investigations has released an investigation. e-mail The subject is “Grant Information Review” [Redacted]Dated Dec. 3, 2020, according to a redacted copy of a document obtained by the public health advocacy group U.S. Right to Know.

The Special Agent explained that information from an outside source, as explained in a memorandum attached to NIH investigator Ashley Sanders, prompted the Office to open the case. rice field. Another letter, issued in January 2021, confirmed that the EcoHealth Alliance, which has long worked with high-level Wuhan laboratories to conduct high-risk bat coronavirus research, was among the targets. The other party’s name has been redacted.

If such claims are true, they would be in violation of U.S. federal law. Title 18 of US Code §1031, according to the memorandum, “serious fraud against the United States.” Under the Act, in grants, contracts, subcontracts, or other forms of federal assistance worth one million dollars or more, “paying money or property through false or fraudulent representations, representations, or promises.” Those who “attempt to obtain” can be fined up to $1 million. or imprisonment for up to 10 years, or both.

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EcoHealth Alliance Chairman Peter Daszak (right) in Wuhan, China, February 3, 2021 (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)

The Office referred the case to the Division of Special Investigations on Sept. 9, 2020, and agents reviewed the allegations and met with NIH representatives the same day, the memorandum says. The details of the meeting and the description of the subsequent steps the agent took on September 29 have been edited.

Investigators closed the investigation on January 11, 2021. In a letter notifying Sanders of the decision, the special agents said they were asked to assist in efforts “with respect to high-profile situations involving” Sanders, in a letter notifying Sanders of the decision. . [redacted] HHS Grantee associated with the COVID 19 virus. The reason for such a move was completely redacted except for the word “development,” but the agent said the agency would “reopen the investigation if new relevant information related to this case were discovered.” We reserve the right,” he said.

The study’s existence comes as the NIH, which is overseen by HHS, has donated millions of dollars to EcoHealth for research in Asia on a new virus that could infect humans and cause an outbreak. It was when we approved a new grant for

In August, the NIH ended funding for EcoHealth’s Chinese partner, the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). This was done because of unsuccessful efforts to obtain laboratory entries and other records related to experiments at the facilities covered by the grant.

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On April 17, 2020, the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s P4 laboratory in Wuhan, China has been designated the highest level of biological safety. (AFP via Getty Images/Hector Retamal)

EcoHealth must come up with a proposal to exclude the Wuhan lab’s involvement within 30 days to keep funding for a project titled “Understanding the Risk of Emerging Bat Coronaviruses,” NIH said. wrote in an August letter to The NIH has not responded to multiple requests from the Epoch Times to clarify the status of the grant.

Under the grant, WIV researchers conducted an experiment that resulted in a more lethal version of the bat coronavirus. Some experts say this process is a form of gain-of-function research. This is an experiment to make a virus more contagious or pathogenic.

The emails show that the same project was under FBI scrutiny months before HHS began its EcoHealth review. As an email dated May 22, 2020 shows, HHS’s internal investigation contact, Sanders, was set to put a call on hold with FBI agent David Miller.

Last June, the HHS Inspector General’s Office announced Review NIH-funded programs to ensure that grant recipients, including foreign sub-recipients, comply with federal requirements. This process may apply to the Wuhan facility.

The Epoch Times has reached out to the HHS Inspector General and EcoHealth regarding the investigation.

Eva Who


Eva Fu is a New York-based writer for The Epoch Times, focusing on US politics, US-China relations, religious freedom, and human rights. Please contact Eva at [email protected]