(Fox News) Florida Senator Rick Scott on Friday demanded answers from the Biden administration on a watchdog report that said grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was directed to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Scott pressed the administration to explain if it is barring future funding to the lab that some think is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter sent to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Scott noted that an HHS report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that NIH failed to properly monitor their grant awards, including one to the Wuhan lab.
The OIG report found that HHS grants to the non-profit group EcoHealth Alliance weren’t properly monitored as they made their way to the lab.
“NIH allowed EcoHealth Alliance to sub-award the grant to the Communist Chinese government and failed to conduct proper oversight,” Scott wrote.
“American tax dollars should always be protected from waste, fraud, and abuse. It is vital that NIH provide oversight of how these funds are spent on grants.”
The report also recommended that NIH consider barring the Wuhan lab from future grants, and Scott asked NIH how it was going to handle that recommendation.
“OIG recommends that the [Wuhan Institute of Virology] should be debarred from future federal contracts,” he wrote. “What is NIH doing about this matter?”
Scott said that because of the overall failure to properly oversee the grant funding to the Wuhan lab, EcoHealth Allliance failed to report in on how the money was being spent.
He argued that some of the information that was missing related to the Wuhan grant could have shed light on the source of COVID-19.