American taxpayers may have been billed twice for coronavirus research grants in Wuhan, which they feared had started the pandemic, a damning investigation claims.
Diane Cutler, a former federal investigator for the House Committee on Commerce and Energy, found evidence pointing to the “potential theft” of tens of millions of government funds.
The money was spent on medical supplies, equipment expenses and salaries at Wuhan labs at the center of questions about the origin of Covid.
The ‘risky research’ was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Ms Cutler, who said she reviewed 50,000 documents on the matter, said CBS News: ‘What I have found so far is evidence pointing to double billing, possible theft of government funds.’
The US government could have paid twice for things like medical supplies, equipment, travel, and salaries at the Wuhan lab.
Documents suggest the Wuhan Institute of Virology billed the US government twice for its experiments
“It is worrisome, especially since it involves dangerous pathogens and risky research.”
The US government previously awarded the Wuhan Biosafety Level 4 Laboratory a $3.7 million research grant.
The NIH was criticized earlier this year by an official watchdog for not being aware of US-sponsored virus experiments in China.
Congressional hearings on the origins of Covid-19 have brought the lab leak theory back to the fore after leading scientists dismissed it as a conspiracy theory.
The FBI and the Department of Energy recently stated that an accidental leak from the lab is plausible.
Ms. Cutler was investigating US government grants that supported coronavirus-related research in China in the run-up to the pandemic.
Republican Senator Roger Marshall hired Ms. Cutler and submitted her records to USAID and its internal watchdog, who launched an investigation of their own.
Ms Cutler added that the full investigation could take up to six months.
Sources told CBS News that the overpayments could be worth tens of millions of dollars.
DailyMail.com has contacted USAID for comment.
The revelation has called into question how closely the government was monitoring research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) laboratory.
Last week, the nonprofit at the center of the Covid lab leak questions doubled down on its claim that it’s just a “coincidence” that the virus emerged in the city where it funded risky research.
The New York City-based EcoHealth Alliance defended its ties to the Wuhan facility after Congress heard damning testimony from top scientists who pointed to mounting evidence that the virus was man-made.
EcoHealth, which is run by controversial scientist and friend of Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Peter Daszak, directed millions of US taxpayer dollars into the lab to fund dangerous coronavirus research before the pandemic hit.
In a reactive statement released while the explosive hearing was still taking place, the nonprofit organization said: “(The) ‘strongest evidence’ for a laboratory origin also doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.”
EcoHealth donated $3.3 million from the NIH to the WIV to conduct high-risk research on bat coronaviruses before the pandemic struck.
During this time, Dr. Fauci chaired NIAID, a part of the NIH.
In late 2019, the virus that would eventually spark a global pandemic emerged in Wuhan with the first cases linked to a seafood market just eight miles away from the WIV.
Dr. Fauci has repeatedly said that he has an “open mind” about the origins of the pandemic.
Dr. Peter Daszak (left), President of EcoHealth Alliance, pictured with Dr. Anthony Fauci (right)
Top scientific advisers told Congress last week that there is mounting evidence that Covid leaked from the Wuhan lab and accused Dr. Anthony Fauci of trying to cover up the claims because they did not fit his narrative.
Experts, including a former Biden staffer and Donald Trump’s CDC director, testified before the House subcommittee investigating covid that taxpayer-funded show profit likely caused the virus that came from the facility. Chinese.
Dr. Jamie Metzl, a self-identified Democrat who worked for President Biden when he was in the Senate, said he favored the lab leak theory because “the Chinese government has done everything in its power” to obstruct investigations.
Republican Rep. Jim Jordan also criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci for “trying to cover his ass” over claims of lab leaks, and Trump’s CDC director Robert Redfield claimed Biden’s Covid adviser ignored his concerns because “they wanted a unique narrative and I had a different point of view.