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Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

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Tom Fitton's Judicial Watch Weekly Update

Fauci Gain of Function Docs!

New Documents Seem to Detail Fauci Agency Funding of Gain of Function Research in China
More Information Surfaces on Mysterious Ashley Biden Investigation
Judicial Watch VICTORY: Delaware Supreme Court Demands More Answers on Biden Document Secrecy

The Supreme Court Should Overturn Roe v. Wade

We now have proof that our tax dollars were dishonestly used by Dr. Anthony Fauci’s agency to fund “gain of function” coronavirus research.

We learned this in 221 pages of records we received from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that include a 2018 grant application for research involving the coronavirus.

The grant application appears to describe “gain of function” research involving RNA extractions from bats, experiments on viruses, attempts to develop a chimeric virus, and efforts to genetically manipulate the full-length bat SARSr-CoV WIV1 strain molecular clone.

Judicial Watch obtained the documents through a lawsuit for records of communications, contracts and agreements with the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Our lawsuit specifically requests records about National Institute of Health (NIH) grants that benefitted the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Here are some of the details.

On January 27, 2020, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) official David Morens emailed Chief of Staff Greg Folkers in a heavily redacted thread, writing:

[S]ome background on our support of the Ecohealth group (Peter Daszak et al), which has for years been among the biggest players in coronavirus work, also in collaboration with Ralph Baric, Ian Lipkin and others. [Redacted].

NIAID has been funding Peter’s group for coronavirus work in China for the past 5 years through [grant] R011R01A|110964: “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence.” That’s now been renewed, with a specific focus to identify cohorts of people highly exposed to bats in China, and work out if they’re getting sick from CoVs.… Collaborators include Wuhan Institute of Virology (currently working on the nCoV) and Ralph Baric. The results of the work to date include:

    • [Redacted]
    • Discovered Swine Acute Diarrheal Syndrome Virus (SADS-CoV) killing >25,000 pigs in Guangdong Province (Published in Nature)
    • Found SARS-related CoVs that can bind to human cells (Published in Nature), and that cause SARS-like disease in humanized mouse models.
    • [Redacted]

Also, prior to the above R01, Peter’s folks worked under an R01 with Eun-Park as Program Officer on viral discovery in bats, and originally identified SARS-CoV as having a likely origin in bats (published in Science).

Folkers forwards the message to Anthony Fauci and others.

In a “Notice of Award” dated July 13, 2020, the NIH increased the amount of NIH money going to Peter Daszak’s firm, EcoHealth Alliance, by $369,819 with a project period that runs from June 1, 2014, through June 30, 2025, for Daszak’s project “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence.

EcoHealth was to receive $637,980 in each of the years 2019 through 2024 under the grant.

The award’s writers specifically direct funds “for activity with Wuhan Institute of Virology in the amount of $76,301” and “for activity with Institute of Pathogen Biology [located in China] in the amount of $75,301.” Funds also went to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The award’s writers also indicate that research associated with the award was also being conducted at East China Normal University in China and to Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore.

The specialists overseeing the award note that, “This award may include collaborations with and/or between foreign organizations.” The specialists also note that award grantees using “Highly Pathogenic Agents” “may warrant a biocontainment safety facility of BSL3 or higher.” The grantee is also required to report “Any changes in the use of the Agent(s) or Toxin(s) including its restricted experiments that have resulted in a change in the required biocontainment level, and any resultant change in location.” The NIH Grants Management Specialist overseeing the award was Shaun W. Gratton and the NIH Program Official was Erik J. Stemmy. Of the 17 “Senior/Key Personnel” assigned as researchers on the project, seven worked at Chinese institutions.

The site locations in an EcoHealth grant application submitted November 5, 2018, for coronavirus research included EcoHealth Alliance in New York City, the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and the Institute of Pathogen Biology in Beijing, China. Among the “aims” listed, the applicants write, “We will sequence receptor binding domains (spike proteins) to identify viruses with the highest potential for spillover which we will include in our experimental investigations.” In the third “aim”, they continue “We will use S protein sequence data, infectious clone technology, in vitro and in vivo infection experiments and analysis of receptor binding to test the hypothesis that % divergence thresholds in S protein sequences predict spillover potential.”

In a description of the Wuhan lab, the writers of the application note that, “The Wuhan Institute of Virology is a World Health Organization collaborating center” and had a “long-time (>15 years) partnership with EcoHealth Alliance.”

In his “personal statement” in the grant application, Dr. Peter Daszak writes about his “20+ years of NIH-funded research.” Among his awards, Daszak notes he was a 1999 recipient of the CDC’s “Meritoriouos service award,” had a species of centipedes named after him (“Crytops daszaki”), as well as having a “new parasite species” named after himself (“Isospora daszaki”), and is an elected member of the Kosmos Club in Washington, DC. He also says he’s a member of the U.S. “National Institute of Medicine” which he abbreviates as “NAM.” In his “Contributions to Science,” Daszak notes, “Collaborating with virologists in China, we have isolated and characterized SARS-like CoVs from bats that use the same host cell receptor (AACE-2) as SARS-CoV.”

In a personal biography section of the above grant application, Dr. Shi Zhengli, head of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, notes that one of her ongoing research projects, with a duration of January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2021, and sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, involves, “Evolution mechanism of the adation [sic] of bat SARS-related coronaviruses to host receptor molecules and the risk of interspecies infection.”

Prof. Ralph Baric of UNC-Chapel Hill also has his biographical information listed in the grant application, and this includes his participation in a 2015 workshop relating to “Trends in Synthetic Biology and Gain of Function and Regulatory Implications”, a 2015 China-US workshop involving “Challenges of Emerging Infections, Laboratory Safety, and Global Health Security,” and participation in a 2014 working group on “Risks and Benefits of Gain of Function Research.” Among Baric’s “major accomplishments” cited was a study involving “reconstruction of civet and bat CoV from in silico sequence, the first reported recovery of recombinant bat viruses, and characterization of host range phenotypes in vitro and in vivo.” Baric writes that “Several CoV infectious cDNA clones are available in the lab, including SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, conventional human and model CoVs, and several bat CoVs with pandemic potential.”

In the “Application for Federal Assistance,” for the project “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence,” the costs for the first year (2019-2020) of the EcoHealth Alliance project application totaled $736,996.

The second year (2020-2021) costs total $712,441.

The third year (2021-2022) costs total $712,441.

The fourth year (2022-2023) costs total $712,441.

The fifth year (2023-2024) costs total $712,441.

However, in July 2020, HHS wrote a letter to EcoHealth Alliance regarding funding:

[T]he NIH has received reports that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), a subrecipient of EcoHealth Alliance under R01AI110964, has been conducting research at its facilities in China that pose serious bio-safety concerns and, as a result, create health and welfare threats to the public in China and other countries, including the United States.


We have concerns that WIV has not satisfied safety requirements under the award, and that EcoHealth Alliance has not satisfied its obligations to monitor the activities of its subrecipient to ensure compliance.


Therefore, effective the date of this letter, July 8, 2020, NIH is suspending all activities … until such time as these concerns have been addressed to NIH’s satisfaction.

Among the budget items in the EcoHealth grant application, was one for supplies for “bats trapping” and “viral transport media.” The total salary, wages and fringe benefits to be paid to the “Senior/Key Person” over the 5-year project totaled $1,118,565.00.

The NIAID funds to be allocated to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for this project for each of the years 2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022, 2022-2023, and 2023-2024 was $76,301, or a total over five years of $381,505.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology’s role in the project, overseen by Dr. Shi Zhengli would include “running RNA extractions for 1,000 bats per year (two samples per bat: rectal and blood) in each year of the project,” costing $6,214 per year. The Wuhan Institute of Virology also requested “support for in vitro experiments using pseudoviruses carrying the spike proteins … or live viruses in cell lines of different origins, binding affinity assays between the spike proteins … and different cellular receptor molecules, and humanized mice experiments.”

In a discussion of their research to date, the grant applicants wrote, “In collaboration with Ralph Baric (UNC), we used the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system … to generate a chimeric virus with a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone expressing SHC014 S protein with 10% sequence divergence from SARS-DoV S. This chimera replicated in human airway epithelium, using the human ACE2 receptor to enter cells … Thus, SARS-CoVs with diverse variants of SL-CoV S protein without deletions in the RBD can use human ACE2 as receptor for cell entry.” [Emphasis in original]

In a discussion of the rationale of one of the aims of the project, the applicants write, “we aim to expand the known diversity of SARSr-CoVs by over 125 strains, targeting 10-25% S protein divergence that we predict infers high spillover risk and evasion of immune therapeutic and vaccine efficacy.” They continue, “We will … construct chimeric SARSr-CoVs using the WIV1 backbone and these S genes as done previously.” They go on, “Construction of chimeric SARSr-CoV viruses: infectious clones with the S gene of novel SARSr-CoVs and the SARSr-Cov WIV1 genome backbone using the reverse genetic system developed in our previous R01.”

In a section titled “P3CO Research”, the applicants write: “Recognizing the implementation of new gain of function research guidelines under P3CO [Potential Pandemic Pathogen Care and Oversight], SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV are subject to these guidelines, and as such, reverse genetic studies are subject to review … Importantly, we are not proposing to genetically manipulate SARS-CoV over the course of this proposal. However, we are proposing to genetically manipulate the full-length bat SARSr-CoV WIV1 strain molecular clone during the course of the proposal, which is not a select agent, has not been shown to cause human infections, and has not been shown to be transmissible between humans.” [Emphasis in original]

In an October 31, 2018, letter from the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Dr. Yangyi Wang, to Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, requesting permission to take part in the NIAID funded project, he tells Daszak:

Understanding and preventing exposure and transmission of zoonotic diseases from wildlife to humans remains a high priority for prevention of pandemics. In our discussion with EcoHealth Alliance, we have agreed to participate in activities that will strengthen the ability of China and other countries in the region to respond to epidemic disease outbreaks – particularly those of animal origin. To assist in this study, we will provide participating laboratories in China with human samples both new and archived and support research in bat coronaviruses.

We at Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, look forward to our continued collaborations with the EcoHealth Alliance team and working further on this worthwhile study.

In my view, these new disclosures detail not only a cover-up but potential fraud and deserve a criminal investigation.

This is the latest discovery in our investigation of our government and the Wuhan lab.

In August, we obtained records from HHS that include an “urgent for Dr. Fauci” email chain citing ties between the Wuhan lab and the taxpayer-funded EcoHealth Alliance. The government emails also report that the foundation of U.S. billionaire Bill Gates worked closely with the Chinese government to pave the way for Chinese-produced medications to be sold outside China and help “raise China’s voice of governance by placing representatives from China on important international counsels as high-level commitment from China.”

In July, we obtained records from NIAID officials in connection with the Wuhan Institute of Virology revealing significant collaborations and funding that began in 2014. The records revealed that NIAID gave nine China-related grants to EcoHealth Alliance to research coronavirus emergence in bats and was the NIH’s top issuer of grants to the Wuhan lab itself.

In June, we announced FOIA lawsuits against the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the State Department for information on the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Also in June, we obtained records from HHS revealing that from 2014 to 2019, $826,277 was given to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for bat coronavirus research by the NIAID.

In March, we publicly released emails and other records of Fauci and Dr. H. Clifford Lane from HHS showing that NIH officials tailored confidentiality forms to China’s terms and that the WHO conducted an unreleased, “strictly confidential” COVID-19 epidemiological analysis in January 2020. Additionally, the emails reveal an independent journalist in China pointing out the inconsistent COVID numbers in China to NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Deputy Director for Clinical Research and Special Projects Lane.

In October 2020, we uncovered emails showing a WHO entity pushing for a press release, approved by Fauci, “especially” supporting China’s COVID-19 response.

More Information Surfaces on Mysterious Ashley Biden Investigation

The diary of Ashley Biden, President Biden’s daughter, is at the center of a legal storm involving police in Florida, the FBI and prosecutors in New York. It raises serious questions abuses of the First Amendment by the Biden administration.

We now have more details. We received a six-page incident report and bodycam footage from the Delray Beach, FL, Police Department, detailing the turnover of records related to the diary and/or other property of Ashley Biden, daughter of President Joe Biden.

According to the incident report, an attorney turned in “possibly stolen luggage” to the Delray Beach PD which contained “documents and envelopes in folders” with the name Ashley Biden. The Delray Beach PD included bodycam footage of an attorney handing over the items.

The Delray Beach PD also noted in the incident report that the FBI had said it would “take over the case.”

We obtained the documents and bodycam video in response to a November 16, 2021, Florida Public Records Request for:

  • All records related to the alleged theft and/or disappearance of a diary and/or other property from Ashley Blazer Biden…circa 2020 reportedly from a Delray Beach residence. Such records shall include, but not be limited to, incident reports, investigative reports, recordings, photos, telephone logs and messages, email messages, and witness statements.
  • All records of communications, including emails and text messages, sent to and from Delray Beach Police Department officials regarding the alleged theft/disappearance of Ms. Biden’s diary and/or other property.

The incident report was filed on November 8, 2020. Project Veritas reportedly obtained Ashley Biden’s diary in October 2020, a week and a half before the 2020 presidential election.

The “possibly stolen luggage” was reported to the Delray Beach PD on Sunday, November 8, 2020 at 11:21AM. It was reported as a “Suspicious Incident.” The report indicates “BWC/In Use/Body Worn Cam” and under the “Victims” section, in the field for number of victims, they list zero.

In a print-out for the case for “Additional Name List,” the Delray Beach PD lists Ashley Biden, but provides no additional information.

In the incident report, Delray Beach PD Officer Nicole Guerriero explained that she met with Adam Leo Bantner II “at the DBPD [Delray Beach Police Department] lobby in reference to property that he wanted to turn over to the DBPD.” She continued:

“Adam, who is an attorney, advised that his client, who Adam refused to divulge the identity of, gave Adam some property (a duffle bag and a piece of luggage) that his client obtained from an unknown person. Adam’s client told Adam that the property is possibly stolen and he got it from an unknown person at a hotel which the client refused to share as well. It was also learned that the items belonged to a person named ‘Ashley Biden.’ A brief check of the property in the luggage revealed that there were some documents and envelopes in folders that were loosely spread in the bags which read the name Ashley Biden. The documents all had different addresses, but all had the same name of Ashley Biden. The bags were checked for safety and all the contents were left inside the bags and secured in DBPD. The FBI was contacted and advised that they would respond to the DBPD, collect the belongings and take over the case.”

In a Case Supplemental Report on November 8, 2020, “at approximately 4:24 p.m.,” Officer Guerriero notes: “I met with FBI Special Agent Healey and turned over a blue duffle bag and a black suitcase into his custody. Both contained miscellaneous clothing and personal property.”

The website reported a New York Times story about the investigation of the diary:

The article claims that the federal investigators are comprised of FBI agents and “federal prosecutors in Manhattan who work on public corruption matters” on behalf of the Southern District of New York. The investigation was seemingly opened by then-Attorney General Bill Barr, after a Biden family representative allegedly reported in October 2020 that the diary, along with “several” of Ashley Biden’s personal items had been stolen in a burglary.

This is contrary to the information provided to National File by a Project Veritas whistleblower, who explained that the diary was left at an address where Joe Biden’s daughter used to stay….

In a video posted to social media, Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe notes that Ashley Biden’s father’s FBI may be setting a dangerous precedent by, apparently, pursuing criminal charges against reporters for the crime of gathering information from sources.

The FBI raided the home of Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe on November 6, 2021, purportedly as part of a federal investigation into the “stolen” diary.

The Biden Justice Department’s abuse of James O’Keefe and Project Veritas stinks to high heaven, and these new documents raise new concerns that O’Keefe is being improperly targeted.

Judicial Watch VICTORY: Delaware Supreme Court Demands More Answers on Biden Document Secrecy

We have a victory in our lawsuit to learn what Joe Biden is hiding about his days in the Senate.

The Delaware Supreme Court ruled this week that the University of Delaware must provide more information justifying its decision to keep secret its deal to house and restrict access to the U.S. Senate records of President Joe Biden.

The high court reversed the Delaware Superior Court and found that the University of Delaware had not carried its burden justifying its refusal to produce records. The case returns to the Delaware Superior Court for further proceedings.

We and The Daily Caller News Foundation initially filed the July 2020 state FOIA lawsuit after the University of Delaware denied their requests on April 30, 2020, for all of Biden’s Senate records and for records about the preservation and any proposed release of the records, including communications with Biden or his representatives (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. University of Delaware, No. N20A-07-001 MMJ (Del. Super.)).

Tara Reade, who has accused Biden of sexually assaulting her in 1993 when she worked as a staff assistant to the then-senator, has said that she believes a workplace discrimination and harassment complaint she filed against Biden at the time may be in the records housed at the University of Delaware. Biden also admitted to communicating with Vladimir Putin and other foreign leaders when he was a United State Senator.

In January 2021, we filed an appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court, asking for a reversal of the opinion of the Delaware Superior Court, which blocked a state FOIA request for access to records about President Biden’s senatorial records held by the University of Delaware. Biden’s papers include more than 1,850 boxes of archival records from his Senate career.

In its opinion, the Delaware Supreme Court ruled that the state’s open records law requires the University must provide additional information, under oath, to justify its refusal to produce records about its dealings with Biden:

[U]nless it is clear on the face of the request that the demanded records are not subject to FOIA, satisfaction of Section 10005(c)’s burden of proof requires a statement made under oath. Such a reading of the statutory text is also supported by the statute’s purpose. FOIA safeguards a democratic society by ensuring the meetings and records of governmental entities are available to the public….

Therefore, if a public body is to deny citizens an opportunity to “observe the performance of public officials and to monitor the decisions that are made by such officials,” the public body must satisfy its burden of proof under FOIA in a manner that tracks the seriousness of the statute’s purpose and policy. Statements made under oath, such as through a sworn affidavit, accomplish that goal; they bear earmarks of reliability and instill a measure of seriousness in the affiant by subjecting the affiant to the risk of penalty of perjury.

Regarding the reversal of the Superior Court’s decision, the opinion instructs:

Because the University’s factual assertions to the Deputy Attorney General and the Superior Court were not made under oath and do not describe the efforts taken to identify responsive documents, they are not sufficient to meet FOIA’s burden of proof. On remand, the Superior Court shall determine whether the University has satisfied its burden of proof based on competent evidence in accordance with this ruling. The Superior Court is granted leave to accept additional evidence or submissions as it deems necessary and appropriate.

“The University of Delaware should stop trying to hide records from the president’s decades of political activities. They should be public. This level of corruption should not be happening in America,” Daily Caller News Foundation President Neil Patel said.

This decision is a remarkable pushback on the University of Delaware’s secret deal with Joe Biden to hide his Senate records. In the meantime, why won’t President Biden simply release his Senate records? What is he trying to hide?

Until next week …


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