Judicial Watch Files Two New Federal FOIA Lawsuits for Information on COVID and Wuhan Institute of Virology
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (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 (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (No. 1:21-cv-01515)), (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:21-cv-01516)).
The lawsuit against the Office of the Director of National Intelligence was filed after it failed to respond to a March 11, 2021, FOIA request for all reports and records of communication dating back to June 1, 2017, regarding the Wuhan Institute of Virology and/or the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
On April 30, 2020, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a press release stating, “The entire Intelligence Community has been consistently providing critical support to U.S. policymakers and those responding to the COVID-19 virus, which originated in China.”
The lawsuit against the State Department was filed after it failed to respond to a March 10, 2021, FOIA request that asked for:
- All cables/teletypes, emails, or other messages sent or received by any official or employee of the Department of State assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing or any Consulate in China related to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and/or the origins of the SARSCoV-2 virus.
- All records regarding meetings between any official, employee, or representative of the Department of State and any official, employee, or representative of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, including briefing materials, notes, reports, or other records related to any such meeting.
- All records related to former Secretary Pompeo’s appearance on ABC’s “This Week” in May 2020 [during which he discussed concerns about the Chinese government’s handling of the COVID pandemic]
“We don’t trust either the Biden administration or the Deep State to voluntarily come clean on COVID and its possible connections to the Wuhan Institute,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuits could be the key to unraveling the truth about COVID and the Wuhan Institute.”
Last week, a Judicial Watch lawsuit uncovered HHS records that show that from 2014 to 2019, $826,277 was given to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for bat coronavirus research by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci. The records contain an email from Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, that details the relationship between the Fauci agency and the Wuhan Institute of Virology:
NIAID has been funding coronavirus work in China for the past 5 years … (1R01Al110964: “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence”). That’s now been renewed … Collaborators include Wuhan Institute of Virology (currently working on the nCoV), and Ralph Baric [of the University of North Carolina].
On March 1, Judicial Watch uncovered 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 World Health Organization (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 Lane.
In October 2020, Judicial Watch uncovered HHS records that included emails Fauci’s approval of a press release supportive of China’s response to the 2019 novel coronavirus.
On May 4, 2020, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit against HHS seeking communications between Dr. Anthony Fauci, Lane, and WHO officials concerning the novel coronavirus.