The U.S. State Department and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) were aware in January 2020 that Chinese authorities were withholding COVID-19 data, according to government documents obtained by a legal watchdog organization.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) also sent “experts” from the NIH-supported P4 lab at the University of Texas Medical Branch to train Wuhan Institute of Virology technicians in “lab management and maintenance”—nearly two years before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic—the records obtained by Judicial Watch through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit show.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said he believes the 90 pages of communication records between the NIH and the Wuhan lab show that Dr. Anthony Fauci’s agency, NIAID, has been “hiding information on China’s failure to provide essential data on COVID-19.”
On Jan. 8, 2020, staff at NIH and NIAID, led by Fauci, circulated an email from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, “PRC Response to Pneumonia Cases Shows Increased Transparency Over Past Outbreaks, but Gaps in Epidemiological Data Remain.”
“Hi, here is the cable from US Embassy Beijing reporting on the pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, China. It has ruled out SARS, MERS, and flu. [Redacted] confirmed it is viral infection,” reads an email to colleagues from Dr. Ping Chen, who had been NIAID’s top official in China.
Embassy officials in the email said they were concerned that a “lack of epidemiological data” hindered better risk assessment and response by public health officials. The officials noted that because of “gaps in [detailed] information” provided by the Chinese regime and “lack of a final confirmed pathogen,” the risk to the United States and global health is “difficult to assess at this time.”
“The flow of official PRC information on this outbreak is limited to that coming from the Wuhan Health Commission and National Health Commission,” the email reads. “China CDC is referring queries to the three official notices issued to date by the Wuhan Health Commission.”
The first known cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, were reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China.
“As of January 7, the Wuhan Health Commission has reported 59 local cases of pneumonia with unknown cause,” the email reads.