Appearing on Friday on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends First,” Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, a Republican from Indiana, called for Congress to enact a ban of US funding of research in China.
That comment came after co-host Todd Pirro asked her “Broader question, Congresswoman, why are we still funding our main adversary in this world, China?”
Responding, Rep. Miller-Meeks suggested that Congress needs to step up and work on banning yet more when it comes to our relationship with China, namely American funding of research in China, saying:
“Well, that brings up a very larger question, we’ve already passed a bill to prevent research from — excuse me, to prevent oil from being released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to be sold to China and I think…this is another area that we can look at.
“But the international community has a vested interest in finding out where the origins of COVID-19 came from for exactly that reason. Is there gain of function or unethical research being conducted and what’s the international community’s response? Are their lab breaks? Is the appropriate kind of research being done at the appropriate biosafety lab, so you’re not having biosafety lab four research conducted in an inappropriate facility which could lead to a leak and a virus and another pandemic?
“So, these things are very important that the international community has an understanding on, and then disclosure, there needs to be immediate disclosure. And, as we know, probably in the fall of 2019, they knew that they had a virus that had leaked, but yet, that was not disclosed and they denied human-to-human transmission.”
The Government Accountability Office, reporting on the extent of the American government’s funding of research initiatives in China, said in a 2022 report that:
The U.S. government collaborates with and supports foreign entities such as those in China to, among other things, broaden U.S. access to scientific resources. Of the five agencies that GAO reviewed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense, and the National Institutes of Health obligated $28.9 million directly to Chinese entities from fiscal years 2015 through 2021. Neither of the other two agencies—the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy—provided awards directly to Chinese entities. Chinese entities also received federal research funds through subawards to do a portion of the work. The full extent of that funding is not known due to limitations in the data provided in accordance with federal subaward reporting requirements.
The awards funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense, and the National Institutes of Health focused on multiple scientific disciplines, including public health and biological sciences. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health funded Chinese entities to conduct a wide range of research, including disease surveillance, vaccination studies, and the development of new drugs. Additionally, the Department of Defense funded research in areas such as alternative technologies to propel vehicles such as drones. These awards provided directly to Chinese entities resulted in scientific articles, data collection systems, and international workshops.
To echo the question asked by Pirro, why on Earth is the US funding Chinese research given that we might very well be at war with them soon?
By: Will Tanner. Follow me on Twitter @Will_Tanner_1