Republican Pennsylvania Rep. John Joyce introduced a bill on Thursday that would require officials at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to consult with intelligence officials on research impacting national security.
The SAFE Biomedical Research Act, obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller, would require the NIH director to consult with the “Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the heads of other appropriate agencies on a regular basis regarding biomedical research conducted or supported” by the NIH that could impact national security.
“I am proud to sponsor SAFE Biomedical Research Act that would support our research priorities while also ensure they do not fall into the hands of hostile actors,” Joyce, a member of the Doctors Caucus, told the Daily Caller. “The research conducted and sponsored by the NIH makes great strides in medical innovation and we must ensure that it is never used to harm or attack our citizens.”
NIH has been repeatedly targeted by Chinese spies. An Ohio State University (OSU) professor pleaded guilty to making false statements to federal agents in 2020 after concealing his involvement in China’s Thousand Talents program, which is associated with espionage, grant fraud, and technology theft. He was later ordered to pay $3.8 million in restitution to the NIH and OSU.
Following a 2018 probe into the financial ties of NIH grantees, 54 scientists resigned or were fired from research positions. Of the 189 scientists who NIH investigated, 93% received financial backing from China, ScienceInsider reported. (RELATED: More Than A Dozen Researchers And Professors At US Universities Have Been Arrested For Ties To The Chinese Government)
NIH funding also went to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) to conduct gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses, Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak told House Republicans Wednesday. The funding, which went to WIV through a grant from the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance, was not previously reported to a Department of Health and Human Services review board, in violation of EcoHealth Alliance’s grant.
Read the bill here: