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News | June 20, 2024

Press Release: Management Advisory: Review of DoD Funds Provided to People’s Republic of China and Associated Affiliates for Research Activities or Any Foreign Countries for the Enhancement of Pathogens of Pandemic Potential (Report No. DODIG-2024-099)


Inspector General Robert P. Storch announced today that the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (DoD OIG) released the “Management Advisory: Review of DoD Funds Provided to the People’s Republic of China and Associated Affiliates for Research Activities or Any Foreign Countries for the Enhancement of Pathogens of Pandemic Potential.” 

The management advisory is in response to Public Law 118-31, Section 252, which required the DoD OIG to issue a report on the amount of Federal funds awarded by the DoD, from 2014 to 2023, to Chinese research labs or to fund research or experiments in China or other foreign countries that could have reasonably resulted in the enhancement of pathogens of pandemic potential. 

“Consistent with prior findings by the Government Accountability Office in this area, we identified significant limitations in the adequacy of the data in DoD and Federal awards systems,” said IG Storch. “While the DoD was able to identify some funding that fell within the scope of the Congressional inquiry, we found that the DoD did not track funding in sufficient detail for us to determine the full scope of funds it provided to Chinese research laboratories or other foreign countries for research related to pathogens or otherwise.”

U.S. Army officials self-identified seven grant awards from the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs appropriation, valued at $15.6 million, that involved potential enhancement of pathogen research in foreign countries. Army officials stated that all pathogen research is for defensive purposes to understand the threat, develop diagnostic systems to identify the threat, and develop medical countermeasures to prepare for or respond to the threat. Additionally, U.S. Army officials self-identified five other awards valued at $9.9 million to Chinese entities for research activities unrelated to enhancing pathogens.

The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) self-identified 13 projects, totaling $46.7 million, awarded to EcoHealth Alliance Inc. from 2014 through 2023 for pathogen-related biosurveillance studies and training in various foreign countries. EcoHealth Alliance Inc. was mentioned by name as a subject of the Congressional inquiry.  DTRA reported that none of the EcoHealth Alliance funding was allocated to China, its affiliates, or for research on enhancing pathogens. DTRA also reported providing $7.4 million in funds to EcoHealth Alliance Inc. for research to understand and develop a capability to pinpoint disease threats faster than current public health systems and diagnostics.

Full report available here