Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik announced that, following her push for transparency, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirmed $28.9 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Department of Defense (DoD) funded Chinese entities’ research and development. 

“China’s deception and stonewalling of the truth behind the origins of COVID-19 has led to millions of senseless deaths and trillions of dollars in economic destruction across the globe,” Stefanik said. “Following my advocacy, the Government Accountability Office undertook a study to account for the total amount of American taxpayer dollars that have gone to China for research efforts, and their findings are troubling. Since 2015, the CDC, NIH, and DoD have all sent taxpayer dollars to China for joint research. Even more frightening, we still have no idea how much total money has been sent to China due to lax reporting requirements. Make no mistake, the Chinese Communist Party’s deception throughout the pandemic confirmed that China is not a reliable partner. I am committed to the critical oversight of American taxpayer dollars and ensuring our agencies are not funding research in China at the expense of American interests.”

In January 2021, Stefanik and House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-Texas) called on the GAO to investigate the extent of funding provided across the U.S. Government that is used for research program of collaboration with entities in China, or with CCP-controlled entities.

Following Stefanik’s request, the GAO report revealed:

  • Between 2015 and 2021, the CDC, NIH, and DoD engaged in collaboration with China and provided $28.9 million in grants to Chinese entities for research and development. 
  • Chinese entities may have received even more subaward funding for research and development through the U.S. government, but due to subaward reporting requirements—or lack thereof—it is impossible to determine the extent of funding to China through these subawards.
  • The CDC and NIH funded awards to Chinese entities, some of which are ongoing as of summer 2022, for research efforts that include disease surveillance, vaccination studies, and drug development, which is concerning considering the Chinese Communist Party’s consistent blockage of international efforts to determine the origins and spread of COVID-19. 
  • While all the DoD awards went to universities in Hong Kong, which was treated differently from mainland China until 2020, the CDC and NIH awards to Chinese state universities is highly concerning given the CCPs extensive practice of theft of IP and research at the expense of US. strategic interests

Read the full report here.