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A leading investigative law firm wants to know why a group that carried out “gain-of-function” coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute for Virology got $2 million from the Department of Homeland Security.

Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for “records and communications between DHS component offices and the U.S. Biological Defense Program regarding a $2 million grant awarded by the DHS’s Ground Truth Network to EcoHealth Alliance,” JW reports.

“EcoHealth Alliance is implicated in using tax dollars for ‘gain-of-function’ coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute for Virology and elsewhere in China,” JW notes.

“This U.S. government secretive grant to EcoHealth Alliance on ‘biosafety’ deserves a full accounting, especially given the ongoing ‘gain-of-function’ scandal in Wuhan,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

Judicial Watch reports their suit “names the National Biosurveillance Integration Center (NBIC) and the Office of Health Affairs, which are part of DHS’s U.S. Biological Defense Program, which DHS states was established to increase the U.S.’s “preparedness against chemical and biological threats through improved threat awareness, advanced surveillance and detection, and responsive countermeasures.”

The suit, filed after DHS failed to respond to a February 17, 2023, FOIA, asks for:

Records and communications of the National Biosurveillance Integration Center (NBIC), Office of Health Affairs, DHS of the following current or former employees (1) Heather Poindexter, (2) LCDR Reajul Mojumder, (3) Teresa Quitugua, regarding:

A. Ground Truth Network Project


C. HSHQDC16C00113

D. HSHQDC-16-R-00116

E. EcoHealth Alliance interface with NBIC analysts through written documents (e.g., emails, written reports, maps, data, etc.), oral communication (e.g., phone calls, conference call, etc.), and face-to-face meetings.

F. Any requests for information (RFIs) sent to EcoHealth Alliance and any responses to RFIs from EcoHealth Alliance

G. Plans detailing Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) available to NBIC and the process for direct and indirect communications with SMEs

H. Credibility of the source(s) from whom any information was obtained under Ground Truth Network

I. Concurrence and / or Closeout letters from DHS to EcoHealth Alliance

This requests also includes communications or interface of DHS NBIC employees with the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis (DHS I&A) regarding:

1. Construction or editing of the Ground Truth Network RFP, grant or contract

2. Information shared between NBIC and DHS I&A received from EcoHealth Alliance or Ground Truth Network

JW notes that “according to the federal database, the grant (PIID HSHQDC16C00113) to EcoHealth Alliance was awarded in September 2016 with a potential end date of October 2022. Of the $2.1 million potential award, $974,298 was awarded. It was closed out in October 2021.”

“Lt. Commander Reajul Mojumder, Project Officer at DHS’s Bio-Preparedness Collaboratory, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction office, was managing the grant to EcoHealth Alliance, according to the database. Mojumder was later replaced by Teresa Quitugua, deputy director and chief scientist of National Biosurveillance Integration Center, Maryland,” JW notes.

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