It turns out, not only did the U.S. reportedly fund the controversial lab in Wuhan, China that many now believe was the origin of COVID-19, it might have been for twice the amount that was originally intended.
CBS News reported on Monday, “The U.S. government may have made duplicate payments for projects at labs in Wuhan, China, through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), according to records reviewed by CBS News.”
The U.S. government may have made duplicate payments for projects at labs in Wuhan, China, through the National Institutes of Health and U.S. Agency for International Development, according to records reviewed by CBS News. https://t.co/lOJJu89CqO
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 14, 2023
The report continued, “‘What I’ve found so far is evidence that points to double billing, potential theft of government funds. It is concerning, especially since it involves dangerous pathogens and risky research,’ said Diane Cutler, a former federal investigator with over two decades of experience combating white-collar crime and healthcare fraud.”
“Cutler found evidence of possible double payments as she investigated U.S. government grants that supported high risk research in China leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic,” CBS News added.
Duplication in government spending is a practice Republican Sen. Rand Paul just introduced legislation to curtail.
Along with Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan, the bipartisan pair of lawmakers introduced the “Duplication Scoring Act” on Tuesday, which “seeks to reduce the size of government by eliminating duplicative programs and prevent further duplication within the federal government.”
As we fight to rein in current wasteful spending, this reform would better enable Congress to make more fully informed decisions by adding a layer of oversight that will help stop waste in government before it ever happens. https://t.co/QHt6GCbsOu
— Senator Rand Paul (@SenRandPaul) March 14, 2023
Paul said in a press release, “As we fight to rein in current wasteful spending, this reform would better enable Congress to make more fully informed decisions by adding a layer of oversight that will help stop waste in government before it ever happens.”
Sen. Hassan added, “Our bipartisan bill would tackle wasteful government spending by preventing the creation of duplicative federal programs and as a result save taxpayer dollars.”
The alleged Wuhan spending duplication is no outlier. According to the Government Accountability Office, over the last 12 years more than 1,100 cases of duplicative programs have been documented.
Paul’s press release notes that “the U.S. government has saved over $500 billion from the elimination of GAO’s identified programs, however, these savings only account for just over 50 percent of GAO’s identified programs, suggesting billions of taxpayer dollars are still being wasted on duplicative programs.”
The Duplication Scoring Act was also introduced in 2021 by Paul and Hassan, who were joined by a bipartisan group of senators.