Rep. Roy demands answers on Fauci emails

July 28, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON— On Wednesday, Reps. Chip Roy (TX-21) and Bill Posey (FL-8), along with several of their House Republican colleagues, sent a letter to Dr. Anthony Fauci demanding answers on his correspondence with the virology community and the suppression of information on the origins of COVID and gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

“There is little question at this point that Dr. Fauci has misled the American public and Congress about the research that occurred at the Wuhan lab,” Rep. Roy said of the letter. “He testified before the Senate that risky gain-of-function research was not occurring in Wuhan, yet in his now-public emails, sends an urgent message to his deputy on gain-of-function. His emails also implicate him in having influence over a paper that called the lab leak theory implausible."

"The American people deserve answers about what Fauci knew and when he knew it; we must investigate this and see wherever the truth leads us,” Roy concluded.


Full text of the letter can be found here and below:


Anthony Fauci, M.D.
National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases
5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9806
Bethesda, Maryland 20892


Dear Dr. Fauci,

We write to you to inquire about email correspondence between you and other stakeholders in the virology community that appears to be part of an effort to mislead the American people on the origins of COVID-19 and gain-of-function research.

According to your emails that were made public via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), you received an email from Dr. Kristian Andersen of the Scripps Research Institute on January 31, 2020. Dr. Andersen indicated that he and other scientists found COVID-19 to be inconsistent with a natural origin:

“The unusual features of the virus make up a really small part of the genome (<0.1%) so one has to look really closely at all the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered… Eddie, Bob, Mike, and myself all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.”[1]

The next day, on February 1, 2020, you sent an urgent email to NIAID Principal Deputy Director, Dr. Hugh Auchincloss, saying:

“It is essential that we speak this AM…. Read this paper as well as the e-mail that I will forward to you now. You will have tasks today that must be done.”[2]

In the February 1 email, you included an attachment, titled “Baric, Shi et al – Nature medicine – SARS Gain of function.pdf.”[3] Dr. Ralph Baric is a leading coronavirus researcher and one of the pioneers of gain-of-function research involving coronaviruses funded by grants from NIAID and NIH.[4] Zhengli Shi is the Director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the taxpayer-funded Wuhan Institute of Virology. The only paper co-authored by these two scientists in Nature Medicine is “a SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence.”[5]

Dr. Auchincloss later responded with an email to you on February 1, 2020. He indicated that the research contained in the paper that you sent happened before the gain-of-function moratorium that went into effect October 2014.[6] He also stated that “Emily” (presumably, Dr. Emily Erbelding, Director of the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the NIH) was certain that gain-of-function research on coronaviruses did not go through the Potential Pandemic Pathogens (HHS P3CO) framework created as a tool after the moratorium.[7],[8]

“The paper you sent me says the experiments were performed before the gain of function pause but have since been reviewed and approved by NIH. Not sure what that means since Emily is sure that no Coronavirus work has gone through the P3 framework. She will try to determine if we have any distant ties to this work abroad.”[9]

Later, you received an email on February 1, 2020 from Dr. Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, regarding a teleconference with Drs. Andersen, Bob Garry, Mike Ferguson, Eddie Holmes, Andrew Rambaut, and others set on February 1, 2020 where “information and discussion is shared in total confidence and not to be shared until agreement on next steps.”[10]

Andersen and three other doctors on this teleconference later published a paper titled “the proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2 in Nature Medicine on March 17, 2020. This paper was highly influential in shaping our nation’s response to the pandemic. In the paper, the doctors concluded that “…we do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible.”[11]

On March 6, 2020, you received an email from Dr. Andersen who thanked you for “your advice and leadership as we have been working through the SARS-CoV-2 ‘origins’ paper.”[12] You later praised his work on the paper on March 8, 2020.[13]

The Andersen paper led the narrative away from COVID-19’s potential lab origins. As Americans, we are deeply concerned by the appearance of discrepancies that largely influenced our understanding and approach to this virus. As Representatives of the American people, we owe it to them to seek and expose the truth about this virus’ origins wherever those efforts may lead.

Please provide the following by August 28, 2021:

  1. Please confirm that the “Baric, Shi et al – Nature medicine – SARS Gain of function.pdf” attachment you sent to Dr. Auchincloss on February 1, 2020 was, “A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence” published in Nature Medicine on November 9, 2015. If this is not the paper, then please provide the attachment referred to by this name.
  2. Did you provide Secretary Alex Azar, Dr. Robert Kadlec, or any political appointee at the Department of Health and Human Services with the Baric, Shi paper in 2020? If so, when and to whom?
  3. According to the email from Dr. Auchincloss, the coronavirus research in Baric, Shi was approved by the NIH, yet did not go through the HHS P3CO framework. Why?
  4. Please provide the findings of Dr. Erbelding’s review of NIAID ties to gain-of-function research abroad.
  5. On May 11, 2021, you testified to the Senate HELP Committee that NIH and NIAID have not funded gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. You also testified that Dr. Baric was not doing gain-of-function research.[14] Yet, the February 1, 2020 Auchincloss email clearly suggests that Baric and Shi were conducting gain of function research with NIH funding. For the purposes of your email exchange, what was the definition of “gain-of-function” used? Is the research discussed in “A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence” considered to be gain-of-function by the NIH?
  6. Please provide the notes from the February 1, 2020 Farrar teleconference that were sent to you on February 2, 2020.[15]


Thank you for attention to this matter.



Chip Roy

Member of Congress


Bill Posey

Member of Congress


Bob Good

Member of Congress


Marjorie Taylor Greene

Member of Congress


Scott Perry

Member of Congress


Andy Biggs

Member of Congress


Diana Harshbarger

Member of Congress


Jeff Duncan

Member of Congress


Tom McClintock

Member of Congress


Dan Bishop

Member of Congress


Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S.

Member of Congress


Louie Gohmert

Member of Congress


Andy Harris, M.D.

Member of Congress



[4] This research was supported by grants from NIAID and NIH under various awards including U19AI109761 and U19AI107810 to Dr. Baric and USAID and Chinese National Science Foundation funding to Dr. Shi.

[5] This paper is the only article in Nature Medicine co-authored by Shi and Baric. 

[6] From October 2014 to December 2017 gain-of-function research was paused while NIH developed a deliberative process to review gain-of-function research. As a result, the “Framework for Guiding Funding Decisions about Proposed Research Involving Enhanced Potential Pandemic Pathogens” also known as the “PPP” or “P3” framework.

[13] Ibid.