Dr Dazack Wuhan memorandum

May21,2020 SecretaryAzarandDirectorCollins: The77signatoriesofthisletter,AmericanNobelLaureatesinPhysiologyorMedicine, Chemistry,andPhysics,aregravelyconcernedabouttherecentcancellationofagrantfromthe NationalInstitutesofHealth(NIH)toDr.PeterDaszakattheEcoHealthAllianceinNewYork. Webelievethatthisactionsetsadangerousprecedentbyinterferingintheconductofscience andjeopardizespublictrustintheprocessofawardingfederalfundsforresearch. Formanyyears,Dr.Daszakandhiscolleagueshavebeenconductinghighlyregarded,NIH- supportedresearchoncoronavirusesandotherinfectiousagents,focusingonthetransmission ofthesevirusesfromanimalhoststohumanbeings.Theirworkdependsonproductive collaborationswithscientistsinothercountries,includingscientistsinWuhan,China,wherethe currentpandemiccausedbyanovelcoronavirusarose.Nowispreciselythetimewhenwe needtosupportthiskindofresearchifweaimtocontrolthepandemicandprevent subsequentones. Ashasnowbeenwidelyreported,thegranttotheEcoHealthAlliancewasabruptlyterminated byNIHonApril24,2020,justafewdaysafterPresidentTrumprespondedtoaquestionfroma reporterwhoerroneouslyclaimedthatthegrantawardedmillionsofdollarstoinvestigatorsin Wuhan.DespitethemisrepresentationofDr.Daszak’sgrant,despitethehighrelevanceofthe studiestothecurrentpandemic,anddespitetheveryhighpriorityscorethathisapplicationfor renewalhadreceivedduringpeerreview,theNIHinformedDr.Daszakandhiscolleaguesthat thegrantwasbeingterminatedbecause“NIHdoesnotbelievethatthecurrentproject outcomesalignwiththeprogramgoalsandagencypriorities.”Suchexplanationsare preposterousunderthecircumstances. Wearescientistswhohavedevotedourcareerstoresearch,bothinmedicalandrelated scientificdisciplinesthatbearontheoverallhealthandwell-beingofsociety,aswellas fundamentalscientificresearch,muchofitsupportedbyNIHandotherfederalagencies.We takeprideinournation’swidelyadmiredsystemforallocatingfundsbasedonexpertreview andpublichealthneeds.TheabruptrevokingoftheawardtoDr.Daszakcontravenesthese basictenetsanddeprivesthenationandtheworldofhighlyregardedsciencethatcouldhelp controloneofthegreatesthealthcrisesinmodernhistoryandthosethatmayariseinthe future. 77USNobelLaureatesinScience

Weaskthatyouacturgentlytoconductandreleaseathoroughreviewoftheactionsthatled tothedecisiontoterminatethegrant,andthat,followingthisreview,youtakeappropriate stepstorectifytheinjusticesthatmayhavebeencommittedinrevokingit. PeterAgreChemistry2003JamesP.AllisonMedicine2018 SidneyAltmanChemistry1989FrancesH.ArnoldChemistry2018 DavidBaltimoreMedicine1975BarryClarkBarishPhysics2017 PaulBergChemistry1980J.MichaelBishopMedicine1989 ElizabethH.BlackburnMedicine2009MichaelS.BrownMedicine1985 WilliamC.CampbellMedicine2015MarioR.CapecchiMedicine2007 ThomasR.CechChemistry1989MartinChalfieChemistry2008 StevenChuPhysics1997EliasJamesCoreyChemistry1990 RobertF.CurlJr.Chemistry1996JohannDeisenhoferChemistry1988 AndrewZ.FireMedicine2006EdmondH.FischerMedicine1992 JoachimFrankChemistry2017JeromeI.FriedmanPhysics1990 WalterGilbertChemistry1980SheldonGlashowPhysics1979 JosephL.GoldsteinMedicine1985CarolW.GreiderMedicine2009 DavidJ.GrossPhysics2004RogerGuilleminMedicine1977 LelandH.HartwellMedicine2001DudleyR.HerschbachChemistry1986 RoaldHoffmannChemistry1981H.RobertHorvitzMedicine2002 LouisJ.IgnarroMedicine1998WilliamG.KaelinJr.Medicine2019 EricR.KandelMedicine2000WolfgangKetterlePhysics2001 BrianK.KobilkaChemistry2012RogerD.KornbergChemistry2006 RobertJ.LefkowitzChemistry2012AnthonyJ.LeggettPhysics2003 MichaelLevittChemistry2013RoderickMacKinnonChemistry2003 JohnC.MatherPhysics2006CraigC.MelloMedicine2006 WilliamE.MoernerChemistry2014MarioJ.MolinaChemistry1995 FeridMuradMedicine1998DouglasD.OsheroffPhysics1996

JamesPeeblesPhysics2019SaulPerlmutterPhysics2011 WilliamD.PhillipsPhysics1997H.DavidPolitzerPhysics2004 SirRichardJ.RobertsMedicine1993MichaelRosbashMedicine2017 JamesE.RothmanMedicine2013RandyW.SchekmanMedicine2013 RichardR.SchrockChemistry2005GreggL.SemenzaMedicine2019 PhillipA.SharpMedicine1993HamiltonO.SmithMedicine1978 GeorgeP.SmithChemistry2018HorstL.StormerPhysics1998 ThomasC.SudhofMedicine2013JackW.SzostakMedicine2009 JosephH.TaylorJr.Physics1993KipStephenThornePhysics2017 SusumuTonegawaMedicine1987DanielC.TsuiPhysics1998 HaroldE.VarmusMedicine1989SteveWeinbergPhysics1979 RainerWeissPhysics2017CarlE.WiemanPhysics2001 EricF.WieschausMedicine1995TorstenN.WieselMedicine1981 FrankWilczekPhysics2004RobertWoodrowWilsonPhysics1978 MichaelW.YoungMedicine2017

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