Several members of Congress are trying to get answers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) about a researcher there who is tampering with multiple different strains of monkeypox in order to produce a super-monkeypox virus that is 1,000 times more deadly than the last one.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wa.), Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) recently sent a second letter to Lawrence Tabak, a senior official at the NIH who is currently performing the duties of director, requesting details about the project. They sent an initial letter back on Oct. 31, 2022, but never received any response.
In this second letter, the three members of Congress also included a formal notice asking the NIH to preserve all existing and future records and materials related to the new monkeypox project so it can be reviewed and scrutinized at some point in the future.
(Related: Remember when public health officials were caught lying about the last monkeypox scare?)