REEDLEY – Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) who chairs the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, sent letters to the FBI and U.S. Department of Health and Human (HSS) Services to request documents and copies of communications relating to the investigation of the illegal lab discovered in Reedley.
This was a second set of letters that were sent to both departments on Sept. 7, which also threaten to resort to the use of the ‘compulsory process’ if the agencies fail to comply. The letters, which did not define compulsory process, were addressed to FBI Director Christopher Wray and HSS Secretary Xavier Becerra, respectively.
According to what is in the letters, Wenstrup’s subcommittee sent a first round of letters to the two agencies on Aug. 23 asking for documents and information on the investigation. The Sept. 7 letters ask Wray and Becerra to provide the following to the subcommittee no later than Sept. 14:
- All documents and communications, between or among employees or contractors of the Bureau regarding the lab’s owners, Prestige Biotech, Inc. or Universal Meditech, Inc.
- All documents and communications between or among the Bureau and other federal, state, or local government entities, including but not limited to the Department of Health and Human Services, the California Department of Public Health, the California Department of Toxic Substance Control, the Office of the Governor of California, Fresno County, or the City of Reedley, regarding Prestige Biotech, Inc. or Universal Meditech, Inc.
The letter to HSS also requests all documents and communications regarding or produced during or response to the May 2-4 CDC Division of Select Agents and Toxins inspections of the laboratory.
According to the Sept. 7 letters, the subcommittee is authorized to investigate “the origins of the Coronavirus pandemic” and “the implementation or effectiveness of any Federal law or regulation applied, enacted, or under consideration to address the coronavirus pandemic and prepare for future pandemics.”