Booker urges HHS to investigate renewal of grants to primate research center with history of serious violations

WASHINGTON DC — U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (DN.J.) has urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to investigate the National Institutes of Health Office of the Director’s oversight and approval of the grant basic operational funding, called P51, to Washington State. National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC) at the University of Washington.

P51 Core Grant Renewal Comes After The Arizona Republic and other media revealed WaNPRC’s failure to maintain biosecurity, repeated animal welfare violations, financial problems with taxpayer funds, and failure to follow federal and state laws.

“Despite all of these issues, many of which have direct implications for public health and scientific integrity, the NIH has decided to invest significant additional taxpayer funds in the WaNPRC,” wrote Senator Booker in the letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “An investigation into the oversight and approvals process would shed much-needed light on why this deeply troubled facility continues to receive federal funding.”

In addition to urging an investigation, Senator Booker asked HHS to answer a series of questions relating to the NIH’s oversight and approval process for this grant.

The full text of the letter is available here.

The Arizona Republic series of articles can be found here.