By Kate O’Keeffe
The Education Department has asked the University of Texas System to provide documentation of its dealings with the Chinese laboratory U.S. officials are investigating as a potential source of the coronavirus pandemic.
The request for records of gifts or contracts from the Wuhan Institute of Virology and its researcher Shi Zhengli, known for her work on bats, is part of a broader department investigation into possible faulty financial disclosures of foreign money by the Texas group of universities.
The Education Department’s letter, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, also asks the UT System to share documents regarding potential ties to the ruling Chinese Communist Party and some two dozen Chinese universities and companies, including Huawei Technologies Co. and a unit of China National Petroleum Corp.
The department is also seeking documents related to any university system contracts or gifts from Eric Yuan, a U.S. citizen who is the chief executive officer of Zoom Video Communications Inc.