As part of his ongoing investigation, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a new letter to Washington University in St. Louis Chancellor Dr. Andrew Martin and BJC HealthCare President and CEO Richard Liekweg today, requesting information about the receipt and use of federal funds in connection with The Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
“I appreciate the University’s promise to investigate these claims thoroughly and accommodate congressional oversight requests,” wrote Senator Hawley. “I now write to request specific information and records relevant to the receipt and use of federal funds in connection with the Transgender Center.”
He continued, “Federal taxpayer dollars should never be used to perform gender-transition procedures on minors. If the Center has used federal funds for these purposes, the American people should know.”
Yesterday, Senator Hawley introduced legislation that would allow those who were harmed by gender-transition procedures as minors to bring lawsuits against the participating individuals and entities. His bill would also prohibit federal funding to go to any pediatric gender clinic, to any university or hospital that is affiliated with a pediatric gender clinic, and for any gender-transition procedure performed on minors.
Last week, upon announcing his investigation, Senator Hawley sent a letter to the university chancellor, hospital president, and the center’s co-directors demanding the institutions immediately take steps to preserve all records, written and electronic, regarding gender-related treatments performed on minors since the opening of the Center.
Read his new letter here or below:
February 16, 2023
Dr. Andrew D. Martin
Washington University in St. Louis
1 Brookings Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63130
Richard J. Liekweg
President and CEO
4901 Forest Park Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63108
Dr. Martin and Mr. Liekweg:
I write to follow up on my letter dated February 9, 2023 raising concerns about recent allegations of egregious abuses of minors and potential at The Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. As I indicated in that letter, the University, the hospital, and the clinic have an obligation to preserve all records regarding gender-related treatments performed on minors at the Center. I appreciate the University’s promise to investigate these claims thoroughly and accommodate congressional oversight requests. I now write to request specific information and records relevant to the receipt and use of federal funds in connection with the Transgender Center.
Federal taxpayer dollars should never be used to perform gender-transition procedures on minors. If the Center has used federal funds for these purposes, the American people should know. In particular, I was greatly concerned to review a whistleblower’s allegations that employees at the Center inappropriately coded certain services when seeking reimbursement from federal agencies. Whether this was done to cover up irresponsible treatment or simply to bilk the federal government for more money has yet to be determined. In either case, the employees’ conduct would be a straightforward case of fraud, a clear violation of the False Claims Act, and potential grounds for exclusion from federal healthcare programs.
The federal government also has an obligation to protect individuals’ civil rights. The irreversible sterilization or physical disfigurement of minors, without their informed consent or without their parents’ informed consent, is a gross violation of civil rights and basic human rights. I also intend to investigate whether any employee of the Center had his or her federal conscience rights violated by the Center.
So that Congress can consider remedial legislation, please provide the following information by March 2, 2023. For purposes of this document production request, the term “University” means Washington University, the term “Hospital” means The St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and the term “Transgender Center” means The Washington University Transgender Center.
1. A full accounting of all federal funds received by the University, the Hospital, and the Transgender Center that have ultimately flowed to the Transgender Center since its inception.
2. A full accounting of all funding, public and private, that the Transgender Center receives, including an itemized list of funding from:
a. The federal government, including research grants and insurance reimbursements;
b. The University;
c. The Hospital;
d. Pharmaceutical companies;
e. Medical associations;
f. Private donors (over $1000); and
g. Any other non-profit organizations.
3. All copies of bills, grant requests, or any other documents submitted or sent by the Transgender Center, or on its behalf, to the federal government, including the Department of Health and Human Services and any of its subagencies.
4. All receipts of federal disbursements made to the Transgender Center, or to an entity that passed along these disbursements to the Transgender Center, including those disbursed under any program administered by the Department of Health and Human Services or any of its subagencies.
5. All communications between the Transgender Center’s employees and federal agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services and any of its subagencies.
Thank you for your cooperation.