EcoHealth Alliance, the nonprofit organization that collaborated with and funded the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), which has been under suspicion as a potential origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to receive millions of dollars more in taxpayer-funded grants.
EcoHealth distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds from 2014 to 2019 to the WIV for gain-of-function research on bat-based coronaviruses, potentially leading to the leak of COVID-19 from the Chinese laboratory. In May, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) restored a previously suspended grant to EcoHealth, committing to give the organization $576,000 per year until 2027, according to the NIH.
Additionally, there are 14 active taxpayer-funded grants to EcoHealth recorded on USASpending.gov totaling close to $50 million. Out of the 14 grants in progress, 12 were administered after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March 2020.
Besides the restarted NIH grant, the Department of Defense (DOD) awarded the most recent multi-million dollar grant to EcoHealth in December 2022, which ends in December 2025, according to USASpending.gov. The $3 million grant’s purpose is to combat pandemic threats emerging from wildlife in the Philippines.
The President of EcoHealth, Dr. Peter Daszak, originally participated in the WHO team investigating the origins of COVID-19 in China, despite his organization’s history of funding and collaborating with WIV, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.
The House of Representatives passed an amendment on Friday to defund WIV and EcoHealth as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The amendment blocks the DOD from using funds from the NDAA on WIV and EcoHealth, but does not terminate active grants, of which there are a total of nine, according to USASpending.gov.
In addition to the nine active DOD grants, there are a total of five other active grants including three from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and one each from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Agency for International Development (USAID), according to USASpending.gov. Altogether, the 14 active grants total over $47 million.
A recent report by the House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic asserts that former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci initiated an effort to suppress the theory that COVID-19 could be traced to the WIV. Fauci urged researchers to write a paper to “disprove” the lab leak theory on multiple occasions, according to the report.
“The fact is that the bat coronavirus research conducted by EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology could not have started the COVID-19 pandemic,” an EcoHealth Alliance spokesperson told the DCNF. The spokesperson also cited an NIH statement from October 2021.
NIH and DOD did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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