Amid swirling conjecture and controversy, EcoHealth Alliance, the nonprofit linked to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) – a focal point of the COVID-19 origin investigation – is poised to receive millions in new taxpayer-funded grants.
The new wave of funding comes despite the organization’s questionable record, having already channeled significant sums to the WIV for potentially risky bat coronavirus research.
According to The Daily Caller, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reinstated a previously suspended grant in May, pledging an annual sum of $576,000 to EcoHealth until 2027. Furthermore, 14 active grants are recorded on USASpending.gov, totaling nearly $50 million, 12 of which were initiated post-March 2020 – after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
Additionally, the Department of Defense (DOD) has thrown its weight behind EcoHealth, extending a multi-million dollar grant in December of 2022, aimed at combating pandemic threats from Philippine wildlife. The DOD grant runs until December of 2025.
Dr. Peter Daszak, the president of EcoHealth, was a member of the World Health Organization team that sought to trace the origins of COVID-19 in China. However, critics have highlighted this as a potential conflict of interest due to his organization’s funding relationship with the WIV.
According to The Daily Caller, the House of Representatives has passed an amendment to defund WIV and EcoHealth under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), though it doesn’t impact current grants. USASpending.gov records nine active DOD grants, and five others, totaling over $47 million.
The House of Representatives Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic recently suggested that former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci initiated efforts to discredit the theory that COVID-19 could be traced to the WIV.
However, EcoHealth Alliance defended their work, stating, “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.”
The tug-of-war over the origins of COVID-19 and the role of EcoHealth Alliance promises to continue, with ramifications for both global health policy and national security.
This news article was partially created with the assistance of artificial intelligence and edited and fact-checked by a human editor.