EcoHealth has received over $80 million from taxpayers since 2008, some of which paid for the dangerous experiments in China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology.
WASHINGTON — This week, the Biden administration reinstated a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to EcoHealth Alliance, Inc. to continue its risky research on bat coronaviruses in China’s state-run Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) – the very studies that may have caused the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant was suspended by the Trump administration due to EcoHealth’s unsafe research and failure to comply with federal laws and NIH’s own terms and conditions.
A scathing audit of EcoHealth’s use of taxpayer dollars – demanded by Ernst and others – recently found that EcoHealth:
In response to the Biden administration’s decision to reinstate taxpayer funding for this risky research, Ernst is demanding that NIH immediately and permanently debar EcoHealth from receiving any additional funds.
In the letter, Senator Ernst writes: “In a March 2021 letter to the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG), I outlined EcoHealth’s ongoing violations of the Stevens Amendment, which prompted a broader audit of EcoHealth’s use of taxpayer dollars. The OIG found that NIH failed to effectively monitor EcoHealth’s studies on bat coronaviruses performed in the WIV, which resulted in the creation of enhanced pathogens. As you know, many experts believe a lab leak related to these studies may have unleashed the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Despite these scathing findings, EcoHealth continues to violate longstanding federal law mandating that all projects supported with taxpayer dollars publicly disclose the costs and to conduct dangerous experiments on coronaviruses collected from bats with the financial backing of the NIH.
“Given EcoHealth’s well-documented and persistent refusal to comply with federal laws, adhere to the terms of government grants, and irresponsible behavior conducting risky research in unsafe labs, I would urge you to immediately debar EcoHealth from receiving any additional taxpayer dollars in order to stop its dangerous experiments before the public’s health is put at risk, possibly for a second time.”
Click here or the image above to watch Ermst and White Coat Waste Project’s Justin Goodman discuss their efforts to hold EcoHealth Alliance accountable.
Since 2020, Ernst has continually pushed for more oversight and accountability in federal research labs, specifically in taxpayer-funded experiments run by NIH.
Read the full letter here.