Skip to content

Ernst is Batting 1000

EcoHealth should never get their hands on bats or taxpayer dollars again.

WASHINGTON – After she led the charge to permanently debar the Wuhan Institute of Virology and defund EcoHealth Alliance (EHA) from receiving U.S. taxpayer dollars, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is continuing her work and following up with other agencies that have provided grants to support EcoHealth’s projects to confirm suspension of all grants and ensure access to all project data.

In letters to the National Institutes of Health (NIH)National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Defense (DoD), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Ernst demanded:

  • Confirmation of suspension of all funding to EHA,
  • A list of all active projects, including grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, sub-awards, and other funding vehicles, in which EHA is involved and receiving taxpayer dollars,
  • Assurance of access to and retention of all project data, including sequencing of bat viruses and other dangerous pathogens EHA collected or created with taxpayer dollars.

Ernst wrote, “Despite repeated requests from NIH, EHA never provided laboratory notebooks and files from the taxpayer-funded research conducted on coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which could hold vital clues to understanding the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. All information related to EHA’s current experiments not currently in your custody needs to be collected and every precaution should be taken to ensure the pathogens in the group’s possession are documented and prevented from leaking. What happened in Wuhan should never be allowed to happen anywhere else ever again.”


Ernst secured the ongoing audit of EcoHealth’s risky research around the world paid for by the Pentagon that is now being conducted by the DoD Office of Inspector General (OIG).

In 2021, Ernst requested the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) OIG investigation of EcoHealth’s experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which found the group’s work with the Wuhan Institute resulted in enhanced coronaviruses and did not comply with federal reporting requirements. The findings of this report are cited in the suspension and proposed debarment issued by HHS.

In 2022, Ernst called on NIH and NSF to stop giving any more handouts to the group and introduced legislation that would put an end to taxpayer subsidies for EcoHealth’s batty studies.