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Ernst One Step Closer to Banning Defense Dollars to Researchers Who May Have Leaked COVID-19; Launching Investigation Pinpointing Other Potential Pandemic-Causing Projects

Three Ernst-led amendments were successfully attached to the Senate Armed Services Committee-passed NDAA.

WASHINGTON – China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology and EcoHealth Alliance, the group that funneled nearly $2 million of U.S. taxpayer money into the lab for dangerous coronavirus experiments that may have caused the COVID-19 pandemic, is one step closer to being permanently banned from receiving Department of Defense (DoD) dollars as a result of U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) successfully attaching her amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that passed the Senate Armed Services Committee this week.

Another Ernst-approved amendment directs the department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) to determine the total amount of DoD dollars that may have been paid to EcoHealth, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, or any other lab or organization affiliated with China’s communist regime. The OIG would also be required to pinpoint every project EcoHealth is conducting with DoD funding that could enhance a pathogen with pandemic potential. DoD is currently financing numerous EcoHealth initiatives around the world, including $6 million for research on bat diseases in Asia, $6 million to examine wildlife viruses in the Philippines and India, and $5 million to study “high-risk pathogens” in Liberia.

“To prevent a repeat of what happened in Wuhan somewhere else in the world, we are pulling the plug on Pentagon funding for EcoHealth, which has proven it can’t be trusted— with taxpayer dollars or dangerous diseases. The tax dollars of hardworking Americans must never again be misspent underwriting risky research or subsidizing communist China’s state-run institutions. Our defense dollars should make the world a safer, not more dangerous, place. I have been leading the fight to find out how COVID-19 began and to prevent the next pandemic and I won’t stop until we know the truth,” said Ernst.

Statement from Justin Goodman, Senior Vice President, White Coat Waste Project:

“We applaud Sen. Joni Ernst for ensuring that taxpayers aren’t forced to fund the reckless white coats who likely caused COVID. Our blockbuster investigations prove that the disgraced EcoHealth Alliance secretively shipped US taxpayer dollars to COVID’s probable Patient Zero Ben Hu at the CCP-run Wuhan lab for dangerous coronavirus gain-of-function experiments on humanized mice that violated federal policy and that the FBI and other experts believe caused COVID. Yet, despite EHA’s calamitous collaboration with the Wuhan animal lab and its well-documented waste, fraud, and abuse, EHA has raked in over $26 million in new taxpayer funds from the Pentagon just since the pandemic began, including from a weapons of mass destruction account. Enough is enough. The solution is simple: Stop the money. Stop the madness.”

The Pentagon has paid more than $46 million to EcoHealth since 2008, making DoD the group’s biggest government funder, but rejected requests to support its controversial coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute.


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