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Ernst-Secured Investigation Will Prevent U.S. Defense Dollars From Being Diverted to Chinese Research

Imperative to end all funding to China as DoD research strengthens our adversary

WASHINGTON – After the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Inspector General announced it began the Ernst-secured audit into all U.S. defense dollars diverted to Communist China’s research laboratories, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is ramping up the need to put an end to every dollar that supports our adversary. This follows reports that Chinese researchers, who collaborated with DoD, took the knowledge they acquired back to China to advance the nation’s ambitions to become the world’s artificial intelligence superpower.

After the Government Accountability Office revealed that it’s difficult to determine the total amount of taxpayer dollars being sent to China because government agencies do not track where the money ends up, Senator Ernst and Open the Books found DoD paid at least $51.6 million to institutions and companies in China since 2017. This includes $6 million to purchase tech support for military “deployment and distribution command” software.

“The Department of Defense should defend the nation, not support research with the potential to do us harm,” says Ernst. “While bureaucrats are blindly giving away taxpayer funds, China doesn’t even have to steal our research. It’s clear Americans deserve a detailed inventory of all the dangerous dollars sent overseas, which is why I’ve launched an investigation to track down every cent. We may never get answers about what really happened in Wuhan from Dr. Fauci, EcoHealth, or China, but this investigation enables us to pinpoint where another man-made pandemic could possibly originate and prevent that from happening. As more evidence emerges that our own tax dollars are advancing the interests of our adversaries, it’s clear we need greater transparency and accountability of how, why, and especially where our money is going.

“Empty rhetoric can often seem like its own Beltway pathogen, but today Senator Ernst has made a serious contribution to the health and security of every American. Whatever one may think about the controversy over COVID’s origins, it has brought into focus risky viral research that has become common practice for scientists and often funded with taxpayer dollars. We cannot close the book on the pandemic and the government’s response without understanding the full scope of the research in foreign countries that could come back to haunt us, or in this case infect us. It’s time for a serious discussion of the potential risks and benefits of funding this research, not more obfuscating by the public health complex in this country. We thank Senator Ernst for advancing this critical transparency work for American taxpayers,” said Adam Andrzejewski, Founder and CEO of Open the Books.

“We commend Sen. Ernst for demanding answers about whether the Pentagon shipped taxpayers’ money to an adversary’s unaccountable animal labs for dangerous virus experiments that threaten public health and national security. Four years ago, we first exposed secretive taxpayer funding for EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan lab’s treacherous gain-of-function animal experiments that violated U.S. policies and that experts believe created COVID. There’s stunning evidence that Fauci, EcoHealth and the Chinese government tried to cover it up and that EcoHealth planned to sneakily funnel Pentagon funds to the CCP-run Wuhan animal lab for coronavirus engineering experiments.  Despite all this, WCW and Sen. Ernst have documented how since the pandemic began, the Pentagon has rained $26 million in new tax funding from WMD programs to EcoHealth and how tax dollars continue to flow to CCP-run animal labs with virtually no oversight. Stop the money. Stop the madness!” said Justin Goodman, Senior Vice President, White Coat Waste Project.


One defense contractor, EcoHealth Alliance, plotted to conceal its plans to divert tax dollars from DoD to China’s infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology for dangerous experiments on bat coronaviruses. Despite rejecting that particular proposal, the Pentagon has paid over $47 million to EcoHealth since 2008—more than any other federal agency—and continues to finance the organization’s risky research in Asia and Africa. EcoHealth previously passed on more than a million dollars from two other federal agencies to the Wuhan Institute without reporting the transactions.

Ernst has led the charge to permanently debar the Wuhan Institute and defund EcoHealth from receiving U.S. taxpayer dollars. An Ernst-requested investigation exposed how EcoHealth sent over $2 million U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Wuhan lab for risky experiments on bat coronaviruses. She also revealed over $1.3 billion in taxpayer dollars were spent on experiments and other projects in Russia and China.