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Ernst: Who in Washington knew what happened in Wuhan? Why did they cover it up? How much did it cost the American taxpayers?

The Iowa senator will offer three amendments to the NDAA this week that will address these questions.

WASHINGTON – As early as February 2020, the heads of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including Dr. Fauci, were aware the virus that causes COVID-19 may have been manipulated in a lab and then leaked. Yet, NIH, which was funding the group EcoHealth Alliance to conduct dangerous studies on coronaviruses in China’s Wuhan Institute, tried to put down that hypothesis. EcoHealth led a campaign to discredit researchers and anyone else who suggested COVID-19 could have resulted from a lab leak as “conspiracy theorists.”

The world now knows that the U.S. State Department knew the names of three scientists at the Wuhan Institute—which includes the scientist who had been conducting gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses in collaboration with EcoHealth—who developed COVID-19 symptoms before the first reported cases. These included the loss of smell.

After numerous audits and investigations, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is still asking questions and seeking answers.

“Who in Washington knew what happened in Wuhan? When did they know it? And why did they cover it up from the world? How many U.S. tax dollars did EcoHealth funnel into the Wuhan Institute? And did the experiments conducted there with Chinese scientists cause the pandemic that shut down the world for two years and claimed the lives of millions? It’s time to get to the bottom of this mystery once and for all!” said Ernst.

EcoHealth and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) refuse to cooperate with the search for the origins of COVID, which is essential to preventing a future pandemic, even though taxpayer dollars may have been misspent on the risky research. EcoHealth funneled nearly $2 million of taxpayer dollars from NIH and USAID into the Wuhan Institute to pay for the dangerous coronavirus studies.

Both EcoHealth and the Wuhan Institute refused to answer questions about the studies being conducted in the lab. EcoHealth also failed to immediately notify the NIH when those experiments resulted in an enhanced coronavirus, as required.

While the Department of Defense (DoD) says it did not pay for any of this research at the Wuhan Institute despite being asked to by EcoHealth, the DoD has given $46 million to the organization since 2008—more than any other federal agency. The DoD paid EcoHealth to conduct other studies on bat diseases in Asia.

This week, the Senate Armed Services Committee will consider the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual defense bill. Ernst will offer amendments to the bill that would:

  • Ensure no defense dollars ever go to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology.
  • Cut off further payments from the Pentagon to EcoHealth, which collaborated with the Chinese, but refuses to cooperate with our investigations into what they were doing with our dollars.
  • Conduct an independent investigation to determine if EcoHealth diverted any U.S. defense dollars into the Wuhan Institute, or any other Chinese lab, or spent it to create enhanced pathogens of pandemic potential.

“We should not be supporting an organization that won’t tell the truth about how it spent the tax dollars of hardworking Americans. And we certainly shouldn’t be paying them to do any more experiments on bat viruses! The only reason to vote against my amendments is to continue covering up what really happened in Wuhan, China,” Ernst concluded.