Evidence has bolstered in recent months the theory that the coronavirus pandemic originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China, a facility that was said to have received millions in U.S. taxpayer funding by way of a non-profit group known as EcoHealth Alliance to conduct risky experiments with bat-borne viruses.
But according to the Daily Caller, the U.S. House of Representatives just approved an amendment to a bill that would prohibit EcoHealth Alliance from receiving any additional federal funds going forward.
No more funding
The amendment, first introduced by Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), was approved by a majority of the House on Thursday, and will be added to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, the Daily Caller reported.
“It is deeply disturbing that EcoHealth Alliance funneled American taxpayer dollars to support dangerous and potentially deadly research at the WIV, a laboratory run by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and tied to military biological research and the probable origin of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Reschenthaler said in a statement.
“I am proud to lead this effort to end the flow of defense funding to EcoHealth Alliance, and I thank my colleagues for including my amendment in the defense authorization bill and ensuring Americans’ hard-earned money never again funds risky experiments in labs operated by our adversaries,” he added.
A press release from the GOP congressman’s office said records indicated that EcoHealth Alliance had received at least $41 million in various contracts and grants from the Defense Department (DoD) since 2008. The non-profit group has also reportedly received millions in grant funding from other federal agencies, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), long run by Dr. Anthony Fauci.
On the taxpayer’s dime
Rep. Reschenthaler also pointed to a growing body of evidence that suggests EcoHealth Alliance, run by British researcher Peter Daszak, had a partnership with WIV for over a decade, and provided U.S. taxpayer funding to the lab for a variety of experimental research, including so-called “gain-of-function” studies on bat-borne viruses.
Most recently, it was revealed via a leaked grant application — which was ultimately rejected — that EcoHealth Alliance had sought from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) $14 million in funding in 2018 for exactly that sort of risky research.
The Daily Caller had previously reported that EcoHealth Alliance had received at least $37.5 million from DoD subagency Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) for the study of different viruses in Asia and Africa, with at least some of that funding being funneled to the WIV lab in China.
The lab leak theory
As for the Wuhan lab, it is known that the scientists who worked there have long been conducting potentially dangerous experiments with bat-borne coronaviruses, and it is strongly suspected by some that the COVID-19 pandemic that virtually upended the entire world began with a leak of the deadly virus from that lab in 2019.
At the same time, EcoHealth’s Daszak had been front and center of a concerted effort to debunk the so-called lab leak theory.
“If there’s definitive evidence of the lab leak, then that needs to be investigated,” he said in a recent interview, according to Fox News. “There is none yet.”