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Tags: nih | ecohealth | alliance | grant | gain of function | donald trump | wuhan

NIH Restarts EcoHealth Alliance Grant, Watchdog Outraged

By    |   Monday, 08 May 2023 07:21 PM EDT

Despite Republican opposition in Congress, National Institutes of Health (NIH) is restarting the controversial grant to the EcoHealth Alliance (EHA), which provided subgrants to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Former President Donald Trump ended the grant three years ago during the start of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, last funding the controversial bat coronavirus research in 2019 at $661,980.

EHA Director Peter Daszak's group had been receiving the grant since 2014 under the Obama administration, for a total of more than $3.7 million. The $576,290 grant for the 2023 restart, which was funded April 26 for four years and began May 1, will run the total to Daszak's group to more than $4.32 million through this year from NIH under this grant alone.

"The batty taxpayer-funded grant that bankrolled EcoHealth Alliance's dangerous animal experiments in Wuhan that probably prompted the pandemic should be defunded, not re-funded," White Coat Waste Project Senior VP Justin Goodman wrote in a statement emailed to Newsmax. "We first exposed and ended EHA's calamitous collaboration with the Wuhan animal lab back in April 2020, and since uncovered how EHA violated a federal ban on gain-of-function research, repeatedly broke transparency law, and obstructed investigations into COVID's origins.

"A recent federal audit confirmed how EHA failed to oversee the Wuhan animal lab and misspent tax dollars. Yet, EHA has raked in nearly $50 million in new taxpayer funds from the NIH, Pentagon, NSF, and other federal agencies just since the pandemic began for more reckless virus hunting and risky pathogen experiments on humanized mice and hamsters in unaccountable foreign labs.

"Taxpayers should not be forced to fund this reckless, rogue lab contractor that wastes money, breaks the law, abuses animals, and places public health in peril, and we're working with Congress now to permanently cut the purse strings. Stop the money. Stop the madness."

The new grant is stripped down from the original plans, which funded experiments that mixed viruses related to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and sub-granted that research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, according to Science.org.

Those studies are not a part of the new grant and there is increased accounting rules on EcoHealth Alliance.

"Now we have the ability to finally get back to work," Daszak told Science.

Republicans have denounced gain-of-function research, and EHA says its research will not fall under that NIH definition.

"Our detailed description of this project lays out why it is important to study these questions of disease spillover risk in emerging infectious disease hotspots to be better prepared to deal with the next pandemic," Daszak's group wrote in a release Monday. "It clarifies that the work does not involve recombinant virus technology, dual use research of concern, nor experiments intended to enhance the virulence or transmissibility of human pathogens (so-called 'gain of function' research).

"The research in this study is focused on bat corona viruses, to understand how, when, and under what conditions they are likely to spillover from bats to other mammals, including humans."

Eric Mack

Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Despite Republican opposition in Congress, National Institutes of Health (NIH) is restarting the controversial grant to the EcoHealth Alliance (EHA), which provided subgrants to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
nih, ecohealth, alliance, grant, gain of function, donald trump, wuhan, animal lab
502
2023-21-08
Monday, 08 May 2023 07:21 PM
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