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Tags: wuhan | ecohealth | nih | covid | coronavirus | pandemic | biden administration

NIH Cuts US Taxpayer Funding for COVID-Linked Wuhan Institute

By    |   Wednesday, 17 May 2023 02:57 PM EDT

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has removed China's Wuhan Institute of Virology, the facility long suspected of being the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, from the labs where U.S. money can be used to fund testing on animals, according to a new update to the agency's funding list.

The Wuhan laboratory, along with all Russian labs, were removed from the NIH list. Justin Goodman, the senior vice president for advocacy at the White Coat Waste Project, a watchdog group that has been pushing to expose the money funding the lab, called the move a "decisive victory in the war on waste," reports The Washington Times.

"Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to fund a foreign lab run by an adversarial nation that wasted money, tortured animals, and engineered superviruses in dangerous gain-of-function experiments that violated the law and likely caused COVID," Cooper said.

A senior NIH official, as recently as last year, pushed back against attempts to defund the Wuhan lab and other foreign facilities from performing gain-of-function research.

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, who has been speaking out for some time against financing the Wuhan Institute, commented that she's "cautiously optimistic" about the NIH delisting it, but added that she finds it disturbing that taxpayer money had been going there.

"China’s state-run Wuhan Institute of Virology, which was known to be unsafe, should never have received U.S. support for its dangerous experiments on bat coronaviruses," Ernst said. "What other batty studies are we paying for that are flying under the radar? I soon plan to introduce legislation requiring every penny sent to an institution in China or any other adversarial country be publicly disclosed."

Earlier this week, Ernst told Newsmax she would keep fighting a decision by the Biden administration to renew funding of EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S.-based research firm that collaborates with the Wuhan facility.

The NIH terminated EcoHealth's grant in April 2020, after then-President Donald Trump suggested the deadly coronavirus had originated in the Wuhan laboratory. However, Ernst told Newsmax that the Biden administration last week kept providing funding for the company.

"We saw the Biden administration last week continue to provide funding for EcoHealth Alliance, which was tied to the Wuhan lab in China doing coronavirus experiments," Ernst said. "No more taxpayer dollars should be going to EcoHealth Alliance through NIH. It's got to stop if we wish to prevent a future pandemic."

The NIH officially cut off funding to all Russian labs last month, after an executive order from President Joe Biden.

The NIH's Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare maintains the list of animal testing labs that have been approved and oversees animal testing that is done for the nation's public health service agencies, including the NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Wuhan Institute received approximately $600,000 in NIH funds through a grant that was awarded to EcoHealth for research on bat coronaviruses. The money was exposed in 2020 by the White Coat Waste Project and Ernst, with the senator pushing for an inspector general to review it the following year.

Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The National Institute of Health has removed China's Wuhan Institute of Virology, the facility long suspected of being the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, from the labs where U.S. money can be used to fund testing on animals, according to an update to the agency's funding list.
wuhan, ecohealth, nih, covid, coronavirus, pandemic, biden administration
517
2023-57-17
Wednesday, 17 May 2023 02:57 PM
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