Politics

House Passes Amendment Defunding Wuhan-Linked Non-Profit

(Photo by Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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The House of Representatives voted Thursday to defund EcoHealth Alliance, a non-profit organization which funneled taxpayer money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

The amendment was introduced by Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Guy Reschenthaler and passed as part of the 2022 fiscal year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The amendment prohibits all federal funding to EcoHealth Alliance. The non-profit group directed millions of dollars in National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants to the Wuhan Institute of Virology over a period of several years.

“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 release. “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.”

In addition to grants from the NIH, EcoHealth also received at least $37.5 million from a Department of Defense sub-agency. (RELATED: Inspector General To Investigate NIH Grants Linked To Wuhan Institute Of Virology)

Republicans have been gradually introducing measures to strip American funding from the WIV since the lab emerged at the center of the lab-leak theory of COVID-19’s origin. The lab-leak theory posits that the COVID-19 pandemic began after the virus was leaked from the WIV after being genetically altered by Chinese scientists.

EcoHealth head Peter Daszak was a member of the World Health Organization team investigating the origins of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, leading some to suggest that the conflict of interest present between Daszak and the WIV compromised the entire investigation.