Several members of the Republican Study Committee will introduce a bill on Thursday that would ban the federal government from funding research in China.
New Mexico Rep. Yvette Herrell, the lead sponsor of the legislation, told the Daily Caller that she proposed it as a response to federal funding of gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). The National Institutes of Health funded the research at WIV through a sub-grant to the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance, and federal officials repeatedly denied that they funded gain-of-function research on bat-based coronaviruses at the lab.
“We cannot trust the corrupt authoritarians running China with the health of the world, and Americans should not have their tax dollars go to projects that could create another pandemic. I have introduced the Stop Funding Our Adversaries Act to preserve the integrity of our scientific research and to protect the American people from the irresponsible and inhumane communist regime,” Herrell said.
The Stop Funding Our Adversaries Act prohibits all federal agencies from offering “grants, subgrants, contracts, cooperative agreements or other funding vehicles” for “research that will be conducted by the government of the People’s Republic of China or any agent or instrumentality of the government of the People’s Republic of China” or the Chinese Communist Party.
Read the bill here:
“Holding China accountable is one of the RSC’s top priorities this Congress, and this bill plays a central role in that effort. Funding research in China, directly or indirectly, only undermines America’s position in the world and legitimizes the Chinese Communist Party. We must not let it continue,” Republican Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, added.
China reportedly conducted dual-use research at the WIV, meaning that the U.S. government could have been funding Chinese military activity. WIV has engaged in animal research and testing on behalf of the People’s Liberation Army since at least 2017, according to a State Department fact sheet. (RELATED: Lawmakers Ask For Details From American Scientists Who Studies Bat Coronaviruses In Wuhan Before The Pandemic)
WIV is eligible to receive taxpayer funding through 2024.