EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Joni Ernst Introduces Legislation To Prohibit Federal Funding To EcoHealth Alliance

Photographer: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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Republican Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst introduced legislation Friday that would prohibit federal funding to EcoHealth Alliance, Inc., which conferred the taxpayer funds to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

The bill, first obtained by the Daily Caller, would make it so “No funds authorized or appropriated by Federal law may be made available for any purpose to EcoHealth Alliance, Inc, including any subsidiaries and related organizations that are directly controlled by EcoHealth Alliance, Inc.”

Republican lawmakers have grilled former National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci for not responding to their inquiries regarding a 2014 grant awarded by the NIH to EcoHealth Alliance, Inc. (EcoHealth) that was then awarded to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

EcoHealth provided $600,000 in the form of NIH subgrants to the Wuhan lab between 2014 and 2019 to study bat-based coronaviruses. (RELATED: US Grant To Wuhan Lab To Enhance Bat-Based Coronaviruses Was Never Scrutinized By HHS Review Board, NIH Says)

“Giving taxpayer money to EcoHealth to study pandemic prevention is like paying a suspected arsonist to conduct fire safety inspections. NIH got it right when it canceled the funding for the experiments EcoHealth Alliance was conducting with China’s state-run Wuhan Institute. In addition to violating multiple federal laws, EcoHealth has still not turned over documents about these dangerous studies that NIH has requested on multiple occasions that could offer vital clues to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ernst told the Caller before introducing the bill. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House Oversight Republicans Demand Answers From Fauci, Collins Over Grant To Wuhan Lab)


(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

“I have introduced legislation to guarantee EcoHealth doesn’t receive another penny from any federal agency and to launch an investigation to determine once and for all how much U.S. taxpayer money was funneled into labs in China by EcoHealth,” Ernst added. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House Oversight Republicans Demand More Answers From HHS Over Grant To Wuhan Lab And Possible Fauci Cover-Up)

Many Republican lawmakers have called for Fauci’s resignation after thousands of his emails from the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic were published by The Washington Post and Buzzfeed News. The emails contained comments about wearing masks, the lab leak theory and more.

“EcoHealth Alliance’s animal experiments should be de-funded, not re-funded. As we first exposed, this shady group funneled US tax dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for dangerous animal experiments that likely caused the pandemic, skirted a federal ban on gain-of-function research, repeatedly violated transparency law and obstructed investigations into COVID’s origins,” Justin Goodman, senior vice president of advocacy and public policy at White Coat Waste Project told the Caller.

“Yet, records show that EHA has continued to receive millions of taxpayer dollars just since the pandemic began. We applaud Sen. Ernst for working to ensure that taxpayers are not forced to fund this reckless rogue lab contractor any longer. Stop the money, stop the madness,” Goodman continued.