NIH Quietly Drops Wuhan Lab From List Of Funding Candidates

(Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
Font Size:

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has taken the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) off its list of facilities that can conduct animal research with U.S. taxpayer money.

Despite various attempts to cut off funding sources of the WIV, as of late-April the facility was still eligible to receive NIH animal research funding, even after being barred from State Department or Pentagon money. Now, the NIH list does not include the WIV as an eligible institution, as first confirmed by the non-profit group White Coat Waste Project (WCW).

In addition to removing the lab from Wuhan, China, NIH also took all Russia-based facilities off the list. Just last year, the Daily Caller first reported that NIH officials were strategizing on ways to counteract lawmakers attempting to cut off funding to labs in foreign countries that could be deemed adversaries.

NIH cut off all funding to Russian labs last month after an executive order was issued by President Joe Biden in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (RELATED: Officials Investigating Reports That US Government Sent Millions In Duplicate Payments To Wuhan Lab)

The WIV received about $600,000 in NIH money via EcoHealth Alliance, a New York-based nonprofit that was funneling the money to Wuhan as a subgrantee. The Trump administration had suspended EcoHealth’s grant, but it was restored last month, under the condition that the organization not direct any money to research being conducted in China.

Proponents of the lab-leak theory of COVID-19 origin believe the virus was released from the WIV, likely accidentally, after it was used there for dangerous gain-of-function research. The NIH and Dr. Anthony Fauci repeatedly denied that the research they funded at the WIV was gain-of-function, an assertion scientists dispute.

An inspector general’s report released earlier this year found that the WIV and EcoHealth were not transparent enough about how their grant money was being used and did not meet certain reporting requirements. The report added gasoline to the fire of lawmaker and activist demands to defund both organizations.

There are 27 Chinese labs remaining on the approved facilities list.