The National Institutes of Health (NIH) shelled out thousands of dollars for an ethics training project for Chinese scientists during the COVID-19 pandemic to address “research misconduct” and “neglect for human subjects,” according to a grant awarded to the Chinese Center For Disease Control And Prevention.
The grant allocated $298,080 over three years toward “strengthening research integrity” among Chinese scientists doing HIV research through training on ethical issues, and was intended to address the “increasing numbers of serious research misconduct and publication fraud cases” in China’s growing biomedical research. The grant is one of many sent to Russia and China over the past five years; in total, over $1.3 billion U.S. tax dollars have been given to entities in the countries by federal agencies, an analysis by Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst and OpenTheBooks.com auditors revealed, according to a Wednesday press release.
Over $490 million was paid to China-based organizations, along with $870 million that was paid to organizations in Russia, per the release. Taxpayer funded projects include $1.45 million for pandemic virus tracking in Russia, $4.7 million to provide health insurance for a Russian company the U.S. sanctioned in 2022 and $2 million for China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology experiments on bat coronaviruses, according to OpenTheBooks and Ernst. (RELATED: TikTok Stored Americans’ Social Security Numbers In China: REPORT)
Responding to questions about research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Dr. Anthony Fauci told senators during a committee hearing in May 2021 that Chinese grantees awarded are “very competent, trustworthy scientists.”
“We can only imagine that had taxpayers and Congress known sooner about the NIH’s scary spending in Wuhan, they never would’ve allowed it,” White Coat Waste Project Senior Vice President Justin Goodman said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent so we can find, expose, and defund Wuhan-style wasteful government spending. We’ve learned the hard way that it can be deadly.”
Ernst and Republican Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher introduced the Tracking Receipts to Adversarial Countries for Knowledge of Spending (TRACKS) Act Wednesday, which requires funding provided to China and Russia to be publicly tracked and disclosed, according to an OpenTheBooks press release.
“Holding firms responsible to publicly report where and how they use their grants and contract awards can deputize private citizens and make them part of the solution,” OpenTheBooks.com CEO and founder Adam Andrzejewski said in a statement. “Radical transparency is revolutionizing U.S. public policy and is the information machine for democracy. Everyone has a stake in a more transparent, effective government.”
The NIH did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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