Congress’ Defense Bill To Keep Funding For Org Tied To Wuhan Lab

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Jake Smith Contributor
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The current draft of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) contains a provision allowing funding for an organization that funneled money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), according to a review of the bill text released yesterday.

EcoHealth Alliance is a nonprofit organization that took taxpayer funding and funneled it to China’s WIV for laboratory research; the WIV is suspected by multiple federal agencies to be the birthplace of the COVID-19 pandemic. The NDAA contains a provision that will continue allowing Department of Defense (DOD) funds to certain divisions of EcoHealth, despite outside pressure to strip it entirely. (RELATED: Architect Of Cash Transfers To Wuhan Lab Silent When Pushed On COVID-19 Record)

“Leadership’s shady backdoor NDAA dealings that disregarded the will of the House and Senate are shameful and undemocratic and place public health in peril by continuing to funnel taxpayer dollars to the reckless EcoHealth Alliance, whose perilous partnership with the Wuhan lab on risky gain-of-function animal experiments likely caused COVID and killed millions,” Justin Goodman, senior vice president at White Coat Waste, told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement on Thursday.

The final draft of the NDAA will not allow any funds to be used toward EcoHealth Alliance locations, subsidiaries and affiliates in China, according to a copy of the bill text. However, DOD funds appropriated in the NDAA draft can still be used to fund other EcoHealth sites worldwide, including in the United States.

“None of the 2 funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise wise made available for fiscal year 2024 for the Department of Defense may be used to fund any work to be performed in China by EcoHealth Alliance, Inc.,” reads the bill text.

Goodman said in his statement Thursday that this is “barely a slap on the wrist” as the current DOD grants to EcoHealth do not appear to involve work in China.

The House and the Senate separately passed provisions in earlier drafts of the NDAA that would have stripped defense funds from being appropriated by any EcoHealth location or affiliate, not just in China. However, these provisions were removed during the NDAA conference that began in late November.

‘These provisions were removed from the bill behind closed doors for unknown reasons,” Bryce Nickels, genetics professor and co-founder of BioSafety Now, said on Thursday. “The public deserves answers and accountability.”

The DOD has previously granted millions to EcoHealth for programs directed at preventing pandemics. EcoHealth has received taxpayer funding from several U.S. agencies and governmental organizations and funneled millions into the WIV for gain-of-function research, which evidence suggests could have been the inception of the coronavirus and subsequent pandemic.

A Daily Caller News Foundation reporter previously confronted EcoHealth director Peter Dasnak about the organization’s involvement in starting the COVID-19 pandemic, but Dasnak did not respond to questions. A spokesperson for EcoHealth previously told the DCNF that experimentation conducted at the WIV “could not have started the COVID-19 pandemic.”

EcoHealth did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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