The Wuhan Institute of Virology, the controversial laboratory in China that many have pointed to as the origin of the Chinese coronavirus, has been authorized to receive American taxpayer funding for the next three years, according to the Daily Caller.
A spokesperson for the National Institute of Health (NIH) confirmed this to the Caller, and said that the funding for which the lab is eligible would be focused on “animal research” through at least January of 2024.
The lab had previously received $600,000 in taxpayer funding between 2014 and 2019, with the funds being funneled to the lab by the shady nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance. That funding went directly to the lab’s efforts to test coronavirus cases in bats just before the global outbreak. EcoHealth’s broader efforts to study bat-based coronavirus strains in China received $3.7 million in grant funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 2014.
The president of EcoHealth, Peter Daszak, is a member of the World Health Organization delegation that was tasked with investigating the origins of the Chinese coronavirus, and is the only American to serve on the delegation. He has been critical of the suggestion that the virus originated in the Wuhan lab, and has refused additional investigative efforts into the origins of the virus. The NIH terminated EcoHealth’s grant in April, and then offered in July to restore the grant if the NIH was permitted to conduct its own investigation.
Daszak called the proposal “preposterous,” adding “I’m not trained as a private detective. It’s not really my job to do that.”
Despite the global controversy over its conduct, the Wuhan lab still shows an active Foreign Assurance status on file with the NIH’s Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, through which it is permitted to continue its research on animals with taxpayer funding.