A United States government agency was still doling out millions of taxpayer dollars to the scandal-plagued EcoHealth Alliance as late as October of 2021, long after it became known that the Peter Daszak-led operation had funneled federal grant money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to conduct risky gain-of-function research.
The Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded a $4.67 million five-year grant to EcoHealth Alliance in late 2021. A group of 26 House Republicans have sent a letter to USAID Administrator Samantha Power demanding answers.
Today my colleagues and I sent a letter to @USAID demanding answers on their decision to continue to funnel taxpayer dollars to EcoHealth Alliance, an organization that funded dangerous, gain-of-function coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology before the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/MvHYjuBgaq
— Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (@GReschenthaler) February 7, 2022
“[We are] deeply concerned by this award given EcoHealth and Dr. Daszak’s troubling record of failing to report findings from federally funded research, refusing to cooperate with congressional oversight of federal funding awarded to the organization, and collaborating with the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” the lawmakers wrote.
“USAID’s decision to award EcoHealth Alliance additional federal funding is misguided and deeply concerning,” Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa., said in a statement to Fox News.
“EcoHealth used money from their last federal grant to fund dangerous, gain-of-function coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology before the pandemic,” Reschenthaler added.
EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak worked closely with Wuhan lab “bat lady” Shi Zhengli, sending the CCP controlled Wuhan lab U.S. government funding. Beginning in March of 2020, Daszak reportedly orchestrated “a behind-the-scenes bullying campaign” to make sure the Covid-19 outbreak was not linked to the Wuhan lab. Daszak got more than two dozen other scientists to sign off on the letter he wrote to the highly respected British medical journal, The Lancet, dismissing the lab leak hypothesis as “extremely unlikely.”
Last November, Republican leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to the National Academy of Medicine asking them to investigate Daszak for misconduct, saying Daszak’s actions “may violate the NAM Code of Conduct and warrant urgent action.”
Issues of concern cited by the Republican leaders—led by Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.)—included “Daszak’s refusal to answer Congressional requests for answers to questions relevant to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, Daszak’s failure to properly report his financial ties to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), Daszak’s leading role in shutting down all scientific discussion about the lab leak theory, presumably to avoid oversight of risky research his group funded at the WIV, Daszak’s refusal to cooperate with the scientific community and his unwillingness to share information relevant to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Daszak’s repeated inaccurate statements about his group’s work at the WIV and numerous official representations to NIH that are contradicted by documentation.”
Fauci’s NIAID funded the New York-based research nonprofit with annual grants through 2020 for “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence.”
The NIH’s principal deputy director confirmed in a letter to a Republican member of Congress last November, that the NIH had funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab.
A letter from Lawrence Tabak, the National Institutes of Health’s principal deputy director, to Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) confirms that the NIH funded research at the WIV during 2018-2019 that manipulated a bat coronavirus called WIV1. Researchers at the institute grafted spike proteins from other coronaviruses onto WIV1 to see if the modified virus was capable of binding in a mouse that possessed the ACE2 receptors found in humans — the same receptor to which SARS-CoV-2 binds. The modified virus reproduced more rapidly and made infected humanized mice sicker than the unmodified virus.
The Defense Department also doled out millions of dollars to EcoHealth over the years, with most of the Pentagon money going toward murky research on biological weapons. EcoHealth received $41.91 million in awards from the DoD since fiscal year 2008, according to the New York Post.
USAID provided EcoHealth Alliance with $1.1 million between October 2009 and May 2019 to fund the “PREDICT” program, which was part of a “sub-agreement with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) for the purpose of advancing research on critical viruses that could pose harm to human and animal health.”
In his statement to Fox, Reschenthaler pointed out that Daszak has a history of funneling federal funds toward nefarious projects, and then shirking responsibility for his actions.
“Under the leadership of Dr. Peter Daszak, EcoHealth has failed to comply with federal reporting requirements, given the U.S. government the runaround, and attempted to impede research into the lab leak theory. That’s why I introduced a bill to defund EcoHealth,” he said.
“They’ve proven they can’t be trusted to put the American people ahead of the demands of the CCP [Chinese Communist Party]. Additionally, my colleagues and I want to know if USAID was aware of EcoHealth’s involvement with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the organization’s track record of deception when they awarded them the grant, and if they will continue to funnel taxpayer dollars to controversial research or CCP labs.”
A USAID spokesperson told Fox News on Tuesday that the October 2021 grant had nothing to do with bat coronavirus research.
“The grant awarded to EcoHealth Alliance will implement the Conservation Works Activity (CWA) in southwest Liberia. CWA partners will work with local communities to improve farming practices and sustainable opportunities that reduce reliance on land, wood or wildlife in conservation areas. CWA will support training, technical assistance, equipment, credit and market access, and agricultural and business inputs,” the spokesperson said.
“CWA was competitively bid and awarded. EcoHealth Alliance has experience monitoring wildlife and understanding forest-disease dynamics in Liberia, and its consortium partners have substantial experience with protected area management and rural development in Liberia,” the spokesperson added.
In a prior letter to Reschenthaler, USAID defended its “PREDICT” program in which EcoHealth funneled $1.1 million to the Wuhan Lab between October 2009 and May 2019.
“USAID-funded activities carried out by the WIV were consistent with the work performed in other countries that also received related funding. These activities involved testing for viral families (by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)) in samples collected from wild animals and humans, as well as the development of serologic assays to test for exposure (i.e., antibodies) to coronaviruses in animals and people. These activities were done to identify and understand zoonotic viruses among animal populations before they spillover (i.e., are able to infect humans) and cause potential pandemics in people. USAID never authorized or funded any work that aimed to increase the ability of infectious agents to cause disease by enhancing its pathogenicity or by increasing its transmissibility (research known as ‘Gain of Function’ studies) at WIV. In addition, USAID never received a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to the EcoHealth Alliance requesting a voluntary pause.”
USAID said that its “work in China through the PREDICT project ended in 2019, due to the previous administration’s decision to stop all USAID activities in China. Since then, no additional USAID Global Health Security funding has been provided to the WIV.”
Reschenthaler wasn’t impressed.
“EcoHealth has proven they can’t be trusted to put the American people ahead of the demands of the CCP and they shouldn’t receive another cent from the U.S. government,” he tweeted.