By Dylan Housman
The Department of Defense (DOD) in December awarded a seven-figure grant to EcoHealth Alliance Inc., the nonprofit organization that funneled millions in taxpayer funds to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) for dangerous bat virus research.
The DOD awarded a grant of $3 million to EcoHealth beginning Dec. 12 for the purpose of combatting pandemic threats emanating from the Philippines, according to USASpending.gov. The grant was awarded as part of a DOD program aimed at countering weapons of mass destruction.
https://t.co/hBujcD6PyW reports that EcoHealth Alliance, despite possibly having caused the pandemic and definitely having repeatedly and gravely violated terms of a US-government grant, currently has 12 active US-government grants and contracts, totaling more than $34 million. https://t.co/XZ7m53Mr1g pic.twitter.com/HZ4Tb6K7Gn
— Richard H. Ebright (@R_H_Ebright) January 21, 2023
Specifically, the grant is meant for “reducing the threat of viral spillover from wildlife in the Philippines.” EcoHealth has defended much of its work as being essential to detecting and preventing future pandemics that may begin in the wild, although it is unclear what real-world benefits that work has had up to this point.
Over the course of roughly a decade, EcoHealth Alliance funneled millions of dollars in U.S. government grants to the WIV as it conducted gain-of-function (GoF) research on bat-based coronaviruses. EcoHealth founder Peter Daszak was initially part of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of COVID-19 in China, which critics panned as a blatant conflict of interest.
Proponents of the lab-leak theory have criticized EcoHealth Alliance for, in their eyes, potentially funding research that could have led to the escape of COVID-19 from the Wuhan lab. Among the government agencies that have funded EcoHealth over the years are Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House, Senate Republicans Demand Agencies Terminate Grant Funding To EcoHealth)
Fauci has repeatedly insisted the research he indirectly funded at the WIV doesn’t qualify as GoF, an assertion experts have characterized as a lie.
Some lawmakers in the Philippines aren’t thrilled about the presence of U.S.-funded pandemic research in their country. House Deputy Minority Leader France Castro and other members of her party asked the House of Representatives to investigate whether there were covert military goals involved in the projects.