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HHS halts grants for EcoHealth, which funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan on coronaviruses

HHS halts grants for EcoHealth, which funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan on coronaviruses

“The Department of Health and Human Services suspended all federal grants Tuesday to the controversial Manhattan nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance, which funded gain-of-function virus research in Wuhan, China in advance of the COVID-19 pandemic,” reports the New York Post.

“EcoHealth Alliance provably defrauded the US government, provably breached contractual terns of US-government grants, and, through the reckless gain-of-function research it conducted in Wuhan, probably caused the COVID-19 pandemic, killing 20 million and costing $25 trillion,” notes Princeton University Professor Richard Ebright.

The suspension came shortly after a damning Congressional hearing in which it became obvious that EcoHealth’s Peter Daszak was engaged in a cover-up, refusing to seek or provide information that would presumably reveal that the virus leaked from a Chinese lab: “Daszak in sworn congressional testimony earlier this month said he had not even asked Wuhan researchers — including WIV deputy director Shi Zhengli — for viral sequences since before the coronavirus pandemic.”

“EcoHealth Alliance and Dr. Peter Daszak should never again receive a single penny from the US taxpayer,” said COVID subcommittee chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), who has urged a criminal investigation of Daszak.

The government may have been slow to move against EcoHealth because of embarrassment about NIH bureaucrats like Anthony Fauci funding EcoHealth. In April, Fox News reported on this in “Rand Paul says email exchange between top Fauci aide and EcoHealth ‘looks like a cover-up”:

Newly released emails between a top colleague of Dr. Anthony Fauci and the president of a non-governmental organization being funded to conduct coronavirus research in Wuhan, China, said the group had over 700 identified but un-sequenced coronaviruses in its lab when its government grant was first pulled in 2020.

On Tuesday, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., highlighted a series of email exchanges between Fauci’s top adviser, Dr. David Morens, and EcoHealth Alliance President Dr. Peter Daszak that showed Daszak feared permanently losing government funding.

An April 2020 email from Morens alleged that Fauci was “fully aware” and “involved in some sort of damage control,” possibly to help keep EcoHealth from losing its federal grant.

Paul said in an interview with Fox News Digital that the emails show “they all realize that if Fauci’s been funding Daszak for years through EcoHealth, and if it looks like they’re implicated in the pandemic, this wouldn’t be good for Fauci or EcoHealth.”

In 2023, Senator Rand Paul released a book, “Deception: The Great Covid Cover-Up,” that “charges Fauci and others with funding dangerous research and then covering it up,” noted John Stossel in the Orange County Register:

I ask Paul, “COVID came from evil Chinese scientists, in a lab, funded by America?”

“America funded it,” he replies, “maybe not done with evil intentions. It was done with the misguided notion that ‘gain of function’ research was safe.” Gain of function research includes making viruses stronger. The purpose is to anticipate what might happen in nature and come up with vaccines in advance….[But] “Many scientists have now looked at this and said, ‘We’ve been doing this gain of function research for quite a while.’ The likelihood that [this] creates a vaccine that’s going to help anybody is pretty slim to none.”

Paul points out that Fauci supported “gain of function” research.

“He said in 2012, even if a pandemic occurs … the knowledge is worth it.”… “Well, that’s a judgment call. There’s probably 16 million families around the world who might disagree with that.”

Fauci and the National Institutes of Health didn’t give money directly to the Chinese lab. They gave it to a nonprofit, EcoHealth Alliance….“They were able to accumulate maybe over $100 million in U.S. taxpayer dollars, and a lot of it was funneled to Wuhan,” says Paul.

EcoHealth Alliance is run by zoologist Peter Daszak. Before the pandemic, Daszak bragged about combining coronaviruses in Wuhan. Once COVID broke out, Daszak became less eager to talk about these experiments. He won’t talk to me.

“Peter Daszak has refused to reveal his communications with the Wuhan lab,” complains Paul. “I do think that ultimately there is a great deal of culpability on his part …“This is a risk to civilization. We could wind up with a virus … that leaks out of a lab and kills half of the planet,” Paul warns.

Now, the federal government has belatedly taken action against EcoHealth:

HHS deputy assistant secretary for acquisitions Katrina Brisbon informed EcoHealth President Dr. Peter Daszak in a Wednesday letter released by a House subcommittee investigating the outbreak that there was “adequate evidence” to recommend the nonprofit be cut off from future government contracts, writing “immediate action is necessary to protect the public interest.”…

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), which permitted the grant, gave EcoHealth several opportunities to disprove that its experiments constituted gain-of-function research — but the group “failed to do so,” according to Brisbon.

That research also “likely violated protocols of the NIH regarding biosafety,” she added, with experiments conducted at biosafety level 2 — which according to Rutgers University molecular biologist Dr. Richard Ebright is comparable to the standards of safety at a typical dentist’s office.

Alarmingly, Brisbon revealed that NIH has yet to receive several materials from EcoHealth about its novel bat coronavirus research at the now-notorious Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) or from the Chinese lab itself.

Daszak, in sworn congressional testimony earlier this month, said he had not even asked Wuhan researchers — including longtime collaborator and WIV deputy director Shi Zhengli — for viral sequences since before the pandemic began.

Brisbon’s memo also referenced an internal probe of “allegations that WIV released the coronavirus that was responsible for the COVID-19 global pandemic.”

The Energy Department and the FBI concluded last year that COVID-19 likely leaked from a Chinese laboratory. The London Sunday Times later reported that COVID-19 was engineered by the Chinese military using US funding. The U.S. funding came through the EcoHealth Alliance, as critics of Anthony Fauci previously surmised.

This was quite a revelation. As Jamie Metzl notes, “COVID-19 was the greatest crime of the 21st century to date. Twenty million people are dead from a totally avoidable pandemic. It’s time for an international tribunal.”

This is not the only deadly virus to come from a Chinese lab. An earlier “Russian flu” that killed 700,000 also likely came from a lab leak in China. Yet, when people like evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein suggested the possibility that the virus leaked from a Chinese government lab in 2020, they were dismissed by the mainstream media as kooks. In February 2021, Facebook banned any mentions of the lab leak, following “consultations” with “the World Health Organization.” But the possibility was always obvious to experts. In private, Anthony Fauci and NIH officials worried about the possibility of a lab leak they publicly denied as a “conspiracy theory.”

LU Staff

LU Staff

Promoting and defending liberty, as defined by the nation’s founders, requires both facts and philosophical thought, transcending all elements of our culture, from partisan politics to social issues, the workings of government, and entertainment and off-duty interests. Liberty Unyielding is committed to bringing together voices that will fuel the flame of liberty, with a dialogue that is lively and informative.


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