In July 2020, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) told EcoHealth Alliance, a New York-based nonprofit, that it must hand over information and materials to its Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) partner in China:

The National Institutes of Health told a small New York-based nonprofit that it must hand over information and materials from a research partner in Wuhan, China, that is under scrutiny by the Trump administration to win back a multimillion-dollar research grant.

Among the items the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance must provide to resume funding is a sample of the new coronavirus that the Wuhan researchers used to determine its genetic sequence, according to a July 8 letter from the NIH viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

EcoHealth Alliance must also arrange for an inspection of the Wuhan Institute of Virology by an outside team that would examine the facility’s lab and records “with specific attention to addressing the question of whether WIV staff had SARS-CoV-2 in their possession prior to December 2019,” the U.S. health-research agency’s letter said.

“The NIH has received reports that the Wuhan Institute of Virology…has been conducting research at its facilities in China that pose serious bio-safety concerns,” read the letter, which was signed by Michael Lauer, the NIH deputy director for extramural research.

In the wake of the most recent WHO inspection of the facility, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported that the WIV would once again receive American taxpayer dollars in the form of more grant money.

A NIH spokeswoman told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the WIV’s Foreign Assurance was approved on Jan. 9, 2019, and is currently set to expire on Jan. 31, 2024.

The spokeswoman did not confirm whether the WIV is currently receiving direct or indirect taxpayer funding for research activities involving animals. EcoHealth Alliance’s last known subgrant to the WIV was in May 2019, according to USASpending.Gov

The actions taken by the Chinese have made it very difficult to determine the true origins of the virus and its spread. Previously, we had reported that most US Intelligence agencies believed that the virus came from a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan.

Yet, when the World Health Organization (WHO) sent investigators to Wuhan and its virology facilities, its members included President of EcoHealth Alliance Peter Daszak.

British zoologist and the president of EcoHealth Alliance Peter Daszak is the only individual to be part of both the WHO and The Lancet teams investigating the origins of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. However, he has long-term professional and financial ties with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), which represents a conflict of interest.

…[Richard H. Ebright is the Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University] said that Daszak is a collaborator on the WIV research for bat SARS-related coronaviruses. He lamented that the WHO named Daszak as a member of its review team, and The Lancet named Daszak as the head of its review team. Ebright said this makes “it clear that WHO and Lancet reviews cannot be considered credible investigations.”

And if all of this conflict-of-interest weren’t troubling enough, Daszak is quite dismissive of US Intelligence assessments.

Ahead of the report coming out, signs have emerged that America and China are at odds with the conclusions. It is disconcerting that as the President of the EcoHealth Alliance, Daszak:

1) Dismisses the robust demands for hard facts as politics.
2) Links the issues to former President Donald Trump.
3) Uses the word “consensus” on achieving what should be data-driven conclusions.

…”It’s kind of disappointing that it’s come to controversy already — the report is not even out,” Peter Daszak, a member of the mission who is president of the EcoHealth Alliance, a New York nonprofit focused on emerging infectious diseases, said Monday. “I hope the politics steps to one side and lets the science speak for once. We’ve done enough politicking around this pandemic.”

They’ve not seen what’s in the report. Read the report, and then we’ll talk about whether it’s enough or whether more needs to be done,” he said. “You know, I really hope that we’re going to leave the politics of the Trump era behind.”

He added: “It’s not fruitful. It’s not useful. It’s politics. And what we need now is science. So let the report come out. And then let’s talk.”

He confirmed that there had been “heated discussions” between the WHO team and its Chinese counterparts but characterized them as no different from the discussions among many teams of scientists. “We had robust discussions, for sure,” he said. “But we have a consensus. I think that’s a really important point.”

So, as the media touts the results of this upcoming report, please keep the personnel in mind and the fact your tax dollars are still going to this type of research.

I will also point out that if we had a fully functioning America press, the direct connection between EcoHealth, the WIV, and the WHO team would have been more robustly explored and described.

 

 
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