U.S. Cuts Off Funding for EcoHealth Alliance

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has suspended funding for Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance (EHA).

A letter sent to Daszak declares that HHS has proposed debarment for the organization.

“Debarment is generally for a period not to exceed three years; however, regardless of whether EHA contests this action or responds to this Notice, I may impose debarment for a longer period or shorter period as the circumstances warrant,” HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisitions Katrina Brisbon stated in the letter.

According to a memorandum also sent to the entity, EHA “did not adequately monitor” compliance from the Chinese Wuhan lab with the terms provided in a U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant.

“Therefore, given the issues regarding the management of EHA’s grant awards and subawards, I have determined that the immediate suspension of EHA is necessary to protect the public interest,” Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Henrietta Brisbon wrote.

“EcoHealth will now face an immediate, government-wide suspension of taxpayer funds — including a hold on all active grants,” the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic announced on social media.

Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) said that EcoHealth “facilitated gain-of-function research in Wuhan, China without proper oversight, willingly violated multiple requirements of its multimillion-dollar National Institutes of Health grant, and apparently made false statements to the NIH.”

He called these actions “wholly abhorrent” and “indefensible,” adding that the funding suspension is “not only a victory for the U.S. taxpayer, but also for American national security and the safety of citizens worldwide.”

An EcoHealth Alliance spokesperson told The Daily Wire in an email that it is “disappointed” by the HHS decision and will be “contesting the proposed debarment.”

“We disagree strongly with the decision and will present evidence to refute each of these allegations and to show that NIH’s continued support of EcoHealth Alliance is in the public interest,” the statement read.

The decision to suspend funding to EHA followed the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic releasing a report on its “comprehensive investigation into the U.S. government’s funding and lack of oversight of gain-of-function research, EcoHealth Alliance (EcoHealth), and the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV),” a press release said.

According to the report, EcoHealth Alliance “violated its grant terms and conditions by failing to report a potentially dangerous experiment conducted by the WIV.” EcoHealth Alliance was required to report gain-of-function experiments that displayed “greater than ‘on log growth,’” meaning that the virus was altered to be 10 times more infectious.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) believed an unreported experiment facilitated by WIV violated this policy.

EcoHealth Alliance also failed to submit a research report until nearly two years after its initial deadline.

Daszak claimed he was “locked out” of the NIH system, although an investigation into the matter found the claim was unsubstantiated.