The disgraced EcoHealth Alliance has raked in nearly $100 million in taxpayer money since 2008

EcoHealth Alliance — the disgraced research firm accused of using taxpayer money to conduct gain-of-function research at its Wuhan lab before the COVID-19 pandemic began — has spent nearly 15 years Received $100 million from the federal government.

From FY 2008 to FY 2024, the U.S. government EcoHealth Alliance provided an estimated $94.3 million to taxpayers through contracts, grants, direct payments, loans and other financial assistance, according to a Fox News Digital review of government spending data provided by USAspending. gov .

Fox News Digital reported last year that millions of dollars in federal research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) were awarded to the nonprofit to study bat coronaviruses in China. The Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services released a 64-page report in January 2023 finding that NIH had violated its policies and procedures regarding three grants to EcoHealth Alliance between 2014 and 2021, totaling approximately $8 million.

HHS GOES TO DEBATE ECOHEALTH ALLIANCE PRESIDENT OVER FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH GRANT PROCEDURES

Chairman of the EcoHealth Alliance Dr. Peter Daszak speaks during a House Select Subcommittee hearing on the coronavirus pandemic on Capitol Hill on May 1, 2024 in Washington, D.C. (Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

As for the total amount of taxpayer money the federal government has given to the EcoHealth Alliance since the start of the pandemic, Dr. Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University and a fierce critic of the NIH, puts the number at more than $50 million.

“The US government has provided more than $50 million to EcoHealth since the start of the pandemic, with most of that $50 million earmarked for the same kind of reckless virus discovery and virus enhancement research that likely led to a pandemic,” said Ebright in a press release. statement to Fox News Digital.

Government agencies that have provided the most funding to EcoHealth, according to Ebright, include the United States Agency for International Development, the Department of Defense and the NIH.

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services implemented an immediate, government-wide suspension of all funds allocated to EcoHealth.

HHS made the decision based on evidence from the House COVID Select Subcommittee staff report on the nonprofit. According to HHS, EcoHealth intentionally violated the terms of a multimillion-dollar NIH grant.

A spokesperson for EcoHealth Alliance told Fox News Digital at the time that it was “disappointed by HHS's decision.”

“We strongly disagree with the decision and will present evidence to refute each of these allegations and demonstrate that the NIH's continued support of the EcoHealth Alliance is in the public interest,” the spokesperson told Fox News Digital .

COVID ORIGIN: HHS SUSPENDS ECOHEALTH ALLIANCE GRANTS AFTER FINDING TAX FUNDS USED FOR RISKY RESEARCH

The facade of the Wuhan Institute of Virology

Security personnel stand guard outside the Wuhan Institute of Virology as members of the World Health Organization team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 visit on February 3, 2021. (Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images)

That comment came ahead of a decision by HHS to initiate formal debarment proceedings against Dr. Peter Daszak, the president of EcoHealth Alliance.

On a Tuesday letter to Daszakwrote an HHS suspension and debarment official: “This is to inform you that on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I have suspended you and recommended you for debarment in connection with your respective roles as President of EcoHealth Alliance, Inc .and as Program Director/Principal Investigator of the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease…of participation in procurement and non-procurement programs of the United States Federal Government.”

In a action referral memociting several examples of EcoHealth's failure to comply with certain subsidy procedures, the same official wrote: “I find that the information contained in the file constitutes sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the immediate suspension of Dr. Peter Daszak is necessary to protect the public interest. gave up his role as president of EHA.

The memorandum also noted EHA's work with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) as a reason for the proposal for exclusion proceedings against Daszak.

A review of EcoHealth's work, submitted two years late on August 3, 2021, found that work at the Wuhan Institute “may have produced a greater” increase in viral activity, “in violation of the terms of the grant” , the memorandum said.

Dr.  Peter Daszak

Peter Daszak, right, and other members of the World Health Organization team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus leave the Hubei Center for Animal Disease Control and Prevention in Wuhan on February 2, 2021. (HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

After the start of the debarment process, a spokesperson for the EcoHealth Alliance told Fox News that the U.S.-based nonprofit “did not support any gain-of-function study at the WIV” and that “any claims to the contrary be based on a misinterpretation, or deliberate misrepresentation of the actual research conducted.”

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“Because the SARS-related research, conducted by EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, dealt with bat coronaviruses that have never been shown to infect humans, let alone cause significant morbidity and/or mortality in humans, it was by definition no profit or abuse. job search,” the spokesperson added. “The fact is that the bat coronavirus research conducted by EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology could not have caused the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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