Following WCW exposés, fed audit finds NIH & EcoHealth mismanaged Wuhan gain-of-function experiments, misspent tax $ 

Posted by Amanda Nieves
26 January 2023 | Blog


Prompted in part by White Coat Waste Project (WCW) investigations, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) just released a damning new audit reportdocumenting how the National Institute of Health (NIH) and EcoHealth Alliance (EHA) mismanaged the taxpayer-funded grant that paid for dangerous coronavirus gain-of-function experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) animal lab that likely caused the pandemic. 

NIH and EcoHealth Alliance 

 The disturbing HHS OIG report notes, among other things:  

  • “NIH did not effectively monitor or take timely action to address EcoHealth’s compliance with some requirements” 
  • “NIH did not refer the research to HHS for an outside review for enhanced potential pandemic pathogens (ePPPs)” 
  • “EcoHealth’s inability to obtain scientific documentation from WIV” 
  • “EcoHealth’s improper use of grant funds, resulting in $89,171 in unallowable costs” 
  • “WIV’s lack of cooperation following the COVID 19 outbreak limited EcoHealth’s ability to monitor its subrecipient” 

The HHS OIG recommends improving oversight of EHA and any risky projects that involve dangerous pathogens and that EHA should return $89,000 in taxpayer funds wasted on bonuses and other impermissible costs. 

Most importantly, the OIG suggests—as WCW and Congress have been saying and working to accomplish since early 2020—that the Wuhan animal lab should be permanently prohibited from receiving another red cent of taxpayer money! So should EHA, and we’re working on that, too.

On the heels of this OIG report, Congress re-introduced WCW-backed bills to defund EHA and gain-of-function experiments on animals.

NIH and EcoHealth Alliance

Plans for the HHS OIG audit were first announced in March 2021 and were prompted by Congressional requests fromSen. Joni Ernst (R-IA)and others that referenced WCW’s March 2021 exposé documenting violationsof federal spending transparency law by EHA. 

This audit confirms what we have been documenting since early 2020:  EHA shipped tax dollars to Wuhan for dangerous animal experiments that likely caused the pandemic, violated federal laws and policies, and wasted tax dollars.  

Yet, EHA and the Wuhan lab remain eligible for even more taxpayer money for animal tests!   

Just since the pandemic began, EcoHealth has raked in at least $46 million in new federal funds from the Dept. of Defense (DOD), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), NIH,  and National Science Foundation (NSF)!

NIH and EcoHealth Alliance

And WCW has uncovered a disturbing loopholethat has allowed the Wuhan lab to maintain its ability to receive taxpayer dollars from the NIH specifically for animal tests. 

Since early 2020, WCW has been working with Congress to permanently defund the Wuhan animal laband EcoHealth.  

Taxpayers should not be forced to bankroll reckless white coats who waste money, break the law and place public health in peril.  

 

 

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