Sen. Marshall Demands NSF and NIH Stop EcoHealth Alliance Grant Funding

(Washington, D.C., October 12, 2022) – U.S. Senators Roger Marshall, M.D. and Joni Ernst, along with Representatives Guy Reschenthaler and Lisa McClain led letters to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) condemning the agencies’ recent decisions to award grant funding to the EcoHealth Alliance, Inc. (EcoHealth). The New York nonprofit, led by Peter Daszak, has funneled nearly $1.7 million in federal tax dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and repeatedly failed to comply with federal law and reporting requirements for federal grants.

NSF recently awarded a $1 million grant for a project that will include EcoHealth Alliance for Predictive Intelligence for Pandemic Prevention. Additionally, NSF plans to award another grant to EcoHealth for $263,801 in January 2023. The letter, signed by 40 members of Congress, requests that NSF stop its grant relationship with EcoHealth and asks oversight questions regarding how EcoHealth was selected for this project. 

NIH announced a five-year grant beginning with an award of $653,392 to conduct more studies on coronaviruses from bats in Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam. The letter, signed by 30 members of Congress, details EcoHealth Alliance’s history of grant compliance failure and concerning lack of transparency, and requests NIH end their grant relationship with EcoHealth.

“NIH and NSF chose risk over responsibility by funding Peter Daszak and EcoHealth Alliance. Instead of enforcing oversight, NIH escorted Peter Daszak and EcoHeath Alliance around it and both of these science agencies walked them straight to the pot of taxpayer gold,” said Senator Marshall. “Until proper risk assessment procedures for U.S. research grants are restored, not a single cent of federal funding should go towards viral, dangerous gain-of-function research.”

“It is a gross abuse of hardworking Americans’ tax dollars to continue to fund EcoHealth Alliance,” said Representative Reschenthaler. “EcoHealth and its president, Peter Daszak, are complicit in failing to comply with federal law and collaborating with a Chinese Communist Party secret laboratory. I am proud to work with Sen. Ernst, Sen. Marshall, and Rep. McClain on holding the Biden Administration accountable to end this relationship with this negligent organization.”

“Because EcoHealth broke federal laws, withheld evidence, and conducted dangerous research in unsafe conditions, this group should never be trusted to put its hands on taxpayer dollars or bats ever again,” said Senator Ernst. “Let’s defund EcoHealth and launch a real scientific investigation to find out once and for all what was really happening in Wuhan, China so the same mistakes are never repeated again.”

“Under no circumstances should the United States send tax dollars to labs run by the Chinese Communist Party,” said Representative McClain. “EcoHealth Alliance has a long history of funneling money to CCP labs and continuing to fund this organization is a blatant misuse of federal dollars and a slap in the face to every single American. I am joining my colleagues in urging the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation to cut all ties with EcoHealth and ensure our tax dollars are not funding these scandal-ridden labs.”

The letter to NSF can be viewed here.

The letter to NIH can be viewed here.

Background on EcoHealth & WIV: 

The WIV is a Chinese Communist Party high-containment laboratory and the likely origin of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the State Department, the WIV has conducted classified research on behalf of the Chinese military. 

Since 2004, EcoHealth and its president, Peter Daszak, have collaborated with the WIV. Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dazsak withheld critical information and pushed false narratives to hide the true origins of the pandemic. 

In 2021, the U.S. Agency for International Development acknowledged that EcoHealth provided $1.1 million to the WIV from October 2009 to May 2019. This funding utilized gain-of-function research to create a hybrid, man-made virus by inserting a spiked protein from a wild coronavirus into a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone, which could infect human airways by binding to the ACE2. Additionally, between 2015 and 2019, the WIV received approximately $598,500 from EcoHealth for a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases funded study on the risk of bat coronavirus emergence. 

Background on Senator Marshall’s Efforts to Uncover the Origins of COVID-19:

Having been the first member of Congress to sound the alarm on the House floor about the spread of COVID-19 and later serving on the frontlines as a volunteer treating patients in Wyandotte County and Seward County, Senator Marshall has been leading the effort in the U.S. Senate to get to the bottom of the origins of COVID-19.

Senator Marshall led a group of Senators on a letter to Samantha Power, Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), demanding that her agency suspend its taxpayer-funded financial awards to EcoHealth Alliance (EcoHealth), a U.S. nonprofit organization led by Peter Daszak. USAID’s unwillingness to cooperate with congressional requests for information regarding its funding of organizations like EcoHealth has previously led Senator Marshall to delay Senate consideration of USAID nominees from confirmation, to which USAID responded by providing some records. The effort is ongoing. The Senators’ letter outlines EcoHealth’s history of noncompliance with federal grant requirements, as well as the organization’s dishonesty about its use of federal grants to fund research at foreign labs like the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China. Senator Marshall asked questions during a U.S. Senate hearing on the federal government’s involvement with GoF research projects in China. At the same hearing, Senator Marshall connected Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to efforts to push GoF research out of the United States and into China through EcoHealth Alliance. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall’s full line of questioning during the hearing.

Video was released of Hudson Institute Senior Fellow David Asher, who led the State Department’s COVID-19 origins investigation for the Trump Administration, interviewing Senator Marshall about his leadership in the investigation into the COVID-19 pandemic’s origins and the implications of future gain-of-function research to avoid these types of leaks from reoccurring. Nearly three years after COVID-19’s emergence the world still lacks basic answers on the pandemic’s origins; the Chinese cover up of its rapidly emerging spread; how the National Institutes of Health (NIH) sought to change key scientists’ opinions about a lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology; and why there is a lack accountability, transparency, and responsibility among scientists and public health officials in the United States and around the world. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch the interview.

Senator Marshall and U.S. Representative Jim Jordan (OH) released a video detailing Dr. Tony Fauci’s involvement with the COVID-19 China cover up. The video comes on the heels of Dr. Fauci refusing to stop using U.S. taxpayer dollars to award China grants following a question by Senator Marshall at a committee hearing. Senator Marshall and Representative Jordan have been leading the fight to uncover the origins of COVID-19. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall and Representative Jordan’s video.

At a hearing when Senator Marshall asked Dr. Fauci if he would stop using U.S. taxpayer dollars to fund Chinese Communist Party research projects – such as EcoHealth Alliance’s activities at the Wuhan Institute of Virology – Dr. Fauci admitted his agency does not have any plans to do so. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall’s full exchange with Dr. Fauci.

In February 2022, Senator Marshall penned an op-ed for the Washington Examiner about the nearly ten billion dollars in funding controlled by Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins and how those dollars appear to have influenced scientists worldwide on their opinion of COVID origins.

Upon joining the U.S. Senate in 2021, Senator Marshall released a multi-step path forward on getting to the bottom of the origins of COVID-19 and holding China accountable for its actions surrounding the earliest days of the outbreak. Since then, he has introduced the Chinese Communist Party Accountability Act to place sanctions on the top two Chinese health officials with early ties to the COVID-19 outbreak who obfuscated actionable information; the Viral Gain of Function Research Moratorium Act to place a moratorium on all federal research grants to universities and other organizations conducting gain-of-function research and risky research on potential pandemic pathogens; and the National BioSecurity Improvement Act to ensure federally-funded research involving potentially dangerous pathogens does not compromise national security. You may click HERE or on the image below to read the Senator’s multi-step path forward.

The Senator introduced a resolution calling for a bipartisan Select Committee to investigate the origins of COVID-19. The Senate passed a bipartisan amendment offered by Senator Marshall and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) calling for a transparent investigation into the COVID-19 outbreak mandated by the World Health Assembly during its current session, which ends on Monday. Additionally, if China continues on its path of cover-up and obfuscation, the Marshall-Gillibrand Amendment demands a full, transparent investigation to include the U.S. and our allies and partners around the world. In fact, Senators Marshall and Gillibrand held the first joint bipartisan Senate briefing on the origins of COVID-19 bringing together healthcare, national security, medical, and academic experts.

In November 2021, Senators Marshall and Gillibrand joined forces with Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to introduce bipartisan legislation to create a 9/11-style commission to investigate COVID-19 origins and identify lessons learned regarding U.S. preparedness, response, and recovery to improve our ability to respond to future outbreaks. Senators Marshall and Gillibrand were on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss the legislation, which you may watch by clicking HERE or on the image below. In the following months, he secured this 9/11 Style COVID task force in the Senate HELP Committee’s bipartisan PREVENT Pandemics Act.

Senator Marshall was the first U.S. Senator to demand answers from the DOD and HHS on possible COVID-19 infections of U.S. Army troops who participated in the 2019 World Military Games that took place in Wuhan, China from October 18-28, 2019.

In September 2021, Senator Marshall released a video walkthrough of a 3D timeline of the origins of COVID-19. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch the video.

In March 2022, the U.S. Senate passed Senator Marshall’s legislation to end the COVID-19 national state of emergency that is currently in effect under the National Emergencies Act (NEA). President Donald Trump invoked the NEA in March 2020 in regard to COVID-19. In February 2021 and then again in February 2022, President Joe Biden extended it. Under the NEA, Congress is mandated to determine whether the emergency should continue, a process Congress has not fully enforced, ceding power to the executive. The U.S. House of Representatives has not voted on Senator Marshall’s legislation.