Feds award $1 million to nonprofit that funneled tax dollars to Chinese bat coronavirus lab

EcoHealth Alliance was a conduit for funding from Dr. Anthony Fauci's NIAID for controversial bat coronavirus experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology widely suspected to be the source of COVID-19.

Updated: September 25, 2022 - 6:56am

The Golden Horseshoe is a weekly designation from Just The News intended to highlight egregious examples of wasteful taxpayer spending by the government. The award is named for the horseshoe-shaped toilet seats for military airplanes that cost the Pentagon a whopping $640 each back in the 1980s.

This week's Golden Horseshoe goes to the National Science Foundation for awarding a $1 million grant to EcoHealth Alliance, the controversial nonprofit whose former vice president claims in a sworn statement it created COVID-19 at China's Wuhan Institute of Virology.

The NSF awarded the $1 million to EcoHealth Alliance and Boston University to predict and prevent future pandemics, The National Pulse reported.

The government spending watchdog OpenTheBooks.com questioned the grant to EcoHealth, which received several million dollars in grants from Dr. Anthony Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to conduct research at the Wuhan lab whose experiments with bat coronaviruses are widely suspected to be the source of SARS-CoV-2.

"The new grant," Open the Books Founder/CEO Adam Andrzejewski wrote, "came after Peter Daszak, head of EcoHealth Alliance, has been accused of helping to spark the Covid-19 pandemic with his organization’s pandemic prevention work, Science magazine reported. He has downplayed the possibility of the virus originating in a lab as opposed to nature."

The NSF's new grant is part of its "new Predictive Intelligence for Pandemic Prevention (PIPP) initiative," according to the grant synopsis. "This initiative focuses on fundamental research and capabilities needed to tackle grand challenges in infectious disease pandemics through prediction and prevention." 

EcoHealth Alliance touted the new grant on its website. "EcoHealth has championed analytical approaches to predicting pandemics for the last 25 years," Daszak said in the press release announcing the award. "This new collaboration with global leaders at BU & our own leaders in emerging disease research takes our work to the next level." 

Just The News reported earlier this week that a former vice president for EcoHealth Alliance, Andrew Huff, claimed his organization "developed" SARS-CoV-2 through gain-of-function research that makes viruses more dangerous.

In a sworn declaration, Huff said, "The process of developing SARS-COV2 was also described in detail in the proposal submitted to, and ultimately funded by, the National Institutes of Health (HHS NIH), The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), by EcoHealth Alliance with the WIV and [University of North Carolina] listed as collaborators." 

Just The News reached out to the National Science Foundation, asking why EcoHealth Alliance received this grant and why U.S. taxpayers are funding an organization which allegedly created the COVID-19 virus. The agency did not respond to a request for comment.