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Republicans introduce bills to defund Wuhan lab after audit shows it refused to hand over documents

The bills come after the DHS Inspector General found that documentation could not be obtained from the Wuhan lab despite it receiving taxpayer dollars.

Published: February 14, 2023 1:37pm

Updated: February 14, 2023 4:59pm

Rep. Scott Perry and Sen. Joni Ernst on Tuesday introduced the "Defund the Wuhan Institute of Virology Act" after a report found the Chinese laboratory refused to hand over documentation to EcoHealth Alliance, a research non-profit that gave it federal grant money.

The White Coat Waste Project, a non-profit dedicated to ending government funding for experiments on animals, announced the legislation that would prohibit federal funds from going to the Wuhan lab, which has been connected to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bills come after the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General found that EcoHealth gave more than $3.7 million to the Wuhan lab to study bat coronaviruses, but it was unable to obtain documentation from the Chinese lab.

Perry first introduced the bill in 2021, but it did not become law. 

"It is totally batty that three years after a mysterious new disease emerged in the vicinity of the Wuhan Institute of Virology – where U.S. taxpayer dollars were funding dangerous experiments on coronaviruses – the lab is still eligible to receive your tax dollars to conduct experiments on bats," Ernst said.

"Taxpayers should not be forced to bankroll white coats in Wuhan who waste money, break the law, abuse animals, and place public health in peril," White Coat Waste Project Government Affairs Director Tristan Daedalus said. "Stop the money. Stop the madness!"

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