The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is being accused by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) of paying the EcoHelath Alliance in taxpayer dollars in order facilitate funds (including federal grants) to foreign researchers such as the Wuhan Institute for Virology. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the research activities at the Wuhan Institute were “serious bio-safety concerns.”
Because of this, Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) wrote a letter asserting that the agency stops the “taxpayer-funded financial awards to EcoHealth.”
“Congress has passed legislation to stop funding EcoHealth’s dangerous coronavirus research in China and has taken key votes designed to halt U.S. involvement in this practice,” said Sen. Rubio and Marshall. “In May 2021, the Senate agreed by voice vote to an amendment to prohibit federal funding for the WIV. In September 2021, the House passed an amendment to defund EcoHealth Alliance. In December 2021, Congress passed a law prohibiting U.S. Department of Defense funding for any work performed by EcoHealth Alliance in China on research supported by the Chinese government. The bipartisan votes should be seen as reflecting Congressional concerns about Peter Daszak and EcoHealth’s conduct.”
Sen. Rubio and Co. would also mention, “In a January 6, 2022 letter to Peter Daszak, NIH advised that ‘EcoHealth’s inability or unwillingness to provide…documentation to us upon request raises questions about the quality and rigor of EcoHealth’s record-keeping.’ NIH also wrote that ‘EcoHealth has demonstrated a history of failure to comply with several elements of the terms and conditions of grant awards,’ for three NIH research grants, including the suspended award. Specifically, NIH identified deficiencies in the timely submission of financial and research progress reports, compliance with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act and other monitoring requirements. NIH reminded Peter Daszak of EcoHealth’s required responsibility to maintain all research records for three years, including WIV records and imposed a one-week deadline on EcoHealth to submit the records to NIH.”
Rubio faces Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) on November 8th for his own Senate seat.