The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) is being investigated as more and more people speculate that the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) may have been first engineered there. It could have infected the general population due to an accidental leak. This is a claim that has been repeatedly denied by the Chinese Communist Party.
Prior to the outbreak, researchers at the Wuhan lab were studying bat-based coronaviruses. This project was financially supported by American taxpayers with a $600,000 grant routed to the WIV by the EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization that claims to study emerging infectious diseases.
EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak was the sole American member of a delegation sent by the World Health Organization (WHO) to China in January and February. This delegation was supposed to investigate the origins of the coronavirus.
Daszak has urged the White House and the administration of President Joe Biden to support the WHO delegation's preliminary conclusion that it was highly unlikely the virus that caused the global pandemic that has killed millions worldwide could have leaked from the lab. (Related: No surprise: WHO kowtows to communist China, announces the virus didn't come from the Wuhan lab.)
The WHO delegation's full report on its "investigation" has yet to be released.
Daszak added that information gathered by American intelligence officers indicating that researchers at the WIV may have come down with symptoms of COVID-19 before the first known cases in Dec. 2019 should not be trusted.
Speaking to reporters last week, State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the U.S. requires "full transparency and access" from the WHO and the CCP to accept the delegation's findings before it accepts any conclusion.
Last year, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus insisted that the organization's scientists have not ruled out the possibility that COVID-19 was an engineered virus that leaked from a lab in Wuhan despite the fact that teams from the WHO have made declarations calling it "extremely unlikely."
"Some questions have been raised as to whether some hypotheses have been discarded," said Tedros at a press briefing. "Having spoken with some members of the team, I wish to confirm that all hypotheses remain open and require further analysis and study."
"Some of the work may lie outside the remit and some of this mission," he added. "We have always said that this mission would not find all the answers, but it has added important information that takes us closer to understanding the origins of the COVID-19 virus."
According to the Wall Street Journal, EcoHealth Alliance was granted $3.7 million by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases back in 2014. The organization was tasked with researching bat-based coronaviruses in China.
Back in April on 2020, the NIH terminated the grant to EcoHealth after criticism emerged regarding the organization's relationship with the Wuhan lab. In a letter, the NIH said EcoHealth Alliance's work in China no longer aligned with "program goals and agency priorities."
In July, the NIH said it was willing to restore funding to EcoHealth if it met some of the agency's requirements. These conditions included obtaining a sample of SARS-COV-2 that the WIV used to determine its genetic sequence, and arrange an independent team of investigators to go to the Wuhan lab and determine whether it was in possession of the virus before Dec. 2019.
Furthermore, the NIH demanded that EcoHealth learn the whereabouts of a scientist who worked at the Wuhan lab whose photo was removed from the institute's website. The scientist is being investigated due to the possibility that she may be coronavirus "patient zero." The WIV previously said the scientist in question was working there temporarily as a graduate student, and that when she finished her master's degree, she resigned to do other work.
During an interview with NPR, Daszak called the NIH's conditions "preposterous."
"I'm not trained as a private detective," said Daszak. "It's not really my job to do that."
But a representative from the NIH told the alternative news outlet the Daily Caller News Foundation that the agency's Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare still has a "Foreign Assurance" file with the WIV. This means that the Wuhan lab is still eligible to receive taxpayer funding to continue its animal research.
The NIH spokeswoman told the Daily Caller that the WIV's Foreign Assurance grant was approved on Jan. 9, 2019, and is set to expire on Jan. 31, 2024. She did not confirm with the Daily Caller whether the WIV was currently receiving taxpayer funding, either directly or indirectly,
Anthony Belloti, president of the White Coat Waste Project, a nonpartisan watchdog organization, told the Daily Caller that EcoHealth Alliance should be stripped of all taxpayer funding.
"We're urging Congress and the White House to defund EcoHealth now," said Belloti, "and secure independent investigations into whether their treacherous gain-of-function animal experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology led to the COVID outbreak."
Learn more about the true origins of the Wuhan coronavirus by reading the latest articles at Pandemic.news.