Senate Unanimously Adopts Amendment Banning Taxpayer Funds from Going to State-Run Labs in China

By Melanie Arter | May 26, 2021 | 10:19am EDT
Peter Daszak (R), Thea Fischer (L) and other members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus, arrive at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on February 3, 2021. (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)
Peter Daszak (R), Thea Fischer (L) and other members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus, arrive at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on February 3, 2021. (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) on Tuesday banned U.S. taxpayer funds from going to state-run labs in China after her amendment was unanimously adopted to the “Endless Frontier Act,” which aims to help the United States compete with China in research and development.

This comes on the same day that National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins admitted in testimony before a House Appropriations Subcommittee that NIH gave the non-profit group EcoHealth Alliance $3.7 million in taxpayer funds - $600,000 of which the group funneled to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is suspected to be the source of the coronavirus.

“Providing additional U.S. funds to subsidize any state-run lab in China—especially the Wuhan Institute of Virology—goes against the very purpose of the underlying bill, which is to support more research in the U.S. to better compete with China.

Today the Senate unanimously agreed with me that not another dime of taxpayer dollars should be spent subsidizing this lab in Communist China,” Ernst said.

“We applaud Sen. Ernst for her outstanding work to protect taxpayers and public health by permanently defunding the dangerous Wuhan Institute of Virology. Shipping tax dollars to a notorious CCP-run animal lab that’s supercharging coronaviruses, and where there’s no transparency and accountability about how our money is spent, was a recipe for disaster,” said Anthony Bellotti, president of taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project.

In March 2021, Ernst called on the Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General to find out why the agency is refusing to comply with a law and disclose how many taxpayer dollars are spent on specific research projects, like those being conducted with the WIV. She also introduced the Cost Openness and Spending Transparency (COST) Act which requires every project – from all federal agencies – supported with federal funds to include a price tag with the cost.

The congresswoman is also calling for an independent, scientific investigation into the origins of COVID-19.

MRC Store