Saturday, May 13, 2023

Agency Gets Back to Work — on Bat Coronaviruses With Chinese Scientists; Biden NIH Resumes Funding Group Tied to Wuhan Coronavirus Lab: 'An outrage', and other C-Virus related stories

Chronicle via AP, File
Agency gets back to work — on bat coronaviruses with Chinese scientists
“Three years after then-President Donald Trump pressured the National Institutes of Health to suspend a research grant to a U.S. group studying bat coronaviruses with partners in China, the agency has restarted the award,” advises a report from Science, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
“The new 4-year grant is a stripped-down version of the original grant to the EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit research organization in New York City, providing $576,000 per year. That 2014 award included funding for controversial experiments that mixed parts of different bat viruses related to severe acute respiratory syndrome, the coronavirus that sparked a global outbreak in 2002–04, and included a subaward to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The new award omits those studies, and also imposes extensive new accounting rules on EcoHealth, which drew criticism from government auditors for its bookkeeping practices,” the report said.
Peter Daszak, EcoHealth’s director, said his embattled group is pleased.
“Now we have the ability to finally get back to work,” he said, according to the report. --->READ MORE HERE
Biden NIH resumes funding group tied to Wuhan coronavirus lab: 'An outrage'::
President Joe Biden's National Institutes of Health has resumed a grant award suspended under former President Donald Trump for coronavirus bat research to a U.S. nonprofit group that has come under heightened scrutiny for partnering with the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China.
Trump's NIH informed EcoHealth Alliance in April 2020 that it was axing the grant, which began in 2014 and included a subaward of hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Wuhan lab. The grant was renewed on April 26, 2023. EcoHealth contended it will not be collaborating at all with the WIV anymore, the group announced in a press release on Monday.
"It is an outrage that EcoHealth Alliance, an organization that potentially shares culpability for the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic, that has obstructed investigation of that disaster, and that has flagrantly and repeatedly breached US-government contracts, continues to receive U.S. government grants and contracts," Richard Ebright, laboratory director at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University, told the Washington Examiner.
The grant to EcoHealth was suspended by the NIH in June 2020 due to “grant administrative non-compliance concerns.” EcoHealth was reprimanded by the NIH in October when the agency found that the organization delayed revealing that a U.S.-funded experiment conducted with the Wuhan lab determined that mice with implanted human cells became sicker with an engineered version of bat coronavirus. The NIH found more EcoHealth violations in January.
EcoHealth leader Peter Daszak was a longtime collaborator with the Wuhan lab and its "bat lady" leader, Shi Zhengli. Daszak steered hundreds of thousands of dollars in NIH funding to the Chinese institute and was also an integral World Health Organization-China joint study team member in early 2021 when it visited Wuhan. The NIH grants actually went to more than just looking at viruses and also included funding for Wuhan lab experiments on the viruses, which Republicans and some virology critics of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former top federal infectious diseases expert, have said were gain of function. --->READ MORE HERE
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