The National Institute of Health confirmed that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) is eligible for taxpayer funding for animal research through 2024.
The Daily Caller reports that the WIV has “an active Foreign Assurance” with the NIH, enabling the lab to receive U.S. taxpayer funding.
A NIH spokeswoman told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the WIV’s Foreign Assurance was approved on Jan. 9, 2019, and is currently set to expire on Jan. 31, 2024.
The spokeswoman did not confirm whether the WIV is currently receiving direct or indirect taxpayer funding for research activities involving animals. EcoHealth Alliance’s last known subgrant to the WIV was in May 2019, according to USASpending.Gov.
Many speculate that COVID-19 could have been leaked into the Chinese population in Wuhan through the lab as researchers were studying the coronavirus prior to the pandemic. The project, as the Daily Caller notes, was partially funded by the U.S., which shelled out $600,000 to support the research via a nonprofit group called EcoHealth Alliance.
The Daily Caller report continues:
The president of EcoHealth Alliance, Peter Daszak, was the sole U.S. member of the World Health Organization delegation that investigated the origins of the pandemic on the ground in China in January and February. While the WHO delegation has yet to release a report on their findings, Daszak said the White House should blindly accept their conclusion that it’s highly unlikely the virus could have leaked from the WIV.
Daszak also said American intelligence, which indicates researchers at the WIV became infected with COVID-like symptoms before the first known cases in December 2019, shouldn’t be trusted.
It was also recently reported that the Biden Administration has authorized the United States to pay the World Health Organization $200 million by the end of February.
The plan to reengage with WHO was announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Republican lawmakers are slamming the move, with Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) saying in a statement, “The WHO misled the world at the direction of the Chinese Communist Party, and President Biden is making a serious mistake by resuming funding to this organization without meaningful commitments for reform and transparency.”