EcoHealth Alliance – a group whose risky bat coronavirus research with Chinese lab has stirred controversy – received a new $1 million grant from the U.S. government for pandemic prevention.
The grant follows the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under the Trump administration terminating the group’s funding after it was revealed EcoHealth Alliance had been working with the Wuhan Institute of Virology on bat coronavirus research with similarities to COVID-19. The group’s president, Peter Daszak, also played a key role in downplaying the virus tracing it’s origins to a lab as opposed to nature.
EcoHealth Alliance has repeatedly failed to comply with congressional subpoenas regarding its work in China, which appears to have included gain-of-function research, where by researchers manipulate pathogens to make them deadlier to humans.
Despite these red flags, EcoHealth Alliance, in partnership with Boston University, was awarded a $1 million Predictive Intelligence for Pandemic Prevention Phase I (PIPP) grant by the National Science Foundation.
The National Science Foundation is a multi-billion-dollar government agency, who’s grants, including EcoHealth Alliance’s, are backed by taxpayers.
“Researchers will focus on predictive models of location and likely pathogens. This will be accomplished by first compiling a list of mutagenic RNA viruses with a high risk of spillover based on their ability to spread, cause outbreak, and cause severe illness,” begins a summary of the work researchers will engage in.
“Next, the team will identify locations at risk of spillover and localized spread by assembling a list of animals known to host one or more of the focal viruses.”
The approach is strikingly similar to EcoHealth Alliance’s previous collaborations with Chinese labs in Wuhan, which created artificially deadlier bat coronavirus strains in the name of “pandemic prevention.”
A summary of the joint effort notes that the work will be “drawing upon recent research published in Nature Communications, Sánchez et. al, A strategy to assess spillover risk of bat SARS-related coronaviruses in Southeast Asia.”
It appears that Daszak, whose conflicts of interest with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and Chinese Communist Party led to his removal from the Lancet medical journal’s COVID-19 commission, will be involved with the research, commenting the following upon receipt of the grant:
“EcoHealth has championed analytical approaches to predicting pandemics for the last 25 years. This new collaboration with global leaders at BU & our own leaders in emerging disease research takes our work to the next level.”
In the past, Daszak has admitted to faking need for massive pandemic grants, though various federal agencies under the Biden White House have continued to fund him and EcoHealth Alliance.