Sen. Jon Ernst (R-Iowa) is pushing to cut off U.S. taxpayer funds to groups that disregard federal law.
That's in response to for that a U.S.-funded nonprofit, EcoHealth Alliance, funneled taxpayer money to Communist China's Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), where Covid-19 may have originated, and to other projects that partnered with the Chinese lab scientists.
For a year and a half, the WIV has refused to allow inspections of the lab or answer questions that could have helped the U.S. learn about the origins of Covid-19.
Then-President Trump attempted to cut taxpayer funding of the lab, but establishment scientists fought back and EcoHealth Alliance ended up getting an even larger grant of taxpayer funds from the National Institutes of Health. EcoHealth Alliance also receives taxpayer money from the Defense Department, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and has received funding from vaccine maker Johnson and Johnson.
According to Ernst: "When NIH requested information about the U.S. tax dollars diverted to the Wuhan lab and the viruses being studied and safety conditions there, EcoHealth called the questioning 'inappropriate' and 'heinous'.” They even orchestrated an effort to taint the scientific investigation, calling the idea of a lab leak a “conspiracy theory.”
Ernst is proposing the Stop the Outlay of Payments (STOP) Act, which would cut off all funding to EcoHealth Alliance or any organization that refuses to provide information about a project or fails to obey federal laws.
Under the STOP Act, an organization would be given four months to come into compliance after being suspended.
Despite skirting federal law and refusing to disclose how much U.S. taxpayer money was funneled to Communist China’s Wuhan Institute and the details about the coronavirus research the funding supported, EcoHealth Alliance was rewarded with another $7.5 million. Iowa taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to foot the bill for any organization that fails to comply with federal law. My bill would prevent federal funding from going to organizations, like EcoHealth, until they provide answers on how and where taxpayer dollars are being spent.Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)