Headline RoundupMay 15th, 2024

US Suspends Funding For Nonprofit Group Connected to COVID Lab Leak Theory

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The Department of Health and Human Services suspended federal funding for the nonprofit research organization EcoHealth Alliance.

For Context: EcoHealth Alliance is linked to suspicions that the COVID-19 virus originated in a lab and leaked out, on account of the group’s work at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, where COVID-19 was first documented. Proponents of the lab leak theory have long questioned whether research conducted at the Wuhan facility led to the creation of COVID-19. The EcoHealth Alliance has consistently denied this theory, arguing the research conducted at the facility could not have led to a leak. 

Key Quotes: In a statement published in The Hill (Center bias), a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services said, “A thorough investigation determined that there is adequate evidence that EHA has not been compliant with federal regulations and grant terms and conditions, which affects EHA’s present responsibility,” adding, “As a grantee administrator, EHA’s role is to provide oversight of the activities of its subawardees, including reporting requirements back to the National Institutes of Health (and other federal government agencies), to ensure compliance with all grant terms and conditions and federal regulations. The record establishes EHA did not fulfill these responsibilities.” 

How the Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum reported on the announcement, linking the decisions to the lab leak theory, despite the letter from the HHS only making a brief mention of the connection.

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