T he U.S. taxpayer-funded nonprofit group that collaborated with a Chinese laboratory on risky bat virus research just before the initial COVID-19 outbreak has earned another slap on the wrist from authorities.
EcoHealth Alliance, which the government has already said broke rules with bat coronavirus experiments that critics call gain-of-function research, has been hit with more violations by the National Institutes of Health. In a letter to EcoHealth sent last week and just made public, NIH Deputy Director Michael Lauer blasted the organization's poor record of complying with agency standards and accused it of charging "inappropriate" rates related to a Wuhan lab grant.
The NIH paused its funding of EcoHealth's Wuhan lab research in 2020 but has continued sending money to EcoHealth for other viral research.
“[EcoHealth has] demonstrated a history of failure to comply with several elements of the terms and conditions of grant awards not only for these active awards, but also for the suspended award,” Lauer wrote of EcoHealth, which has reaped millions of dollars in grants from the NIH.