HomeNewsWhite HouseThe White House is shredding documents after receiving an unexpected Senate letter

The White House is shredding documents after receiving an unexpected Senate letter

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Corruption in the federal government isn’t new. But the Biden admin has taken it to new heights.

And now the White House is shredding documents after receiving this unexpected letter from the U.S. Senate.

Senator Joni Ernst Urges Biden Administration to Confirm Termination of Funding for EcoHealth Alliance

In a recent development, Republican Iowa Senator Joni Ernst has formally requested that the Biden administration confirm the cessation of federal funding for the EcoHealth Alliance (EHA). The call for confirmation came through a letter sent on Wednesday according to reports.

The Biden administration had earlier suspended financial support for EcoHealth in May. This decision came after it was discovered that EcoHealth, a recipient of U.S. government grants, had funneled funds to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). The WIV is suspected to be the origin point of the COVID-19 pandemic. Senator Ernst addressed various administrative agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), seeking verification that taxpayer funding to EcoHealth had indeed been terminated. She also demanded clarification on whether the NIH had access to the data collected by EcoHealth using public funds.

In her letter to NIH Director Monica Bertagnolli, Ernst emphasized the lack of compliance from EcoHealth in providing crucial research data. “Despite repeated requests from NIH, EHA never provided laboratory notebooks and files from the taxpayer-funded research conducted on coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which could hold vital clues to understanding the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ernst wrote. She stressed the importance of securing all information related to EHA’s current experiments and ensuring that pathogens in their possession are thoroughly documented to prevent any future leaks. “What happened in Wuhan should never be allowed to happen anywhere else ever again,” she added.

The suspension of EcoHealth’s funding was prompted by findings from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The department reported that EcoHealth failed “to adequately monitor the virus growth in WIV’s experiments” and did not “notify the NIH that the WIV viruses appeared to grow beyond permissible thresholds under the grant’s terms and conditions.”

Senator Ernst also extended her letter to other federal bodies, including the HHS, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. These agencies have previously provided funding to EcoHealth. Ernst’s office informed reporters that she has requested a comprehensive list of active grants and contracts awarded to EcoHealth, along with information on the agencies’ access to EcoHealth’s experimental data on bat viruses and pathogens.

EcoHealth Alliance has faced intense scrutiny from critics and lawmakers after it was revealed that the organization had financed the Wuhan Institute’s experimental research on coronavirus strains in bats. The WIV is widely believed to be the initial epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak that led to the global pandemic in 2020.

During a May congressional hearing, lawmakers accused EcoHealth Director Peter Daszak of deceitful practices to secure federal funding. Daszak denied these allegations, which included accusations of misusing federal funds and maintaining closer ties with the Wuhan Institute than previously disclosed.

As the investigation into EcoHealth’s activities continues, Senator Ernst’s demands underscore the urgency of transparency and accountability in the allocation and monitoring of federal research funds, particularly in research areas with significant global health implications.

Increasing Acceptance of the Lab Leak Theory for COVID-19 Origins

The origins of the COVID-19 virus have been a topic of intense debate since the pandemic began. Initially, the prevailing consensus among scientists and public health officials was that the virus likely originated in a wet market in Wuhan, China, where it jumped from animals to humans. This zoonotic spillover theory was supported by historical precedence, as many past infectious diseases, including SARS and MERS, have emerged through similar pathways. However, over time, there has been a growing acceptance of an alternative hypothesis: that the virus may have accidentally leaked from a laboratory. Several factors have contributed to this shift in perception.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) has been at the center of the lab leak theory. The institute is known for its research on bat coronaviruses, some of which are genetically similar to SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. Early in the pandemic, concerns were raised about the safety protocols at the WIV. Reports of possible safety breaches and the risky nature of gain-of-function research — experiments that can make viruses more transmissible or virulent — fueled suspicions.

Despite extensive investigations, no definitive evidence has emerged to confirm the natural zoonotic origin of SARS-CoV-2. Investigators have not identified an intermediate animal host that could have facilitated the jump from bats to humans. The closest relative of SARS-CoV-2 found in bats is still not close enough to conclusively trace the virus’s evolution directly to humans. This gap in evidence has kept alternative theories alive.

Initially, the lab leak theory was dismissed by many as a fringe conspiracy, partly due to the political climate and early statements by public health organizations that downplayed the possibility. However, as more scientists and researchers called for a thorough and unbiased investigation, the theory began to gain traction.

Donald Trump was a major proponent of the lab leak theory long before it was more widely accepted, and he was made a pariah by his harshest critics for suggesting this theory had any credibility.

But in May 2021, a group of prominent scientists published a letter in the journal Science, advocating for a balanced consideration of all hypotheses, including the lab leak theory. This call for open inquiry was echoed by numerous governments and international bodies.

Today, the lab leak theory is largely accepted as the best possible explanation for the novel virus that rewrote the future of human history forever.

The Conservative Column will keep you updated on any responses from the White House.

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