Republican senators are demanding the U.S. Agency for International Development suspend giving federal grants to EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit connected to COVID-19 research in China.
The nine senators wrote a letter Wednesday to USAID Administrator Samantha Power expressing “deep concern” about the millions of dollars her agency is awarding EcoHealth.
They requested in the letter to stop giving the grant to allow time to investigate such critical matters as EcoHealth’s oversight of foreign research programs and to review any laboratory accidents or adverse events.
The senators also wrote that Congress has already passed legislation to halt funding to EcoHealth’s “dangerous coronavirus research in China.”
The National Institutes of Health also has already suspended bat coronavirus research funding to EcoHealth after finding that the research group was not in compliance with requirements.
The ongoing COVID pandemic started in China, and officials there have said the virus jumped from animal to human as a result of a person buying a bat at an exotic food market in the city of Wuhan.
The letter was signed by Sens. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Josh Hawley (Mo.), Roger Marshall (Kansas), Rand Paul (Ky.), and Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, both of Florida.