HHS suspends funding for Wuhan lab

The White House has paused funding for the Wuhan Institute of Virology and is seeking to permanently cut off U.S. funding for the Chinese lab, according to a memo obtained by Bloomberg

HHS notified the institute of the suspension July 17, citing biosafety violations and failure to comply with U.S. regulations. While the U.S. has not found conclusive evidence regarding COVID-19's origin, it has identified significant breaches in safety and security protocols at the institute and accused China and the lab of impeding investigations into those concerns. 

The Wuhan Institute of Virology has received more than $1.4 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health since 2014, though it has not received additional funds since July 2020, according to Bloomberg. The lab may contest the suspension and proposed debarment. However, it will no longer be able to conduct business with the U.S., and affiliations with any organization that does business with the federal government will be closely monitored. 

The HHS decision was made independently of the U.S. intelligence community's ongoing investigations into the emergence of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan in late 2019.


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