The seven groups outlined this demand in a Dec. 16 letter addressed to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX). Leahy and Shelby head the Senate Appropriations Committee, while DeLauro and Granger are in charge of the House Appropriations Committee.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the seven watchdog groups are concerned that a temporary spending package approved by Congress could contain taxpayer funds allocated to several foreign laboratories via the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Among them is the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), which conducted gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses.
"The NIH, with little accountability to Congress or the [Biden] administration, continues to authorize funding for animal experimentation laboratories directly controlled by foreign adversaries that act contrary to the national interest of the U.S.," they wrote.
"Foreign government-controlled laboratories should not be eligible to receive U.S. taxpayer dollars while they disregard our policies, dodge congressional oversight or act against our national interest." (Related: Wuhan lab where coronavirus is believed to have originated eligible for TAXPAYER FUNDING until 2024.)
The watchdog groups expressed satisfaction over the language DeLauro included in an amendment to the House proposal that closed this "egregious loophole." The Connecticut congresswoman wrote that "none of the funds made available by this act may be made available to the WIV or any other laboratory located in a country determined by the secretary of state to be a foreign adversary – including China, Russia, North Korea and Iran."
Given this, the groups urged the four members of Congress to "ensure that similar language is included in the omnibus package" being considered by lawmakers.
The seven groups accused the NIH of insubordination as the agency refused to comply with presidential bans on funding laboratories in foreign nations.
"While the Biden administration announced in June its intention to cut off funding to labs controlled by the Russian government, for example, NIH refuses to publicly acknowledge that it is following the president's direction," they wrote. "Further, NIH staff are actively monitoring and pushing back against Congressional efforts to defund risky gain-of-function experiments in China, including [at] the WIV."
"As there is no statutory prohibition for funding laboratories in foreign adversary nations or nations acting contrary to the national interest of the U.S., NIH bureaucrats make the final call and continue to fund these animal labs without regard for the American taxpayer."
The letter's signatories also pointed out that U.S. taxpayers "have repeatedly indicated their support for withholding those funds." They quoted a recent poll revealing that 71 percent of respondents expressing their support for "federal legislation to restrict animal testing in countries that are adversaries of the United States."
Tristan Daedalus, government affairs director for the White Coat Waste Project (WCWP), echoed the letter's sentiments about taxpayers opposing funding dangerous experiments in countries that pose a threat to America. Daedalus is one of the signatories in the letter.
"We shouldn't be forced to bankroll dangerous, cruel and wasteful animal experiments in places like Wuhan and St. Petersburg," he said.
"Yet, as our government watchdog first exposed, the WIV and 30 other animal labs in Russia and China are still currently authorized to receive U.S. taxpayer dollars via the NIH."
Watch Del Bigtree talk about the WIV's links to COVID-19 on "The HighWire."
This video is from The HighWire with Del Bigtree channel on Brighteon.com.
FreeBeacon.com 2 [PDF]