The House Committee on Appropriations voted to advance a budget that would defund research labs in adversarial countries, including China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. The legislation would include defunding the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), which many believe is the origin point for COVID-19.
Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) -- a member of both the House Committee on Appropriations and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence -- introduced the amendment that is responsible for defunding these unaccountable, foreign research labs.
"There is significant evidence that COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology," said Rep. Stewart. "And we can't ignore the unfortunate reality: U.S. taxpayer dollars were funneled to the very lab that conducted this dangerous research and turned our world upside down. This inexcusable mistake demands immediate correction.
"My amendment will ensure this research will not continue in uncontrolled environments. Cutting American funding to our opposition's research -- particularly Chinese projects -- should not be a partisan issue. And I'd like to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for recognizing the necessity of this effort and joining me to guarantee this mistake is never made again."
Rep. Stewart's amendment is part of the fiscal year 2023 funding package for America's public health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH -- and specifically Dr. Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases -- had previously facilitated millions of dollars of funding to 100 Chinese institutions, including the WIV.
This funding package will now go to the full floor of the House of Representatives for a vote.