EcoHealth Alliance Statement Concerning False Allegations About 700 Coronavirus Sequences

April 18, 2024 Recent news articles (e.g. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/rand-paul-says-email-exchange-top-fauci-aide-ecohealth-looks-cover-up) suggest that EcoHealth Alliance had access to coronavirus sequences that were not disclosed publicly. These allegations are false. They refer to an April 2020 email that EcoHealth Alliance made public last week (https://www.ecohealthalliance.org/2024/04/ecohealth-alliance-releases-emails-that-are-the-subject-of-false-allegations-in-the-press). The email explains that the termination by the former President in April 2020 of an NIH grant to EcoHealth Alliance titled “Understanding the risk of bat coronavirus emergence” would prevent us continuing work on 15,000 samples and around 700 coronavirus genetic sequences of bat coronaviruses in China, none of which were related to SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19. Any contention that these genetic sequences were hidden or “unknown” is false: all available coronavirus viral genetic sequences that EcoHealth Alliance had access to at the time were already uploaded into the NIH Genbank database and made public in a scientific paper in August 2020 (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-17687-3), and in public disclosures following that. In the email we explained that the termination of the grant, and the consequent lack of access to samples and work that was funded by the US taxpayer, would have a negative impact on public health, US national security, and our ability to prevent future pandemics that might threaten the American people.

Press contact: communications@ecohealthalliance.org

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