Animal Rights/Vegan Activists' Strategies Articles

How White Coat Waste Cut the NIH-Wuhan Lab Grant

From White Coat Waste Project
May 2022
Originally published by Peter Aldhous on BuzzFeed News

The White Coat Waste Project has pulled the “lab leak” strings and channeled right-wing anger over COVID to pursue its goal of defunding animal experiments backed by the federal government.

white coat waste

As much of the United States entered COVID lockdowns in April 2020, a tiny group that campaigns against federal funding for animal experiments spotted an opportunity.

Speculation was swirling in right-leaning media that the virus behind the pandemic had emerged from a lab in Wuhan, China, rather than from wildlife sold for food in the city’s markets. As it happened, the White Coat Waste Project had been looking into taxpayer money going to labs in China, including in Wuhan. The group’s founder had strong contacts with Republican politicians and had launched the group with the mission of getting conservatives into animal activism.

The White Coat Waste Project sprung into action, persuading to run a story saying the US government had funded the lab. Then all hell broke loose.

Then-president Donald Trump, keen to blame China for the pandemic, was soon involved. After prodding from the conservative outlet Newsmax at a press conference, his administration terminated the grant from the National Institutes of Health, which had been awarded to a New York–based nonprofit called the EcoHealth Alliance.

Since then, the controversy over whether the COVID pandemic started with a “lab leak” has escalated into a ferocious fight, with conflicting narratives that paint EcoHealth and the Wuhan Institute of Virology either as out-of-control scientists who may have caused the pandemic through inherently risky research or as the victims of politically motivated conspiracy theories, unfairly vilified as the architects of a catastrophe that they worked for years to prevent by studying the risks posed by bat coronaviruses.


Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE.

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