The U.S. government contributed funding to controversial gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, a report alleged Monday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the chief medical advisor to Democrat President Joe Biden, has previously denied the National Institute of Health [NIH] has ever funded such research.
The Intercept reported 900 new pages of previously undisclosed information from the NIH, which The Intercept obtained through a a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, that the EcoHealth Alliance used federal grant money to fund dangerous bat coronavirus research in the Chinese labs. The Intercept reported:
The bat coronavirus grant provided the EcoHealth Alliance with a total of $3.1 million, including $599,000 that the Wuhan Institute of Virology used in part to identify and alter bat coronaviruses likely to infect humans. Even before the pandemic, many scientists were concerned about the potential dangers associated with such experiments.
The grant proposal acknowledges some of those dangers: “Fieldwork involves the highest risk of exposure to SARS or other CoVs, while working in caves with high bat density overhead and the potential for fecal dust to be inhaled.”
Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University, reviewed the material and told The Intercept the “viruses they constructed were tested for their ability to infect mice that were engineered to display human type receptors on their cell.”
Ebright concluded by accusing Fauci and NIH Director, Francis Collins, of being “untruthful” in their previous remarks on the matter.
“The documents make it clear that assertions by the NIH Director, Francis Collins, and the NIAID Director, Anthony Fauci, that the NIH did not support gain-of-function research or potential pandemic pathogen enhancement at WIV are untruthful,” he wrote.
As Breitbart News reported, Fauci has admitted some funds went to Wuhan but claimed they were never used for “gain of function” support.
As far back as May Fauci told the House Appropriations subcommittee the funds were given to the Chinese lab through the EcoHealth Alliance to underwrite “a modest collaboration with very respectable Chinese scientists who were world experts on coronavirus.”