Politics

NIH reportedly admits United States funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan, China

After insistent denials about the U.S.’s role in funding gain of function research in Wuhan, China, the National Institute of Health has admitted to the funding. 

There has been speculation since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic about whether or not the U.S. had funded research in China, a claim that Dr. Anthony Fauci repeatedly denied. This week, his claims were deemed fraudulent when an NIH official said otherwise. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been under scrutiny for his claims that the U.S. had nothing to do with the origin of the virus. He has testified before Congress several times staunchly denying any U.S. involvement. However, a letter sent to a GOP congressman shows that his claims were false (Fox News).

A top NIH official, Lawrence A. Tabak, sent a letter to Rep James Comer (R-KY), a ranking member on the Committee on Oversight and Reform. The official placed the blame on EcoHealth Alliance, which is a nonprofit based in New York City. The nonprofit has allegedly sent U.S. funds to a lab in Wuhan and been involved in a “limited experiment” (New York Post).

The experiment was testing if “spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.” The results showed that lab mice that have been infected with the modified bat virus ended up more sick than those without the modified bat virus.

The NIH partially funded the EcoHealth Alliance, who in turn sent $599,000 to Wuhan. Fauci claimed he had never lied before Congress while being questioned by Senator Rand Paul, who had an “I told you so” moment after the latest news came out. It is unclear whether Fauci will be prosecuted for lying under oath.

ARTICLE: RITA VOGT

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: THE HILL

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