Public documents revealed that the US government has pumped USD 3.1 million into health organisation ‘EcoHealth Alliance’ to back COVID-19 research at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), Fox News reported. According to the report from US news agency The Intercept, the ‘bat coronavirus grant’ provided EcoHealth Alliance with a total of USD 3.1 million, including USD 599,000 that the Wuhan Institute of Virology used in part to identify and alter bat coronaviruses likely to infect humans.
US Senator Rand Paul said that these newly public documents revealing the extent of US funding of coronavirus research in Wuhan show that US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Head Dr Anthony Fauci lied during his previous testimony to Congress, Fox News reported. Fauci had earlier denied any such funding by the US agency. Citing the report, the US Senator for Kentucky said he has asked the Department of Justice to review Fauci’s testimony for lying to Congress.
“I have already asked the DOJ to review Fauci’s testimony for lying to Congress. This report should make it abundantly clear that he needs to be held accountable,” Paul tweeted. Additionally, the documents also revealed that experimental research on genetically engineered mice with human cell receptors was conducted at the Wuhan University Center for Animal Experiment, and not the WIV as previously thought, Fox News reported.
Earlier, Rutgers University chemical biology professor Richard Ebright also slammed the US National Institute of Health (NIH) Director and NIAID Head Fauci. “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,” Ebright said. Even before the pandemic, many scientists were concerned about the potential dangers associated with such experiments, reports The Intercept.
Earlier, a Republican lawmaker’s report investigating the origins of COVID-19 released last month has concluded that the pandemic outbreak stemmed from a genetically modified virus that leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, first detected in December 2019. House Republican lawmaker, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the third installment in his investigation into the origins of the virus and the missteps by China in alerting the world to the risks of the pandemic, reported The Hill.