Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden and director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is once again in the center of controversy. He is being challenged to answer for a highly charged report, published by the Intercept, that focuses on the so-called “gain of function” research that was funded by the National Institute of Health at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The WIV in Wuhan was thought to be a possible origin point for COVID-19.
Back in May of 2021, Dr. Fauci gave testimony to a Senate committee that was investigating whether the U.S. funded “gain-of-function” research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He claimed that the NIH “has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
But the Intercept recently found, through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, evidence that the NIH issued a “bat coronavirus grant” to a group called the EcoHealth Alliance for “$3.1 million. This included $599,000 that the Wuhan Institute of Virology used in part to identify and alter bat coronaviruses that were likely to infect humans.
Dr. Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University, spoke to the Intercept and then explained the findings on Twitter.
“The materials show that the 2014 and 2019 NIH grants to EcoHealth with subcontracts to WIV funded gain-of-function research as defined in federal policies in effect in 2014-2017 and potential pandemic pathogen enhancement as defined in federal policies in effect in 2017-present,” Ebert explained. He also noted, “The materials confirm the grants supported the construction — in Wuhan — of novel chimeric SARS-related coronaviruses that combined a spike gene from one coronavirus with genetic information from another coronavirus, and confirmed the resulting viruses could infect human cells.”
Dr. Ebright believes that the resulting information indicates that laboratory-generated SARS-related coronaviruses could infect mice engineered to display human receptors on cells. This is basically “humanized mice.” He also believes that the study reveals for the first time that the laboratory-generated SARS-related coronaviruses were more pathogenic to humanized mice than the starting virus from which it was constructed. This means it should have been “reasonably anticipated” to exhibit enhanced pathogenicity.
Dr. Ebright suggested that Dr. Fauci was being “untruthful” in his remarks to the Senate.
A number of Republicans have already suggested that Dr. Fauci must face a full investigation and be totally forthcoming about his agency’s involvement in funding research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He must also be truthful about the NIH’s involvement as well.
Republican Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio suggested that Dr. Fauci is “hiding” something and should face an investigation.
Rep. Ronny Jackson, a former White House physician who is now a Republican Congressman from Texas, not only demanded answers but believes Fauci should be terminated from his role as a top health advisor to the president.
Rep. Josh Hawley (R-MO) went even further demanding that Dr. Fauci resign immediately.
And Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has already referred Dr. Fauci for an investigation for possible perjury related to his testimony in front of Congress. He states flat out that the newly public documents revealing the extent of U.S. funding of coronavirus research in Wuhan, China, show that National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) head Dr. Anthony Fauci lied during his previous testimony to Congress.
Paul tweeted on Tuesday that the NIAID director had “lied again.” He noted, “And I was right about his agency funding novel Coronavirus research at Wuhan.”