Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the coronavirus task force, had previously backed funding for a controversial lab in Wuhan, China that has been studying the coronavirus in bats, reports said.
Fauci’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases had shelled out a total of $7.4 million to the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab — which has become the center of theories about the origin of Covid-19, according to Newsweek.
The NIH and the Trump administration had shut down all funding to the lab last week, Politico reported on Monday.
“At this time, NIH does not believe that the current project outcomes align with the program goals and agency priorities,” a deputy director at the agency wrote in a letter obtained by the newspaper.
There is “increasing confidence” among officials that the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab is the original site of the virus after. A report by Fox News said embassy officials warned in January 2018 about inadequate safety there.
NIH defended their funding of the lab in a statement to Newsweek.
“Most emerging human viruses come from wildlife, and these represent a significant threat to public health and biosecurity in the US and globally,” the statement read.
“Scientific research indicates that there is no evidence that suggests the virus was created in a laboratory.”
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