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The Biden administration has suspended federal funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) after the lab failed to provide documents about safety and security measures, according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) memo (unavailable on the agency’s website) obtained by Bloomberg News.
The funding cut follows reports of leaked emails and Slack conversations in which Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded dangerous gain-of-function research at the WIV, though he had previously denied this in Senate testimony.
The leaked correspondence also revealed that Fauci colluded with the authors of “The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2” (“Proximal Origin”), a scientific article that concluded SARS-CoV-2 was “not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.”
An HHS spokesperson told CNN the suspension of funding “aims to ensure that WIV does not receive another dollar of federal funding. … The move was undertaken due to WIV’s failure to provide documentation on WIV’s research requested by NIH related to concerns that WIV violated NIH’s biosafety protocols.”
Cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough told The Defender, “The Biden administration appears to be grandstanding and is not sincere about shutting down dangerous bat coronavirus research.”
For example, in November 2021, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which operates under the NIH, released a grant to Peter Daszak, Ph.D., and the EcoHealth Alliance to conduct bat coronavirus research in conjunction with Duke University in Singapore.
“Daszak is part of a bio-pharmaceutical complex and aspires to develop a portfolio of bat coronavirus strains as potential biological threats paired with countermeasures including vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and therapeutics,” McCullough said. “The biological threat and defense industry funded by U.S. agencies is very dangerous and putting the world at risk for another pandemic.”
Rutgers University molecular biologist Richard Ebright, Ph.D., a longtime critic of gain-of-function research, said the Biden administration’s decision “is a step forward toward acknowledging that COVID-19 likely originated from U.S.-funded gain-of-function research at WIV and toward taking steps toward preventing a future lab-generated pandemic.”
However, he said, the step is still “insufficient.”
“EcoHealth Alliance, WIV’s collaborator and contractor and funding cut-out for the reckless research that likely caused COVID-19, receives more than $58 million in U.S. government grants and contracts,” Ebright said. “But the Biden administration did not suspend EcoHealth from receiving government funding or recommend EcoHealth for disbarment from receiving government funding.”
Ebright also criticized the Biden administration for failing to hold Fauci and Dr. Francis Collins accountable for funding gain-of-function research at WIV in violation of a federal moratorium (2014-2106) and in violation of the requirement for HHS-level risk-benefit assessment in 2017-2019 — and then “lying about it.”
According to Ebright, Biden “did not move forward, even an inch, toward banning gain-of-function research and strengthening U.S. government oversight of biosafety [and] biosecurity.”
Fauci’s NIAID was NIH’s top issuer of grants to Wuhan lab
According to Bloomberg News, the WIV received more than $1.4 million in federal awards, including through subgrants from the NIH, since 2014. This included $826,277 to the WIV for controversial bat coronavirus research by the NIAID, which until December 2022, was led by Fauci.
NIH records showed an FBI “inquiry” into this work and concern on the part of NIAID about gain-of-function research at the WIV in 2016.
NIAID gave nine China-related grants to EcoHealth Alliance to research coronavirus emergence in bats and was the NIH’s top issuer of grants to the Wuhan lab.
NIH records also include an email from the vice director of the WIV asking an NIH official for help finding disinfectants for the decontamination of airtight suits and indoor surfaces.
Francis Boyle, J.D., Ph.D., a bioweapons expert and professor of international law at the University of Illinois who drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, told The Defender:
“The Wuhan BSL4 [biosafety level-4 lab] is China’s Fort Detrick. No agency of the United States government should have been funding any activity there for any reason.
“This is a classic Nixonian limited hangout by the Biden administration. COVID-19 is an offensive biological warfare weapon with gain-of-function properties that leaked out of the Wuhan BSL4 that was developed in cooperation with the University of North Carolina BSL3.”
“That project should have never been funded by NIAID, NIH, and USAID [U.S. Agency for International Development] in the first place,” Boyle said, adding that “there should be no cooperation” between U.S. government agencies, scientific and educational institutions, companies and nationals with “Chinese biowarriors at the Wuhan BSL4.”
Such alliances would only serve to provide China “with even more deadly instruments of biological warfare than COVID-19,” such as a “gain-of-function/MERS [Middle East Respiratory Syndrome] bioweapon with an over 33% lethality rate.”
Children’s Health Defense founder and Chairman on Leave Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has written a book on the U.S. government’s role in funding and concealing evidence of gain-of-function research at the WIV. “The Wuhan Cover-Up: How US Health Officials Conspired with the Chinese Military to Hide the Origins of COVID-19,” is now available for pre-order.
Editor’s note: The Defender on occasion posts content related to Children’s Health Defense’s nonprofit mission that features Mr. Kennedy’s views on the issues CHD and The Defender regularly cover. In keeping with Federal Election Commission rules, this content does not represent an endorsement of Mr. Kennedy who is on leave from CHD and is seeking the Democratic nomination for president of the U.S.