Wuhan lab documents show Fauci ‘untruthful’ about gain-of-function research

Dr. Anthony Fauci has been accused by critics of lying after newly released documents appear to contradict his claims that the National Institute of Health did not fund gain-of-function research at China’s Wuhan lab.

Senator Rand Paul led the criticism against Fauci on Tuesday after the documents, obtained by The Intercept, detailed grants given to EcoHealth Alliance — the nonprofit that funneled federal funds to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for bat coronavirus research.

Included in the trove of documents is a previously unpublished grant proposal that EcoHealth Alliance, which is run by Peter Daszak, filed with Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

Fauci has repeatedly insisted that NIH funding of the Wuhan lab does not constitute as “gain-of-function” research, which modifies the biological agent, and in the case of a virus, could increase its transmissibility or virulence.

“Surprise surprise – Fauci lied again. And I was right about his agency funding novel Coronavirus research at Wuhan,” Sen. Paul tweeted after the documents were made public.

The grant proposal included in the documents was for a project titled “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence,” which involved screening thousands of bat samples, as well as people who worked with live animals, for novel coronaviruses, the outlet said.

The $3.1 million grant was awarded for a five-year period between 2014 and 2019. After the funding was renewed in 2019, it was suspended by the Trump administration in April 2020.

The grant directed $599,000 to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for bat coronavirus research.

The proposal acknowledged the risks of such research, saying: “Fieldwork involves the highest risk of exposure to SARS or other CoVs, while working in caves with high bat density overhead and the potential for fecal dust to be inhaled.”

The documents also include a second grant titled “Understanding Risk of Zoonotic Virus Emergence in Emerging Infectious Disease Hotspots of Southeast Asia,” which was awarded in August last year.

Under the terms and conditions of that grant approval, there is a section noting that prior to “further altering the mutant viruses,” the NIAID needs to be given a “detailed description of the proposed alterations and supporting evidence for the anticipated phenotypics characteristics of each virus.”

Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University, said the documents – obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request — made it clear that Fauci had been “untruthful” about gain-of-function research.

“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,” he tweeted.

“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.”

“This had been evident previously from published research papers that credited the 2014 grant and from the publicly available summary of the 2019 grant. But this now can be stated definitively from progress reports of the 2014 grant and the full proposal of the 2017 grant.”

Gary Ruskin, executive director of U.S. Right To Know, told the Intercept that the documents provided a…

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