Republicans question why Fauci-led agency funded research at Wuhan virology lab

Republicans question why Fauci-led agency funded research at Wuhan virology lab
AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool
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Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson has questioned why the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci was funding research at China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has been speculated to be the origin of the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19. 

"Anthony Fauci continued to apparently fund gain-of-function research and cooperate with the Wuhan lab," Johnson told Fox NewsSunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo. "He had to know full well that the Wuhan lab, just like any organization in China, is connected to the Communist Party of China as well as the People’s Liberation Army. So what were we doing cooperating with China?"

"I agree with Sen. [Rand] Paul, these are some serious questions, and we need some answers but, again, I’ve been trying to get answers out of federal agencies for years and I’m not holding my breath," he continued.

The funding in question made its way to countries, including China, through the U.S.-based EcoHealth Alliance, a group which states that its purpose is to prevent pandemics. 

PolitiFact dubbed claims of NIAID funding tied to experiments that potentially led to the coronavirus pandemic as "false," adding that EcoHealth Alliance and the National Institutes of Health denied any funds went to gain-of-function research.

Calls for transparency about the Wuhan lab’s funding come after the White House published a report written alongside the World Health Organization’s statement that it believed China has “not been transparent” regarding the origins of the COVID-19 virus. 

The report dismissed claims that COVID-19 escaped from a lab in Wuhan, and instead referred to the theory of zoonotic transmission, stating that the infection from animals to humans was “likely to very likely.”

Rep. Mike Gallagher took to Twitter to question Dr. Fauci for more information on the cause of the pandemic. 

“Dr. Fauci was just on Meet the Press and @chucktodd didn’t ask him a single question about the origin of COVID-19 and whether taxpayer dollars went to gain of function research in Wuhan.” Gallagher said. “This is the most important question facing the world, yet few in the media are asking it.”

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