The so-called “lab leak hypothesis” on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved from supposed fringe conspiracy theory to conventional wisdom in just 16 months. In March 2020, a Pew Research Center poll found that only 29 percent of Americans believed the virus had originated in a Chinese lab. A July 2021 Politico-Harvard poll found that 52 percent now supported this theory.
Now all eyes have turned to the Wuhan Institute of Virology controversial “gain-of-function” research alleged to have taken place there in the lead-up to the COVID-19 pandemic. More important for the purposes of holding the United States government and Western scientific community accountable for potential malfeasance, attention has turned to the role of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and specifically Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in funding research at the Wuhan lab.
On May 19, 2021, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) told the Washington Post Fact Checker that “NIH has never approved any grant to support ‘gain-of-function’ research on coronaviruses that would have increased their transmissibility or lethality for humans.” Fauci issued a similar denial in testimony in May and July 2021 before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
In this important publication, renowned China expert Gordon Chang argues that two research papers authored by Wuhan researchers prove that Fauci “either intended to deceive the Senate or was negligent in the discharge of his duties as NIAID director.” He also covers the controversial history of gain-of-function that led to a federal funding pause in 2014 and subsequent revival of the research in 2017. Finally, Chang explains why regardless of the truthfulness of Fauci’s testimony, the Chinese military has benefitted from this NIH funding.
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