Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a hearing on the National Institute of Health (NIH) budget estimates and the state of medical research on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on May 26, 2021.
Sarah Silbiger | Pool | AFP | Getty Images
Dr. Anthony Fauci faces increasing demands from Republican lawmakers for his resignation as his position changes on whether the US government has funded research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
White House chief medical officer Fauci told lawmakers Tuesday that the National Institutes of Health had funded the Wuhan Institute of Virology through the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance with $ 600,000 over a five-year period. Funding for the nonprofit was eventually stopped by the NIH.
He denied that the funds were specifically used for so-called gain-of-function research, which involves modifying a virus to make it either more transmissible or deadly, in order to better predict new pathogens and ways to combat them.
On Wednesday, Senator John Kennedy, R-La., Further questioned Fauci’s trust in the Wuhan laboratory’s scientists during a Senate hearing. “How do you know they weren’t lying to you and are using the money to gain functional research anyway?” Kennedy asked Fauci.
Fauci said there was no way to guarantee that the scientists and fellows would not have lied. “You never know,” he said.
He added that the lab’s scientists were “trustworthy” and that he would expect them to meet the terms of the grant, which was to study coronavirus transmission from bats to humans in order to test the SARS-CoV-1 Better understanding of epidemic at the beginning of the 2000s.
“I don’t have enough insight into the Chinese Communist Party to understand the interactions between them and the scientists,” said Fauci when asked if the Chinese government influences its scientists. He also said he had no way of knowing the Chinese government’s influence on the World Health Organization after Kennedy hinted that WHO is in the Chinese government’s pocket.
President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that he has ordered a more detailed review of what he claims to be two equally plausible scenarios for the development of the Covid-19 pandemic – that come from a laboratory or an animal. The director of the National Intelligence Service previously agreed that the two scenarios are equally likely.
Biden announced that earlier this year he hired the intelligence services to “prepare a report on their most recent analysis of the origins of Covid-19, including whether it was from a human contact with an infected animal or from a laboratory accident emerged. ” “”
“To date, the US intelligence community has partnered around two likely scenarios, but has not reached a definitive conclusion on the issue,” Biden said in a statement.
Federal health officials claim the virus is more likely to be of natural origin, but aren’t ruling out a laboratory leak as a possibility.
Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio recently enacted the Fauci Early Dismissal Act, which required Fauci’s resignation.
“Dr. Fauci represents everything that President Eisenhower warned us about in his farewell address: the scientific and technical elite who run the country for their own ends,” Davidson said in a statement.
Republican lawmakers also said they believe Fauci misled the American people about mask-making at the start of the pandemic. Fauci said in early March 2020: “Right now, people in the US shouldn’t be walking around with masks.” He later clarified that he meant that health worker masks should be prioritized, but Republican lawmakers claim Fauci lied.
GOP lawmakers also claim Fauci misled Americans when he said there would be an explosion in coronavirus cases after Texas lifted its mask mandate.
“It has been a long time since Dr. Fauci stopped speaking to the American public. Fauci should resign or be discharged immediately,” said Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pa.
Correction: Warren Davidson, R.-Ohio, is a member of the House of Representatives. In a previous version, its title was incorrectly stated.