- An exposed email shows Dr. Anthony Fauci was aware in early 2020 that the NIH funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute in China.
- Fauci’s chief of staff confirmed that their research involved extensive sampling of bats and mammals, discovering 52 novel coronaviruses in the South China Sea.
- Despite Fauci’s denials, ex-intelligence director John Ratcliffe expressed that intelligence and science majorly support the lab leak theory for the origin of Covid-19.
Despite previous denials, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the ex-director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was well-aware in early 2020 that his institution was financially backing gain-of-function studies concerning novel coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.
An email, disclosed by the investigative public health non-profit U.S. Right to Know, unveiled that Dr. Fauci had precise knowledge of the Chinese coronavirus studies even before the pandemic’s onset in the United States.
On January 27, 2020, Dr. Fauci received an email from an assistant containing talking points about the Wuhan Institute’s research, funded by the National Institutes of Health’s disease division. Later that same day, Fauci addressed Covid-19 in a press conference.
This controversial gain-of-function research was financially supported by NIAID through the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance. The latter had ties with the Wuhan lab for “the past 5 years,” the email confirmed. Dr. Fauci’s chief of staff, Greg Folkers, informed him and other public health officers about the EcoHealth group’s significant contributions to coronavirus research.
Detailing the research, Folkers mentioned that Fauci’s agency had funded the sampling of approximately 10,000 bats and around 2,000 other mammals from 47 locations across the South China Sea. This was an optimal site for finding SARS-CoV-2’s nearest kin.
The researchers reportedly identified 52 novel sarbecoviruses, a category of coronaviruses to which SARS-CoV-2 belongs, during their expedition in the South China Sea.
Although Folkers did not specifically label it as gain-of-function research, he indicated that these new coronaviruses could induce SARS-like symptoms in humanized mice.
During several confrontations with Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.), Fauci sidestepped direct answers about gain-of-function research, suggesting Paul misunderstood the NIH’s funding. However, by October 2021, a senior NIH official acknowledged the funding of this contentious research, contradicting Fauci’s claims.
Senator Paul further took Fauci to task in November 2021, alleging that the NIH had altered the definition of gain-of-function on its website. Fauci rebutted, designating the term as “nebulous” and dismissing theories suggesting the origin of Covid-19 was a lab leak.
Dr. Fauci’s controversial stand on the subject led to continuous criticism from Senator Paul, culminating in Fauci’s resignation in December 2022.
Not long after, former director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, conveyed to Congress that Fauci’s testimony was not in alignment with both classified intelligence and publicly accessible information.
Ratcliffe firmly believed that the most plausible explanation supported by intelligence, scientific evidence, and common sense was that of a lab leak.
“My informed assessment as a person with as much access as anyone during the initial year of the pandemic has been and continues to be that a lab leak is the only explanation credibly supported by our intelligence, by science, and by common sense,” he said.
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