On Wednesday, Richard H. Ebright posted a letter from the National Institute of Health (NIH) showing gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology was funded by an NIH grant, contradicting Dr. Fauci’s testimony to the Senate.
In May, Fauci testified to Senators at a hearing that the NIH “has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
However, the October 20 letter from NIH to House Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY) showed the NIH grant, awarded to EcoHealth Alliance then sub-awarded to the Wuhan lab, funded a research project during 2018 and 2019 that tested “if spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.”
“In this limited experiment, laboratory mice infected with the SHC014 WIV1 bat coronavirus became sicker than those infected with the WIV1 bat coronavirus,” the letter added.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, “gain-of-function” research improves a pathogen’s ability to cause disease.
Ebright tweeted that in the letter, the NIH “corrects untruthful assertions by NIH Director Collins and NIAID Director Fauci that NIH had not funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan.”
Ebright noted that the NIH’s letter appeared to show that EcoHealth Alliance violated the Terms and Conditions of the NIH grant.
The NIH said, “out of an abundance of caution and as an additional layer of oversight, language was included in the terms and conditions of the grant award to EcoHealth that outlined criteria for a secondary review, such as a requirement that the grantee report immediately a one log increase in growth.”
These measures would prompt a secondary review to determine whether the research aims should be re-evaluated or new biosafety measures should be enacted.
EcoHealth failed to report this finding right away, as was required by the terms of the grant.
Also pointed out in the letter, the coronaviruses studied under the grant were unlikely to have become SARS-CoV-2, now commonly referred to as the “coronavirus” or “COVID-19.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), whose questioning had led to Fauci’s denial that NIH was funding gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab in May, tweeted: “‘I told you so’ doesn’t even begin to cover it here.”
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), tweeted “Fauci knew. He should be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Mark Medows, former NC congressman and Trump’s chief of staff, tweeted: “To call this a bombshell is an understatement. Dr. Fauci and others claimed under oath the NIH didn’t fund gain of research function in the Wuhan Lab. Now the obvious is confirmed: they did.”
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) tweeted: “Evergreen tweet: Fauci lied again.”
At the time of writing, Dr. Fauci has yet to respond.