After years of scrutiny and controversy, the Biden Administration announced on Tuesday that it had severed all federal funding to the controversial Wuhan laboratory that many have said was the origin of the COVID-19 virus.
As reported by Daily Caller, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced its proposal to halt any further government funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) by barring it from participating in any government-funded programs.
The memo released by HHS and made public by the House Oversight Committee provides an overview of the contact that was made between the National Institutes of Health (NIH), its sub-agency National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and the grant recipient EcoHealth, which provided funding for gain-of-function research to the WIV after receiving grants from the government. These funds were provided despite an order in October of 2014 from the Obama White House to halt any further research.
“I find that the information in the record constitutes adequate evidence to demonstrate that the immediate suspension of WIV is necessary to protect the public interest,” said the memo, written by an HHS official in charge of suspension and debarment. “As such, there is a risk that WIV not only previously violated, but is currently violating, and will continue to violate, protocols of the NIH on biosafety.”
The role of the WIV has been at the heart of most theories about the origins of the Chinese Coronavirus, with increasing evidence pointing towards the likelihood that the virus originated within the lab and subsequently spread to the rest of the world as the result of a “lab leak.” However, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci and other federal officials remained stubbornly opposed to this theory.
Fauci’s possible role in the gain-of-function research funding for the WIV has been highlighted by Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who repeatedly clashed with Fauci during congressional hearings. Leaked text messages dated to February of 2020 prove that Fauci was aware of the gain-of-function research, with Fauci saying in one correspondence that “scientists in the Wuhan University are known to have been working on gain-of-function experiments…associated with bat viruses adapting to human infection.”
Following the release of the HHS memo announcing the end of federal funding for the WIV, Senator Paul reiterated his determination to pursue perjury charges against Fauci. In a tweet on Tuesday, Paul said that he “referred Anthony Fauci to the DOJ (again) for lying to Congress when he denied the NIH was funding gain-of-function research in Wuhan.”