The Wuhan institute has faced renewed scrutiny in recent weeks over its role in the COVID pandemic.
The acting head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in a House hearing on Wednesday, would not commit to saying President Biden’s budget request would not include funding for research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Where it is suspected that the COVID-19 pandemic may have originated.
Acting OMB director Shalanda Young was asked about the budget by Jason Smith, ranking member of the House Budget Committee, about the link between the US dollar and the Wuhan lab, which is suspected to be the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic. Might be possible.
Fauci claims US gave $600,000 for Wuhan lab research; docs show it was more
“Over the past few weeks, it has become increasingly clear that COVID-19 came from a laboratory in Wuhan, China,” he said.
He pointed to Dr. Anthony Fauci’s email, saying he “showed a clear link between US taxpayer dollars and laboratories outsourcing research outside the United States.”
He asked Young what the administration was doing “to get to the bottom of the clear link between US funding and the Wuhan lab.” Young pointed to the intelligence community’s actions by Biden to Smith with a 90-day review of the evidence for the origins of the global pandemic.
“Can you commit that US dollars will never be used for research like this beyond this budget?” Smith followed.
“Congressman, I started my career here [National Institutes of Health],” Young replied. “I would never make that commitment because someone who believes we need science leadership and that we definitely need to wait for that review before jumping to conclusions.”
Fauci praises ‘competent, reliable’ Chinese scientists
House Republicans immediately expressed outrage about the lack of commitment from the administration.
“Your tax dollars should NOT be used to fund the Chinese lab where COVID-19 likely originated,” the House Republican Caucus tweeted.
At a Senate hearing late last month, Fauci told lawmakers that the US funded the controversial institution $600,000 over a five-year period, but documents provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last week show are that the real number was one third higher.
Reports received through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) judicial oversight found that between 2014 and 2019, $826,277 was provided to the China-based lab by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) under Fauci’s direction.
Granthshala News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.