Dr. Anthony Fauci funded and reviewed the study on viruses and bats published by the EcoHealth Alliance in 2020 after the outbreak of coronaviruses.
Fauci is set to retire as director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), at the end of the year. He is listed as the editor who approved publication. His agency, NIAID (non-profit taxpayer watchdog White Coat Waste Project) funded part of the study. The first details were revealed on Thursday.
Peter Daszak (head of EcoHealth) co-authored the study. Peter Daszak, head of EcoHealth, played a crucial role in reducing speculation that the COVID-19 pandemic originated at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. This was due to an accident involving dangerous gain of function (GoF) research on bat based coronaviruses. The only American on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) pandemic origins team was Daszak. Experts dismissed the investigation as compromised due to his conflict of interests. After revealing his Wuhan connections, he was removed from the investigative team.
Fauci and Daszak have been friends for some time. Daszak thanked Dr. Fauci via email for his efforts to downplay the lab leak theory in April 2020. Fauci was informed in 2020 that EcoHealth, Daszak and the WIV might have been involved with an accidental lab leakage of COVID-19. However, he was willing to continue funding and collaborating on research throughout the pandemic.
In recent years, the National Institutes of Health funded many EcoHealth projects. This includes dangerous GoF research at the WIV on bat-based coronaviruses.
EcoHealth received a new grant from the NIH last week to continue bat virus research in Wuhan. Critics were critical of the decision, noting that COVID-19’s origins are still unknown and EcoHealth is being closely scrutinized for their possible role.
Despite Fauci testifying before Congress multiple times, Daszak has not agreed to cooperate with Congressional oversight of the conduct of his organisation. Due to possible involvement in the pandemic, Republican legislators have sought to cut funding to EcoHealth and to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.