GOP Senator Rand Paul and other top republicans have reignited calls for the top White House Covid adviser Anthony Fauci to resign or to be fired after newly released documents suggested his agency funded dangerous “gain-of-function” research in China, despite previous denials, Daily Wire reports.
Resignation calls came after Intercept obtained more than 900 pages of material in relation to the coronavirus research funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) headed by Fauci, to the he work of US based health organization EcoHealth Alliance that used federal money to fund the research at the Wuhan laboratory and previously unpublished grant requests funded by NIAID.
Senator Rand Paul noted in tweet on Tuesday that the materials make it clear that Fauci has to be held accountable, stressing he has already asked the Justice Department to review him for lying during the previous congressional testimony by denying that his agency funded, directly or indirectly, any gain-of-function work at the WIV.
The documents – released in connection with ongoing Freedom of Information Act litigation by The Intercept against the National Institutes of Health – show that Fauci’s NIAID has granted$3.1 million in funding to the EcoHealth Alliance, later increasing it to over $3.7 million in total, $600K of which were transferred to the WIV to fund work to “identify and alter bat coronaviruses likely to infect humans.”
The grant application by EcoHealth Alliance acknowledged dangers posed by the project since the fieldwork involves the highest risk of exposure to SARS or other coronaviruses.
The research was considered so risky that the government imposed a halt on federal funding in 2014, that has been lifted since, and the EcoHealth Alliance’s joint research with the WIV was scrutinized as potentially unsafe and potentially including dangerous’ gain-of-function’ research, which aims to increase the virulence and infectiousness of pathogens to better study them.
Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University that has reviewed the documents, pointed later that the research funded by EcoHealth included engineering novel viruses and testing their ability to infect mice engineered to display human type receptors on their cell.
Ebright went on to argue that that Fauci and other top health officials like NIH director, Francis Collins, have lied about the WIV work that indeed constituted “gain-of-function research as defined in federal policies.”