Two subordinates of Dr. Anthony Fauci raised concerns in May 2016 that a taxpayer-funded grant may include gain-of-function experiments on bat coronaviruses at a Wuhan lab. They dropped the issue after nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance downplayed the concerns. This was revealed in documents obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Disease staffers Jenny Greer and Erik Stemmy told EcoHealth in a May 28, 2016, letter that a proposed grant “may include” gain of function research, according to documents obtained through a White Coat Waste Project information request.
The letter requested EcoHealth provide its own “determination” as to whether its proposed experiments in Wuhan included gain-of-function research.
NIAID staffers sent a letter to EcoHealth Alliance on May 28, 2016, expressing concern about potential gain-of-function research with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (Screenshot)
EcoHealth President Peter Daszak submitted his “determination” to the NIAID in a June 8, 2016, letter that downplayed potential risks associated with his group’s proposed research in Wuhan, which involved the creation of lab-made chimeric coronavirus and denied it involved gain-of-function.
The NIAID then gave Daszak the opportunity to submit an amended version of his letter on June 27, 2016, after discovering a factual error in the initial filing, emails show. The agency then used Daszak’s revised letter, which kept the original June 8 filing date, as the basis of its own determination on July 7 that EcoHealth’s research did not involve gain-of-function.
Rutgers University Professor Richard Ebright told the DCNF that the NIAID’s May 28, 2016, letter to EcoHealth proves that Fauci was “untruthful in his testimony to Congress” that NIH staff concluded up and down the line that the EcoHealth grant did not include gain-of-function research.
“The NIH, incredibly, accepted EcoHealth’s belief that this work would not be considered gain of function, and accepted EcoHealth’s rationale for this belief, and accepted EcoHealth’s policy-noncompliant proposal for a [10 times] allowance for increased viral growth before stopping work and reporting results,” Ebright said.
“The NIH, in effect, delegated to EcoHealth Alliance the authority to determine whether its research was, or was not gain of function research subject to the funding pause, the authority to set criteria for the determination, and the authority to over-ride federal policies implemented by the White House in 2014-2017 and by HHS in 2017-present,” Ebright added.