Leaked docs show staffers at Fauci’s NIAID discussed possible gain of function research in Wuhan: Report

There has long been speculation that the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t originate naturally and instead, was developed and leaked from a Chinese lab that was conducting controversial gain of function research.

For just as long, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has denied that his agency had any role in funding such research. But according to the Daily Caller, newly leaked documents and emails from staffers at Fauci’s division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) paint a different picture — and now, some are asking if Fauci should be facing consequences for potentially lying under oath.

Leaked docs tell all

Shared exclusively by the Daily Caller, the documents were reportedly first obtained by the science watchdog group White Coat Waste Project via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed with the NIAID and its parent agency, the NIH.

Revealed in that cache of documents was that two of Fauci’s staffers, Jenny Greer and Erik Stemmy, had raised concerns in May 2016 over apparent evidence that NIAID grant recipient EcoHealth Alliance — headed by Fauci’s associate Peter Daszak — may have been engaged in gain of function research on bat-borne coronaviruses in coordination with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China.

If true, that would have been in clear violation of a government-wide federal pause on funding for gain of function research that was in place at that time.

However, the staffers reportedly backtracked and dropped their concerns after Daszak insisted that such controversial and potentially dangerous research was not being done. Richard Ebright, a professor at Rutgers University, told the Daily Caller: “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.”

After the concerns were dropped due to his assurances and the grant funding had been restored, Daszak reportedly wrote in a celebratory email to Greer:

This is terrific! We are very happy to hear that our Gain of Function research funding pause has been lifted.

Did Fauci lie?

The contents of the leaked messages don’t exactly square up with remarks made under oath by Dr. Fauci in May 2021, when he was grilled during a committee hearing by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

“With all due respect, you are entirely and completely incorrect,” Fauci told Paul when the issue was raised, according to a report from Axios. “The NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

Though Fauci later said he would support an investigation of what occurred in the Chinese lab, he reiterated, “I will repeat again, the NIH and NIAID categorically has not funded gain of function research to be conducted in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

The Daily Caller’s report seems to suggest that at least some at the NIAID had suspicions otherwise in years past — and this isn’t the first time Fauci has been accused of lying to Congress. But will he ever be held accountable?

I wouldn’t hold my breath.

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