The National Institutes of Health released a letter Wednesday night correcting the record on the agency's funding of dangerous gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
"The fifth and final progress report for Grant R01AI110964, awarded to EcoHealth Alliance, Inc. is attached with redactions only for personally identifiable information," a letter written by NIH Principal Deputy Director Larence Tabak to Republican Congressman James Comer states. "It includes data from a research project conducted during the 2018-2019 grant period using bat coronavirus genome sequences already existing in nature."
"The limited experiment described the final progress report provided by EcoHealth Alliance was testing if spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of biding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model," the letter continues. "In this limited experiment, laboratory mice infected with the SHC014 W1V1 bat coronavirus became sicker than those infected with the W1V1 bat coronavirus."
In the letter, Tabak maintains that while gain-of-function research was conducted, SARS-CoV-2 was not developed through that kind of research at the Wuhan lab.
"It is important to state at the outset that published genomic data demonstrate that the bat coronaviruses studied under the NIH grant to EcoHealth Alliance, Inc. and sub award to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) are not and could not have become SARS-CoV-2...the sequences of the viruses are genetically very distant," Tabak writes.
NIH corrects untruthful assertions by NIH Director Collins and NIAID Director Fauci that NIH had not funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan.— Richard H. Ebright (@R_H_Ebright) October 20, 2021
NIH states that EcoHealth Alliance violated Terms and Conditions of NIH grant AI110964. pic.twitter.com/cFOtJlRoWl
NIH Director Francis Collins and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci have repeatedly claimed grants they approved were never used for gain-of-function research.
"The NIH has not ever and does not now, fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology," Fauci said during congressional testimony on May 11, 2021.
Meanwhile, the scientific community often refers to Fauci as the "Godfather" of gain-of-function research.
"The head of the funding, the head of the entire field, really, is Anthony Fauci," Washington Post reporter Josh Rogin said during an interview with Megyn Kelly. "He's the godfather of gain-of-function research as we know it. That, again, just what I said right there, is too hot for TV because people don’t want to think about the fact that our hero of the pandemic… might also have been connected to this research, which might also have been connected to the outbreak."
"People don't want to think about the fact that our hero of the pandemic Dr. Fauci might also have been connected to this research which might also have been connected to the outbreak..."@JoshRogin on what we know so far. Listen, and download here: https://t.co/F96HgIpiAu pic.twitter.com/6EN4KuoWkY— The Megyn Kelly Show (@MegynKellyShow) April 14, 2021