Watchdog Says NIH Didn't 'Effectively Monitor' Virus Research at Wuhan Lab
A government watchdog reported this week that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) failed to manage U.S.-funded coronavirus research in Wuhan, China.
The Details: The report says NIH and EcoHealth Alliance were late in reporting that lab-made coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were more infectious than natural variations. The report also said NIH didn't refer the findings to a government panel assigned to oversee gain-of-function research. Between 2014 and 2021, NIH gave EcoHealth Alliance $8 million in grants. Of that, $600,000 was used for Wuhan lab research.
Key Quotes: Despite identifying risks associated with the research, NIH didn't "effectively monitor or take timely action to address EcoHealth's compliance with some requirements," the report states.
For Context: The Wuhan lab has been the focus of scrutiny. In April 2020, NIH told EcoHealth to stop funding the lab over concerns of a possible leak that could have sparked the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Anthony Fauci and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) sparred over the situation in 2021. Paul accused Fauci of lying about funding risky research in China, which Fauci denied. COVID-19's origin remains unclear. A Senate GOP report in October 2022 said the virus "most likely" leaked from the lab.
How the Media Covered It: Right-rated sources highlighted the report prominently, often framing it as evidence that Fauci lied, and that taxpayers helped fund risky research that could have sparked the pandemic. Left- and center-rated sources covered the news less.
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