Headline RoundupJuly 19th, 2023

US Suspends Funds to Wuhan Lab at Center of COVID-19 Theories

Summary from AllSides News Team

The U.S. has suspended funds to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) over concerns that the lab has failed to be transparent about its practices.

Key Details: On Monday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sent a letter to WIV mentioning efforts to disqualify the lab in the future from receiving U.S. funds. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) sent $1.4 million to the Wuhan lab between 2014 and 2019.

Key Quote: "This action will ensure the [Wuhan Institute of Virology] does not receive another dollar of federal funding," said an HHS spokesperson.

For Context: Some intelligence agencies think it's likely that the COVID-19 pandemic started with a leak from the lab, where the U.S. was helping fund controversial "gain-of-function" research on coronaviruses. In May, the National Institutes of Health reinstated a grant to an organization that conducted the research.

How the Media Covered it: Right-rated sources covered the news more prominently than left-rated sources, and often framed the lab leak theory as likely. Left-rated sources focused more on sources who think a natural animal-to-human transmission is the more likely origin of the pandemic. Updated 7/19/23 at 12:12 pm ET with coverage from the center.

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