Invite Congress to a Briefing on the Origins of COVID-19

Evidence is piling up that COVID-19 is more likely to have been caused by a lab accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology than by any natural interaction between humans and bats.

Congress is finally starting to pay attention. In April, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee nearly unanimously passed a bill that demanded a report on the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, including whether it came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

TAKE ACTION: Invite your Representative and Senators to a briefing on the leading COVID origin hypothesis, the possibility of a laboratory acquired infection at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Speakers will include David Asher and Dr. Steven Quay.

illustrative renderings of a red coronavirus cell

The search for the origins of COVID-19 zeroed in on the Wuhan Institute of Virology after the State Department issued a fact sheet stating that the U.S. government had reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Through his National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), Dr. Anthony Fauci funded “gain-of-function” research at the WIV to make bat coronaviruses more infectious to human beings. When questioned by Senator Rand Paul, he falsely claimed that he had not, but admitted an investigation into COVID’s origin was necessary. 

Dr. Fauci told Sen. Paul that the funding WIV received from his National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases didn’t meet the definition of gain-of-function research under the 2017 Framework for Guiding Funding Decisions about Proposed Research Involving Enhanced Potential Pandemic Pathogens.

What Dr. Fauci said was deliberately misleading, but was it technically correct? If WIV was working on vaccines when a lab worker became ill, it wasn't "gain-of-function” under the Framework, which has a vaccine loophole.

No, Dr. Fauci’s claim wasn’t even technically correct. As Dr. Richard Ebright pointed out on Twitter, the grant, Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence, unequivocally met the “gain-of-function” criteria for mandatory risk-benefit review under the Framework, and it wasn’t for vaccine development. The funding was not reviewed only because Dr. Fauci failed to submit it.

Dr. Fauci’s funding went first to U.S.-based EcoHealth Alliance, but, as director Peter Daszak explains in this video, it was dispensed to partners around the world, the research was collaborative and the U.S. funding of foreign scientists, including those at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, was acknowledged in their publications.

Dr. Fauci funded EcoHealth-WIV research that included “infection experiments” to find out which bat coronavirus spike protein sequences were the greatest public health concern. Daszak talks about these experiments this video, and here is the language from the NIAID grant:   

In vitro and in vivo characterization of SARSr-CoV spillover risk, coupled with spatial and phylogenetic analyses to identify the regions and viruses of public health concern. We will use S protein sequence data, infectious clone technology, in vitro and in vivo infection experiments and analysis of receptor binding to test the hypothesis that % divergence thresholds in S protein sequences predict spillover potential.

When asked about this by Sen. Roger Marshall, he lied again, falsely claiming that his funding of WIV coronavirus experiments on humanized mice couldn’t have anything to do with the possible lab creation of a virus like COVID-19 with a unique furin cleavage site that is specially adapted to human ACE2 receptors.

Regardless of how Dr. Fauci chooses to characterize the research he funded at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the important thing is that he admits it is necessary to investigate whether a laboratory acquired infection sparked the pandemic. 

TAKE ACTION: Invite your Representative and Senators to an expert briefing on the lab leak hypothesis featuring David Asher and Dr. Steve Quay.

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