A top NIH official admitted in a Wednesday letter that U.S. taxpayers funded gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses in Wuhan and revealed that EcoHealth Alliance, the U.S. non-profit that funneled NIH money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, was not transparent about the work it was doing.
In the letter to Republican Representative James Comer, Lawrence A. Tabak of the NIH cites a “limited experiment” that was conducted to test if “spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.” The laboratory mice infected with the modified bat virus “became sicker” than those infected with the unmodified bat virus…
In keeping with Fauci’s refusal to use “gain-of-function,” Tabak avoids the term, though the work he described matches its commonplace definition precisely.
In addition to his admission that gain-of-function research was being conducted with NIH money, Tabak also revealed that EcoHealth failed to comply with its reporting responsibilities under the grant. EcoHealth was required to submit to a “secondary review” in the event of certain developments that might increase the danger associated with the research. So, when Wuhan researchers successfully bound a natural bat coronavirus to a human AC2 receptor in mice, they were supposed to inform the NIH, but they didn’t.