Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz said Tuesday that it’s time to end United States taxpayer funding of a Chinese research center in Wuhan that may “have birthed a monster virus onto the world.”
The funds from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are going to the same laboratory that some reports say was the site where the COVID-19 virus was both produced and leaked to the surrounding community, Gaetz told “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“I’m against funding Chinese research in our country, but I’m sure against funding it in China. The NIH gives this $3.7 million grant to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, they then advertise that they need coronavirus researchers and following that coronavirus erupts in Wuhan,” Gaetz explained. (RELATED: ‘Stop Eating Bats!’ Lindsey Graham Blasts Wet Markets, Calls on China’s President To ‘Crack Down’)
“What’s really troubling to me that is either conspicuously or miraculously the Wuhan Institute of Virology is able to sequence the virus on January 2 but China doesn’t admit to the virus existing until January 9 and then the Wuhan Institute of Virology doesn’t release this important scientific information to the world until January 12,” the congressman said.
“So at best Americans are funding people who are lying to us and at worst, we are funding people who we knew had problems handling pathogens, who then birthed a monster virus onto the world.”
Host Tucker Carlson asked Gaetz why Americans are providing any funding at all to China, given that the country “is about to eclipse us in terms of the size of its economy.”
“There is a far too cozy relationship between U.S. research and Chinese research because there are some research institutions in our country who realize the short-term benefit of Chinese cash. But that doesn’t excuse our government and what should really trouble viewers is this is an active grant, this isn’t something of yesteryear,” Gaetz responded, adding that Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar could end the funding “with the stroke of pen.” (RELATED: Tucker Carlson: ‘China Continues To Threaten The Rest Of Us With Wet Markets’)
The congressman said that is distinct possibility in the current political environment and “it’s consistent with the fantastic news that President [Donald] Trump gave us today,” that the United States will halt funding to the World Health Organization.
“We’ve been taken advantage of in those globalist infrastructures for far too long under both Republicans and Democrats. President Trump gives us the chance to liberate ourselves from this and put our people, our health and our economy first,” Gaetz told Fox News.
Despite strong evidence linking the coronavirus to the consumption of bats, China has reopened some of its wet markets.
The Daily Caller has reached out to NIH, Secretary Azar’s office and Gaetz for confirmation of the funding and further comment. Gaetz replied, “For years, the U.S. governments has been funding cruel animal experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which may have contributed to the global spread of COVID-19, with virtually no U.S. oversight.”
The Daily Caller is awaiting a response from NIH and Azar.