Fauci Personally Funded, Edited EcoHealth Study On Bat Viruses After Pandemic Already Began

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Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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Dr. Anthony Fauci personally funded and reviewed a study on viruses and bats from the controversial EcoHealth Alliance published in 2020, after the coronavirus pandemic was underway.

Fauci, who is slated to retire from his longtime role as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) at the end of this year, is listed on the paper as the editor who gave approval for publication. The study was funded in part by his agency, NIAID, nonprofit taxpayer watchdog White Coat Waste Project (WCW) first revealed Thursday.

The study was co-authored by Peter Daszak, head of EcoHealth. Daszak played a key role in tamping down speculation that the COVID-19 pandemic may have originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) as a result of an accident involving dangerous gain-of-function (GoF) research on bat-based coronaviruses. He was the sole American member of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the pandemic, prompting experts to disregard the investigation as compromised by his conflict of interest. He was eventually removed from that investigative team after he revealed his Wuhan ties.

The 2020 research paper involved the collection of bats from Bangladesh to study Nipah virus, an extremely deadly pathogen with a fatality rate of up to 70%. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Joni Ernst Introduces Legislation To Prohibit Federal Funding To EcoHealth Alliance)

Fauci and Daszak have had a friendly relationship for some time, with the latter having thanked Dr. Fauci via email in April 2020 for his work downplaying the lab leak theory. Fauci was alerted in early 2020 that Daszak, EcoHealth and the WIV may have been involved in an accidental lab leak of COVID-19, but apparently was still willing to fund and collaborate on research with them throughout the pandemic.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has funded numerous projects from EcoHealth in recent years, including dangerous GoF research on bat-based coronaviruses conducted at the WIV.

Fauci has repeatedly denied that his agency was involved in funding GoF research, but experts have debunked his claims and argued EcoHealth’s work does meet the definition. (RELATED: Not Just China: The US Government, Universities Are Hiding Evidence On The Origin Of COVID-19, Experts Allege)

The NIH just last week gave a brand new grant to EcoHealth to conduct further bat virus research in Wuhan. Critics blasted the move, pointing out that the origins of COVID-19 haven’t yet been determined and EcoHealth remains under intense scrutiny for their potential role.

Daszak has refused to cooperate with Congressional oversight into the conduct of his organization, although Fauci has testified before Congress several times. Republican lawmakers have worked to strip funding from EcoHealth and the Wuhan Institute of Virology due to their possible involvement in the pandemic.