It turns out US taxpayer money did go for “gain of function” research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, despite Dr. Anthony Fauci’s heated denials of just that.

Gain-of-function work involves intentionally making a virus more effective against humans. The “lab leak” theory for COVID-19’s origins posits that WIV researchers so engineered a coronavirus, with some accident letting it reach the wider world and kill nearly 5 million worldwide.

Lawrence Tabak, a top National Institutes of Health official, just admitted the ugly truth, while blaming the NIH’s grantee, New York-based EcoHealth Alliance, for failing to report it.

This particular work doesn’t seem COVID-related, but the news increases the odds that other EcoHealth projects also went off the reservation.

Tabak, the NIH principal deputy director, broke the news in a letter to Rep. James Comer, the House Oversight Committee’s top Republican. The “limited experiment” used humanized mice to test infection with bat coronaviruses; the modified virus did indeed sicken more of them than the unmodified one. But “EcoHealth failed to report this finding right away, as was required by the terms of the grant,” Tabak wrote, vowing to demand full disclosure from the grantee.

Laughably, Tabak also claims the 2018 experiments didn’t fit the definition of the US ban on funding gain-of-function work on potential pandemic-causers “because these bat coronaviruses had not been shown to infect humans.”

This isn’t the only shady EcoHealth experiment coming to light now, nearly two years after COVID broke out. The Intercept reported last month that EcoHealth violated the terms of its grant at least four times by “creating new viruses using different parts of existing bat coronaviruses and inserting them into humanized mice” in the Wuhan lab, which was overseen by the NIH’s Fauci-led National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

NIH chief Francis Collins insists none of the bat viruses studied under this grant could “possibly have caused the COVID-19 pandemic.” But what of other grants? And how can he be sure EcoHealth or the Wuhan researchers didn’t break more rules than the one NIH just admitted? Notably, he’s still claiming the bug evolved naturally, while saying it’s impossible to prove without China’s help and ignoring the strong evidence implicating the Wuhan lab.

EcoHealth, the NIH and Fauci all have a lot of explaining to do.

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By James Carter

A Senior writer & Editor, James is a postgraduate in biotechnology and has an immense interest in following news developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. He is responsible for handling the office staff writers and providing them with the latest updates happenings in the world. He writes for almost all sections of Editorials 24.