Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is once again at the center of controversy over claims he made in the past that don’t seem to line up with information gleaned from a recent trove of documents obtained by Judicial Watch.
According to Fox News, Fauci — who also serves as President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser — said in a Senate hearing that grants amounting to a total of $600,000 were provided to the Wuhan Institute of Virology over a five-year period. However, documents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) point to a higher figure.
Why does it matter?
At the crux of the controversy over taxpayer money being funneled to the Wuhan lab is mounting evidence that the institute could have been ground zero for the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left millions dead in its wake and crippled economies around the world.
In May, Fauci told senators that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) — the government agency that oversees Fauci’s NIAID — provided some $600,000 to the Wuhan lab to study coronaviruses in bats through a nonprofit organization known as EcoHealth Alliance.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who has challenged Fauci on the NIH’s role in providing funding to a lab that could be the root cause of the COVID-19 pandemic, was ridiculed for suggesting that the amount of money that went to the lab was higher than what Fauci claimed — but documents recently obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests seem to justify Paul’s claims.
According to the documents cited by Fox, at least $750,000 was provided to the lab over a six-year period — which doesn’t sound like a major increase, but poses an optics problem for Fauci as he faces allegations of peddling a seemingly constant string of misinformation concerning all things COVID-19.
Fox News reached out to Fauci for an explanation as to why he reported lower amounts than what available records appear to show, but the doctor hadn’t responded at the time of this writing.
Fauci escaped Trump’s wrath
A bombshell New York Post report on Saturday revealed that former President Donald Trump was apparently ready to have Fauci grilled on the U.S. funding that was sent to the Wuhan lab, even calling for the infectious diseases expert to testify in front of a presidential commission.
Plans for the presidential panel to press Fauci on the issue had already been drawn up prior to Trump not securing another term in the White House. The panel would have also reportedly tallied a reparations bill to be sent to China for its alleged role in the viral outbreak.
It was only at the last minute that some of Trump’s closest advisers convinced him to scrap the inquisition — a tidbit that was revealed in an upcoming book titled What Really Happened in Wuhan, authored by Australian journalist Sharri Markson.
According to the Post, Markson also claimed in the book that the Chinese government already had a COVID-19 vaccine developed prior to the outbreak. While that hasn’t been confirmed, it raises questions, as reports have emerged this year alleging that several Wuhan lab workers fell ill in late 2019 with symptoms consistent with the novel coronavirus disease.
As more in the mainstream media — who not long ago worked overtime to shelter Fauci — begin to shift their focus on the origins of the pandemic, and what, if any, involvement that Fauci indirectly had in it, this could make for a very bad year for the U.S. government’s highest-paid employee.