Report: More evidence pandemic started with Chinese lab
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., released a report Wednesday that provides more circumstantial evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic resulted from a lab leak. The report said Chinese officials warned of safety risks at the Wuhan Institute of Virology as early as 2018, and the first COVID-19 cases were in 2019, according to the report. The report said the lab was trying to find a cure for viruses transferred from animals to humans.
Has the government taken any action? The National Institutes of Health erased the Wuhan Institute of Virology from its updated list of labs allowed to conduct animal testing with U.S. money. The requirements for being on the list include following specific care standards for the animals the lab is testing. The lab received money through EcoHealth, a New York-based firm. Earlier this year, the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General found that EcoHealth did not submit a progress report due in 2019 until 2021. That report said the institute in Wuhan conducted experiments with results that the NIH classified as having “enhanced growth.” This requires a secondary review under requirements set out by the White House for gain-of-function research, which involves modifying naturally occurring animal viruses in a lab to make them more contagious among humans.
Dig deeper: Read Leo Briceno’s report in The Stew on the United States returning to pre-pandemic policies.
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