Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch on Wednesday announced it had received records from the Department of Health and Human Services showing that the National Institutes of Health granting funding for experiments at the Wuhan Institute of Virology that sought to create mutant coronavirus variants.
Included in the documents were the initial grant application from EcoHealth Alliance and its annual reports. Those documents described work with the WIV as seeking to “predict the capacity of our CoVs [coronaviruses] to infect people.”
Included in the “specific aims” section is a discussion of “[t]esting predictions of CoV inter-species transmission.”
The group received a $3.3 million grant for its “Understanding the Risk of Coronavirus Emergence” project, which ran from October 2013 through September of 2018. In 2014, EcoHealth received almost $3.1 over five years from the NIH for “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence.”
Records also show that the NIH later granted additional funds to the WIV in July 2020, at the height of the pandemic.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton indicated that the documents supported the idea that U.S. funding for coronavirus research may have directly contributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A review of these and other documents strongly suggest that U.S. funding in China and elsewhere for mutant virus, gain-of-function research may have been responsible for the emergence of the COVID pandemic in Wuhan,” he said. “This gain-of-function scandal should be the subject of criminal investigations.”