Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was unable to commit to stop federal funding from going to Chinese scientific research, despite the U.S. intelligence community assessing the regime as America’s top adversary.
Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), made the remarks while appearing virtually at the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee hearing on June 16, during an exchange with Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas).
“The NIH is still funding research in China, at least $8 million since 2020. In the Intelligence Community’s 2022 Annual Threat Assessment, the Chinese Communist Party is presented as one of the top threats to the United States, along with Russia, Iran, Syria, and North Korea. To my knowledge, only China is receiving U.S. research dollars,” said the senator during the hearing. “When will you as director of NIAID stop funding research in China?”
Since 2020, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a total of $8.3 million in grants to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and its division National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention, along with five top public universities in mainland China and Hong Kong, according to the NIH website.
Although this amount doesn’t capture dollars later funneled to a Chinese institution through a U.S.-based organization, such as New York-based EcoHealth Alliance, which had partnered with the Wuhan Institute of Virology to perform coronavirus-related experiments that some experts said fit the definition of gain-of-function research, that is, experiments that increase the pathogenicity or transmissibility of a virus.
Fauci, in response to Marshall’s question, said that the U.S. federal agencies “had very productive peer-reviewed highly regarded research projects with our Chinese colleagues that have led to some major advances in biomedical research.”
“So I don’t think I’d be able to tell you that we are going to stop funding Chinese,” Fauci said.
“We obviously need to be careful and make sure that when we do fund them we have the proper peer review and we go through all the established guidelines,” he continued, adding that “grants that go to foreign countries, including China, have State Department clearance.”
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