Rudy Giuliani on Sunday asserted that Dr. Anthony Fauci approved a $3.7 million grant to the Wuhan laboratory tied to the coronavirus pandemic and said China's intent was to weaponize the virus.
Giuliani's claim that the lab received all of the funding was incorrect, as just a portion of a $3.7 million grant given to EcoHealth Alliance from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 2014 to 2019 made its way to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the NIH.
"Back in 2014, the Obama administration prohibited the U.S. from giving money to any laboratory, including in the U.S., that was fooling around with these viruses. Prohibited!" Giuliani, President Donald Trump's lawyer, said during an appearance on "The Cats Roundtable" with host John Catsimatidis.
"Despite that, Dr. Fauci gave $3.7 million to the Wuhan laboratory — even after the State Department issued reports about how unsafe that laboratory was, and how suspicious they were in the way they were developing a virus that could be transmitted to humans. We never pulled that money. Something here is going on. I don't want to make any accusations. But there was more knowledge about what was going on in China with our scientific people than they disclosed to us when this first came out ... If this laboratory turns out to be the place where the virus came from then ... we paid for the damn virus that's killing us."
No hard evidence exists to support the claim that the virus originated in the Wuhan laboratory.
Fauci, the nation's top expert on infectious disease and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has also questioned the assertion.
"A group of highly qualified evolutionary virologists looked at the sequences in bats as they evolve. The mutations that it took to get to the point where it is now are totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human," Fauci said on April 17.
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