Former White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro Monday lambasted Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, for the role the agency had in funding the Wuhan Institute of Virology — the Chinese lab that U.S. intelligence tied to the worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus — after former CDC Director Robert Redfield's comments over the weekend that the disease "escaped" the facility.
"This is the building that Tony Fauci built," Navarro claimed to Fox Business's Maria Bartiromo. "He took American taxpayer money and funneled it, laundered it through NIH, and gave to this lab so it could conduct the kind of research that led basically to the virus, if Bob Redfield is right."
In February, The Daily Caller, citing the National Institutes of Health, reported that the Wuhan lab got U.S. funding from 2014-2019 for studies on bat-based coronaviruses, and that it will be eligible through January 2024 for financing.
The Wuhan lab received $600,000 of U.S. government funding through the New York-based non-profit group EcoHealth Alliance, which in 2014 had gotten a $3.4 million grant from Fauci's agency. EcoHealth's grant money was cut off by the NIH last April, but was offered to be restored if the nonprofit would meet certain circumstances on investigating the Wuhan lab.
But Navarro accused Fauci on Monday of not only giving China money for the research, but said he "went behind the backs of the Trump administration."
"In 2015, the Obama administration's National Security Council, to their credit, stopped Fauci and Francis Collins at NIH from allowing this game of function research," Navarro claimed. "But after Donald Trump was elected president, Fauci "came in through the back door and said, no, this lab, you can gain functional research ... the virus, in all likelihood, came from the house Tony Fauci built ... (he) has to be held accountable. There are strong questions about where the virus came from."
Navarro also commented on the news that companies such as Nike, Adidas, and others are facing backlash from the Chinese Communist Party over their boycott of cotton and other materials from the Xinjiang region over the treatment of the Uyghur Muslims and other minorities there.
"One of the last things we did at the Trump White House was to impose stiff sanctions, withhold the release of orders on all products from Xinjiang," said Navarro. "It is a huge huge human rights abuse issue."
But the most important thing to remember about the Chinese Communist Party is that it won't "abide by any deal they negotiate," said Navarro, and that includes the deal reached under the Trump administration, "one of the greatest deals in history," but in May 2019, the Chinese walked away from it.
This resulted in "what is called the skinny deal, and it's really not worth the paper it's written on," said Navarro. "The only thing that is holding back the Chinese Communist Party from taking this economy is our Trump tariffs. God help us if Joe Biden lifts those tariffs."
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