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(Natural News) The U.S. and Canada have launched formal inquiries on the actual origins of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). Alongside these investigations, lawmakers in both countries are now scrutinizing how the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) used federal funds from both countries. The WIV is believed to have been the facility where the pathogen responsible for COVID-19 originated.
American and Canadian legislators have zoomed in on the WIV and its connections to different groups. In the U.S., Congress has investigated the US$3.7 million grant given by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to the EcoHealth Alliance. Of the amount mentioned above, $600,000 was channeled to the WIV over a five-year period. The research grant given to the EcoHealth Alliance sought to understand “the risk of bat coronavirus emergence.”
The NIH and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) denied approving any gain-of-function research grants for coronaviruses. EcoHealth Alliance equally denied channeling grant money to the WIV for such purposes. Gain-of-function research involves the study of viruses and other pathogens to make them more transmissible.
However, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) insisted that NIH grant money was used for gain-of-function research performed in the WIV. The lawmaker said in a May 25 statement: “We don’t know whether the pandemic started in a lab in Wuhan or evolved naturally. While many still deny funding gain-of-function research in Wuhan, experts believe otherwise.”
Also on May 25, Paul and other GOP senators sponsored an amendment to a bill permanently banning the funding of any gain-of-function research in China. The U.S. Senate passed the bill on the same day. The Kentucky senator said: “No taxpayer money should have ever been used to fund gain-of-function research in Wuhan, and now we permanently have put it to a stop.”