The Intercept’s Sharon Lerner and Mara Hvistendahl report on what they found in documents they have obtained under the Freedom of Information Act:
NEWLY RELEASED DOCUMENTS provide details of U.S.-funded research on several types of coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. The Intercept has obtained more than 900 pages of documents detailing the work of EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S.-based health organization that used federal money to fund bat coronavirus research at the Chinese laboratory. The trove of documents includes two previously unpublished grant proposals that were funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as well as project updates relating to EcoHealth Alliance’s research, which has been scrutinized amid increased interest in the origins of the pandemic.
Here is the illuminating nonresponse of EcoHealth Alliance quoted in the story:
Asked about the grant materials, Robert Kessler, communications manager at EcoHealth Alliance, said, “We applied for grants to conduct research. The relevant agencies deemed that to be important research, and thus funded it. So I don’t know that there’s a whole lot to say.”
According to Lerner and Hvistendahl, the documents “raise additional questions about the theory that the pandemic may have begun in a [Wuhan] lab accident, an idea that [EcoHealth President] Daszak has aggressively dismissed.” As I understand the story, these documents also appear (1) to belie the vehemently repeated assertions of NIAID Director and Biden chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci that the NIH did not fund gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and (2) further to implicate a Wuhan lab as the possible source of Covid-19.
NR’s Caroline Downey has a good summary of the Intercept story here. The Federalist’s Tristan Justice includes video clips of Dr. Fauci’s jousting with Senator Rand Paul on this point while under oath here. The New York Post’s Emily Crane picks up Senator Paul’s comment via Twitter, embeds a 528-page document and more here. On its cover the Post features Crane’s story with the headline “It’s a real Wu done it.” These summaries are all useful.