Four prominent scientists who played key roles in shaping the public narrative about the origins of COVID-19 received substantial increases in grant money from the institute headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci in the subsequent two years, a review of funding data by The Epoch Times has found.
Three of these scientists—Kristian Andersen, Robert Garry, and Michael Farzan—were advisers to a teleconference organized by Fauci held on Feb. 1, 2020, in response to increasing public questions about the origins of the virus.
Additionally, Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) provided a substantial increase in funding to EcoHealth’s Peter Daszak, through whom NIAID had funded controversial gain-of-function coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.
Some of this funding has continued through 2021—and one of the newest grants will continue through at least 2025.
While it isn't known currently whether there was a connection between the increased funding and the scientists' involvement in shaping the public natural origin narrative, these revelations raise an obvious question: How is it that among the thousands of scientists eligible to participate in the much-desired funding from the 11 grants provided by Fauci’s new $82 million CREID initiative, three of those chosen happened to be the same individuals who had led the way in promoting Fauci’s natural origin narrative—despite their private concerns that the virus had been created in a lab.
During the Feb. 1, 2020, teleconference, Garry cited the remarkable sequences of mutations that would have to occur for SARS-CoV-2 to arise naturally, telling the group, “I just can’t figure out how this gets accomplished in nature.” However, Garry noted that a lab-created virus would easily explain the virus data he was seeing, telling Fauci’s group that “in the lab, it would be easy to generate the perfect 12 base insert that you wanted.”
Notably, Garry recently admitted in written correspondence with The Intercept that he had been advised not to discuss a lab leak in the "Proximal Origin" paper, stating, “The major feedback we got from the Feb 1 teleconference was: 1. Don’t try to write a paper at all—it’s unnecessary or 2. If you do write it, don't mention a lab origin as that will just add fuel to the conspiracists.”
House Republicans have recently been focused on gaining disclosure and access to Fauci’s emails. It's unclear at this point whether lawmakers are increasing scrutiny of NIAID’s funding and grant process.