In their quest to prevent another SARS-like outbreak, Chinese and Western scientists pursued new viruses from bat caves in Southern China. Their efforts would lead them to a mine in Mojiang, China, where six miners had fallen ill with COVID-like symptoms.
It was here that Shi Zheng-li of the Wuhan Institute of Virology found the closest known relative to COVID-19. This virus, along with thousands of other virus samples, would be brought back to several labs in Wuhan.
The Chinese labs were partially funded by Western organizations including Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance.
When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in Wuhan, efforts to promote a natural origins theory while dispelling any discussion of a potential lab leak were spearheaded by Fauci and involved a number of leading Western scientists.