The National Institutes of Health has admitted funding gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses at China's Wuhan lab. A top NIH official also revealed that EcoHealth, the U.S. non-profit that was funded by NIH money, was not transparent about the work it was doing, according to a National Review report.

Dr. Anthony Fauci had earlier insisted to Congress that no such thing had happened.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul was put into a heated argument with the National Institute of Health and Infectious disease director in May and July testimonials.

A letter to Rep. James Comer cites that "limited experiment" tested to see if "spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China" can be bound to the human ACES receptor in a mouse model.

Lawrence A. Tabak of NIH said that the lab mice infected with the modified bat virus had become sicker than those infected with the unmodified type.

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Gain-of-Function Research in Wuhan Lab

Fauci has repeatedly gone against Republican senators for accusing him of lying about the funded gain-of-function research, particularly Paul.

Paul had taken to Twitter his sentiments after the emergency of the NIH letter, saying "I told you so" is not even enough to cover it, according to a New York Post report.

Tabak had not used the term gain-of-function research in his letter. However, he applied it.

He added that EcoHealth failed to comply with the grant terms, requiring them to immediately report a one log increase in growth.

Tabak said in his letter that EcoHealth is being notified that they have five days to submit to NIH any and all unpublished data from the experiments, as well as work done under the grant.

Tabak said that if EcoHealth had made the growth known to NIH, they would have prompted a review to determine if the research plan should be re-evaluated.

NIH had funneled funds to EcoHealth when it was awarded a grant in 2014 to look into possible coronavirus from bats.

Fauci's Denial of Funding Gain-of-Function Research

EcoHealth had received $3.7 million from the NIH, with $600,000 being given to the Wuhan lab, according to a BBC News report.

Its project was renewed for another five years in 2019. However, it was halted by the Trump administration in April 2020 after the onset of the COVID pandemic.

Fauci had denied that NIH has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan lab, which Paul asked Fauci if he wanted to retract that statement.

Paul said that it is a crime to lie to Congress.

Paul believed that the research qualified as gain-of-function research and cited two academic papers by the Wuhan lab and another. One was from 2015, written with the University of North Carolina, and the other one was from 2017.

NIH and EcoHealth had also earlier rejected suggestions that they supported or funded the research in the Wuhan lab.

The two organizations earlier said that they funded a project to examine "at the molecular level" without "affecting the environment or development of the organism."

READ MORE: Experts Suggest Novel Coronavirus Originated From Lab in Wuhan

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Written by Mary Webber

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