Lawmakers are reacting to reports that Dr. Anthony Fauci initially resisted a Trump-era order to cancel a controversial research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) linked to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in April 2020.
Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, initially resisted a White House directive to cancel the NIH grant to EcoHealth Alliance — a nonprofit conducting research on coronaviruses that had previously worked with the Wuhan lab some experts fingered as the origin of COVID-19 . He later “reluctantly agreed” after learning then-President Trump was directly behind the order, according to an upcoming book by Washington Post reporters Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta.
In the book titled, “Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration’s Response to the Pandemic That Changed History,” Abutaleb and Paletta provide a behind-the-scenes account of how Fauci and his colleagues at the National Institutes of Health responded to the White House’s directive.
In June of 2020, however, Fauci said the grant, worth a remaining $370,000, was “canceled because the NIH was told to cancel it,” and he didn’t “know the reason” behind the White House’s order during a House Energy and Commerce hearing after Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Texas, asked why the Trump administration cut off NIH funding for EcoHealth.