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Coronavirus researchers must examine Trump-backed conspiracy?or lose funding

The White House
the National Institutes of Health
EcoHealth Alliance
the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).In
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Beth Mole
Donald Trump
Jimmy Kolker
Harold Varmus
Shi Zhengli
” Shi


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The White House specifically directed the National Institutes of Health to cancel the multimillion-dollar research grant after President Donald Trump promoted an unfounded conspiracy theory that the pandemic coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was released from a lab in Wuhan, China—a lab that collaborates with the nonprofit.Now, the NIH has told the nonprofit, EcoHealth Alliance, that it may have its funding back—if it collects and hands over materials and information about the Chinese lab, which is part of the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).In a July 8 letter seen by The Wall Street Journal, the NIH laid out a list of seven criteria EcoHealth Alliance must fulfill in order to regain its peer-reviewed funding. Jimmy Kolker, a former US ambassador and former assistant secretary for global affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, told the WSJ that the NIH should not be asking about matters outside of the scope of the funded researcher.“What they’re asking for is intelligence information that will be used for policy-making,” he said.Former NIH Director Harold Varmus called the NIH requests “outrageous.”In a statement, EcoHealth said that the NIH letter “attempts to impose impossible and irrelevant conditions that will effectively block us from continuing this critical work.”The statement goes on:These demands include asking us to provide evidence to refute conspiracy theories that are unscientific and damaging; pressuring us to inquire into research unrelated to our collaboration; and probing us on research that was conducted by other organizations, and completed years prior to our NIH-funded work.In all, it “continues the grant’s termination de facto,” EcoHealth said.The researcher at the center of all this is virologist Shi Zhengli, who studies bat coronaviruses in her lab at WIV and has worked with EcoHealth in the past.

As said here by Beth Mole