DR. Anthony Fauci admitted he couldn't be certain Chinese scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology kept their word and avoided using US funding to conduct so-called “gain-of-function” experiments that may have led to the Covid-19 outbreak.

“There’s no way of guaranteeing that,” the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told Republican Sen. John Kennedy.

The admission came on the same day that Fauci insisted that the $600,000 given to the Wuhan Institute of Virology was for a collaborative study with "respectable" scientists on how coronaviruses are transmitted to humans.

The lab was known to have been experimenting with bat coronaviruses and creating infectious hybrid strains for tests.

It also came on the same day that Pres. Joe Biden announced intelligence agencies will  "redouble their efforts" to determine if Covid-19 jumped from an animal host to humans or whether it was accidentally released from a lab in Wuhan, China.

A report would be submitted to him after 90 days. 

Critical to the findings is determining if the Wuhan lab used the $600,000 allotted by The National Institutes of Health over a five-year period to study whether bats could transmit coronaviruses to humans, which many initially believed was how the Covid-19 pandemic began.

China and the lab have continuously denied allegations of a possible leak.

Various theories have pinned the spread of the coronavirus to a Wuhan wet market's horseshoe bat or human coming in contact “with an intermediary species such as pangolins.”

Fauci attempted to explain to the Louisiana congressman that when it comes to funding scientific research there is a trust that’s forged over time. 

He added: “in our experience with grantees, including Chinese grantees, which we have had interactions with for a very long period of time, they are very competent, trustworthy scientists.”

Gain of Function research at the Wuhan lab,  can be understood as improving "the ability of a pathogen to cause disease" in humans, according to the US Department of Health and Human Service.

The senator pressed Fauci to explain where and how the $600,000 was spent. 

Kennedy asked: “Here’s where I’m getting at: You gave them money, and you said, ‘Don’t do gain-of-function research.’”

Fauci acknowledged that his assessment was “correct.”

Then Kennedy verified that the scientists would keep their word. 

Fauci again agreed. 

“And you have no way of knowing whether they did or not, except you trust them. Is that right?”

On the defense, Fauci tried to say “we generally always trust” fellow scientists or in this case grantees performing research. 

But Kennedy wasn’t satisfied.

“Have you ever had a grantee lie to you,” he asked.

“I cannot guarantee that a grantee has not lied to us because you never know,” Fauci admitted. 

The exchange comes one week after GOP congress members, led by House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes, released a report placating China of possibly covering up the origins of the coronavirus.

The report claimed there remains “significant circumstantial evidence raises serious concerns that the Covid-19 outbreak may have been a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology."

It based its conclusion on China's checkered history with infections caused by research lab leaks, diplomatic cables from 2017 warning the Wuhan lab was “conducting dangerous research on coronaviruses… risking the accidental outbreak of a pandemic,” the Chinese military’s ties to the lab, “several researchers sickened with Covid-19 symptoms in the fall of 2019," and the evidence of China’s efforts to “cover up the true circumstances” of the outbreak. 

Other Republicans are joining a chorus demanding Fauci to be removed as Biden's top coronavirus chief.

Rep Warren Davidson, of Ohio, told Fox: "Dr. Fauci is at odds with the Centers for Disease Control. He has repeatedly put political science ahead of the science on Covid-19."

Pennsylvania congressman Guy Reschenthaler said Fauci has been "inconsistent" throughout the pandemic, claiming he "has been wrong, intentionally deceptive, and inconsistent throughout this pandemic.”

Kennedy told Fauci he was convinced that China’s leader Pres. Xi Jinping had too much sway over the World Health Organization and that they were not a trustworthy authority. 

He told Fauci: “Can we agree that if you took President Xi Jinping and turned him upside down and shook him, the World Health Organization would fall out of his pocket?”

But Fauci didn’t engage. 

“I don’t think I can answer that question, sir. I’m sorry.”

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