State Department Funds COVID-19 Study in PRC

State Department Funds COVID-19 Study in PRC

U.S. authorities are allocating funds to study a new coronavirus in China. Senator Rand Paul (Republican, from Kentucky) expressed confidence in this at a hearing of the U.S. Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on U.S. policy toward China.

He asked First Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman whether the State Department is funding a coronavirus study at Wuhan University. “Do we fund the coronavirus study? I don’t think so. But I don’t know for sure. I’ll double-check and we’ll get back to you on that, Senator,” she replied.

“The answer is, yes, you’re funding it. And it’s been going on for over a decade. It’s important because a million Americans have died in the country because of COVID, and we’re really not discussing it. No hearings. Nothing. People don’t even know they’re funding this research,” Paul stressed.

He said lawmakers learned about it after receiving a report from the government. It alleges that the U.S. National Institutes of Health funneled money to American universities, which in turn funneled donated funds to the Academy of Military Medical Research in China. At the same time, “millions of dollars were coming from the State Department,” the senator stressed.

“They keep getting money. They don’t submit reports on time. They haven’t stopped their experiments, and yet we keep encouraging them with more money. No one seems to care. We’re not even sure we funded this project. The State Department is a major sponsor of this project. It’s a decades-long project,” Paul noted. He added that lawmakers and the U.S. media have been making inquiries to the government about this for two and a half years, but have received nothing in response.

“Senator, we will study your request. I will make a strong recommendation that you be briefed on this issue, perhaps with the intelligence community. As you know, there is no consensus on this particular set of issues. But I understand your desire to understand what happened,” Sherman responded.

“We are asking you for unclassified information that you have, not intelligence information,” Paul emphasized.

A joint report by the World Health Organization and China, released in March 2021 following an international mission to Wuhan, noted that the most likely scenario for COVID-19 was that the disease passed from bats to another animal that later infected humans. However, experts have not reached a definitive conclusion as to how exactly the virus got to Wuhan’s Huangan seafood market. There has also been speculation about its laboratory origin.

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