Some Republicans have long questioned whether grants from the National Institutes of Health made their way to Wuhan and played a role in the formation of COVID-19. Now, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Inspector General has launched a probe into the grant program to determine how funds were used, including whether any funding was used improperly. “We have been monitoring this issue for some time and consider it a high-priority matter that can pose a threat to the integrity of the NIH grant program,” a spokesperson for the Inspector General’s Office said. An NIH source told CNN that, while the investigation was political in nature, it would likely clear the NIH of any malfeasance and educate the public.
Reports of NIH funding potentially leading to COVID-19 escalated this year after Dr. Anthony Fauci told lawmakers that between $125,000 and $150,000 given by the NIH to a global nonprofit made its way to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a facility central to the unproven “lab leak” theory.