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Agency says funds mentioned by Fauci were sent to multiple countries
Why did U.S. taxpayers spend $3.7 million to investigate bat coronaviruses in Asia? It’s one of the media’s mysteries that has endured during the COVID-19 pandemic, spurring plenty of speculation and intrigue. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s chief infectious disease specialist, was the latest to fan the debate when he mentioned the grant during a White House briefing without offering many details. Officials at the National Institutes of Health and Fauci’s own division there, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), say there is far less to the story than meets the eye. First off, the United States didn’t give all the money to China. And secondly, it had nothing to do specifically with COVID-19. Rather, it was a multi-year grant dating back six years to study coronaviruses like Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and others in Asian bats in China, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Myanmar, officials said.