The United States is closer than ever to beating Covid-19, with half the country vaccinated and more restrictions lifting.
Scientists affiliated with the institute have previously said the institute did not come into contact with Covid-19 until December 30.
The US had actually provided some funding for the study of coronaviruses and their transmission through bats, which had made it to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
On Capitol Hill Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it would have been a “dereliction of duty” not to fund earlier coronavirus research in bats in China.
“You don’t want to study bats in Fairfax County, Virginia, to find out what the animal-human interface is that might lead to a jumping of species,” Fauci said
, adding the US had to go “where the action is.”
Separately, at the White House, Fauci said many scientists still believe the disease occurred naturally, but it’s also imperative to get to the bottom of it with more investigation.
An adviser for the World Health Organization, Jamie Metzl, said the lab-leak theory is possible while scientists were “poking and prodding and studying” viruses with the good intention of developing vaccines.