The U.S. indirectly funded some bat coronavirus research at a lab in Wuhan, China. But those experiments could not have led to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, because the viruses used were very different. Yet former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro repeated a false claim that Dr. Anthony Fauci “killed a lot of people” by funding the lab.
Republicans say a letter from a National Institutes of Health official is an admission that the agency funded so-called gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses in China, with some falsely linking the work to the pandemic coronavirus. But the research, which the NIH maintains is not gain-of-function, could not have led to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The exact origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19, remains unknown. The scientific consensus has been that the virus likely originated in bats and then jumped to humans either directly or indirectly, through contact with an animal. Such zoonotic transfers have happened before with the coronaviruses responsible for SARS and MERS. Lacking proof of that transfer, however, some scientists say more investigation is needed, and that there could have been an accidental laboratory leak,
The second part of “Plandemic” — a documentary-style video that presents a sweeping conspiracy theory about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, patents and vaccines — landed on Aug. 18, spinning together many of the falsehoods about the disease that we’ve been debunking for months, plus some new misleading claims.