However, the NIH’s October 20 letter to House Oversight Committee Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY) showed that the NIH grant, which was awarded to EcoHealth Alliance and then sub-awarded to the Wuhan lab, funded a research project during 2018 and 2019 that tested “if spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.”
The letter added: “In this limited experiment, laboratory mice infected with the SHC014 WIV1 bat coronavirus became sicker than those infected with the WIV1 bat coronavirus.”
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, “gain-of-function” research is research that improves the ability of a pathogen to cause disease.
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Ebright tweeted that in the letter, the NIH “corrects untruthful assertions by NIH Director Collins and NIAID Director Fauci that NIH had not funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan.”