As the coronavirus cases in the United States cross 1 million, the Donald Trump administration has suspended funds to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, or one specific project studying bat-human transmission of the Coronavirus at the very least.
As per reports, EcoHealth Alliance - a nonprofit research organisation based in New York, which was a sponsor for studies that have been going on since five years in Wuhan - was informed by the US National Institute of Health (NIH) about the fund cut. Reportedly, the health agency said that in the current situation, the outcome of the research will not align with program goals and agency priorities. However, reports also state that EcoHealth Alliance has demanded a detailed explanation from the agency.
This comes after Washington repeatedly blamed China for concealing information about Coronavirus, and Beijing dismissing it as lies. Earlier, the US also halted the funding for the World Health Organisation (WHO) accusing it of being 'China-centric.'
BREAKING: The Trump Administration has suspended all US funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) April 28, 2020
China faces international criticism over the outbreak of deadly coronavirus that has so far claimed 217,968 lives and has infected 3,138,097 people worldwide. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, repeated appeals have been made to China to shut all their wet markets that have the potential to expose humans to health risks through the introduction of zoonotic disease. Moreover, claims have also been made that the virus was leaked from a Chinese lab in Wuhan.
On April 19, a US media in an investigative report claimed that the initial transmission of the virus was bat-to-human and the "patient zero" worked at the laboratory where it was being studied in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Calling the virus a naturally occurring strain among bats and not a bioweapon, the reports also add that the lab employee was accidentally infected before spreading the disease among the common people outside the lab in Wuhan city. The institute, however, has denied this.
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US president Donald Trump has threatened China of consequences if it is found that China knowingly released the virus. In his latest threat, he said that the US is doing "very serious" investigation against China, indicating his administration is looking at a lot more money as compensation from Beijing than euro 130 billion being sought by Germany.
“Germany is looking at things and we're looking at things and we're talking about a lot more money than Germany is talking about,” Trump told reporters at his White House news conference Monday.