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Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the coronavirus task force, had previously backed funding for a controversial lab in Wuhan, China that has been studying the coronavirus in bats, according to Newsweek.

Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases funneled a total of $7.4 million dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab.

The National Institutes of Health, which oversees the NIAID, shut down all funding to the lab last week.

There has been increasing certainty among U.S. officials that the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab is the original site of the COVID-19 virus, though not as a bioweapon but as part of China’s attempt to demonstrate that its efforts to identify and combat viruses are equal to or greater than the capabilities of the United States, according to an April 15 report by Fox News.

That same week, The Washington Post reported that U.S. Embassy officials warned in January 2018 about inadequate safety at the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab and “passed on information about scientists conducting risky research on coronavirus from bats.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci said this week in a discussion sponsored by the Economic Club of Washington that he was “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine to stop the coronavirus will be known “by this coming winter.”

Asked about a report that researchers at Oxford University have developed a vaccine that has worked in monkeys, Fauci replied: “There are going to be a lot of candidates out there.”

“Hopefully we can move along rather rapidly to get an answer ‘are they are safe and effective?’,” Fauci said.

Friday morning, WIBC host Tony Katz commented on Dr. Fauci’s confidence in the development of a vaccine for COVID-19 and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ funding connection to the controversial lab in Wuhan, China.

Click the link below to hear Tony’s full commentary.

Photo: Tom Williams/Getty Images