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President Trump misleads when asked about Wuhan lab funding

Posted by Rafa Carballo on

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House on May 13.

President Trump appears to have misled when asked about funding to a Wuhan, China, laboratory during an interview with Fox Business.

Trump claimed the Wuhan lab received funding under the Obama administration and he cut it off.

“As I understand it, before I got here, $7.5 million in 2014. And look, they said they were studying different things that things like that happen. But you know, money was given by the Obama administration early on — I ended it.”

He later added, “Well I took a lot of heat, too. They said oh, we’re studying all sorts of stuff. You saw what happened.”

What we know: That lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, worked with American scientist Peter Daszak, who did research via a National Institutes of Health grant, according to CBS. It was partially responsible for remdesivir breakthroughs and had been working on research toward a coronavirus vaccine, Daszak told CBS 60 Minutes.

“The breakthrough drug, remdesivir, that seems to have some impact on Covid-19 was actually tested against the viruses we discovered under our NIH research funding,” Daszak told CBS. 

Per CBS, the grant was “reauthorized and increased by the Trump administration.” And according to Snopes, that NIH grant wasn’t $7.5 million, it was $3.7 million, only a portion of which went to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Trump was asked if it’s possible to continue to have a relationship with China amid its lack of transparency. 

“May be hard to do but that’s okay with me,” he said. 

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