Sen. Johnson calls out Fauci after NIAID funded Wuhan lab research: Why were we 'cooperating with China?'
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., says the mainstream media is 'advocating for the extreme left wing of the American political spectrum,' which he argues is 'very dangerous' and 'really hurting this country.'
"Anthony Fauci continued to apparently fund gain-of-function research and cooperate with the Wuhan lab," Johnson told "Sunday Morning Futures." "He had to know full well that the Wuhan lab, just like any organization in China, is connected to the Communist Party of China as well as the People’s Liberation Army. So what were we doing cooperating with China?"
"I agree with Sen. [Rand] Paul, these are some serious questions, and we need some answers but, again, I’ve been trying to get answers out of federal agencies for years and I’m not holding my breath," he continued.
Security personnel gather near the entrance of the Wuhan Institute of Virology during a visit by the World Health Organization team in Wuhan in China's Hubei province on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) (AP)
The funding made its way to countries including China through U.S.-based EcoHealth Alliance, a group that says its purpose is to prevent pandemics.
PolitiFact has labeled claims that NIAID funding was tied to experiments that may have led to the coronavirus pandemic "false," adding that NIH and EcoHealth Alliance denied any funds went to gain-of-function research.
Calls for more information come after the White House said it believes that China has "not been transparent" in releasing its findings on the origins of COVID-19, as part of a report it wrote in collaboration with the World Health Organization.
The report dismissed claims that COVID-19 had escaped from a lab in Wuhan and instead called the theory of zoonotic transmission, or transfer of infection from animals to humans, "likely to very likely."
Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., has pressed Fauci for more information on the cause of the pandemic.
"Dr. Fauci was just on 'Meet the Press' and Chuck Todd didn’t ask him a single question about the origin of COVID-19 and whether taxpayer dollars went to gain of function research in Wuhan. This is the most important question facing the world, yet few in the media are asking it," Gallagher wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
Fox News' Angelica Stabile and Brooke Singman and the Associated Press contributed to this report.