Intercept reporter Mara Hvistendahl said reports that the National Institute of Health may have funded a grant for research that resulted in the release of COVID-19 from a lab are “dangerous.”
“There is absolutely no evidence to support that so I consider that a conspiracy theory,” Hvistendahl said on HillTV’s Rising.
This comes after Hvistendahl and Intercept reporter Sharon Lerner reported that Peter Daszak, who works for EcoHealth Alliance, which aims to understand and prevent infectious diseases, worked closely with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a partner on a 2014 NIH grant to research bat coronaviruses in China.
Daszak has also been tied to many debates about the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic because of a research proposal that reportedly risked creating a more dangerous pathogen.
“As Dasack said again and again to us it was not funded. Nonetheless as far as I knew he has not gone on the record talking about this grant until our interview,” she said.
“Many people are concerned about that particular proposal and we are in an unusual situation where you have a group of internet sleuths who release a document that initially was not verified by other people apart from Project Veritas,” she added.
Project Veritas, a far right media company, has been criticized for its reporting that the NIH funded a grant into research into bat related coronavirus may have led to the pandemic, with Dr. Anthony Fauci calling the reporting, “distorted.”
Hvistendahl said Daszak maintain that research that could make coronavirus more transmissible was not funded.
“He maintains that this research was not done even in any kind of preliminary way to see, kind of explore, it for the purpose of this proposal,” she said.