The acting head of the White House budget office has refused to rule out sending more US money to the Wuhan lab COVID-19 is feared to have leaked from.
Acting Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shalanda Young said she would ‘never make that commitment’ to cut all future funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.
Young faced questions from lawmakers about Joe Biden‘s budget proposal during a Budget Committee hearing Wednesday, including pointed questions over the sending of federal funds to the Chinese lab.
There is a growing theory that COVID-19 originated in the Wuhan lab during research into bat coronaviruses. Some experts who support the lab leak theory believe the virus, which has so far killed 3.75 million people, is a natural one, while others claim it may have been genetically modified.
US government officials previously donated $826,000 to the lab over a five year period to help it research viruses like COVID, which is believed to have originally come from bats.