Dr. Hugh Auchincloss, selected to be Dr. Anthony Fauci’s temporary successor at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spearheaded efforts to broaden the federal agency’s collaborative research with Chinese military-linked scientific institutions that funded controversial bat coronavirus research conducted by the Wuhan Institute of Virology and EcoHealth Alliance.
Auchincloss has served as Fauci’s Principal Deputy Director, the second most powerful writhing the $6 billion agency, since 2006.
He is also the same aide that Fauci sent panicked emails – obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request – to about the gain of function research occurring in Wuhan in the early days of the pandemic. In a recent deposition, Fauci also identified Auchincloss as responsible for reversing a ban on federal funds supporting gain of function research in the case of Ralph Baric – who shared his deadly research tactics with scientists in Wuhan.
During his tenure, he appeared to serve as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) point person spearheading the agency’s collaborative research with efforts, including leading a delegation to China in 2011 to sign a memorandum of understanding with a military-link Chinese entity known as the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). The NFSC ultimately became one of several funders – including Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) – supporting the controversial work manipulating bat coronaviruses by the Wuhan Institute of Virology and EcoHealth Alliance.
HUGH & THE CCP.
In 2010, former NIH Director Francis Collins had entered the U.S. government into a joint agreement with the NSFC to facilitate “cooperation in medical research.”
He “expressed his hope to further push the substantial collaboration between researchers in medical sciences of the two countries by taking the advantage of the NSFC-NIH Memorandum of Understanding,” notes an NSFC summary.
The following year, a 16-person delegation from the NIH – headed by Auchincloss – visited Beijing to meet with their Chinese Communist Party counterparts to solidify “carry[ing] out the funding of joint research programs.”
As an NSFC press release notes:
“34 projects were selected for joint funding over the meeting. The two sides also held discussions on topics such as priority areas or the next round and evaluation and funding mechanisms. Besides a workshop on funding management was held following the evaluation session and staff member from both sides shared experience and ideas on issues ranging from peer review process to post-funding management. The meeting has been highly recognized by both sides as a milestone in the collaboration between NSFC and NIH.”
Beyond describing itself as a state-owned scientific body that is “guided by President Xi Jinping’s Socialist Thoughts” and “earnestly implementing the spirit of the Party’s 19th National Congress,” the NSFC has collaborated extensively with the regime’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
The Natural Science Foundation of China’s 2020 funding guidelines identify “innovative research in defense and military and civilian integration” as receiving “preferential” funding. The foundation also inked a 2016 “strategic cooperative agreement” with the Science and Technology Committee of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Military Commission – the regime’s paramount military policy-making body.
Annual reports from NSFC reveal several researchers from PLA-run institutions received millions in funding.
Over 75 studies funded by the NSFC were conducted by researchers working for Chinese Communist military-run institutions. Studies funded by NSFC have also been conducted by researchers from various branches of the PLA General Hospital including Wuhan-based facilities.
Studies conducted by researchers from the Artillery Academy of the PLA and Unit 63880 of the PLA, which is a “key military and national base for testing electronic information systems under electromagnetic environments,” have also enjoyed NSFC funding.
In addition to funding PLA researchers, the NSFC has also explicitly co-sponsored projects alongside the PLA.
Studies carried out under a controversial NIAID grant to EcoHealth Alliance, which funded bat Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-like coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, also identify NSFC as financially supporting the research.
Five studies focusing on bat coronavirus research from 2016 to 2018 list both NIAID and the NSFC as their primary funders, including a 2016 study authoredby EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak and the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s Shi Zheng-li focusing on the “modulation of the host immune response” in bat SARS-like coronaviruses. Daszak and Shi appear together on two other SARS-like coronavirus studies in 2017and 2018.
WHAT DOES HUGH KNOW?
Auchincloss’s intimate role in fostering collaboration between China and the U.S. on scientific research, perhaps even the studies that scientists allege have led to the creation of COVID-19, also comes amidst Fauci sending him panicked emails about the potential “gain-of-function” research that occurred at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Dated February 1st, the email obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request from Fauci to Auchincloss stated:
It is essential that we speak this AM. Keep your cell phone on. I have a conference call at 7:45am with Azar. It likely will be over by 8:45am. Read this paper as well as the e-mail that I will forward you now. You have tasks today that must be done.
The academic paper included on the message is titled A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence and focused on manipulating viruses to understand better how they might attach themselves to humans.
The abstract explains:
“Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system, we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone. The results indicate that group 2b viruses encoding the SHC014 spike in a wild-type backbone can efficiently use multiple orthologs of the SARS receptor human angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2), replicate efficiently in primary human airway cells and achieve in vitro titers equivalent to epidemic strains of SARS-CoV.”
During a recent deposition of Fauci, he also appeared to blame aides – likely Auchincloss – for granting exceptions to researchers conducting deadly gain-of-function research such as Ralph Baric. While discussing the research activity of Baric, who has been described by Wuhan Institute of Virology bat coronavirus researcher as a “longtime collaborator”, Fauci explicitly pointed to Auchincloss as responsible for giving Baric an exemption to the agency’s ban on the deadly form of research.