Boston University researchers who developed a deadly strain of the virus that causes Covid-19 did not clear their endeavor with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the agency claimed on Monday. The NIAID announced that it would be seeking answers as to why it only learned of the experiment through media reports.
The original grant application did not specify that the work might involve gain-of-function-type research, NIAID microbiology and infectious diseases division director Emily Erbelding told STAT News, adding that none of the group’s progress reports mention this crucial detail. NIAID and its parent agency the National Institutes of Health (NIH) partially funded the study.
Ronald Corley, director of Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories, where the deadly strain was created, insisted on Tuesday that the school had paid for the research on its own. This is despite multiple NIAID and NIH grants listed in the preprint paper.