Brussels has pumped in tens of thousands of pounds into the Wuhan Institute of Virology over the last six years, it has emerged. MEPs have forced the European Commission to reveal that it will send more than £112,000 to the facility by the end of 2023. And now Romanian MEP Cristian Terhes is demanding more answers after British intelligence agencies suggested it is “feasible” a leak from the lab sparked the coronavirus pandemic.
He said: “The European Commission must disclose in detail what research they financed at the Chinese labs in Wuhan and why.
“Such clarification to the European taxpayers is imperative especially after President Biden as well as multiple researchers have credibly raised the possibility that the COVID-19 virus was man-made and leaked, intentionally or not, from the Wuhan labs.”
Between April 2015 and July 2020, the EU spent around £34,000 on projects at the Wuhan lab.
This includes helping to produce the PCR tests that are used to diagnose coronavirus infections.
Eurocrats are unable to verify exactly how the money was spent because they are yet to receive full completion reports from the projects.
In a response to MEPs, EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said: “As the project has not yet delivered its final report, the total amount claimed by Wuhan Institute of Virology under this grant is not known yet.
“WIV delivered the first SARS-Cov2 genome sequence, which enabled partners of the European Virus Archive to design the widely used polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostic test for COVID-19.”
She added: “Payments are made only if the costs claimed by the beneficiary can be accepted. Constant monitoring is ensured until the end of any project.
“In addition, even after the end of the project, the Commission may check its proper implementation and compliance with the obligations laid down in the grant agreement.”
Some of the cash sent to the Wuhan lab would’ve come from British taxpayers before Brexit.
Britain and the United States are demanding a full probe into whether the coronavirus pandemic was caused by a leak from the Wuhan lab.
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi this week called for the World Health Organisation to leave “no stone unturned” when investigating the facility.
Claims the deadly virus escaped from the Chinese research centre had been widely dismissed.
But US intelligence reports have emerged that say three researchers at the Wuhan laboratory were treated in hospital in November 2019, shortly before the virus spread in the city.
US President Joe Biden has ordered officials to “redouble” their efforts to find the source of the pandemic by August.
Beijing has repeatedly denied that the Wuhan Institute of Virology is the source of the virus.
But the Chinese state has allegedly silenced witnesses and stopped scientists who wanted an investigation into the theory.
Express.co.uk has contacted the European Commission for comment.