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US cuts funding to research group with ties to 'bat woman' lab

15-year alliance severed after Trump was questioned on link to Wuhan

Researchers on the coronavirus take samples from a bat at a French zoo. Covid-19 is thought to have originated from bats.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The news was sudden, and stunning. The premier U.S. agency for biomedical research cut funding last month to a New York-based lab that works with researchers worldwide on infectious diseases, and the motivation appeared to be political rather than scientific.

The National Institutes of Health severed the funding for the EcoHealth Alliance roughly one week after President Donald Trump was asked about the nonprofit's link to a lab in the Chinese city of Wuhan where the novel coronavirus is claimed to have originated. There had been American media reports about the lab and the U.S. funding it receives.

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