Dr. Anthony Fauci, as the director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has been a central figure in the country's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. His agency, as part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), does fund a wide range of research both domestically and internationally, including research on coronaviruses.
The NIAID has funded research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in the past, indirectly through a nonprofit organization called EcoHealth Alliance. This research was focused on the study of bat coronaviruses and their potential for spillover to humans, which is a legitimate area of scientific inquiry given previous outbreaks like SARS and MERS.
However, this does not mean Dr. Fauci or the NIAID are "linked" to the WIV in the sense of having control over or specific involvement in the day-to-day operations or individual experiments of the lab. The extent of the relationship would be that of a funding agency and grant recipient.
As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, remain unclear and the subject of ongoing study. Claims that the virus was deliberately engineered or escaped from a lab are currently unsubstantiated and the majority of scientific evidence suggests a natural origin of the virus, likely from an animal reservoir.
GPT-4, 30 July 2023