London, April 14 (IANS) A Daily Mail report has claimed that the controversial Wuhan Institute of Virology in China undertook coronavirus experiments on bats and other wild animals which were funded by a $3.7 million grant from the US government.
The mammals were captured more than 1,600 kms away in Yunnan province.
"Sequencing of the COVID-19 genome has traced it back to bats found in Yunnan caves but it was first thought to have transferred to humans at an animal market in Wuhan," claimed the report.
The wet market in question is just 36 km away from Wuhan Institute of Virulogy.
According to documents obtained by Daily Mail, scientists experimented on bats as part of a project funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).
US Congressman Matt Gaetz said: 'I'm disgusted to learn that for years the US government has been funding dangerous and cruel animal experiments at the Wuhan Institute, which may have contributed to the global spread of coronavirus, and research at other labs in China that have virtually no oversight from US authorities."
Nearly 30 per cent of Americans in a new Pew poll said they believe the novel coronavirus was likely created in a lab.
According to a CNN report on Tuesday, the latest poll shows that misinformation around the virus is still king.