The head of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) is resigning amid long-standing questions about funding his agency’s research in China.
Dr. Franc Collins has served as director of the NIH for more than 12 years, expanding three administrations.
“Leading this great organization for more than a decade is an incredible privilege,” Collins said in a statement Tuesday. “I love this company and its people so deeply that the decision to resign was a difficult one, made in close consultation with my wife, Diane Baker and my family.”
On August 1 of 1ins, then-President Barack Obama appointed Collins. Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden have asked him to remain in office.
Prior to that, he ran the National Human Genome Research Institute. After leaving NIH, he plans to work at a research institute.
The NIH has several offices, including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The head of that office, Dr. Anthony Fawcett has become one of the leading voices of public health during the COVID-19 epidemic, and Collins has supported Fawcett on several occasions. However, both officials are under investigation for statements about the source of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus and funding for Chinese researchers. Officials deny funding, which was a gain of function for a type of research, but Dr. Some scientists, including Richard Ebright, say the documents released this year have weakened those claims.
Ebright said last month that Collins and Fawcett had claimed before Congress that NIH did not support function research in the Uhan Lab or potential epidemic pathogen growth. At the same time, about three Republicans said Fawcett and Collins had “broken trust with the American people.”
Sen. The department did not answer questions on the matter and the White House has sided with Fawcett and others.
“The real story: Collins was mostly behind the scenes for Kovid when Biden pushed him into the spotlight. He failed miserably as a spokesman for the public. Now, he is retiring, yet he is younger than Fawcett, ”health researcher Aaron Ginn wrote on Twitter.
There is no mention of controversy in Collins’ announcement.
“I am proud of what we have achieved. But I fundamentally believe that no single person should work long hours in this position and it is time to bring in new scientists to lead the NIH in the future, ”he said. “I am most grateful and proud of the NIH staff and the scientific community, whose extraordinary commitment to life-saving research gives hope to the American people and the world every day.”
Health Secretary Xavier Bessera praised Collins, saying he “regularly breaks the soil to save countless lives, and invents for the benefit of humanity for future generations.”
Eric Topol, founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, added that Collins “has made significant contributions to biomedicine.” “I’m sad to see him resign. I want to express my deep appreciation for his decades of leadership.”
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times