Dr. Peter Hotez, who is a fierce critic of the ongoing Congressional probe into gain-of-function research, has been outed as both a funder of such research in conjunction with the Wuhan Lab, and as a project leader for it.
Hotez is the dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. In 2016 and 2017, working with Dr. Anthony Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Hotez's project was premised in part on the possibility of an "accidental release from a laboratory or deliberate spreading of the virus by a bioterrorist," with the goal of developing a vaccine for it.
In his work's abstract, he says, "We have identified a highly promising lead candidate vaccine antigen, the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV spike (S) protein that can induce potent neutralizing antibody response and protection against SARS-CoV infection. Our objective is to develop a highly effective and safe recombinant RBD-based SARS vaccine that can be used in humans for prevention of future SARS outbreak and for biodefense preparedness."
Even so, he's vehemently dismissed the idea of a lab accident or deliberate spread, calling it a conspiracy theory. According to US Right to Know, as part of his NIH grant, Hotez subcontracted funding for research on combined or "chimeric" coronaviruses.