A photograph circulated on social media wherein United States President Barack Obama, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Melinda Gates appeared Wuhan laboratory in China in 2015. It made its rounds on social media in July 2020.
The US had provided $3.7 million funding assistance to the Chinese lab that is alleged as the root of COVID-19.
The allegation that the trio had made a visit to the controversial Wuhan lab has been found to be false.
To back the false claim, the picture displayed the then-president visiting the National Institutes of Health in 2014 along with the country's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Sylvia Burwell, then-Secretary of Health and Human Services, reported AP News. They were listening to a talk of the chief of the Biodefense Research Section of The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Nancy Sullivan.
Therefore, the female in the red T-shirt is certainly not Melinda Gates.
The photograph is accessible through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's blog site, captioned, "Dr. Nancy Sullivan of NIH's National Institute of Allergy and also Infectious Diseases (NIAID) reviewing Ebola analysis along with President Barack Obama as NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci and also HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell search," according to Herald Azure.
Dr. Francis Collins wrote on the blog that they had the remarkable honor of welcoming Obama to the campus of NIH in Bethesda to witness the improvement of the biomedical research being developed against the Ebola virus illness. Obama made his rounds throughout the NIH Vaccine Research Center and engaged with scientists working to create means to combat the fatal virus that is ongoingly devastating West Africa, reported Snopes.
However, the claim has led conspiracy theorists to focus on the trio for the second time for novel coronavirus-related theories.
After it was divulged that the US pumped funding to the Wuhan lab, the conspiracy theory gained momentum.
Twitter user Ginny McGonigle captioned the trending photo, asking if this Dr. Fauci was the one who appeared with Obama in 2015 in the Wuhan Lab wherein the provided the lab funding for a bat project. "We know that we'll now right? He is of the deep state you get instructions from him. Cut the crap! All to take Trump down!"
The photo did not display Obama in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, and also does not precisely depict Obama's role with the grant.
Before a crowded auditorium in a speech at the NIH Clinical Center, the president lauded the NIH staff's contributions. Also, he underscored the need for emergency Congressional permission of resources to assure that the country's research and public health efforts against the illness will eventually lead to its conclusion.
Similar photographs from the said visit can be accessed via Getty Images.
In conclusion, the text accompanying the trending photo is full of misinformation.
Strong responses were generated by netizens. A Twitter user wrote that Fauci offered $3.7 Million to the Wuhan laboratory to examine viruses in bats in 2015 and that he and Obama circumvented the US law in doing such. "Melinda & Bill Gates were in on it too! They are deep state & they developed the Wuhan virus to KILL US. The Chinese spread to the world!"