The US Health Department authorized the funding to the Chinese lab. Fauci and Bill Gates had no role in sanctioning the grant.
On checking, we found a blog post by Dr. Francis Collins, the NIH Director, from 2014. Accordingly, former President Barack Obama had visited the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda to check biomedical research progress against Ebola virus disease. The woman in the photo was HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, along with Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Further, the $3.25 million grant was awarded to EcoHealth Alliance through NIH for five years to study bats in southern China for unknown coronaviruses. It’s not clear whether Fauci was personally involved in the grants. NIH has been granting funds to study various diseases and not just the coronavirus. The Wuhan Institute of Virology received about $600,000 from it. The Wuhan lab was a collaborator that was pre-approved by NIH and the State Department. The grant was renewed under President Donald Trump’s administration in 2019 but was terminated before new funding was granted for further research. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the new coronavirus emerged from the Wuhan lab, and it is suspected that it emerged from a local meat market in China.
While Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation has funded various research on coronavirus and vaccine development, we did not find any evidence that tied the couple to the Wuhan lab's functioning or funding.
Thus it is clear that the claim is part of an online conspiracy to spread fake news among the masses.