I don't know about funding but I think most people were ageinst the mosquitos being released into an audience to make a point. Rich people aren't so much into pranks and all..
In any event genetically modified creatures are always going to come across adversity. A lot of people feel that by modifying their genes we're playing God and screwing with Nature in a way it was never intended to be. There is always the possibility that these animals could cause more damage than good. Genetically modified animals in a lab are kept under lock and key because if they got out and bred with non-lab animals they'd be spreading that gene and who knows what else. We will never know with 100% certainty that changing one gene will not do more than proposed. We really don't want mutant mosquitos out there... Who is to say mosquitos incapable of carryinag malaia won't find something worse to carry that natural mosquitos can't?