Lab Leak Goes Mainstream, By Chris Knight (Florida)

Dr. Alina Chan, a Harvard and MIT molecular biologist, published as a guest essay in The New York Times, putting the case that the Covid-19 virus most likely leaked from a Chinese lab, and the research was funded by the US. In 2021, a leaked grant proposal for a collaboration between EcoHealth, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and US-based coronavirus researcher Ralph Baric, to create new viruses which were "strikingly similar" to the Covid-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2, was published. It seems that funding flowed from the US to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for this research, which was conducted.

The Wuhan labs were inadequate to prevent a lab leak, being Biosafety Level 2 conditions, which focus on merely protecting researchers against skin contact with viruses and bacteria, where what was needed was Biosafety Level 3 containment, which requires respirators and proper exhaust systems to protect against airborne pathogens, and to make sure viruses did not escape. Thus, it was inevitable that the Covid-19 virus would escape. Scientists at the Wuhan lab reportedly became sick with Covid-like symptoms in the northern Autumn of 2019, according to US government sources, but the scientists denied that they got ill. On one theory, the scientists must have then spread the infection after work, in their ample leisure time. Once the virus had spread, China did not try and stop it reaching the West.

The rest is history. This does explain why nothing has come from China's role in spreading Covid, as it was a joint US-communist Chinese production, each for their own purposes.

https://nypost.com/2024/06/03/us-news/us-funded-covid-lab-leak-in-china-damning-report-finds/

"A damning new report found that the COVID-19 virus most likely leaked from a Chinese lab — and that the US bears responsibility for pumping tens of millions of dollars into high-risk research on extremely infectious viruses at a facility with weak safety protocols.

The analysis by Alina Chan, a Harvard and MIT molecular biologist, was published as a guest essay in the New York Times, a publication which was for a long time skeptical and dismissive of the lab leak theory.

It comes as Dr. Anthony Fauci faces a grilling before a House panel on Monday over his backing for the research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Chan — who has long advocated more study of the "lab leak theory" — said that until recently, "reflexive partisan politics have derailed the search for truth" in getting to the bottom of the pandemic's origin.

If the theory is correct, the global pandemic — which claimed 1 million lives in the US and at least 25 million around the world — is "the most costly accident in the history of science," Chan, the co-author of "Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid-19," wrote.

Her findings paint an alarming picture of how the virus was sourced in China, supercharged for maximum infectiousness with US government support, and ultimately allowed to escape under inadequate containment conditions.

Where did COVID originate?

Scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology spent more than a decade looking for SARS-like viruses, led by Dr. Shi Zhengli, to learn more about how they infect humans.

Their research determined that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused the pandemic, was known to exist in bats located around 1,000 miles away from Wuhan.

Shi's team made multiple trips to southwestern China and Laos to collect samples of the virus, during which samples travelled through "hundreds" of large cities on their way back to the Wuhan lab.

Despite the virus being highly contagious, even between species, no trace of infection was discovered anywhere along the 1,000-mile route, Chan wrote.

Her research also shot down a popular theory early in the pandemic that the virus was unleashed on the world via the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan — where exotic game was being sold for human consumption.

This theory, Chan says, "is not supported by strong evidence," noting it's likely the outbreak at the market likely occurred after the virus was already passing between humans.

What does evidence say about if COVID occurred naturally?

Wuhan researchers collected samples from both infected humans and animals in an effort to learn more about the highly infectious nature of viruses like SARS-CoV-2.

Much of this work was done in partnership with EcoHealth Alliance, a US-based scientific organization researching infectious diseases, which the federal government has funded with more than $80 million since 2002, Chan wrote.

The Wuhan lab's "risky" research involved "genetically reconstructed and recombined" virus samples collected across several different types of animals, resulting in never-before-seen infections that were repeatedly forced to mutate in order to survive in each new host species.

The researchers published an extensive database in 2019 containing more than 22,000 collected samples.

However, Chan notes, access to the data was "shut off" in the fall of that year, and was not shared with American research partners even after the pandemic began.

In 2021, a leaked grant proposal for a collaboration between EcoHealth, the Wuhan Institute, and US-based coronavirus researcher Ralph Baric to create new viruses "strikingly similar" to SARS-CoV-2 was published by The Intercept.

What does new evidence say about the theory COVID was released from a lab?

The idea that the virus which led to the pandemic originated from a lab in China is far from new.

But it's only recently begun to be discussed in a serious way after years of mainstream media outlets like The New York Times, CNN, MSNBC and others downplaying it as nothing more than a "racist" conspiracy theory.

According to Chan, the Wuhan lab where the dangerous research was being conducted was woefully inadequate to contain an airborne virus as infectious as SARS-CoV-2.

US virologists dealing with highly infectious diseases like those in the SARS family would generally use Biosafety Level 3 containment, which requires protocols like respirators and proper exhaust systems to protect against airborne pathogens, to ensure the virus can't infect lab researchers.

However, the Wuhan lab did its work under the lower Biosafety Level 2 conditions, which focus on merely protecting researchers against skin contact with viruses and bacteria, according to Chan, "could not prevent a highly infectious virus like SARS-CoV-2 from escaping."

Scientists at the Wuhan lab reportedly became sick with COVID-like symptoms as early as the fall of 2019, according to information leaked to the Wall Street Journal and later confirmed by US government sources.

However, Chan wrote, the scientists denied that they were ever sick.

The first international report of a "mysterious viral pneumonia" in Wuhan did not emerge until Dec. 31, 2019.

US funded 'unprecedented collection' of viruses

In Chan's sharply worded conclusion, she urged investigators to subpoena exchanges between Wuhan scientists and international partners, especially during the key pre-pandemic period of 2018-2019.

She also singled out Fauci, saying he "should cooperate with the investigation to help identify and close the loopholes that allowed such dangerous work to occur."

The US government itself wasn't spared from her criticism for its role in the pandemic.

"Whether the pandemic started on a lab bench or in a market stall, it is undeniable that US federal funding helped to build an unprecedented collection of SARS-like viruses at the Wuhan institute, as well as contributing to research that enhanced them," Chan wrote.

"The world must not continue to bear the intolerable risks of research with the potential to cause pandemics." 

 

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Wednesday, 24 July 2024

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