by WorldTribune Staff, October 22, 2021
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) admitted in a letter to members of Congress that Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance violated the terms of their NIH grant by concealing data on dangerous coronavirus experiments in Wuhan, China.
The NIH “corrects untruthful assertions by NIH Director (Francis) Collins and NIAID Director (Anthony) Fauci that NIH had not funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan,” Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist with Rutgers University, wrote on Twitter.
NIH principal deputy director Lawrence Tabak said in the Wednesday letter that EcoHealth provided a five-year progress report on bat coronavirus research conducted under an NIH grant, and “the limited experiment described in the final progress report” was “testing if spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model.”
Ebright told the Washington Examiner the new NIH letter was a “bombshell” because NIH “corrects the untruthful assertions” by Collins and Fauci “that NIH had not funded gain-of-function research in Wuhan” and because NIH “states that EcoHealth Alliance violated the Terms and Conditions of its NIH grant.”
Ebright added: “The NIH’s acknowledgment of the facts is new, but the facts themselves are not new. The NIH was informed about the gain-of-function research in Wuhan in 2018 and again in 2020. Collins and Fauci lied to Congress, lied to the press, and lied to the public.”
Fauci told the Senate in May: “I do not have an accounting of what the Chinese may have done, and I am fully in favor of any further investigation of what went on in China. However, I will repeat again — the NIH and NIAID categorically has not funded gain-of-function research to be conducted in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
The same month, Collins said in an interview: “NIH would not have supported any such research on coronaviruses because there are risks there that you might actually end up producing a virus that has a higher danger attached to it than what nature has already come up with … We have in the United States a rigorous system for overseeing any kind of gain-of-function research like that.” Collins added that “we absolutely did not fund gain-of-function research in Wuhan.”
In a Telegram post, @KanekoaTheGreat cited Dr. Robert Malone as saying: “This is Fauci throwing Peter Daszak under the bus, in case that is not clear to you. I predict that this is going to get really ugly now.”
The NIH funded research in China that created a more potent form of a bat coronavirus, according to newly disclosed documents.
An experiment conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, situated near where the first cases of Covid-19 were reported, compared mice infected with the original bat coronavirus to mice infected with a modified strain created by researchers, according to the documents.
The mice infected with the modified version “became sicker than those infected” with the original version, Lawrence Tabak, the principal deputy director at the NIH, told lawmakers in letters on Oct. 20.
The “limited experiment” was aimed at seeing if “spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model,” Tabak wrote, adding that the “unexpected result” was not “something that the researchers set out to do.”
Whether intended or not, the research fits the definition of gain-of-function, some experts say.
“The genetic manipulation of both MERS and the SARS conducted in Wuhan clearly constituted gain-of-function experiments,” Jonathan Latham, executive director of The Bioscience Research Project, told The Epoch Times. “Further, it is absurd of NIH to describe the enhanced viral pathogenicity that was observed in the experiments they funded as ‘unexpected’ when clearly these experiments were expressly designed to detect increased pathogenicity.”
The newly released documents primarily consist of the fifth and final progress report for the series of grants. The report was submitted on Aug. 3, over two years after the research concluded.
EcoHealth’s final report also contained a description of experimenting on clones of MERS-CoV, a virus that caused an outbreak in the Middle East in 2012 and has a mortality rate of approximately 35 percent, according to the World Health Organization.
The scientists said they used a “similar reverse genetics strategy” that they utilized in studies of the bat coronaviruses and, after constructing a “full-length infectious clone of MERS-CoV,” they replaced the receptor binding domain of the virus with domains from various strains of coronaviruses identified in bats from southern China.
“I told you so” doesn’t even begin to cover it here: https://t.co/9JFn85I24i
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) October 21, 2021