September 15, 2021

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Where the Covid Origin Inquiry Goes Now:

After the intelligence community submitted its muddled report last month on the origins of Covid-19, President Biden said “the world deserves answers, and I will not rest until we get them.” He won’t get answers from China, but that doesn’t mean the U.S. can’t do more at home.

The more the world has learned, the more plausible the lab-leak theory has become.

The latest evidence is more than 900 pages of National Institutes of Health (NIH) documents outlining collaboration between the U.S. nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Obtained by the Intercept, a left-leaning web outlet, the documents show how American taxpayer dollars were spent on risky bat coronavirus research at the opaque Chinese institute. EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak sought to shut down debate about the lab-leak theory, and his organization understood the dangers of what was being done there.

A $3.1 million grant in May 2014 gave the WIV nearly $600,000 for “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence.” The grant proposal warns about the “risk of exposure to pathogens or physical injury while handling bats” and other wildlife. The document says “fieldwork involves the highest risk of exposure to SARS or other CoVs.” It adds that in the lab “experimental work using infectious material will be conducted under appropriate biosafety standards.” Except American experts reported unsafe conditions after visiting the WIV in 2017 and 2018.

The documents show several examples of the U.S. supporting “gain of function” research, despite repeated denials from top NIH Director Francis Collins and Dr. Anthony Fauci. This controversial practice, which the U.S. banned from 2014-17, can give pathogens the ability to infect a different species. The State Department reported this year that WIV researchers became sick “with symptoms consistent with” Covid-19 in autumn of 2019. The Chinese organization also took virus databases offline and refused to provide critical data to the World Health Organization.

The 2014 grant states that “no funds are provided and no funds can be used to support gain-of-function research.” But Rutgers University molecular biologist Richard Ebright notes that other NIH documents “definitively” show otherwise.

I know what I think.

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