Did the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. government recklessly outsource research to a laboratory in Wuhan from which the coronavirus responsible for the pandemic originated? It’s an important and compelling question because the research in question focused on the specific kind of bat virus that somehow got transferred to humans.
The money was part of an NIH grant given to a company called EcoHealth Alliance. They, in turn, gave the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory $76,000 to study BLS-4 novel coronaviruses. The deal included a transfer of the bulk of the collection of coronavirus samples from bats to the Wuhan institute.
What the Wuhan lab did with those samples is what’s at issue. We know that the lab engaged in recombinant research into diseases of bats and humans, as well as experiments in infecting mice engineered with human traits with bat viruses. Despite numerous warnings about safety at the lab, the U.S. government continued to fund research in Wuhan.
Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases signed off on all this research, as did the NIH. But the mainstream media, who have lionized Fauci and made him into a celebrity, won’t touch this story. And the dismissive attitude of the press toward the idea that COVID-19 leaked from that Wuhan lab shows why getting to the bottom of where and how the coronavirus originated will be so difficult.
According to a blockbuster piece in New York magazine, one of the first outlets to take the lab leak hypothesis seriously, EcoHealth Alliance ‘has channeled money from the National Institutes of Health to Shi Zhengli’s laboratory in Wuhan, allowing the lab to carry on recombinant research into diseases of bats and humans’.
Dr Shi Zhengli is a notable expert in bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute. She had been studying the effects of bat viruses on humans when ‘in 2012, six men set to work shoveling bat guano were sickened by a severe lung disease, three of them fatally. Shi’s team took the samples back to Wuhan and analyzed whatever fragments of bat virus she could find. In some cases, when she found a sequence that seemed particularly significant, she experimented with it in order to understand how it might potentially infect humans. Some of her work was funded by the National Institutes of Health and some of it by the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the Department of Defense via Peter Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance.’
Those safety issues in Wuhan should be one of the first targets of any congressional investigation. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know when Dr. Fauci became aware of the serious safety issues at the lab and what, if anything, he did about it?
Democrats will never look into the lab leak hypothesis for the simple reason that Donald Trump and his administration were pushing it. Anything that proves Trump right is not allowed. The media will also deny that any leak from the Wuhan lab occurred — accidental or otherwise — for the same reason. Anyone who broaches the subject will be branded a conspiracy nut and promptly dismissed.
But the issue won’t go away and Dr. Fauci is eventually going to have to answer questions about his role in funding dangerous research being conducted at a Chinese lab staffed by inexperienced technicians working with unknown viruses.