Infectious disease experts say research ‘enhanced the ability of bat coronavirus to infect human cells’
April 30, 2020
Newsweek has highlighted that the Chinese Scientists who were said to have been doing ‘crazy’ things with coronavirus in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, were funded by the White House senior health advisor Dr Anthony Fauci just last year.
The report notes that in 2019 Fauci, as head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), backed the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding commitment of $3.7 million for a further six years of research on bat coronaviruses in the Chinese lab.
The report also noted that the research outline included manipulating viruses in the lab in order to gauge the potential for infection in humans.
The funding, which has now been halted by the Trump administration, was in addition to the previous $3.7 million provided to the Chinese lab between 2014-2019.
Therefore, a total of $7.4 million had been provided for the Chinese coronavirus research, according to the report.
According to Rutgers University infectious disease expert Richard Ebright, the description of the research indicates that experiments were being carried out that would “enhance the ability of bat coronavirus to infect human cells and laboratory animals using techniques of genetic engineering.”
Ebright, has previously said that a lab leak causing the pandemic cannot be ruled out until it is properly investigated.
In addition, a world renowned Russian microbiologist claimed last week that the novel coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic was the result of Wuhan scientists doing “absolutely crazy things” in their lab.
The Newsweek report notes that over 200 scientists called for the work going on in the Wuhan lab, as well as other Chinese facilities to be halted, specifically warning that it “increased the likelihood that a pandemic would occur through a laboratory accident.”
However, Dr. Fauci defended the research, writing in the Washington Post on December 30, 2011 “[D]etermining the molecular Achilles’ heel of these viruses can allow scientists to identify novel antiviral drug targets that could be used to prevent infection in those at risk or to better treat those who become infected.”
The report notes that while the research was temporarily impeded due to such concerns in 2014, it began again in 2017 after secret reviews were conducted by the NIH.
Last year, the research again came under criticism from scientists.
“We have serious doubts about whether these experiments should be conducted at all,” wrote Tom Inglesby of Johns Hopkins University and Marc Lipsitch of Harvard. “[W]ith deliberations kept behind closed doors, none of us will have the opportunity to understand how the government arrived at these decisions or to judge the rigor and integrity of that process.”
Newsweek says that Dr. Fauci did not respond to requests for comment, however the NIH responded with a statement that said “Most emerging human viruses come from wildlife, and these represent a significant threat to public health and biosecurity in the US and globally, as demonstrated by the SARS epidemic of 2002-03, and the current COVID-19 pandemic…. scientific research indicates that there is no evidence that suggests the virus was created in a laboratory.”
This article was posted: Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 5:07 am