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Thursday, May 28, 2020

NIH director: ‘No way of knowing’ if coronavirus escaped from Wuhan lab

 Report says cellphone data suggests October shutdown at Wuhan lab, but experts are skeptical

A private analysis of cellphone location data purports to show that a high-security Wuhan laboratory studying coronaviruses shut down in October, three sources briefed on the matter told NBC News. U.S. spy agencies are reviewing the document, but intelligence analysts examined and couldn't confirm a similar theory previously, two senior officials say.
The report — obtained by the London-based NBC News Verification Unit — says there was no cellphone activity in a high-security portion of the Wuhan Institute of Virology from Oct. 7 through Oct. 24, 2019, and that there may have been a "hazardous event" sometime between Oct. 6 and Oct. 11.


Dear Ms. Schofield:

            Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 USC 552, et seq. and Health and Human Services (HHS) FOIA regulations, 45 C.F.R. Part 5, the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) hereby requests the release of the following records: any and all grants and funding given by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in Wuhan, China or through other grantees including EcoHealth Alliance from 2014 to the present, including a $3.7 million grant given on or about 2015, for coronavirus experiments including those on mammals and bats, and all documents related to those grants, including but not limited to applications for the grants, studies, reports, audits, lab inspections, correspondence, memoranda, cables, and all emails to or from Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., the Director of NIAID related to the, including the recent decision by the Trump Administration to terminate such funding. 

NLPC also requests all documents, including memoranda, correspondence, and emails, to or from Dr. Fauci from December 1, 2019 to the present from or to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, EcoHealth Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Deborah H. Birx, M.D., U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy-Department of State, or any employee of those agencies including NIAID, that refer to the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the epicenter of the coronavirus and its outbreak in Wuhan, China, and the coverup by China and WHO for failing to fully and timely disclose information on the extent of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China that led to a worldwide pandemic.

Fauci again dismisses conspiracy theory that the coronavirus was made in a Wuhan lab after Pompeo touted 'enormous evidence' of a cover-up

 "China deliberately suppressed or destroyed evidence of the coronavirus outbreak in an “assault on international transparency’’ that cost tens of thousands of lives, according to a dossier prepared by concerned Western governments on the COVID-19 contagion." 


  • President Donald Trump said at a Fox News town hall on Sunday night that "everybody," including leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, previously downplayed the severity of the virus. 
  • In response to a question about why he did not act sooner to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the US, Trump said Fauci "was saying it's gonna pass, not gonna be a big deal."

"United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there's "enormous evidence" that COVID-19 originated in a lab in Wuhan, China, and the Chinese government went to great lengths to intentionally conceal the severity of the outbreak."
Source: Newsweek

Trump's strategy of blaming China for COVID-19 may end up pointing the finger at Fauci. Politico: "The strategy to blame China for the coronavirus outbreak began weeks ago in Washington, D.C. Now it’s spread to the rest of the country."

Rudy Giuliani raises questions about Fauci's Involvement with Wuhan lab that did bat/pig coronavirus experiments: "Back in 2014, the Obama administration prohibited the U.S. from giving any money to any laboratory, including in the U.S., that was fooling around with these viruses. Prohibited! Despite that, Dr. Fauci gave $3.7 million to the Wuhan laboratory — and then even after the State Department issued reports about how unsafe that laboratory was, and how suspicious they were in the way they were developing a virus that could be transmitted to humans," he claimed. He added, "We never pulled that money. So, something here is going on, John. I don’t want to make any accusations. But there was more knowledge about what was going on in China with our scientific people than they disclosed to us when this first came out. Just think of it: If this laboratory turns out to be the place where the virus came from, we paid for it. We paid for the damn virus that’s killing us.”


Washington Times raises questions about Fauci's links to Wuhan laboratory where coronavirus experiments were being conducted on bats and pigs.

From the Sun:

Covid-19 was originally thought to have come from a so-called “wet market” in the Chinese city.

But there has been mounting speculation linking the disease to the lab, which is one of two in Wuhan, and a possible leak.

Scientists at WIV experimented on bats as part of a project funded by the US National Institutes of Health, which licences it to receive American money, the Mail on Sunday reports.

Research published in April 2018 probed the cross-species transmission of coronaviruses from bats, to other animals, and then to humans.

The study - titled "'fatal swine acute diarrhoea syndrome caused by an HKU2-related coronavirus of bat origin" - was investigating a bat-related coronavirus outbreak on Chinese pig farms.

Bats were captured in a cave and samples were taken from the creatures.

Scientists then grew the virus in a lab before injecting it into three-day-old piglets.

The sick animals were then killed and their intestines were ground up into a slurry and fed to other piglets.



Congress needs to look at the bats and pigs experiments that Fauci may have helped finance in the Wuhan Laboratory.

Newsweek: Dr. Fauci Backed Controversial Wuhan Lab with Millions of U.S. Dollars for Risky Coronavirus Research

"In 2019, with the backing of NIAID, the National Institutes of Health committed $3.7 million over six years for research that included some gain-of-function work. The program followed another $3.7 million, 5-year project for collecting and studying bat coronaviruses, which ended in 2019, bringing the total to $7.4 million.
Many scientists have criticized gain of function research, which involves manipulating viruses in the lab to explore their potential for infecting humans, because it creates a risk of starting a pandemic from accidental release."

The Newsweek article:

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