Global Research, May 27, 2021Mercola
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The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) — a division of the National Institute of Health (NIH) headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci since 1984 — has, for years, provided grants to the EcoHealth Alliance and others to conduct gain-of-function (GoF) research on coronaviruses
In a May 11, 2021, Senate hearing, Fauci denied ever having funded GoF research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). This despite clear documentation proving otherwise
In March 2021 the WIV deleted mentions of its collaboration with the NIAID/NIH and other American research partners from its website. It also deleted descriptions of GoF on the SARS virus
The NIH/NIAID has funded GoF research to the tune of at least $41.7 million. Up until 2014, this research was conducted by Ralph Baric at the University of North Carolina (UNC). After 2014, when federal funding of GoF was banned, such research was funneled to the WIV via the EcoHealth Alliance
In August 2020, the NIAID announced a five-year, $82-million investment in a new global network of Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases that will conduct GoF experiments to “determine what genetic or other changes make [animal] pathogens capable of infecting humans”
As reported in several previous articles, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) — a division of the National Institute of Health (NIH) headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci since 1984 — has, for years, provided grants to the EcoHealth Alliance and others to conduct gain-of-function (GoF) research on coronaviruses.
EcoHealth Alliance, in turn, farmed out some of this research to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), from whence SARS-CoV-2 appears to have emerged. In a May 11, 2021, Senate hearing, Sen. Rand Paul questioned Fauci on the NIAID’s funding of GoF research on bat coronaviruses, some of which was conducted at the WIV.
Fauci denied the charge, saying “The NIH has not ever, and does not now, fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute.”1 It’s a curious denial, considering the NIH’s funding of such research has been thoroughly documented and can be easily double-checked.Fauci is clearly and provably lying … to Congress, which is a crime … and he’s lying to the American public. ~ Ben Swann
When Paul asks Fauci if the NIAID funded Dr. Ralph Baric’s GoF research, Fauci claims Baric “does not do gain-of-function research, and if it is, it is according to the guidelines and is being conducted in North Carolina.” Paul shoots back, saying:
“You don’t think him turning a bat virus spike protein, that he got from the Wuhan Institute into the SARS virus, is gain-of-function? You’d be in a minority, because at least 200 scientists have signed a statement from the Cambridge Working Group that it is gain-of-function.”
In the video above, Jimmy Dore reviews the apparent lies dished out by Fauci during the Senate hearing. In the Truth in Media report below, investigative journalist Ben Swann lays out some of the proof, showing Fauci’s dishonesty.
“What’s insane about this exchange is that Fauci is clearly and provably lying … to Congress, which is a crime … and he’s lying to the American public,” Swann says.
NIH/NIAID Has Funded Gain-of-Function Research
As reported by Swann, the NIH/NIAID has funded GoF research to the tune of at least $41.7 million. Up until 2014, this research was conducted by Baric at the University of North Carolina (UNC). In 2014, the U.S. government issued a moratorium on federal gain-of-function research funding due to safety, ethical and moral concerns raised within the scientific community.
It was at this point, in 2014, that funding for GoF research started being funneled through the EcoHealth Alliance to the WIV. Swann reviews documents proving Fauci lied to Congress, including a paper2 titled “SARS-Like WIV1-CoV Poised for Human Emergence,” submitted to PNAS in 2015 and subsequently published in 2016. In this paper, the authors state that:
“Overall, the results from these studies highlight the utility of a platform that leverages metagenomics findings and reverse genetics to identify prepandemic threats.
For SARS-like WIV1-CoV, the data can inform surveillance programs, improve diagnostic reagents, and facilitate effective treatments to mitigate future emergence events. However, building new and chimeric reagents must be carefully weighed against potential gain-of-function (GoF) concerns.”
At the end of that paper, the authors thank “Dr. Zhengli-Li Shi of the Wuhan Institute of Virology for access to bat CoV sequences and plasmid of WIV1-CoV spike protein.” They also specify that the research was supported by the NIAID under the grant awards U19AI109761 and U19AI107810, which together total $41.7 million.
As noted by Swann, this paper clearly spells out that the NIAID spent $41.7 million on GoF research, with the aim of determining how bat coronaviruses can be made more pathogenic to humans, and that this research continued after the 2014 moratorium on such funding was implemented.
NIAID Viewed Baric’s Research as GoF
What’s more, a letter3,4 from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to the director of proposals at UNC Chapel Hill, discussing grant U19AI107810, also spells this out in black and white. The October 21, 2014, letter states, in part:
“NIAID has determined that the above referenced grant may include Gain of Function (GoF) research that is subject to the recently-announced U.S. Government funding pause … The following specific aims appear to involve research covered under the pause: Project 1: Role of Uncharacterized Genes in High Pathogenic Human Coronavirus Infect — Ralph S. Baric, PhD — Project Leader.
Specific Aim 1. Novel Functions in virus replication in vitro. Specific Aim 3. Novel functions in virus pathogenesis in vivo … As your grant is currently funded, this pause is voluntary.”
In other words, the NIAID authorized the continuation of what it admitted was gain-of-function research — simply because the grant had already been funded — and it did so after the ban on such funding was put into place.
NIAID Authorized GoF Research, Bypassing Review Board
But that’s not all. After the moratorium was lifted in 2017, a special review board, the Potential Pandemic Pathogens Control and Oversight (the P3CO Review Framework), was created within the DHHS to evaluate whether grants involving dangerous pathogens are worth the risks. The review board is also responsible for ensuring proper safeguards are in place for approved research.5
According to Rutgers University professor Richard Ebright, an NIH grant for research involving the modification of bat coronaviruses at the WIV was sneaked through because the NIAID didn’t flag it for review.6 In other words, the WIV received federal funding from the NIAID without the research first receiving a green-light from the HHS review board.
The NIAID apparently used a convenient loophole in the review framework. As it turns out, it’s the funding agency’s responsibility to flag potential gain-of-function research for review. If it doesn’t, the review board has no knowledge of it.
According to Ebright, the NIAID and NIH have “systemically thwarted — indeed systematically nullified — the HHS P3CO Framework by declining to flag and forward proposals for review.”7
NIAID Is Also Committed to Continued GoF Research
Lastly, Fauci is also clearly committed to continuing GoF research, seeing how the NIAID, back in August 2020, announced a five-year, $82-million investment in a new global network of Centers for Research in Emerging Infectious Diseases.8
Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance will receive $7.5 million9 from this grant, and planned research will include GoF-type experiments that the NIAID says10 will “determine what genetic or other changes make [animal] pathogens capable of infecting humans.”
Wuhan Lab Deleted Documents Showing Fauci’s NIAID Funding
All of that basically serves as backstory to the latest development. It’s now been discovered that the WIV quietly deleted all mentions of its collaboration with Fauci’s NIAID, the NIH and other American research partners from its website shortly after Fauci testified in a Senate hearing in March 2021,11 when he went head to head with Sen. Rand Paul on mask-wearing. As reported May 15, 2021, by The National Pulse:12
“March 21st, 2021, the lab’s website listed six U.S.-based research partners: University of Alabama, University of North Texas, EcoHealth Alliance, Harvard University, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the United States, and the National Wildlife Federation.13
One day later, the page was revised to contain just two research partners — EcoHealth Alliance and the University of Alabama.14 By March 23rd, EcoHealth Alliance was the sole partner remaining.15
EcoHealth Alliance is run by long-standing Chinese Communist Party-partner Dr. Peter Daszak, who National Pulse Editor-in-Chief Raheem Kassam has repeatedly claimed will be the first ‘fall guy’ of the Wuhan lab debacle …
Beyond establishing a working relationship between the NIH and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, now-deleted posts16 from the site also detail studies bearing the hallmarks of gain-of-function research conducted with the Wuhan-based lab.”
Altered WIV Page Admits GoF Research With American Partners
Indeed, a now-deleted WIV web page titled “Will SARS Come Back?” stated that:17
“Prof. Zhengli Shi and Xingyi Ge from WIV, in cooperation with researchers from University of North Carolina, Harvard Medical School, Bellinzona Institute of Microbiology … examine the disease potential of a SARS-like virus, SHC014-CoV, which is currently circulating in Chinese horseshoe bat populations.
Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system, the scientists generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone.
The results indicate that group 2b viruses encoding the SHC014 spike in a wild-type backbone can efficiently use multiple orthologs of the SARS receptor human angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2), replicate efficiently in primary human airway cells and achieve in vitro titers equivalent to epidemic strains of SARS-CoV.
Evaluation of available SARS-based immune-therapeutic and prophylactic modalities revealed poor efficacy; both monoclonal antibody and vaccine approaches failed to neutralize and protect from infection with CoVs using the novel spike protein.
On the basis of these findings, they synthetically re-derived an infectious full-length SHC014 recombinant virus and demonstrate robust viral replication both in vitro and in vivo …”
Again, while Fauci insists Baric is “not doing any kind of GoF research,” and “if he is,” then he’s doing it at UNC and not in China, the WIV’s web page clearly refutes this. GoF research was done at the WIV, in partnership with UNC researchers, of which Baric is a leading one.
The WIV’s deletions of American research partners from its website (with the exception of EcoHealth Alliance), and its deletion of the article discussing genetic research on the SARS virus raise a host of questions and appears to be yet another attempt at a cover-up. The surprising thing is that they’re now covering up American involvement and not just their own.
Chinese-American GoF Research Example
The WIV and the Wuhan University School of Public Health are both listed as subcontractors for EcoHealth Alliance under a $3.7-million NIH grant titled, “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence.”18
The two institutions also worked as collaborators under another $2.6-million grant to research the “Risk of Viral Emergence from Bats,”19 and under EcoHealth Alliance’s largest single source of funding, a $44.2 million sub-grant from the University of California at Davis for the PREDICT project (2015-2020).20
Part of the PREDICT grant went to funding GoF experiments by WIV scientist Zhengli and Baric with the UNC.21,22,23 In this experiment, Zhengli and Baric used genetic engineering and synthetic biology to create a “new bat SARS-like virus … that can jump directly from its bat hosts to humans.” A request by Zhengli and Baric to continue their research during the moratorium on GoF was approved by the NIH. Daszak described Zhengli and Baric’s work in a 2019 interview:24
“You can manipulate them [coronaviruses] in the lab pretty easily. Spike protein drives a lot of what happens with the coronavirus, zoonotic risk. So, you can get the sequence, you can build the protein, and we work with Ralph Baric at UNC to do this. Insert it into a backbone of another virus, and do some work in the lab.”
The research was published in the journal Nature in 2015.25,26 As a condition of publication, Nature, like most scientific journals, requires27 authors to submit novel DNA and RNA sequences to GenBank, the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information Database. Curiously, the new SARS-like virus Zhengli and Baric published in 2015 wasn’t deposited in GenBank until May 2020.28Fauci Has Accomplished Great Deal of HarmInvestigation Links Fauci to Controversial Experiments that May Have Led to Pandemic
It remains to be seen whether Daszak is in fact being groomed as the fall guy in this saga. Clearly, he’s innocent in the lab origin cover-up. He somehow ended up on two separate commissions charged with investigating the origin of SARS-CoV-2 — one by the WHO29 and one by The Lancet30 — having already played a central role in the plot to obscure the lab origin of SARS-CoV-2 by crafting a scientific statement condemning such inquiries as “conspiracy theory.”31,32
Letting Fauci off the hook is not an option, however. Like Daszak, Fauci has spent the last year denouncing the possibility that COVID-19 could be the result of a lab leak,33 all while knowing the kinds of research his agency funded there.34
He’s been a longtime defender and promoter of GoF research on animal viruses in general, saying while he was working on GoF with bird-flu viruses such research is worth the risk because it allows scientists to prepare for pandemics.35 However, this kind of research clearly has not improved governments’ pandemic responses one whit.
Fauci has also flip-flopped endlessly when it comes to mask recommendations, and helped suppress one of the most effective, safest and least expensive COVID-19 remedies, hydroxychloroquine, despite his knowledge of a 2005 study showing it’s an effective remedy against SARS coronavirus.36,37
The study was published in Virology Journal, which is the official publication of the NIH, so it’s hard to believe he was unaware of it. But rather than protect public health and save lives using hydroxychloroquine, Fauci promoted the ineffective, dangerous and expensive drug remdesivir and COVID-19 gene therapies instead.
Fauci also knew (and has admitted) that using a PCR test with a cycle threshold (CT) above 35 renders it useless because at that point, you’re just detecting dead nucleotides. No live virus can be detected at CTs that high.38 As early as March 2020, he knew up to 90% of positive PCR tests were false positives and that these people really weren’t sick,39 yet he said and did nothing.
Now, as COVID-19 vaccines are taking their toll, with vaccine injury reports that show they are possibly disabling and killing tens of thousands around the world, Fauci is defending the universal use of the shots and downplaying their lethality.
According to Fauci, deaths from the vaccines have to be “put into context with the population they occurred in.”40 What he’s referring to are cases where old people died shortly after receiving their COVID shots. Old people die, so therefore you shouldn’t blame it on the vaccine.
This is hypocrisy at its finest. When seniors die before vaccination, it’s due to COVID-19 and something must be done to prevent it, but when they die after vaccination, they die of natural causes and no preventive action is necessary. Fauci’s dismissal of vaccine deaths also overlooks the fact that many young, healthy people have reported serious adverse reactions or even died within hours or days of their vaccinations.41
Gain-of-Function Research Is the Real Threat
I believe GoF research cooperation and sharing between nations is such that blame will ultimately be shared by multiple parties. The key issue, really, if SARS-CoV-2 did in fact come from a lab, is how do we prevent another lab escape? And, if it turns out to have been a genetically manipulated virus, do we allow gain-of-function research to continue?
I believe the answer is to ban research that involves making pathogens more lethal to humans. As it stands, the same establishment that is drumming up panic by warning of the emergence of new, more infectious and dangerous variants is also busy creating them. They just never tell you about that part.
Already, scientists have figured out a way to mutate SARS-CoV-2 such that it evades human antibodies. Were this mutated virus to ever get out, we’d be in serious trouble. While mankind has created several outbreaks, nature seems to have a way of NOT mutating animal viruses into global killers. So, the hypocrisy needs to end.
World leaders need to realize that funding and defending gain-of-function research is the real threat here. I believe Fauci’s lies are a pathetic attempt to hide his agency’s involvement with GoF research that may have resulted in a global crisis.
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5, 6, 7 Daily Caller April 4, 2021
8, 10 NIAID August 27, 2020
33, 35 Newsweek April 28, 2020