Thursday, April 30, 2020

DAYYUM! There Go Those Virus Reparations Lawsuits - Er, Uh, You See What Happened Wuz...,

washingtontimes |  Meanwhile, a number of suspicious actions and a paper trail suggest that the virus escaped from one of the labs, though China is clamping down on the ability to pursue those leads.

 “The most logical place to investigate the virus origin has been completely sealed off from outside inquiry by the CCP,” said the document, referring to the Chinese Communist Party.

The party has taken draconian steps to control information about the virus since January.
“A gag order to both places was issued on Jan. 1, 2020, and a major general from the PLA who is China’s top military microbiologist essentially took over the [Wuhan Institute of Virology] since mid-January.”

Labs face scrutiny
Both of the labs under scrutiny in the report have conducted extensive research on bat coronaviruses, including those that have close molecular similarities to SARS-Cov-2, the full designation of the new pathogen.

Among the most significant circumstantial evidence identified in the report are the activities of Shi Zhengli, a leader in bat coronavirus research with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, China’s only high-security, level four research laboratory.

Ms. Shi has been involved in bioengineering bat coronaviruses, and a medical doctor named Wu Xiaohua launched an online campaign to expose Ms. Shi’s work. Dr. Wu said she believes the coronavirus at the root of the pandemic is one of 50 viruses in a database Ms. Shi manages.

The document also points to a 2015 academic report in Nature Medicine by Ms. Shi and 14 other scientists who said that while researching the potential for bat coronaviruses to infect humans, “we built a chimeric virus encoding a novel, zoonotic [animal-origin] spike protein … that was isolated from Chinese horseshoe bats.”

The scientists said the “hybrid virus” allowed researchers to study the ability of the virus to “cause disease.”

Dr. Wu stated in an internet posting that Ms. Shi used laboratory animals to test the human-infecting virus, and one of those animals may have been the origin of the pandemic.

Dr. Wu also asserted that the institute’s virus-carrying animals had been sold as pets, dead laboratory animals were not properly disposed of, and lab workers were known to boil and eat laboratory-used eggs.

“Wu’s charges of WIV management negligence are specific and have not been convincingly rebutted by WIV,” the analysis said.

Ms. Shi has worked closely with several U.S. virologists, and some American scientists have defended her and the institute from critics who point to her work with bat viruses as a needed focus of an investigation, the analysis says. Ms. Shi, in response to Dr. Wu’s assertions, said in March on her social media account: “I promise with my life that the virus has nothing to do with the lab.”