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Obama Administration, Gain-of-Function research and China biowarfare

China unleashed its biowarfare program on the world with the SARs-CoV-2 coronavirus that has spread the COVID-19 pandemic globally.

3.74 million people dead so far and over 174 million reported cases worldwide.

Significant circumstantial evidence raises serious concern that the COVID-19 outbreak could have been a leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

In 2015, in partnership with the WIV and the Chinese government, a U.S. Government-funded study conducts gain of function research by creating a hybrid or chimeric virus that combined elements expressing the spike of bat coronavirus in mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone.

In 2017, The Obama Administration’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) recommends policy changes for Potentially Pandemic Pathogen Care and Oversight. Subsequently, the U.S. Government lifts the pause on Gain of Function research.

The ‘COVID-19 and Wuhan Institute of Virology’ Interim report of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Republicans brings to light questions the GoaChronicle.com team has been raising since April 2020.

The HPSC Intelligence reports reveal that:

  • China’s history of research lab leaks resulting in infections.
  • Warnings from U.S. diplomats in China as early as 2017 that the Wuhan lab was conducting dangerous research on coronaviruses without following necessary safety protocols, risking the accidental outbreak of a pandemic.
  • Gain of Function research being conducted at the Wuhan lab that made coronaviruses more infectious in humans.
  • Several researchers at Wuhan lab were sickened with COVID-19-like symptoms in fall 2019.
  • The involvement in the Wuhan lab of the Chinese military, which has a documented biological weapons program.

Multiple indications of attempts by Beijing to cover up the true circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak

By contrast, little circumstantial evidence has emerged to support the PRC’s claim that COVID-19 was a natural occurrence, having jumped from some other species to humans. For example, Chinese authorities have failed to identify the original species that allegedly spread the virus to humans, which is critical to their zoonotic transfer theory.

There are also clear signs that U.S. Government agencies and academic institutions may have funded or collaborated in Gain of Function research at the Wuhan lab. At least some of this research was published even after the U.S. Government had paused these kinds of studies in the United States due to ethical concerns over their biowarfare applicability and their potential to accidentally unleash a pandemic.

To protect American citizens from future pandemics, the U.S. Government must place more pressure on China to allow full, credible investigations of the source of the COVID-19 pandemic and to allow probes of the likelihood that it resulted from a lab leak. The U.S. Government must also provide a full accounting of any American cooperation with the Wuhan lab’s coronavirus research, including the support of these projects through U.S. Government funds.

HPSC

Founded in 1956, the Wuhan Institute of Virology is a Chinese Academy of Sciences research institution. Its laboratory was the first in China to be certified as meeting the standards and criteria of a Biosafety Level-4 lab (the highest level of biosafety precautions) by the China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment. More importantly, the WIV is reported to have significant military participation in the laboratory’s operations and has been conducting secret and classified scientific research.

Major General Chen Wei, China’s top biowarfare expert, as the head of the WIV lab in February 2020.

The HPSC Intelligence report states, “Safety concerns regarding the WIV lab’s practices were identified by U.S. Embassy officials in late 2017.  From late 2017 to March 2018, health and science experts from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing made multiple visits to the WIV. The diplomats warned Washington that the lab’s work to make bat coronaviruses infectious for humans, coupled with grave safety concerns, could result in the accidental unleashing of a new SARS-like pandemic.”

  • In a statement of January 15, 2021, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo stated:
  1. Illnesses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV): The United States government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses. This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli’s public claim that there was “zero infection” among the WIV’s staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses.
  2. WIV Research on “RaTG13” and “gain of function”: Starting in at least 2016, WIV researchers studied RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by the WIV in January 2020 as its closest sample to SARS-CoV-2 (96.2% similar). Since the outbreak, the WIV has not been transparent nor consistent about its work with RaTG13 or other similar viruses, including possible “gain of function” experiments to enhance transmissibility or lethality.
  3. Secret WIV Links to Military Research: Despite the WIV presenting itself as a civilian institution, the WIV has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China’s military. The WIV has engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military since at least 2017.In the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the Intelligence Community, Statement for the Record, Daniel R. Coats, Director of the National Intelligence, February 13, 2018 states:

    “The increase in frequency and diversity of reported disease outbreaks—such as dengue and Zika—probably will continue through 2018, including the potential for a severe global health emergency that could lead to major economic and societal disruptions, strain governmental and international resources, and increase calls on the United States for support. A novel strain of a virulent microbe that is easily transmissible between humans continues to be a major threat, with pathogens such as H5N1 and H7N9 influenza and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus having pandemic potential if they were to acquire efficient human-to-human transmissibility. The World Bank has estimated that a severe global influenza pandemic could cost the equivalent of 4.8 percent of global GDP—more than $3 trillion—and cause more than 100 million deaths.”

    The HPSC Intelligence further highlighted the following:

    Central to finding the true cause of COVID-19 is the belief that certain combinations of Gain of Function viral modification techniques can be identified through the forensic investigation. However, Dr. Ralph Baric—a leading expert in the field who worked on a 2015 study with Zheng-li Shi, described as “Bat Woman” in a Scientific American profile—said such modifications could be undetectable. He stated:

    In the chimera we made in America in 2015 with the SARS virus, together with Professor Zheng-li Shi of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, we had left signature mutations, so it was clear that it was the result of genetic engineering. But otherwise, there is no way to distinguish a natural virus from one made in the laboratory.

    This hinders the ability to determine if a virus modification emerged as a natural mutation or was released from a lab. Dr. Baric further asserted, “You can engineer a virus without leaving any trace. The answers you are looking for, however, can only be found in the archives of the Wuhan laboratory.” This makes laboratory-made modifications at least as probable an explanation for the COVID-19 outbreak as a natural emergence via zoonotic transfer. Critics of the lab leak hypothesis point to the lack of detectable alterations in the virus code, but Dr. Baric, the premier expert in this field, clearly states that modern techniques do not leave “any trace,” thus undermining the critique

    Crucial timeline of events to piece together China’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic:

    2012 The WIV, alongside Chinese military officials, begin research to find new viruses and detect “dark matter” of the biology involved in spreading disease.

    2014 – The U.S. Government institutes a pause on Gain of Function research.

    2015 – In partnership with the WIV and the Chinese government, a U.S. Government-funded study conducts gain of function research by creating a hybrid or chimeric virus that combined elements expressing the spike of bat coronavirus in mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone.

    CoronavirusNature

    2017 – The Obama Administration’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) recommends policy changes for Potentially Pandemic Pathogen Care and Oversight.

    2017 – The U.S. Government lifts the pause on Gain of Function research.

    2018 – From late 2017 to March 2018, U.S. diplomats make multiple visits to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to investigate safety concerns.

    2018 – In its Annual Threat Assessment, the Intelligence Community includes a general statement regarding the threat of pandemics:

    “A novel strain of a virulent microbe that is easily transmissible between humans continues to be a major threat, with pathogens such as H5N1 and H7N9 influenza and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus having pandemic potential if they were to acquire efficient human-to-human transmissibility.”

    2019 – Between October 7, 2019, and October 24, 2019, uncorroborated media reports indicate there was no cellphone activity at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

    Autumn 2019 – Researchers inside the WIV become sick.

    2020 – Chinese National Health officials order the destruction of coronavirus samples from the WIV laboratory and suppress WIV records.

    2020 – The Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a public statement asserting:

    “The entire Intelligence Community has been consistently providing critical support to U.S. policymakers and those responding to the COVID-19 virus, which originated in China. The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified.

    As we do in all crises, the Community’s experts respond by surging resources and producing critical intelligence on issues vital to U.S. national security. The IC will continue to rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.” 

    2021 – A publicly released State Department fact sheet acknowledges that WIV researchers began conducting experiments involving Bat Corona Virus RaTG13 in 2016.

    2021 – Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines testifies that the Intelligence Community remains focused on two primary theories: “that it [COVID-19] emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals or it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.”

Savio Rodrigues

Savio Rodrigues Founder & Editor-in-Chief GoaChronicle.com
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