U.S. NIH Funded Coronavirus Research in Wuhan Virology Lab
April 25, 2020 (EIRNS)—Another irony in the dangerous anti-China hysteria among U.S. political leaders and the mass media emerged in the reporting of a National Institutes of Health grant of $3.7 million for a study on coronavirus in bats at the Wuhan Virology Lab, the site which British intelligence claims “cannot be ruled out” as the source of COVID-19 virus. Christina Lin, publishing in Asia Times, reports (with links to official documents) that the research into these so-called gain-of-function (GOF) research (altering natural pathogens to make them more deadly and infectious) had been suspended in the U.S. in October 2014 due to security issues at the labs. “The U.S. government banned all federal funding on efforts to weaponize three viruses—influenza, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS),” Lin reports. Such research was restored in December 2017.
In 2015, after the 2014 suspension, she reports, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, outsourced the GOF research to China’s Wuhan lab. An April 4, 2018 report on the NIAID website reported:
“A newly identified coronavirus that killed nearly 25,000 piglets in 2016–17 in China emerged from horseshoe bats near the origin of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), which emerged in 2002 in the same bat species. The new virus is named swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV). It does not appear to infect people, unlike SARS-CoV which infected more than 8,000 people and killed 774. No SARS-CoV cases have been identified since 2004. The study investigators identified SARS-CoV on four pig farms in China’s Guangdong Province. The work was a collaboration among scientists from EcoHealth Alliance, Duke-NUS Medical School, Wuhan Institute of Virology, and other organizations, and was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. The research is published in the journal Nature.”
Conspirophiles trying to demonize China may take this interesting fact as evidence of the NIH and NIAID being “puppets of the Chinese Communist Party,” as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others have labeled the World Health Organization and its director Dr. Tedros. Sane people, on the other hand, will recognize that America’s top scientists have worked closely, and to great benefit, with Chinese scientists, on this and many other scientific issues, aimed at advancing human knowledge and defending the health of the human race.