Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Scientists at the center of the ‘lab leak’ controversy met with NIH, Fauci
U.S. Right To Know ^ | 01/06/2024 | Emily Kopp

Posted on 01/06/2024 8:48:12 PM PST by SeekAndFind

Scientists at the center of the “lab leak” controversy visited Anthony Fauci’s institute at the National Institutes of Health in 2017 to discuss their research — just months before NIH lifted a pause on high-risk virology, and two years before a novel coronavirus emerged near their lab in Wuhan.

Wuhan Institute of Virology Senior Scientist Shi Zhengli passed a security screening to visit National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases staffers in June 2017, where she gave a presentation about novel coronaviruses, emails obtained by U.S. Right to Know show.

Shi is known internationally as the “Bat Lady” for her work with bats and their coronaviruses. Though ostensibly a civilian lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology has conducted research projects “for defensive and biosecurity needs of the military” since at least 2017, according to U.S. intelligence

EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S. research organization, partnered closely with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, subcontracting NIAID funding to Shi’s lab, and arranged the meeting.

“Zhengli and I will do a double act,” EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak said of their June 2017 meeting with NIAID’s Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Respiratory Diseases.

Fauci himself met with Daszak four months later, in October 2017. The subject of the meeting may have been an outbreak of an animal coronavirus called Swine Acute Diarrheal Syndrome.

By December 2017, NIH had resumed funding for gain-of-function research that generates new viruses in the lab following a three year pause and debate about the possibility that such research could cause a pandemic.

Daszak arranged the meetings at NIH with the program officer overseeing his research there, Erik Stemmy, who managed coronavirus research at NIAID’s Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

U.S. Right to Know obtained the emails in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the NIH.

Together with other emails obtained through FOIA, the email demonstrates the awareness of Fauci and his top aides of the novel coronavirus research underway at the pandemic’s epicenter. 

Fauci did not mention this 2017 meeting with Daszak in a 2022 sworn deposition with the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana.

“I don’t even remember meeting him, but I do know that someone showed me a picture at a meeting where somebody said, here, take a picture with him,” Fauci said of Daszak. “But that is not unusual, when you go to a scientific meeting, you run into hundreds of people. And I believe that this Dr. Daszak is one of the people that I almost — well, I did run into him because I believe I’ve seen a photograph of he and I together at a meeting.”

NIAID did not respond to questions. 

The revelation comes just days before Fauci will give sworn testimony to congressional investigators. Fauci is slated to testify in a closed door transcribed interview on  January 8-9.

Shi’s visit

“Our Chinese Co-investigator, Zhengli Shi from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, will be visiting the US in June to give a talk at a conference here. I’d really like to come and visit you and your colleagues at NIH with her while she’s here,” Daszak wrote on April 24, 2017.

Shi’s security screening to visit the NIAID in was not included in the documents provided to U.S. Right to Know, and it’s not clear what it entailed. 

A May 24, 2017, email shows Daszak seeking a security clearance for Shi as well as Peng Zhou, an associate professor at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, ahead of a June visit to the U.S.

The title of a joint talk by Daszak and Shi was billed as “SARS, MERS and the risk of novel viral emergence from bats,” the email shows.

A June 16, 2017, email shows an EcoHealth Alliance staffer sharing security screening information with Stemmy. 

A June 29, 2017, email from Daszak suggests that Chinese collaborators on the project were present at the NIAID.

“Thanks for hosting us as NIAD [sic] today … nice to have a chance to introduce our collaborators to you personally,” Daszak said.

It’s not clear whether ties between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Chinese military factored into Shi’s security screening.

Highly redacted State Department cables obtained by U.S. Right to Know last year show that the U.S. possesses “cyber evidence” of military “shadow labs” at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. 

A 2021 State Department fact sheet stated that “despite the WIV presenting itself as a civilian institution,” it has conducted classified research on behalf of the Chinese military “since at least 2017.”

PLA researchers conducted virological research at the Wuhan lab, and the lab’s civilian scientists have worked alongside scientists associated with the PLA, according to a declassified assessment released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence last year.

Biosecurity concerns

The emails raise yet more questions about the rigor of U.S. regulations on virology experiments that may generate new pandemic viruses, including how and why high-risk research was outsourced to a rival nation.

The year before, in 2016, Stemmy and Daszak carved out an exemption to a pause on gain-of-function research, allowing EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology to move forward with research that generated new SARS-related coronaviruses with enhanced transmissibility and virulence, according to reporting by The Intercept

EcoHeath would run afoul of even these ad hoc rules with gain-of-function experiments that enhanced the transmissibility and virulence of SARS-related coronaviruses, including a tweak that increased the viral load of a virus by up to 10,000 times, NIH acknowledged in 2021.

Last month, U.S. Right to Know revealed that Daszak misled the Pentagon about planned research to generate new coronaviruses with furin cleavage sites, a genetic motif shown to make viruses more transmissible. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is the only sarbecovirus with a furin cleavage site. 

A formal research proposal submitted by Daszak and Shi in 2018 stated that this research would occur in the U.S. in a biosafety level three lab, a relatively rigorous level. But private drafts indicated this language was designed to placate grantmakers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and that key tests would in fact occur in Wuhan at a biosafety level two lab, an inadequate biosafety level, apparently to save on costs.

What Fauci knew

Fauci has dismissed  the relevance of this research to the worst pandemic in a century. He falsely claimed in Senate testimony in 2021 that NIAID did not fund gain-of-function research in Wuhan. 

In an interview last year with Australian media, Fauci downplayed the significance of NIAID’s funding to EcoHealth and its collaborators in Wuhan.

But emails obtained through FOIA show that Fauci was alerted by January 27, 2020, that his institute had funded “among the biggest players in coronavirus work,” namely EcoHealth Alliance and its collaboration with the Wuhan Institute of Virology. 

Fauci had been alerted by February 1, 2020, that this research included gain-of-function experiments.

In the very early hours of February 1, 2020, Fauci dispatched his aide Hugh Auchincloss to investigate whether his institute had funded the gain-of-function collaboration. It had.

Hana Mensendiek contributed reporting. 

TOPICS: Conspiracy; Government; Health/Medicine; Society
KEYWORDS: biologicalwarfare; bioweapon; covid; ecohealth; ecohealthalliance; fauci; gainoffunction; lableak; nih; peterdaszak; scamdemic; shamdemic; shizhengli; warcriminal; wuhan

1 posted on 01/06/2024 8:48:12 PM PST by SeekAndFind
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

By the time the truth becomes known, he’ll be dead.

2 posted on 01/06/2024 8:51:22 PM PST by Jonty30 (In a nuclear holocaust, there is always a point in time where the meat is cooked to perfection. )
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

So, a Chinese scientist whose expertise is in studying coronaviruses to see which ones might be pathogenic to humans or livestock came to the US to give a seminar on her findings?

And this is significant, why? Shouldn’t scientists share the results of their research? So that the entire scientific community can learn what is noteworthy about the research? It has been scientific practice since forever to present research findings to other scientists... trying to find something sinister in this is, frankly, ludicrous.

I find it rather amazing that those who try so hard to convince everyone that Covid is nothing to worry about also try just as hard to convince everyone that it is a bioweapon designed to kill everyone. Which is it? You can’t have it both ways.

How about, let’s accept that Covid is a serious illness that has left many people with serious health problems and killed millions. How about, let’s also accept that human understanding of biology is not yet advanced enough to create from scratch a new virus and have it do every function the designers desire.

Why do people feel it so necessary to inject conspiracy theories into everything?

3 posted on 01/06/2024 9:11:09 PM PST by exDemMom (Dr. exDemMom, infectious disease and vaccines research specialist.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind
Considering impact of the innovation of COVID-19 at this foreign lab, now fully revealed by the evidence, could the one and only source of it, going forward, be named in the identifying title for the disease:


4 posted on 01/06/2024 9:43:56 PM PST by imardmd1 (To learn is to live. To live is to teach another. Fiat Lux!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

5 posted on 01/06/2024 9:47:34 PM PST by Chode (there is no fall back position, there's no rally point, there is no LZ... we're on our own. #FJB)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: exDemMom
Why do people feel it so necessary to inject conspiracy theories into everything?

How about because Fauci lied multiple times including such lies as: the Corona Virus didn't originate in China, the Corona Virus was not man made, and that he never funded Gain of function research at the Wuhan institute.

That would make anyone except a paid shill question the Covid narative

6 posted on 01/06/2024 10:10:50 PM PST by ProudGOP
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: exDemMom
Why do people feel it so necessary to inject conspiracy theories into everything?

Conspiracies like the virus jumped from bats to pangolins to humans?

When the government lies to the people everyday, non-idiots doubt everything the government says. And they're OK with being accused of injecting conspiracy theories into everything.

7 posted on 01/06/2024 10:19:24 PM PST by dead (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Wuhan Scientists, working with the functional part of SARS-CoV-2 found in horseshoe bats living in limestone caves in Laos, used gene splicing techniques in Wuhan labs to produce the more infectious COVID-19.

Gene splicing (CRISPR) is the process of chemically cutting DNA in order to add bases to the DNA strand. The DNA is cut using special chemicals called restriction enzymes. Gene slicing allows genetic material to be added, removed, or altered at particular locations in the genome. In the SARS-CoV-2 virus, changes were made in the Spike Protein to make it more efficient at docking onto human cellular receptors known as angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and initiate an infection.

8 posted on 01/07/2024 2:36:29 AM PST by jonrick46 (Leftniks chase illusions of motherships at the end of the pier.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SeekAndFind

Fauci, Daszak, and the Bat Lady needed to be tried for Crimes Against Humanity. Heck, even Obama told Fauci to stop sending money to Wuhan.

9 posted on 01/07/2024 10:57:59 AM PST by OrioleFan (Republicans believe every day is July 4th, Democrats believe every day is April 15th.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson