James LeDuc – a lab director funded by Anthony Fauci – provided an early warning to Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers ahead of a potential U.S. investigation into the lab for its role in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Pulse previously unearthed the Texas-based lab’s multi-year collaborative relationship with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, including hosting exchange programs and training researchers at the lab’s Biosafety Level 4 (BSL) facility. Directors from the Wuhan lab and the Galveston National Laboratory, which describes itself as “constructed under grants awarded by [Fauci’s] National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID),” admitted to working with the “world’s most dangerous pathogens” in 2018.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology also had the right to make its American counterpart “destroy and/or return the secret files, materials and equipment without any backups.”
New emails obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Judicial Watch reveal a deep relationship between the Texas lab’s director James LeDuc and top Wuhan Institute of Virology personnel.
LeDuc, whose earliest grant can be traced to 2006, has received 32 grants from Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
On April 16th, 2020, former Commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases David Franz emailed LeDuc that he “heard from someone in government this evening that Senator Rubio is starting to push for AN investigation regarding Wuhan lab” regarding the origins of COVID-19.
LeDuc quickly forwarded the email to the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s top bat coronavirus researcher – dubbed the lab’s “bat woman” – to alert her of the possible investigation and additionally requested a phone call with her.
The following day, Shi responded, insisting it wasn’t the “right time to communicate by the call” before defending her lab against accusations COVID-19 escaped from it.
“What I can tell you is that this virus is not a leaky [sic] from our lab or any other labs. It’s a shame to make this scientific question so complicated,” she asserted.
LeDuc responded promptly, referencing his “long history of collaboration” with the Wuhan lab, adding a “draft summary” of a report sent to “the leadership of our University of Texas system and likely to Congressional committees.”
“Please review carefully and make any changes that you would like. I want this to be as accurate as possible and I certainly do not want to misrepresent any of your valuable contributions,” LeDuc offered to Shi.
Separate emails from April 20th, 2020 show Le Duc informing Shi and the Director of the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Dr. Yuan Zhiming that he was “afraid” the Wuhan lab would be highly scrutinized for its potential role in creating COVID-19:
I’m afraid that this discussion will continue for some time regarding where early coronavirus work was being done, the role, if any, of the Wuhan CDC in research on bat-associated coronaviruses, and exactly when scientists at WIV [Wuhan Institute of Virology] first became aware of the new coronavirus and had possession of specimens in the WIV and where was that work done (level of biocontainment).
LeDuc even prepped Wuhan Institute of Virology officials with dozens of questions that could potentially arise in an investigation of the origins of the COVID-19. Questions were categorized under the headings “physical security,” “personnel,” “geography,” and “where is coronavirus research conducted,” including “is anyone on your team conducting gain of function studies, recombination studies or any other studies that may have resulted in the creation of the nCoV?”
The revelation adds to mounting evidence that the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) had a deep relationship with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, despite Fauci’s insistence otherwise.