wuhan bat research

EXC: Wuhan Institute of Virology’s ‘Bat Woman’ Is Still Hunting Bats For ‘Recombinant’ Research.


The Wuhan Institute of Virology, whose research into coronaviruses is believed by many to be the source of COVID-19, is engaging in similarly risky studies tracking bats and their ability to infect humans in caves across China.

The unearthed paper follows the controversial lab using funds from Anthony Fauci’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) agency in collaboration with EcoHealth Alliance to gather bat samples. Beginning in 2014, led by EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak and the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s “Bat Woman” Shi Zhengli, researchers used the samples to conduct risky “gain-of-function” research, as now-deleted webpages reveal the lab manipulating bat coronaviruses to “replicate efficiently in primary human airway cells and achieve in vitro titers equivalent to epidemic strains of SARS-CoV.”

The new study, published in May of 2020, appears to be engaging in similar research methods.

Researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, including “Bat Lady” Shi Zhengli, tracked and sampled the Cave Nectar Bat since it is “known to carry both filoviruses and coronaviruses,” according to the paper.

“In this study, we tracked 16 bats in Mengla County, Yunnan Province, China, using miniaturized GPS devices to investigate their movements and potential contact with humans. Furthermore, to determine the prevalence of coronavirus and filovirus infections, we screened for the nucleic acids of the Měnglà virus (MLAV) and two coronaviruses (GCCDC1-CoV and HKU9-CoV) in anal swab samples taken from bats and for antibodies against these viruses in human serum samples,” explains an overview of the researcher’s work.

The study also shows that researchers worked with “recombinant proteins,”  a term that commonly appears in “gain-of-function” research.

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The research was published in the journal Zoological Research and was funded by several Chinese Communist Party-run scientific organizations including the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). The National Pulse has previously exposed the NSFC’s deep ties to China’s military.

The group’s 2020 funding guidelines identify “innovative research in defense and military and civilian integration” as receiving “preferential” funding. The foundation also inked a 2016 “strategic cooperative agreement” with the Science and Technology Committee of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Military Commission – the regime’s paramount military policy-making body.

Annual reports from NSFC reveal several researchers from PLA-run institutions received millions in funding.

The paper also follows lies from EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak about the lab’s work with live bats, which were proved false through recovered footage from the lab. Deleted webpages and patents filed by the Wuhan Institute of Virology also show that researchers worked closely with bats despite the lab acknowledging that “the risk of being bitten by a bat still exists” even when protective gear is worn.

Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is the Lead Investigative Reporter at the National Pulse and co-host of The National Pulse podcast.

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