EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak emailed Anthony Fauci in 2017 outlining his collaborative research on a “bat-origin coronavirus” with the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s Shi Zhengli, which included “doing assays to find out if it can infect human cells in the lab.”
Daszak titled the October 2017 email, released via a Freedom of Information Act filed by Judicial Watch, “Confidential – A new bat-origin coronavirus emerging in pigs in China discovered under our NIAID R01.” Daszak appears to be referencing a $3.7 million grant from Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to the organization EcoHealth Alliance with the declared purpose of “understanding the risk of bat coronavirus emergence.”
In the email to Fauci and his NIAID colleagues, Daszak, who was recently recused from the Lancet’s COVID-19 commission, attaches an unpublished paper on a “novel bat-origin Coronavirus” that’s “not known to be zoonotic.”
“We’re also doing assays to find out if it can infect human cells in the lab — so far no evidence of this,” he adds before listing Wuhan researcher Shi Zhengli as a co-Principal Investigator. This description also undermines Fauci’s past attempts to distance his agency both financially and via personnel to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Daszak also reveals that he met Fauci “again” on the day he sent the email – October 1st, 2017 – which coincides with the opening day of a conference on “Emerging and Re-emerging Viruses.” Fauci delivered the keynote address at the event, and Daszak and Shi also spoke.
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In full, the email reads:
Dear Dr Fauci and NIAID colleagues,
It was a pleasure to meet you again today. I’ve attached an unpublished paper, currently in the second round of review with Nature that describes a novel bat-origin Coronavirus (SADS-CoV: Swine Acute Diarrhea) Syndrome coronavirus) that recently spilled over into pig farms in Southern China, leading to the death of over 25,000 piglets in 5+ farms in Guandong Province.
The virus originates in the same group of bats as SARS-CoV, and emerged in the same place. It’s not known to be zoonotic (we’ve tested 35+ pig farm workers with an antibody assay and none are positive. The pig farm owners tell us the virus is now under control, thanks to culling and separation of infected herds. It’s not yet known if this virus has appeared elsewhere, but we are looking. We’re also doing assays to find out if it can infect human cells in the lab — so far no evidence of this.
I hope this paper is of interest. You should know that this work was supported by a NIAID RO1 that Erik Stem my is the Program Officer for, and that I’m PI on, with Zhengli Shi as co-PI.
If you want any other information at all, please don’t hesitate to email or call and I’d be happy to come over to NIAID to brief you further. I’ll also let you know if/when it will be published so that we can try to foster some publicity as appropriate.