The National Institutes of Health hosted Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers at a 2011 conference focusing on scientific research that could pose a “significant threat” to human health – including manipulation of bat coronaviruses. At the event, the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s Deputy Director repeatedly asserted that his controversial lab had “no regulation” on this form of risky research, The National Pulse can exclusively reveal.
The 2011 event – Continuing the Global Dialogue with the Scientific and Science Policy Community with a Focus on Asia and the Western Pacific – was sponsored by the U.S. government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) and sought to provide participants with a “greater understanding” of Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC).
Defined by the NIH as research “that could be directly misapplied to pose a significant threat with broad potential consequences to public health and safety,” DURC encompasses gain-of-function studies, which have come under increased scrutiny due to their role in potentially spawning COVID-19.
Among the event participants were Wuhan Institute of Virology Deputy Director Yuan Zhiming, NIH Associate Director for Science Policy Amy Patterson, and top American researchers and scientific advisory board members. The NIH’s unearthed role in hosting the event follows National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci denying his agency’s relationship to the Wuhan lab.
While speaking at the event via telephone, Yuan Zhiming repeatedly emphasized that his lab and China lacked any meaningful regulation of dual-use research.
“There’s no regulation in China, there’s no regulation on the identification of some dual-use research, and there’s no regulation on the classification of research or the classification of information,” he explained.
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“Even China, the biosafety and biosecurity philosophy is regulated by Chinese scientific community, but the dual-use research is not totally regulated. So we need to have some measure or some special program to raise the concern of principal investigators through training.”
Yuan reiterated the sentiment in his closing remarks to the conference, commenting “there’s no regulation on the dual-use identification and classification of some sensitive information, and I think maybe later the Chinese government and the Chinese scientific community will focus on the discussion in this matter.”
Manipulating Bat Coronavirus, Unregulated.
The event analyzed two case studies, including a session on “science and security issues utilizing an article on a SARS-like virus as a case study.”
As background material from conference documents note, scientists were manipulating bat coronaviruses:
“One example is where two U.S. scientists were conducting research to synthetically generate a non-cultivatable bat virus genetically related to a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (Bat-SARS-like CoV). The overall goals of the research were to establish strategies for recovery, testing, and attenuation of the potential pandemic non-cultivatable viruses, and to determine pathways of Bat-CoV host-species movement and adaptation. The research was considered highly significant since it could enable more timely response to potential species jumps and more rapid and effective public health intervention. […] The investigators determined that the proposed research would constitute dual use research of concern.”
One of the authors of the aforementioned paper, Dr. Mark Dension, addressed the conference to provide a brief summary of his lab’s work, revealing that his “chief collaborator and senior co-author” on the paper was Dr. Ralph Baric.
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Dr. Baric’s work was the subject of recent questioning by Senator Rand Paul of Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“For years, Dr. Ralph Baric, a virologist in the U.S., has been collaborating with Dr. Shi Zhengli from the Wuhan Virology Institute, sharing his discoveries about how to create superviruses. This gain-of-function research has been funded by the NIH,” Senator Paul noted.
The news comes as a large number of Dr. Fauci’s e-mails were released to the public, revealing his concern over gain-of-function early on during the pandemic, as well as his outright refusal to review evidence of a Chinese Communist Party cover-up of the data related to the disease.