The now disgraced COVID origin investigator Peter Daszak – whose “EcoHealth Alliance” funneled U.S. taxpayer cash to the Wuhan Institute of Virology – defended SARS gain-of-function experiments that potentially rendered the virus “capable of directly infecting humans” in a Nature article unearthed from November 2015. The National Pulse is publishing this information for the first time, shortly after Daszak was recused from the COVID-19 origin commission convened by the Lancet medical journal.
Quoted in an article entitled Engineered Bat Virus Stirs Debate Over Risky Research, Daszak defended the publication of the study in question: A SARS-like Cluster Of Circulating Bat Coronaviruses Shows Potential For Human Emergence.
“Lab-made coronavirus related to SARS can infect human cells,” Nature summarized, which counted funding from Mr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) and included collaboration with two researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The article recounts how the experiment “triggered renewed debate over whether engineering lab variants of viruses with possible pandemic potential is worth the risks.”
Gain of Function.
While noting how a virus from horseshoe bats in China was manipulated to “infect human airway cells” and “mimic human disease,” Nature posits that the study qualified as gain-of-function research.
“The argument is essentially a rerun of the debate over whether to allow lab research that increases the virulence, ease of spread or host range of dangerous pathogens — what is known as ‘gain-of-function’ research,” the article explains.
“The latest study was already under way before the US moratorium [on gain-of-function] began, and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) allowed it to proceed while it was under review by the agency, says Ralph Baric, an infectious-disease researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a co-author of the study.”
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Nature’s admission that the Fauci-funded study qualified as gain-of-function research is at odds with the NIAID Director’s comments from a recent exchange with Senator Rand Paul.
“For years, Dr. Ralph Baric, a virologist in the U.S., has been collaborating with Dr. Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Virology Institute, sharing his discoveries about how to create super viruses. This gain-of-function research has been funded by the NIH,” Senator Paul outlined before Fauci claimed the theory was “entirely and completely incorrect.”
Authored by Fauci-funded researcher Dr. Ralph Baric, the gain-of-function study lists two additional Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers, including “bat lady” Shi Zhengli, as co-authors, which further discredits Fauci’s claims.
The Nature article leveraged Daszak, whose nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance funneled hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars from Fauci’s NIAID to the Wuhan lab, to defend Baric and Shi’s risky research against opponents of gain-of-function research:
“But Baric and others say the research did have benefits. The study findings “move this virus from a candidate emerging pathogen to a clear and present danger”, says Peter Daszak, who co-authored the 2013 paper. Daszak is president of the EcoHealth Alliance, an international network of scientists, headquartered in New York City, that samples viruses from animals and people in emerging-diseases hotspots across the globe.
Studies testing hybrid viruses in human cell culture and animal models are limited in what they can say about the threat posed by a wild virus, Daszak agrees. But he argues that they can help indicate which pathogens should be prioritized for further research attention.”
The 2013 paper referenced by Nature also counts funding from Fauci’s NIAID and lists Shi as a co-author alongside Daszak. The outlet summarized its findings:
Although almost all coronaviruses isolated from bats have not been able to bind to the key human receptor, SHC014 is not the first that can do so. In 2013, researchers reported this ability for the first time in a different coronavirus isolated from the same bat population.
Daszak’s gain-of-function defense follows The National Pulse unearthing comments where he described his “Chinese colleagues” constructing “killer viruses:
“You create pseudo particles, you insert the spike proteins from those viruses, see if they bind to human cells. At each step of this, you move closer and closer to this virus could really become pathogenic in people. You end up with a small number of viruses that really do look like killers.”
Peter Daszak was recused on Monday from the COVID-19 Commission run by the Lancet magazine. His complicity with the Chinese Communist Party now opens investigations into the same style of work and cover-ups by Anthony Fauci, Ralph Baric, Jeffrey Sachs, and Francis Collins.
The National Pulse continues to investigation with the aid of our supporters.