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  • MAY 09, 2022|JUDICIAL WATCH

    Judicial Watch: Documents Show Texas Researcher Warned Wuhan Lab of COVID Investigation by Congress


    (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it obtained 412 pages of new records that show the director of the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), Dr. James W. Le Duc warned Chinese researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology of potential investigations into the covid issue by Congress.

    Additionally, the documents show Le Duc praising the Wuhan researchers and Chinese officials for their transparency and handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and, in April 2021, Le Duc accepting a request to be on the Biosafety Advisory Committee of Westlake University in Hangzhou, China. (James Le Duc, PhD, is the director of the Galveston National Laboratory, one of the largest active biocontainment facilities on a U.S. academic campus.)

    The records were obtained in response to Judicial Watch’s January 20, 2020, Texas Public Information Act (PIA) request to the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) that asked for:

    All emails, email chains, text messages, email attachments, calendar invitations, and calendar invitation attachments by James W. LeDuc, Director, Galveston National Laboratory, University of Texas Medical Branch, to and from domains ending in nih.gov or .cn (the Peoples Republic of China Government Domain) containing any of the following terms and parameters:
    • Wuhan within 10 words of coronavirus OR covid* OR SARS-CoV-2;
    • Wuhan within 10 words of mcl OR lab* OR institute;
    • Wuhan within 10 words of virology OR virus OR disease*;
    • Wuhan within 10 words of biocontainment;
    • Wuhan within 10 words of safety OR scien* OR breach;
    • Peter within 10 words of Daszak.

    The records include an email dated April 16, 2020, with the subject line “Rubio” from former Commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases David Franz who informs Le Duc, “I heard from someone in government this evening that Senator Rubio is starting to push for an investigation regarding Wuhan lab. Just found it on the web at Forbes by Kenneth Repoza. Title of article is ‘eight senators call for investigation into coronavirus origins.’” (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapo...h=1ac354835049)

    Le Duc then forwards the email to Dr. Shi Zhengli, a top Chinese virologist known for her work with coronavirus at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, requesting a phone conversation “soon” about the email.

    On April 18, 2020, Zhengli rejects Dr. De Luc’s request: “Due to the complicated situation, I don’t think it’s a right time to communicate by the call. 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.”

    Le Duc responds:

    I understand completely and I certainly do not wish to compromise you personally or your research activities. Given our long history of collaborations between the GNL 9Galveston National Laboratory0 and the WIV (Wuhan Institute of Virology0, I have been approached repeatedly for details on our work. Attached is a draft summary that I will be providing to the leadership of our University of Texas system and likely to Congressional committees that are being formed now

    The draft attachment was not included in the PIA production.

    In an email dated April 20, 2020, Le Duc informs Zhengli and the Director of the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Dr. Yuan Zhiming that he is concerned that the Wuhan lab would continue to be the focus of investigaton:

    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).

    A February 9, 2020, email from Le Duc prepares Zhiming with questions that may arise in an investigation of the origins of the COVID-19 virus. Le Duc warns that questions about the virus originating from the Wuhan Institute of Virology initially came only from social media, but had recently expanded to “alternate information sources,” “senior officials” and “reputable newspapers” all linking the opening of the ABSL 4 facility at the as the source of the virus outbreak.

    I just think that we need to aggressively address these rumors and presumably false accusations quickly and provide definitive, honest information to counter misinformation. If there are weaknesses in your program, now is the time to admit them and get them corrected.

    I trust that you will take my suggestions in the spirit of one friend trying to help another during a very difficult time.

    Questions Le Duc attached for Zhiming to help prepare include:

    Where is coronavirus research conducted?
      • What level of biocontainment?
      • How many different laboratories actually handle live virus?
      • Where are coronavirus stocks stored?
      • Is there an inventory record of each isolate of each coronavirus kept? If so, are there any discrepancies between the record and actual current inventory number (i.e., is there evidence to suggest that virus stocks may have been stolen or used without proper record?)

    Virus Stocks
      • What are the coronaviruses in your possession that are most closely related to nCoV [novel coronaviruses] based on genetic sequences and are able to replicate in culture?
      • 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?

    Personnel
      • How many people have access to the coronavirus stocks and laboratory?
      • Senior investigators? Junior investigators? Technical support staff? Post-docs? Students? Animal handlers? Janitors and other cleaning staff? Building support personnel? Others?
      • Does the Institute have an occupational health clinic where employees and students can go to seek medical care? If so, was there any indication of unusual illness similar to that seen for nCoV among Institute staff?
      • Does a serum bank exist for staff and students working on infectious agents? If yes, could a current serum and the most recent banked sera be serologically tested for antibody to nCoV in an effort to document seroconversion?

    Geography
      • Where and when were the first Wuhan (or Hubei Province) residents infected with the nCoV first identified (hospital or clinic name/date of earliest cases)?
      • Do staff members of the Institute reside in the district serviced by this (these) hospital/clinic(s)?
      • Do staff members of the Wuhan Institute of Virology frequent the sea food/live market first associated with the nCoV outbreak?
      • Did any staff member visit the market in the weeks prior to it being closed? If so, how many staff frequent the market? How often would they visit the market during the period of interest?

    In an April 26, 2021, email Ting Yuan from the Center for Infectious Disease Research at Westlake University in China writes to Le Duc regarding an official appointment as “a member of Biosafety Advisory Committee” and asks for his input “while we are building our BSL-3 labs.” Later that day, Le Duc accepts the offer.

    In an email dated May 6, 2019, Le Duc thanks the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) regional program officer for Global Research for East/South Asia and Pacific Gale Bernabe for taking his call to discuss “possible funding sources for collaborative work with China.”

    Le Duc informs Bernabe about a proposal to begin work in Wuhan later in the year.

    We have already submitted a proposal and if successful we would begin work in Wuhan later this year. My goal is to Identify a similar funding mechanism that would allow the US side partners to receive similar support for these collaborations. Our vision is that the work will be conducted in true collaboration with some undertaken in the US and some in Wuhan by investigators that are in frequent contact and visiting each other frequently

    Le Duc attaches two documents titled: “Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, Chinese Academy of Sciences Advanced Customer Cultivation Project Call Announcement” and “Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, Chinese Academy of Sciences Advanced Customer Cultivation Project Application Form.”

    On November 25, 2019, Le Duc emails Zhiming, commenting on a draft manuscript titled, “China’s First Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) Laboratory for Fighting Infectious Disease.”

    Le Duc informs Zhiming that his paper was “nicely written” concerning biocontainment labs in China, however, the paper should be expanded “to let readers know that security is an important aspect of your program.”

    In an email dated January 16, 2020, Le Duc congratulates Dr. George F. Gao, director-general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), on his leadership and China’s response to COVID-19. Le Duc includes two articles of interest and further states:

    As you might expect, we are following the evolving story on nCoV from Wuhan very closely and we are eager to get an isolate for antiviral testing. Dr Tseng’s [https://microbiology.utmb.edu/facult...ent)-tseng-phd] lab here in the GNL [Galveston National Laboratory] has developed a transgenic mouse model for SARS that is very useful and we are anxious to see if it can be used for the nCoV [novel coronavirus] as well.

    In an email dated January 21, 2020, Le Duc attached a draft of his Houston Chronicle op-ed, advising the following people that it had been “slightly modified:”
      • Benjamin Rusek, National Academy of Sciences
      • Dave Franz, Commander of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (Retired)
      • Dr. Yuan Zhiming
      • Dr. George F. Gao
      • Mifang F Liang, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
      • Dr. Pei-Yong Shi, Associate Chief Research Officer, Galveston National Laboratory, UTMB

    In an email dated March 20, 2020, Le Duc thanks Zhiming for his, “heroic efforts to control the epidemic in Wuhan. Your success is an inspiration to all of us as we work to halt transmission here in the USA and in other countries.”

    Le Duc informs Zhiming that the U.S. was at the start of the “explosion of cases in our region and over the next few weeks we would see very high numbers of cases requiring hospitalizations and ICU support,” and suggests that “it would be excellent if we could identify areas for collaborations.”

    In an April 29, 2020, email, NIAID Associate Director for International Research Affairs Gray Handley informs Le Duc of an inquiry from U.S. Embassy in Beijing, “asking what was the official name of your DoD supported training program and some other background information.,,, Also, can you assure these responses to their questions are accurate?”

    To the question: “Did this training take place in the U.S., China, or in both countries?” Handley writes that since 2013, the Galveston National Laboratory, UTMB, was “part of the NIH Biodefense Laboratory Network [and] provided laboratory safety and security training for high-level biocontainment facilities in China, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

    To the question: “Is this relationship still ongoing?” Handley writes: “This relationship has been facilitated since 2015 through an ongoing dialogue and regular collaboration meetings cosponsored by the Chinese Academies of Science and the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine with cooperation from the Chinese CDC and others.”

    Le Duc responds to Handley: “The title for both projects was National Biocontainment Training Center.

    The Center was supported by two separate awards: W81XWH-09-2-0053 covering the period [May 22, 2009, to December 21, 2014], and W81XWH-11-2-0148 covering the period [July 2011 to July 2016].”

    In an email dated February 20, 2021, Zhiming responds to a “Happy New Year” note from Le Duc:

    During the last year, we all experienced the hardest time, fighting against the virus, fighting against the rumors. The lab operated smoothly [and] efficiently, providing a crucial platform for pathogen identification, animal modeling, antiviral drug screening and vaccine development, and we are very proud of the role and achievements of the laboratory. Here, I would like to express my sincere thanks to you and your colleagues for your assistance for the safety and secure operation of the lab.

    I really hope you could come back here after the epidemic, and we could share our understanding on lab management and infectious disease control.

    “These startling documents show that China had partners here in the United States willing to go to bat for them on the Wuhan lab controversy,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

    Through FOIA requests and lawsuits, Judicial Watch has uncovered a substantial amount of information surrounding COVID-19, to include the communications of Anthony Fauci and other U.S. officials, as well as biosafety issues here in the United States. The findings include:
    • April 2022: Records from the Federal Select Agent Program (FSAP) reveal safety lapses and violations at U.S. biosafety laboratories that conduct research on dangerous agents and toxins.
    • May 2022: HHS records regarding biodistribution studies and related data for the COVID-19 vaccines show a key component of the vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, lipid nanoparticles (LNPs), were found outside the injection site, mainly the liver, adrenal glands, spleen and ovaries of test animals, eight to 48 hours after injection.
    • March 2022: HHS records include emails between National Institutes of Health (NIH) then-Director Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci, the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), about hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19.
    • March 2022: HHS records show the State Department and NIAID knew immediately in January 2020 that China was withholding COVID data, which was hindering risk assessment and response by public health officials.
    • December 2021: HHS records include a grant application for research involving the coronavirus that appears to describe “gain of function” research involving RNA extractions from bats, experiments on viruses, attempts to develop a chimeric virus and efforts to genetically manipulate the full-length bat SARSr-CoV WIV1 strain molecular clone.
    • August 2021: HHS records include an “urgent for Dr. Fauci ” email chain, citing ties between the Wuhan lab and the taxpayer-funded EcoHealth Alliance. The government emails also report that the foundation of U.S. billionaire Bill Gates worked closely with the Chinese government to pave the way for Chinese-produced medications to be sold outside China and help “raise China’s voice of governance by placing representatives from China on important international counsels as high level commitment from China.”
    • July 2021: NIAID records reveal that it gave nine China-related grants to EcoHealth Alliance to research coronavirus emergence in bats and was the NIH’s top issuer of grants to the Wuhan lab itself. The records also include an email from the vice director of the Wuhan Lab asking an NIH official for help finding disinfectants for decontamination of airtight suits and indoor surfaces.
    • June 2021: HHS records reveal that from 2014 to 2019, $826,277 was given to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for bat coronavirus research by the NIAID.
    • March 2021: HHS records show that NIH officials tailored confidentiality forms to China’s terms and that the World Health Organization (WHO) conducted an unreleased, “strictly confidential” COVID-19 epidemiological analysis in January 2020.
    • October 2020: Fauci emails include his approval of a press release supportive of China’s response to the 2019 novel coronavirus.

    ###
    https://www.judicialwatch.org/wuhan-...investigation/
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

    Comment


    • bump this

      Comment


      • NIH director confirms agency hid early COVID genes at request of Chinese scientists

        By Steven Nelson
        May 11, 2022 3:47pm Updated
        ...
        National Institutes of Health acting director Lawrence Tabak confirmed to lawmakers Wednesday that US health officials concealed early genomic sequences of COVID-19 at the request of Chinese scientists — but insisted the data remains on file.

        Tabak told a House Appropriations subcommittee that the NIH “eliminated from public view” the data from the pandemic epicenter in Wuhan, China, before adding that researchers can still access it via an archaic “tape drive.”
        ...
        “OK, so researchers can apply to the NIH and get the information from you?” Beutler asked.

        “In the way that it was originally eliminated from public view, it was withdrawn, and that’s the most difficult for people to access,” Tabak replied. “The error that was made, and we found this out after a review of all of our processes, was it should have been suppressed. The distinction being that if it’s withdrawn, it is kept archivally on a tape drive — old technology, but that’s how it’s done. But when it is withdrawn, it can still be accessed by accession number, and so researchers are able to access that information.”
        ...
        In a March 31 article, Vanity Fair reported that evolutionary biologist Jesse Bloom discovered last year that early COVID-19 sequences had disappeared from a federally run data repository.

        When Bloom raised the issue, he was reportedly ganged up on by a group of researchers assembled by then-NIH Director Francis Collins and infectious disease institute head Dr. Anthony Fauci.

        Bloom shared a draft academic paper with Collins and Fauci, who allegedly objected on a June 2021 Zoom video conference to Bloom’s description of Chinese scientists “surreptitiously” removing the sequences. Fauci said the word was “loaded” and implied a coverup, the report said.

        Evolutionary biologist Kristian Andersen, who was selected to participate on the call by Collins, allegedly told Bloom that the Wuhan team had a right to claw back early pandemic information and that it was unethical for Bloom to question it.

        Andersen allegedly went so far as to offer to delete Bloom’s article from a “preprint” server “in a way that would leave no record that this had been done.”
        ...
        https://nypost.com/2022/05/11/nih-di...s-per-chinese/
        "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
        -Nelson Mandela

        Comment


        • bump this

          Comment


          • Source: https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2202769119

            A call for an independent inquiry into the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus
            Neil L. Harrison nh2298@columbia.edu and Jeffrey D. Sachs sachs@ei.columbia.edu Authors Info & Affiliations
            May 19, 2022
            119 (21) e2202769119
            https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2202769119

            Since the identification of theSARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China, in January 2020 (1), the origin of the virus has been a topic of intense scientific debate and public speculation. The two main hypotheses are that the virus emerged from human exposure to an infected animal [“zoonosis” (2)] or that it emerged in a research-related incident (3). The investigation into the origin of the virus has been made difficult by the lack of key evidence from the earliest days of the outbreak—there’s no doubt that greater transparency on the part of Chinese authorities would be enormously helpful. Nevertheless, we argue here that there is much important information that can be gleaned from US-based research institutions, information not yet made available for independent, transparent, and scientific scrutiny...

            Comment


            • Chinese Fakeaway: Court Bans Expert From Alleging Cover-Up COVID’s Chinese Lab Origins
              ...
              By Thomas Hochwarter May 30 , 2022
              ...
              Hamburg-based nanoscience specialist Prof. Dr. Roland Wiesendanger said in an interview with German magazine Cicero, published in February of this year, that Prof. Dr. Christian Drosten from Berlin’s Charite Clinic was consciously refusing to tell people the truth about the origin of the COVID-19 virus.

              Wiesendanger has said there was evidence that a botched experiment at a Chinese lab was at the core of the pandemic.

              The court in Hamburg refused to make any ruling on this claim.

              Instead, judges ordered Prof. Dr. Roland Wiesendanger to stop ‘deliberately spreading false information’ about Dr. Drosten, the country’s leading specialist, who he accused of a cover-up over whether the virus first emerged from a research lab in Wuhan, in central China.

              In February 2021, Wiesendanger – a nanoscience expert – released a working paper suggesting the virus had escaped from a secret Wuhan research program.

              But Drosten, 49, was one of 27 international scientists behind a statement in British medical journal The Lancet condemning theories that the virus was artificially created and did not have a natural origin.
              ...
              Wiesendanger, 61, also dismissed international experts’ theory that the COVID-19 virus had an animal origin.

              The physicist said virologists who backed this theory were deliberately covering up the truth.
              ...
              Born in the Swiss city of Basel, Wiesendanger has lectured at the University of Hamburg since 1993. He has been awarded three times in a row with the ERC Advanced Grant of the European Research Council as the first scientist in Europe.

              The nanoscience specialist is the author or co-author of more than 600 scientific publications as well as several books.
              ...
              https://www.zenger.news/2022/05/30/c...e-lab-origins/


              ----------------------------------------------------------

              The paper referenced in the story was posted on February 18, 2021:


              18 February 2021

              The Goal: A Broad and Open ConversationCoronavirus Origin Study Released


              The coronavirus has led to a worldwide crisis for over a year. In a new study, nanoscientist Prof. Dr. Roland Wiesendanger illuminates the origins of the virus. His findings conclude there are a number of quality sources indicating a laboratory accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology as the cause of the current pandemic.

              The study was conducted from January to December 2020, and is based on an interdisciplinary research approach and extensive research using a wide range of information sources. These include scientific literature, articles in print and online media, and personal communication with international researchers. They do not provide any science-based proof, but they do provide numerous significant indications:
              • In contrast to early coronavirus-based epidemics such as SARS and MERS, the scientific community has yet to identify the interim host that made the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from bats to humans possible. Thus, there is no sound basis for a zoonotic theory as a possible explanation for the pandemic.
              • The SARS-CoV-2 viruses are astonishingly effective at binding to human cell receptors and infecting human cells, thanks to its special cell receptor binding domains combined with a special (furin) cleavage site of the coronavirus spike protein. This is the first time a coronavirus has had both of these characteristics and indicates a nonnatural origin of the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen.
              • There were no bats for sale at the wet market in the center of Wuhan, which is the suspected hub of the outbreak. The Wuhan Institute of Virology, however, houses one of the largest collections of bat pathogens in the world, taken from distant caves in southern Chinese provinces. It is extremely unlikely that bats naturally made their way to Wuhan, from almost 2,000 km away, to then start a worldwide pandemic in the immediate vicinity of the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
              • One research group at the Wuhan Institute of Virology had been researching the genetic manipulation of coronaviruses for many years with the goal of making these more infectious, more dangerous, and more fatal. This has been demonstrated by numerous publications.
              • Safety measures were documented as being insufficient at the Wuhan Institute of Virology prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
              • There are numerous direct indications that the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen is of laboratory origin and point to a young researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology as being the first person to be infected. In addition, there are indications that the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology into the city of Wuhan and beyond. There are also indications that the Chinese authorities conducted an examination of the institute in the first half of October 2019.

              “The current coronavirus pandemic is not only dominating current headlines but will occupy us for many years to come, not least because of its social and economic effects. Dealing with the corona crisis has been the predominant topic both in politics and in the media. However, a critical science-based examination of the question of the current pandemic’s origin is of great importance today, because only on the basis of this knowledge can adequate precautions be taken to minimize the probability of similar pandemics occurring again in the future,” explains Prof. Dr. Roland Wiesendanger.

              The study was completed in January 2021 and initially distributed and discussed in scientific circles. Its publication aims at opening up a wide-ranging conversation, particularly with regard to the ethical aspects of such “gain-of-function” research, which makes pathogens more infectious, dangerous, and fatal for humans. On releasing his study, Prof. Wisendanger explained, “This can no longer only be a matter for a small group of scientists; it is urgent that it becomes a matter of public debate.”

              The study has been published at http://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.31754.80323.

              https://www.uni-hamburg.de/en/newsro.../2021/pm8.html

              "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
              -Nelson Mandela

              Comment


              • Source: https://spectatorworld.com/topic/fau...d-and-the-ccp/

                The Harvard connection
                Was a Fauci-endorsed Chinese donation part of the lab-leak cover up?
                May 26, 2022 | 2:37 pm
                From the Magazine
                Written by: Ashley Rindsberg

                On the morning of Sunday February 2, 2020, Anthony Fauci, then in the middle of putting together America’s pandemic response, received an unusual email with a highly unusual request. The email, revealed as part of a tranche of FOIA documents requested by the Intercept, was from George Daley, the dean of Harvard Medical School. “Alan Garber, Harvard’s provost, and I met yesterday with a team led by Jack Xia, the CEO of China’s Evergrande Company, and Dr. Jack Liu, Evergrande’s chief health officer,” Daley wrote. Addressing the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as “Tony,” he asked for “whatever information you are willing to share on your current efforts to coordinate a response.”

                It was an odd question on its own: What business did Evergrande — then the most valuable real estate company on earth, but also widely known to be catastrophically indebted — have with the director of America’s pandemic response? But Daley’s next line was stranger still. “[Xia and Liu] stated thy [sic] were acting on behalf of Dr Zhong Nanshan, China’s key point person on the coronavirus outbreak (see below).” Below was an email from Evergrande’s Liu to Daley which, save for an opening line, is entirely redacted...

                Comment


              • Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-h...-origins-says/


                China still withholding data on Covid origins, WHO panel suggests
                A report also called for 'further investigation' of the lab leak theory, amid concerns it is getting harder to trace how the pandemic began
                By Sarah Newey, Global Health Security Correspondent 9 June 2022 • 5:52pm


                In a veiled criticism of China, a World Health Organization panel has warned that key data which could shed light on Covid’s origins is “not available yet”.

                China’s reluctance to cooperate marks a further blow to efforts to unravel how the pandemic began, and comes as a senior WHO official warned delays mean the world may never know how Covid jumped to humans.

                In the first report from a WHO expert group formed last autumn, scientists said significant “gaps in our knowledge” still persist, while several studies requested from China in February 2021 remain incomplete.

                The panel - known as the Scientific Advisory Group for the Origins of Novel Pathogens (Sago) - also revealed that WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote to the Chinese government twice in February 2022 “requesting information on the status of studies” on Covid origins.

                This included the results of blood tests of samples from early suspected human cases, the results of “traceback studies” exploring Sars-Cov-2’s spread in animals, and further details on the lab-leak hypothesis.

                The WHO declined to share details of the correspondence, although Sago members said China did provide some of this information.

                But the preliminary 52-page report made it clear that scientists' understanding of Covid’s origins is inconclusive because “key pieces of data… are not yet available”, especially raw data from China.


                Lab leak 'should be investigated'


                Although Sago members said Sars-Cov-2 probably jumped to humans via animals, the panel called for a raft of further research into every theory - including the hypothesis that the virus emerged after a breach in biosecurity at a lab in Wuhan, where the first cases were identified.

                “That was not really covered by the first trip… there was not really an investigation into this hypothesis,” said Dr Jean-Claude Manuguerra, co-chair of Sago, referring to a WHO-convened team who visited China in early 2021.

                He told a press briefing that although Sago has not identified any new leads which indicate a lab leak took place, “we should investigate it further”. ...

                Comment


                • hat tip Shiloh





                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  ·
                  Jun 8
                  Thanks for the critiques, @MichelWorobey. However, I still think: (1) early COVID-19 case & sequence data that have been released by the Chinese government are likely incomplete, (2) for this reason, the origin of human #SARSCoV2 in Wuhan remains unclear.
                  Quote Tweet

                  Michael Worobey
                  @MichaelWorobey
                  · Jun 7
                  My views on recent VF article % famous "deleted sequences" study by @jbloom_lab: Neat sleuth work. But mostly ‘stolen valor’ & unsupported accusations of malfeasance, laundered by a compromised peer review process. Allow me to explain. 1/103 https://vanityfair.com/news/2022/03/...controversy…
                  Show this thread
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                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  ·
                  Jun 8
                  I hope anyone interested in topic will re-read my paper in question (https://academic.oup.com/mbe/article/38/12/5211/6353034…), which I stand by (although there is new info affecting Fig 6 & 4th to last paragraph of Discussion, see below). Since I know everyone is busy, I’ll summarize below

                  academic.oup.com
                  Recovery of Deleted Deep Sequencing Data Sheds More Light on the Early Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 Epidemic
                  Abstract. The origin and early spread of SARS-CoV-2 remains shrouded in mystery. Here, I identify a data set containing SARS-CoV-2 sequences from early in the W
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                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  ·
                  Jun 8
                  First, why do I think data released by Chinese govt are likely incomplete? Practical effect of deleting Wuhan University sequences from Sequence Read Archive was no one knew they existed. Yes, I agree mutations were listed in a paper on diagnostics, and my paper notes that.
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                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  ·
                  Jun 8
                  But in practice, people find #SARSCoV2 sequences in SRA, NCBI, GISAID, etc---not scouring tables in the journal Small, which is a chemistry journal.
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                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  ·
                  Jun 8
                  For instance, joint WHO-China report says they assembled list of early sequence data by looking at databases including NCBI SRA. Unfortunately, these Wuhan University samples were deleted from SRA before joint WHO-China team started their work, and so aren’t included.

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                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  ·
                  Jun 8
                  If these partial sequences from early Wuhan outbreak samples (which is how they were originally described) had been in SRA in late 2020, joint WHO-China team could have asked to fully sequence samples, get more metadata & include in analyses.
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                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  ·
                  Jun 8
                  But it’s worse: after my paper, we learned Wuhan University actually deleted *two* projects, only one of which described in my paper. Second deletion was only identifiable after reporters started obtaining FOIAs of Wuhan University’s e-mails to NCBI.
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                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  ·
                  Jun 8
                  Below is Wuhan University’s e-mail (https://twitter.com/jbloom_lab/status/1509598934586429468…), which updates version in Fig 6 of my paper, where NIH had redacted accessions. For context of e-mail, see correspondence between Wuhan University & NCBI starting on page 74 here: https://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/21473774/nih-foia-request-56712_redacted.pdf…
                  Quote Tweet

                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  · Mar 31
                  Second, actual e-mail request (below) for deletion from SRA mentions a variety of reasons, none of which are related to the journal deleting the data availability statement during copy editing. (22/n)
                  Show this thread



                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  ·
                  Jun 8
                  Francis Collins was then person who invited Rasmus Nielsen & Sergei Pond to the meeting, as described on page 213 of the FOIA-ed e-mails here:

                  documentcloud.org
                  NIH FOIA Request 56712_Redacted
                  NIH Emails obtained by Empower Oversight in FOIA litigation.
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                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  ·
                  Jun 8
                  I thought meeting w NIH would be scientific discussion & I assume they thought same. Furthermore, given how meeting unfolded, I strongly feel it would have been wrong for me to revise or withdraw pre-print as one meeting attendee advocated:
                  Quote Tweet

                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  · Mar 31
                  However, as scientist I’m often asked to attest to statements like “the funder had no role in study design, interpretation of data, preparation of manuscript, or decision to publish.” (11/n)
                  Show this thread
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                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  ·
                  Jun 8
                  As I have said publicly, I don’t think NIH acted intentionally wrongly in deleting Wuhan University project & I agree with official NLM report that this particular deletion was honest error, as Dr. Tabak recently stated to Congress:
                  Quote Tweet

                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  · May 11
                  Replying to @emilyakopp
                  Just to address this, explanation Dr Tabak provides Rep. Herrera Beutler above seems correct w regard to deletion of Wuhan #SARSCoV2 seqs in PRJNA612766 from Sequence Read Archive. NIH report at https://nlm.nih.gov/news/NLM_Continu..._Sequence_Data _Needs.html… consistent w my understanding of what happened at NCBI (1/3)
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                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  ·
                  Jun 8
                  However, I continue to believe that NIH should allow a check for other deletions. I said this in my private e-mails to Steve Sherry & others at NIH. Now that these e-mails have been FOIA-ed, I stand by this private view publicly: https://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/21473774/nih-foia-request-56712_redacted.pdf…



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                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  ·
                  Jun 8
                  Mostly likely checking for other deletions won't find anything relevant, but we won't know unless we actually look. Given importance of topic, I think we should look.
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                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  ·
                  Jun 8
                  Finally, I regret the #SARSCoV2 origins topic has become filled with invective & mean-spirited attacks. I see many people with diverse views being targeted with personal attacks. I know you have been the target of such attacks yourself, which is wrong.
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                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  ·
                  Jun 8
                  However, it remains important to continue to try to understand the origins of the virus and openly debate unresolved scientific issues, and so thanks for your contributions to the discussion.
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                  Bloom Lab
                  @jbloom_lab
                  ·
                  Jun 8
                  Continuing to openly study the possible origins of the virus is crucial both for the sake of science itself, and to design strategies to mitigate the future risks of both zoonotic and lab-based outbreaks.
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                  Comment


                  • Source: https://www.inverelltimes.com.au/sto...-lie/?cs=11644

                    China calls COVID 'lab leak' theory a lie
                    Updated June 10 2022 at 5:16am, first published 5:11am

                    China has attacked the theory that the coronavirus pandemic may have originated as a leak from a Chinese laboratory as a politically motivated lie.

                    The attack follows the World Health Organisation recommending in its strongest terms yet that a deeper probe is needed into whether a lab accident may be to blame.

                    Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian rejected accusations that China had not fully cooperated with investigators, saying it welcomed a science-based probe but rejected any political manipulation...

                    Comment


                    • Jamie Metzl
                      @JamieMetzl
                      ·23h

                      Whether it’s true or not that @WHO chief ⁦@DrTedros 'secretly blames China lab for Covid leak,’ there’s no doubt he’s played an essential role fighting for a full investigation into #COVID19 origins.
                      ...

                      https://twitter.com/JamieMetzl/statu...81144864477186

                      ---------------------------------------------------------------------

                      WHO chief 'believes Covid DID leak from Wuhan lab' after a 'catastrophic accident' in 2019 despite publicly maintaining 'all hypotheses remain on the table'

                      By GLEN OWEN POLITICAL EDITOR FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY

                      PUBLISHED: 17:01 EDT, 18 June 2022 | UPDATED: 18:20 EDT, 18 June 2022

                      The head of the World Health Organisation privately believes the Covid pandemic started following a leak from a Chinese laboratory, a senior Government source claims.

                      While publicly the group maintains that ‘all hypotheses remain on the table’ about the origins of Covid, the source said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), had recently confided to a senior European politician that the most likely explanation was a catastrophic accident at a laboratory in Wuhan, where infections first spread during late 2019.
                      ...

                      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...dent-2019.html

                      --------------------------------------------------------------------

                      Jamie Metzl
                      @JamieMetzl

                      There is a growing and, perhaps, near universal consensus among experts and the general public alike that #COVID19 may well stem from an accidental lab incident in China. It’s up to our national and international political leaders to now ensure a comprehensive investigation.

                      5:12 AM · Jun 19, 2022·Twitter for iPhone

                      https://twitter.com/JamieMetzl/statu...79716234981378
                      "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
                      -Nelson Mandela

                      Comment


                      • Source: https://www.spiked-online.com/2022/0...b-leak-theory/

                        The case for the lab-leak theory
                        Why of all the cities in the world did Covid first emerge in Wuhan?
                        Matt Ridley
                        27th June 2022

                        I have covered genomic research for years and written several books on the topic. I have a reputation as a strong supporter of biotechnology. But I had not realised just how risky some of the experiments being done on viruses have become in recent years, let alone that they are happening in the centre of a large city.

                        In recent years in the city of Wuhan, in China, scientists were combining the genomes of coronaviruses taken from bats and making chimera (hybrid viruses) that grew up to 10,000 times more quickly than their parent viruses and were more than three times as lethal to ‘humanised’ mice. Whether similar experiments resulted in the Covid-19 pandemic is still unknown, but they could have done.

                        In researching our book Viral, updated and newly released in paperback, on the origin of Covid-19, the scientist Alina Chan and I concluded that it is highly likely the outbreak began in Wuhan. The earliest Covid cases in other parts of China, and other countries, link straight back to this modern and prosperous city on the banks of the Yangtze. For instance, a case in Beijing who fell ill as early as 17 December 2019 turns out to have travelled that day from Wuhan.

                        There is no longer much doubt that the first cases in Wuhan were in November or possibly October 2019. This fits with a leaked Chinese government document in 2020, which said an early case had been retrospectively identified on 17 November. Yet official Chinese sources still say the first known case was in December.

                        Nor is there much doubt that the virus came originally from a horseshoe bat living a long way south of Wuhan. The closest relatives of SARS-CoV-2 in the wild were found in horseshoe bats in a mineshaft in Yunnan, in a limestone cave in Laos and in a cave in Mengla county on the Yunnan-Laos border. The central question is, and always has been, who or what brought a bat virus more than a thousand miles north in the autumn of 2019 to the middle of a modern city?...

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Shiloh View Post
                          Source: https://www.spiked-online.com/2022/0...b-leak-theory/

                          The case for the lab-leak theory
                          Why of all the cities in the world did Covid first emerge in Wuhan?
                          Matt Ridley
                          27th June 2022

                          I have covered genomic research for years and written several books on the topic. I have a reputation as a strong supporter of biotechnology. But I had not realised just how risky some of the experiments being done on viruses have become in recent years, let alone that they are happening in the centre of a large city.

                          In recent years in the city of Wuhan, in China, scientists were combining the genomes of coronaviruses taken from bats and making chimera (hybrid viruses) that grew up to 10,000 times more quickly than their parent viruses and were more than three times as lethal to ‘humanised’ mice. Whether similar experiments resulted in the Covid-19 pandemic is still unknown, but they could have done.

                          In researching our book Viral, updated and newly released in paperback, on the origin of Covid-19, the scientist Alina Chan and I concluded that it is highly likely the outbreak began in Wuhan. The earliest Covid cases in other parts of China, and other countries, link straight back to this modern and prosperous city on the banks of the Yangtze. For instance, a case in Beijing who fell ill as early as 17 December 2019 turns out to have travelled that day from Wuhan.

                          There is no longer much doubt that the first cases in Wuhan were in November or possibly October 2019. This fits with a leaked Chinese government document in 2020, which said an early case had been retrospectively identified on 17 November. Yet official Chinese sources still say the first known case was in December.

                          Nor is there much doubt that the virus came originally from a horseshoe bat living a long way south of Wuhan. The closest relatives of SARS-CoV-2 in the wild were found in horseshoe bats in a mineshaft in Yunnan, in a limestone cave in Laos and in a cave in Mengla county on the Yunnan-Laos border. The central question is, and always has been, who or what brought a bat virus more than a thousand miles north in the autumn of 2019 to the middle of a modern city?...
                          Again, our thread from 2020 documenting possible cases in 2019 and mentioning possible Yangtze river connection:

                          China - COVID-19 - 1st known case traces back to November 2019 - FluTrackers documentation of possible early 2019 outbreak trend

                          Comment


                          • This paper suggests that the Wuhan market was a superspreader location, rather than the origin of Sars2 as some other scientists are claiming they have proved, again.

                            https://flutrackers.com/forum/forum/...seafood-market
                            SARS-CoV-2 infection at the Huanan seafood market

                            _____________________________________________

                            Ask Congress to Investigate COVID Origins and Government Response to Pandemic H.R. 834

                            i love myself. the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever. ---- nayyirah waheed
                            Governments don't have or own souls.

                            (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
                            Never forget Excalibur.

                            Comment


                            • bump this

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