Sat. May 21st, 2022

COVID-19 hit the world with an explosion that has cost millions of lives, even with the shots developed in a supercharged process launched by then-President Trump.

But even more than two years after the pandemic began, the public still doesn’t know how it actually was started.

And that, according to a report in The Federalist, is at least partly because an organization that took a grant from U.S. taxpayers to work on viruses at the Chinese lab from where it is believed to have come hasn’t provided access to critical documents.

That grant went to EcoHealth Alliance, and was used to study bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, and Joe Biden’s medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, has denied over and over that his grant in any way could have led to COVID-19.

But EcoHealth “still has not released records of the viruses it kept at the lab. Available records reveal EcoHealth had plans to experiment on many unknown viruses, with the Chinese managing virus identification and access to the research,” the report said.

Therefore, “Fauci cannot, as he does, say definitively that his agency’s grant did not lead to SARS-CoV-2 without the full, original laboratory records for the grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases,” the report said.

White House COVID chief adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci participates in a briefing Jan. 21, 2021, in White House briefing room. (Official White House Photo by Chandler West)

White House COVID chief adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci participates in a briefing Jan. 21, 2021, in White House briefing room. (Official White House photo by Chandler West)

The National Institutes of Health has been trying to obtain lab records from EcoHealth, but the organization has claimed those records were created and maintained by the Chinese, and it does not have them.

China, meanwhile, has blocked all investigators from inspecting Wuhan records.

“The lack of lab records does not prove Fauci’s agency funded the creation of COVID-19. Scientists have not released a determination of the origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID; two leading theories are either animal crossover or a lab leak,” the report confirmed. “But Fauci knew in January 2020, before lockdowns, that his agency had failed in its oversight of EcoHealth and was lacking an important record: an annual progress report due September 30, 2019.”

There often are arguments over “gain of function” work on viruses, those processes that make a virus worse, in order to be able to study it.

But the Federalist explained “a lab leak of SARS-CoV-2 does not require the virus to have been manipulated. Key grant documents such as proposals and progress reports have been released due to litigation. Although they do not contain an inventory of all the viruses being studied, they reveal the huge number of unknown viruses that EcoHealth had plans to experiment on.”

Those would be samples from bat caves, from people and more.

“New human viruses were also offered to EcoHealth by five Chinese medical institutes, including the WIV. In an Oct. 31, 2018, letter of support for the grant, the WIV’s director states that ‘To assist in this study, we will provide participating laboratories in China with human samples, both new and archived, and support research in bat coronaviruses,'” the report explained.

The Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences made similar offers.

Fauci and NIH chief Lawrence Tabak both have said COVID could not have come through their funded processes.

“But both Fauci and Tabak are referring to disclosed and published data, while not acknowledging that EcoHealth has not released all its records — or that China controls some of them. Fauci and Tabak’s statements are ‘untruthful,’ Richard H. Ebright, a Rutgers University professor of chemistry and chemical biology and a critic of gain-of-function research, told The Federalist.”

Further, EcoHealth likely didn’t release all information as it was a work in progress when President Trump insisted the grant be terminated in 2020.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., explained, to the medical officials in a Senate hearing: “You mislead the public by saying that the published viruses cannot be COVID. Exactly no one is alleging that… What we are saying is that this was risky type of research, gain of function research. It was risky to share this with the Chinese, and that COVID may have been created from a not-yet-revealed virus. We don’t anticipate that the Chinese are going to reveal the virus if it came from their lab. You know that, but you continue to mislead… You continue to say you trust the Chinese scientists.”

The House Republicans continue investigating why scientists, early in the pandemic, changed their story from COVID looking engineered … to not.

Jamie Metzl, on the advisory committee to the World Health Organization, said, “Because we have no idea what happened at the WIV … there is a real possibility that work somewhere in that institute that was not supported by NIAID funding could have sparked the pandemic. It is also possible that Chinese researchers on their own carried out work which was inspired by, but separate from, some of the work supported by NIAID funding and that this work, in one way or another, could have accidentally played a role in originating this crisis.”

The NIH further has redacted emails, withheld requested documents, and refuses to give GOP members of Congress interviews with key officials.

The report explained, “The EcoHealth grant proposals also make clear that the project was mostly run by the Chinese, so they would have been able to cut off access to the research. The Chinese scientists were to analyze the virus samples, do the record-keeping, and maintain the virus database. EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak’s oversight, in his own words, consisted of ‘semi-annual meetings with the lead investigator and assessments of compliance against all conditions of the award.'”

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