In a speech covered by C-SPAN five years ago, the scientist who collaborated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology on research funded by Dr. Anthony Fauci's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease boasted his "colleagues in China" were creating a "killer" coronavirus.
Peter Daszak, a member of the World Health Organization team that investigated the origins of COVID-19, made the admission at a 2016 forum in a clip unearthed by the National Pulse.
The admission, at an event discussing "emerging infectious diseases and the next pandemic," conflicts with Fauci's repeated insistence that the U.S. government never funded dangerous gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab.
Until March 2021, when the issue was brought up by lawmakers such as Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., the Wuhan lab listed the National Institutes of Health as one of its "partners."
In gain-of-function research, virologists enhance the lethality and transmissibility of viruses that pose the threat of jumping from animals to humans so they can prepare treatments and vaccines in advance. The The NIH under President Obama imposed a moritorium on the research because of the security risks in 2014. But NIH kept funding it through third parties, particularly Daszak's non-profit EcoHealth Alliance.
In his remarks to the panel in 2016, Daszak describes the Wuhan lab's work of "insert[ing] spike proteins” into viruses to see if they can "bind to human cells."
"Then when you get a sequence of a virus, and it looks like a relative of a known nasty pathogen, just like we did with SARS," he said.
Daszak said "a whole host" of other coronaviruses were discovered in bats that "looked very similar to SARS."
"So we sequenced the spike protein: the protein that attaches to cells. Then we -- well I didn't do this work, but my colleagues in China did the work -- 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," he said.
"You end up with a small number of viruses that really do look like killers."
Daszak's EcoHealth Alliance was one of the primary recipients of NIAID funding that then was funneled to the Wuhan lab.
Daszak and Shi Zhengli, the director of the Wuhan lab's Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, are listed as co-authors of more than a dozen research papers that were produced through a $3.7 million NIAID grant.
Shi, known for her research on bat coronaviruses, has included the Fauci-backed grants on her resume.
See Daszak's remarks at the 2016 event:
Daszak behind paper deriding 'conspiracy theory'
Daszak was behind a February 2020 letter that condemned "conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin." Signed by a group of virologists and others, it became part of the media narrative after it was published in the prestigious British science journal The Lancet.
But British science writer Nicholas Wade, who is known for a New York Times column he wrote for many years, pointed out in a lengthy analysis published last month that the scientists had no basis for their conclusion. Wade has presented the circumstantial evidence that he believes points overwhelmingly to a lab leak.
The scientists insisted on a natural origin and establishment media, Wade pointed out, largely ran with that conclusion without any serious investigation.
The fact that Daszak's organization funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan lab – a clear conflict of interest – was not disclosed to The Lancet's readers, Wade noted. To the contrary, the letter concluded, "We declare no competing interests." And, significantly, Daszak was the sole American representative on the WHO team investigating the pandemic's origin.
The news site Vox has quietly revised a March 4, 2020, article on the origin of COVID-19 that cited the declaration in The Lancet.
Titled "The Conspiracy Theories About the Origins of the Coronavirus, Debunked," it said "virologists who've parsed the genome and infectious disease experts who study coronaviruses have more than enough evidence to show that the virus is brand new and came from nature, not the Wuhan lab," the National Pulse reported.
Vox said a "large group of them, citing genome analyses from multiple countries, recently affirmed in The Lancet that the virus originated in wildlife."
"The emergence of the virus in the same city as China's only level 4 biosafety lab, it turns out, is pure coincidence," they said.
Among the changes to the article one year later were exchanging "is" for "appears to be" and deleting "not the Wuhan lab."
Fauci's ominous prediction of a 'surprise outbreak'
As previously reported by the Western Journal, Fauci told a gathering of students and experts at Georgetown University Medical Center in January 2017 that the incoming Trump administration would face a "surprise outbreak" of a new disease and the United States needed to prepare for it.
"If there's one message that I want to leave with you today based on my experience, is that there is no question that there will be a challenge to the coming administration in the arena of infectious diseases,” Fauci said.
"The history of the last 32 years that I've been the director of NIAID will tell the next administration that there is no doubt in anyone's mind that they will be faced with the challenges that their predecessors were faced with.
"We will definitely get surprised in the next few years."
See Fauci's remarks predicting a "surprise outbreak":
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