American and Chinese scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology planned in 2018 to create a novel coronavirus not found in nature, according to a grant proposal.
EcoHealth Alliance, the non-profit led by Peter Daszak and funded in part by Dr. Anthony Fauci's agency, submitted the proposal to the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, the Telegraph of London reported.
"We will compile sequence/RNAseq data from a panel of closely related strains and compare full length genomes, scanning for unique SNPs representing sequencing errors," says the application, which was obtained from the U.S. government through a Freedom of Information Act request by the group DRASTIC, the web-based team of scientists investigating the origins of COVID-19.
"Consensus candidate genomes will be synthesised commercially using established techniques and genome-length RNA and electroporation to recover recombinant viruses," states the proposal.
A World Health Organization collaborator who reviewed the grant application confirmed that the documents indicate the researchers intended to create a coronavirus that closely resembled the natural viruses from which it was derived.
"They would then synthesise the viral genome from the computer sequence, thus creating a virus genome that did not exist in nature but looks natural as it is the average of natural viruses," the WHO source told the Telegraph. "Then they put that RNA in a cell and recover the virus from it. This creates a virus that has never existed in nature, with a new 'backbone' that didn't exist in nature but is very, very similar as it's the average of natural backbones."
The grant was not approved, but it is further evidence that scientists at the Wuhan lab were doing gain-of-function research, manipulating viruses to make them transmissible among humans and more dangerous.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, has declared under oath before Congress that no U.S. funding went to gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab.
In an interview with the Telegraph, the WHO source suggested lab engineering could explain why a close match for SARS-CoV-2 has not yet been found in nature despite a massive global effort.
"This means that they would take various sequences from similar coronaviruses and create a new sequence that is essentially the average of them. It would be a new virus sequence, not a 100 per cent match to anything," the WHO source said.
Last month, the Telegraph reported the 2018 grant proposal shows American and Chinese researchers at the Wuhan lab also wanted to make coronavirus particles transmissible to humans and release them in bat populations.
Over the weekend, the National Pulse reported newly obtained emails from Fauci indicate he funded training for Wuhan's most deadly lab, the biosafety level four facility, which handles agents that can be aerosol-transmitted and cause severe to fatal disease in humans.
Earlier this year, it was discovered that the Wuhan Institute of Virology deleted its main database of samples and viral sequences months before the pandemic erupted.
The WHO source told the Telegraph that if SARS-CoV-2 "comes from an artificial consensus sequence composed of genomes with more than 95% similarity to each other," he believes a match will never be found in nature.
"The problem is that those opposed to a lab leak scenario will always just say that we need to sample more, and absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence," he said. "Scientists overall are afraid of discussing the issue of the origins due to the political situation. This leaves a small and vocal minority of biased scientists free to spread misinformation."
Daszak, in fact, has been perhaps the chief spreader of misinformation, convincing the British science journal The Lancet to publish a paper in February 2020 dismissing the lab leak theory as "conspiracy," despite his clear conflict of interest.
We have a whistleblower
Four studies, including two from WHO, provide strong evidence favoring the lab-leak theory, wrote Richard Muller and Steven Quay in the Wall Street Journal on Monday.
Muller is an emeritus professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, and a former senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Quay, founder of Atossa Therapeutics, is co-author of the book "The Origin of the Virus: The Hidden Truths Behind the Microbe That Killed Millions of People."
One study, published by Nature Medicine, concluded the original SARS-CoV-2 pathogen was 99.5% optimized for human infection, which is strong confirmation of the lab-leak hypothesis.
Another clue to the origin of the virus is found in the virus's "furin cleavage site," which is too complex to have been the result of spontaneous mutations.
The furin cleavage site enables the virus to bind to a human cell and release its genetic material, helping make the virus more transmissible and harmful.
The NIH database, researchers point out, shows no furin cleavage site in more than 1,200 viruses that can exchange with SARS-CoV-2.
Meanwhile, Daszak's 2018 grant application to DARPA proposed splicing the furin cleavage site sequences into bat viruses so a research team could look for changes in infectivity.
Muller and Quay conclude: "We have an eyewitness, a whistleblower who escaped from Wuhan and carried details of the pandemic’s origin that the Chinese Communist Party can’t hide. The whistleblower’s name is SARS-CoV-2."
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