A slew of documents obtained by the UK’s Daily Mail appear to further confirm that SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, originated from the Chinese Communist Party’s Biosecurity Level 4 facility, the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).
Daily Mail says the documents reveal a nationwide project to identify new viruses that began almost nine years ago. They found “one leading Chinese scientist” who provided the in silico genetic sequence for SARS-CoV-2 the world has heavily relied on in January 2020 had previously discovered 143 new viruses; this happened during the initial three years of the project.
Two of the prominent project leaders are WIV virologist Shi Zhengli, who is often known as ‘Bat Woman’ for her spelunking expeditions in search of virus samples, and Cao Wuchun, a CCP advisor on bioterrorism and a senior People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officer.
Shi denied that any PLA work has been conducted at the Institute. Daily Mail says a major project detailed in the documents is “The discovery of animal-delivered pathogens carried by wild animals,” the aim of which was to discover organisms capable of infecting human beings and looking into their evolutionary process.
Funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the study, launched in 2012, was headed by professor Xu Jianguo who initially denied SARS-CoV-2 was capable of human transmission when the existence of the virus first became public, despite evidence from hospitals which clearly indicated otherwise.
By 2018, Xu’s project had uncovered hundreds of new pathogens.
Han Lianchao, a dissident who used to work for the CCP, told Daily Mail that Cao’s involvement in the project raises the possibility that PLA virologists are also involved in bio-defense programs.
The U.S. Department of State under the Trump administration had earlier raised concerns over some experiments conducted at the Wuhan lab that aimed to manipulate coronaviruses.
Filippa Lentzos, a biosecurity expert at King’s College London, noted that there are a lot of inconsistencies in Beijing’s narratives. “They are still not being transparent with us. We have no hard data on the pandemic origins, whether it was a natural spill-over from animals or some kind of accidental research-related leak, yet we’re unable to get straight answers and that simply does not inspire confidence,” she said to Daily Mail.
In September last year, Chinese virologist Dr. Yan Li-meng claimed that the COVID-19 virus was made in a laboratory in China. At a talk show, the virologist revealed that she was investigating “new pneumonia” in Wuhan when she came across a government cover-up to deny the existence of the pandemic.
Li had to flee China due to potential retribution from the communist regime. A WHO investigation shrouded in conflict of interests into the origin of coronavirus published last month attempted to dismiss the lab leak theory as “extremely unlikely.”
In late March, the former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Robert Redfield, told CNN that he supports the idea of the virus emerging from a Wuhan lab and possibly circulating as early as September 2019. “I’m of the point of view that I still think the most likely etiology of this pathology in Wuhan was from a laboratory – escaped,” he said in an interview.
“Other people don’t believe that. That’s fine. Science will eventually figure it out…It’s not unusual for respiratory pathogens that are being worked on in a laboratory to infect the laboratory worker.”
However, Redfield later denied implying the virus was intentionally leaked.
Bat Woman’s lax safety standards in action
In January, an article published in Taiwan News brought attention to a video released two years prior to the pandemic showing scientists from the WIV being bitten by bats.
The scientists were shown displaying a lax attitude towards protective equipment and safety standards in the video, published in December 2017, which showed Shi Zhengli and her research team, who at that time claimed to be investigating the origin of SARS.
In one instance, a scientist can be seen holding a bat with bare hands. Other members can be seen collecting bat feces while only wearing gloves and no other protective equipment. Another person, possibly Shi herself, is seen handling samples without gloves. A researcher named Cui Jie even describes being bitten by a bat whose fangs went right through his gloves, an experience he likens to “being jabbed with a needle.”
A person’s limb is shown to have swelled from a bat bite. In another footage, shot at a cave where coronaviruses originate, the researchers can be seen collecting virus samples without masks. “It raises the possibility that the scientists became infected with a coronavirus, including even COVID-19, however unlikely that may be,” the article states.
CCP unable to learn its lesson
While the world grapples with the crisis unleashed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Communist Party is passing a new law that will see the Party build many more biosecurity labs in the country.
A new Biosecurity Law is aimed at labs specializing in advanced pathogenic microbiology. Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Xiang Libin claims the Party is seeking to improve China’s capabilities in the field of biosecurity science and enhance its technological capacity against infectious diseases that may emerge in the future.
As of now, the CCP has approved the construction of 88 biosafety level-3 labs, and three biosafety level-4 labs, Xiang told propaganda rag Global Daily.