New evidence has emerged that links Dr. Anthony Fauci to the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus at the center of the Covid pandemic.
The new “smoking gun” supports the theory that the SARS-CoV-2 virus accidentally escaped from the lab where Fauci was conducting dangerous “gain-of-function” research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).
In an extensive investigation conducted by Public and Racket, multiple U.S. government officials revealed that among the first individuals infected by the virus were researchers from the WIV, including Ben Hu, who led the institute’s “gain-of-function” research on SARS-like coronaviruses, known for enhancing virus infectivity.
U.S. government sources have confirmed that Ben Hu, along with Yu Ping and Yan Zhu, were among the earliest victims of SARS-CoV-2, and all three were associated with the Wuhan lab suspected of the virus leak.
“Ben Hu is essentially the next Shi Zhengli,” said Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and coauthor with Matt Ridley of Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid19. Shi is known as “the bat woman of China,” and led the gain-of-function research at the WIV.
“He was her star pupil.
“He had been making chimeric SARS-like viruses and testing these in humanized mice.
“If I had to guess who would be doing this risky virus research and most at risk of getting accidentally infected, it would be him.”
These revelations indicate not only that WIV scientists developed COVID-19-like symptoms in November 2019, but also that they were conducting research on the closest relatives of SARS-CoV-2, incorporating unique gain-of-function features into the virus.
When asked about the certainty of identifying the three WIV scientists as the ones who fell ill with COVID-19-like symptoms in late 2019, a source stated unequivocally, “100%.”
Ben Hu and Yu Ping were specifically involved in studying SARS-like virus lineages, as highlighted in a 2019 paper they co-authored with Shi Zhengli. Jamie Metzl, a former member of the World Health Organization expert advisory committee, described the significance of proving that Hu contracted COVID-19 before anyone else, stating that it would be a “smoking gun” as Hu was the primary researcher at Shi’s lab.
According to insiders, other news organizations are actively pursuing various aspects of this story. The Times of London recently quoted an anonymous U.S. State Department investigator who stated, “It has become increasingly clear that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was involved in the creation, promulgation, and cover-up of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Public and Racket disclosed the identities of the three WIV workers who fell ill and placed them directly within the lab where SARS-like viruses with the potential to infect humans were collected and researched.
The WIV research with live SARS-like viruses was performed at too low of a safety level, “BSL-2,” explains Chan, “When we now know that the pandemic virus is even capable of escaping from a BSL-3 lab and infecting fully vaccinated young lab workers.”
According to Chan, a scientist who faced criticism for suggesting the possibility of an accidental lab origin in a preprint research paper in May 2020, the recent revelations debunk the narrative that the virus originated from a raccoon dog or pangolin in a wet market.
“Ever since I put out my [May 2020] preprint [research paper] saying that an accidental lab origin was possible, I was criticized as a conspiracy theorist,” said Chan.
“If this info had been made public in May of 2020, I doubt that many in the scientific community and the media would have spent the last three years raving about a raccoon dog or pangolin in a wet market.”
President Biden signed a bill earlier this year specifically calling for the release of the sick researchers’ names, their roles, symptoms, and dates of symptom onset, as well as information regarding their involvement in coronavirus research or exposure to the virus.
On December 29, 2017, two years prior to the onset of the pandemic, Chinese state-run television broadcasted a video that featured Ben Hu observing a lab worker handling specimens without proper protective gear.
In the same video, scientists from the WIV were shown conducting bat virus research with minimal protective measures.
Dr. Chan, an expert in the field, emphasized that if there were concerns about infection in the field, full-body suits with no openings would be necessary for adequate safety.
Furthermore, the U.S. Directorate of National Intelligence is expected to release classified material this week, potentially including the names of these three WIV scientists, who were likely among the first to be affected by SARS-CoV-2.
The evidence suggests that even prior to the pandemic, the WIV conducted risky gain-of-function research.
While gain-of-function research was banned by President Barack Obama in 2014 due to its perceived dangers, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), led by Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci, respectively, supported the WIV’s work on SARS-like viruses under the argument that it did not meet the definition of gain-of-function research.
In 2018, the WIV, EcoHealth Alliance, and the University of North Carolina sought a grant from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) to introduce “furin cleavage sites” into SARS-like coronaviruses, studying their impact on growth and disease progression.
The unique furin cleavage site is believed to be a key element that contributed to the high transmissibility of the COVID-19 virus compared to its closest relatives.
Top U.S. Covid experts, such as Dr. Fauci, early in the pandemic claimed that gain-of-function research was conducted at the Wuhan laboratory and dismissed the possibility that the novel coronavirus leaked from the lab.
“If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what’s out there now, [the scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated,” Fauci said.
“Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species.”
After more evidence came out that the lab leak theory was “likely,” Fauci changed his tune.
“We may not ever know,” Fauci claimed in an interview with The Globe in February 2023.
However, a report released by the U.S. Senate in April concluded that the COVID-19 virus, known as SARS-CoV-2, had originated in a Chinese laboratory, but was allegedly leaked unintentionally.
The 301-page report, produced by a team that included Dr. Robert Kadlec, a former government health official who played a key role in developing COVID-19 vaccines, and staffers on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, was released by Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Ky.), a member of the Senate Health Committee, who chairs the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security.
The report states that the “preponderance of information supports the plausibility of an unintentional research-related incident that likely resulted from failures of biosafety containment during SARS-CoV-2 vaccine-related research.”
According to the report, Kadlec’s team of consultants spent approximately 18 months investigating the COVID-19 origins and concluded that the available evidence supports a lab leak.
The report suggests that there may have been an aerosol leak that caused an infection of lab personnel or that the virus may have been released to the outside environment due to biocontainment failures. One theory mentioned in the report revolves around cleaning agents causing corrosion of welded seams in the lab, as mentioned in multiple 2019 documents on upgrading the lab.
The report also highlights concerns about biosafety at the WIV that have been raised by both domestic and foreign bodies for years. A 2018 U.S. State Department cable, for instance, reported that the then-newly opened biosafety level four lab at the facility had a “serious shortage” of trained technicians to safely operate the lab.
Researchers at the lab, before the pandemic, reported experimenting on mice, bats, and palm civets to find coronaviruses that were more capable of infecting humans and sometimes experimented at sub-biosafety level four conditions.
The report also points to Chinese reports, communications, and notices as support for the lab leak theory, including an attempt in November 2019 to procure an air incinerator at the lab, which suggested “some concern about the risk of an infectious aerosol escape.”
The report also noted that WIV staffers underwent a remedial biosafety training course that same month.
Furthermore, the report concludes that characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 suggest the virus was manmade, including the presence of a furin cleavage site at the same location that was proposed in a grant proposal by EcoHealth Alliance, an organization that funneled U.S. taxpayer money to scientists in Wuhan.
The House’s Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Members also uncovered evidence that Fauci abused his influence to sway researchers away from the “lab leak theory” of the origins of SARS-CoV-2, misled Congress about his role in this investigation, and indeed may have been a lead author of the now-infamous paper, “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2.”
It remains unclear which U.S. government officials had access to information about the sick WIV researchers, the duration of their knowledge, and the reasons behind not disclosing it to the public.
The withholding of crucial evidence by the country receiving the virus, in addition to the expected defensiveness of the country of origin, has raised concerns.
In January 2021, before President Joe Biden took office, the U.S. State Department published a fact sheet highlighting the likelihood of a lab leak as the cause of the pandemic.
A Department of Energy report covered by the Wall Street Journal that found the lab leak theory was the most likely scenario for the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Earlier this year, FBI Director Christopher Wray stated that the bureau had assessed for some time that the origins of the pandemic were most likely due to a potential lab incident in Wuhan.