February 2, 2024
As evidence mounts, will the U.S. government ever fully admit that, instead of coming from an infected colony of bats, SARS-CoV-2 resulted from a lab leak in Wuhan, China? Documents recently obtained by the health research group U.S. Right to Know (USRTK) through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reveal new and unknown details about the intended research involved in the already-known DEFUSE grant proposal for a $14 million funding to enhance SARS-like bat viruses. Specifically, under the leadership of EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak, USRTK reporter Emily Kopp explained:
“The scientists sought to insert furin cleavage sites at the S1/S2 junction of the spike protein; to assemble synthetic viruses in six segments; to identify coronaviruses up to 25 percent different from SARS; and to select for receptor binding domains adept at infecting human receptors.”
The new details align remarkably well with a 2022 preprint that predicted the SARS2 virus had been developed precisely this way, as noted by City Journal journalist Nicholas Wade. Titled “Endonuclease fingerprint indicates a synthetic origin of SARS-CoV-2,” the paper pointed out that the virus could be cut into six sections if treated with a pair of agents known as restriction enzymes and, therefore, has most likely been synthesized and assembled in that way.
USRTK’s discovery backs up the belief that SARS-CoV-2 has never existed in the natural world, with the new documents presenting a formula for assembling SARS-type viruses from six synthetic pieces of DNA designed to be a consensus sequence—the genetically most infectious form—of viruses related to SARS1. The SARS1 bat virus caused a negligible epidemic in 2002. Wade wrote, “The probative weight of the recipe is that prior independent evidence already pointed to SARS2 having just such a six-section structure.”
The genome of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, matches the
viruses described in the research proposal:
- SARS-CoV-2 has a furin cleavage site positioned in the spike protein at the
S1/S2 junction. The furin cleavage site supercharged the virus into the worst
pandemic pathogen in a century. Virologists have yet to identify one in any
other related coronavirus.
- SARS-CoV-2 can be divided into six contiguous genomic pieces by the
restriction enzymes sal and BsmBI. These restriction enzymes occur in
nature but can also be used in the lab to splice viruses. A trio of scientists
estimated in a 2022 analysis that the likelihood of seeing the pattern found
in SARS-CoV-2 in nature would be remote. Orders for one of these
restriction enzymes, BsmBI, can be found in the documents.
- SARS-CoV-2 emerged highly infectious without evolving much in humans.
The virus “came out of the box ready to infect.” The receptor binding
domain appeared “finely tuned” for the human ACE2 receptor, yet had little
genetic variation when first spilling over into humans, presenting a difficult
“paradox” to virologists who sought to prove it emerged naturally. The
documents confirm the scientists working with the Wuhan lab sought to
select for receptor binding domains that bind well to human ACE2 in their
- The genome of SARS-CoV-2 falls within the range of a 25 percent genetic difference from SARS.
These new particulars are concerning and loudly amplify the malicious intent and brazen criminality behind the entire COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important to remember that last fall, whistleblower testimony revealed that the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) rewarded analysts with hush money to bury their findings surrounding the origins of COVID. Specifically, the testimony from the seemingly credible multi-decade, senior-level, current Agency officer alleges the CIA offered to pay analysts to keep secret their conclusion that COVID-19 most likely leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China. The senior level CIA officer told House Committee leaders that his agency tried to monetarily bribe at least six analysts who found that SARS-CoV-2 likely originated in a Wuhan lab. The whistleblower reported that the analysts would receive money if they switched their positions and instead stated that the virus jumped from animals to humans.
The 2022 preprint, written by researchers Valentin Bruttel, Alex Washburne, and Antonius VanDongen, did not receive sufficient attention then. Nonetheless, they guessed that a commonly used pair of restriction enzymes known as BsaI and BsmBI might have been used to construct the SARS2 virus’s genome. They found that the recognition sites used by these enzymes were evenly spaced across the genome, marking it into six sections. Thus, strongly suggesting a synthetic origin of SARS-CoV-2. Wade wrote that the paper got lost in the shuffle partly due to the difficulty of ruling out a natural rationale for the even spacing. At the same time, the virologists tied to Fauci’s now infamous February 2020 emergency phone call about squashing any notion of a lab leak being behind the origins of COVID attacked the paper. Resembling scheming school-age bullies covering up a lie, Edward Holmes called it “confected nonsense,” and Kristian Andersen called it “kindergarten molecular biology.”
Kopp explained that the new documents highlight for the first time that a virologist working with the Wuhan lab intended to engineer new spike proteins. This activity directly contradicts the collaboration’s public work to insert spike proteins into viral backbones. Moreover, language in the proposal indicates this work may have included unpublished viruses, generating unpublished engineered spike proteins. According to the proposal, University of North Carolina virologist Professor Ralph Baric was designated to engineer twenty or more “chimeric” SARS-related viral spike proteins per year of the proposal, as well as two to five full-length engineered SARS-related viruses. USRTK has previously confirmed that—apparently to save costs—some of the experiments were approved to “secretly occur” in Wuhan at a lower biosafety level than specified in the grant. Explaining that the documents suggest some of the data key to the COVID-19 pandemic “may be found not only in China, but also in the U.S.,” Kopp wrote:
“The documents challenge an argument made by the National Institutes of Health and some virologists against the relevance of the research proposal to the origins of the pandemic. They have argued that this U.S.-China scientific collaboration only planned to engineer viruses starting with viral backbones already in the public literature and that these viral backbones are too dissimilar to have played a role in the pandemic.
The new documents, however, reveal that the scientists planned to use new reverse genetics systems and test viruses in vivo — in other words, to engineer live viruses with novel backbones.
The documents describe the SARS-related viruses to be studied in the grant as posing “a clear-and-present danger of a new SARS-like pandemic.”
Undoubtedly, the new documents exposing the unique formula strengthen the possibility that the regular spacing of BsaI and BsmBI recognition sites in SARS2 is the signature of synthetic origin. Indeed, Wade noted that Richard H. Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University who had called the 2022 paper “noteworthy . . . but not decisive,” now says that the evidence in the new documents “elevates the evidence provided by the genome sequence from the level of noteworthy to the level of a smoking gun.”