A World Health Organization (WHO) collaborator who reviewed a coronavirus research grant application discovered last month confirmed that the language of the documents indicates that American and Chinese scientists intended to collaborate on the creation of a new coronavirus not found in nature.
The grant proposal, obtained last month by the analysis group DRASTIC, was submitted to the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 2018 by the EcoHealth Alliance, an American research non-profit that planned to collaborate with Chinese scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology to create a new virus using the funding.
The application states, “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.” “Consensus candidate genomes will be commercially synthesized using established techniques, genome-length RNA, and electroporation to recover recombinant viruses.”
The WHO source described the procedure and how the newly created virus could still closely resemble the natural viruses from which it was derived.
“They would then synthesize the viral genome from the computer sequence, resulting in a virus genome that did not exist in nature but appears natural because it is the average of natural viruses,” the individual explained. “They then place that RNA in a cell and extract the virus from it. This results in the creation of a virus that has never existed in nature, with a new ‘backbone’ that has never existed in nature but is very, very similar because it is the average of natural backbones.”
While the grant was never approved, it provides additional evidence that American and Chinese scientists were interested in gain-of-function research, which involves manipulating existing viruses to make them more transmissible and/or dangerous. According to other EcoHealth Alliance grant proposals obtained by the Intercept, the group and its Chinese partners were heavily involved in gain-of-function research.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has repeatedly denied in congressional testimony that any US funding went to gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
An anonymous WHO source suggested in an interview that artificial lab engineering could explain why a close match for Sars-CoV-2 has yet to be identified in nature, despite a massive Chinese and international effort to do so.
“This means that they would take different sequences from similar coronaviruses and combine them to create a new sequence that is essentially the average of them.
It would be a new virus sequence, not a perfect match to anything,” according to the WHO contact said.
So far, the closest cousin to Sars-CoV-2 found in nature is a strain called Banal-52, with which it shares 96.8 percent of the genome. According to the publication, for a virus to be the direct ancestor of another, the genome should be a 99.98 percent match.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology deleted its main database of samples and viral sequences months before the pandemic erupted, it was revealed earlier this year. The Chinese government has sequenced the genomes of tens of thousands of animals in and around Wuhan but has yet to identify the Sars-Cov-2 virus in nature, calling the natural transmission theory into question.
“If Sars-CoV-2 is derived from an artificial consensus sequence composed of genomes with more than 95% similarity to one another… “I predict that we will never find a really good match in nature, only a bunch of close matches across different parts of the sequence, which is what we are seeing so far,” the WHO source said.
“The issue is that those who oppose a lab leak scenario will always say that we need to sample more, and absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence. Because of the political situation, scientists are generally afraid of discussing the origins of life. This frees up a small but vocal minority of biased scientists to spread misinformation,” he adds.