"NEWLY RELEASED documents provide details of US-funded research on..coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology..The Intercept has obtained more than 900 pages of documents detailing..work of..EcoHealth Alliance..at the Chinese lab.."

"The trove of documents includes two previously unpublished grant proposals that were funded by the NIAID, as well as project updates relating to the EcoHealth Alliance’s research, which has been scrutinized amid increased interest in the origins of the pandemic."
The materials show that the 2014 and 2019 NIH grants to EcoHealth with subcontracts to WIV funded gain-of-function research as defined in federal policies in effect in 2014-2017 and potential pandemic pathogen enhancement as defined in federal policies in effect in 2017-present.
(This had been evident previously from published research papers that credited the 2014 grant and from the publicly available summary of the 2019 grant. But this now can be stated definitively from progress reports of the 2014 grant and the full proposal of the 2017 grant.)
The materials confirm the grants supported the construction--in Wuhan--of novel chimeric SARS-related coronaviruses that combined a spike gene from one coronavirus with genetic information from another coronavirus, and confirmed the resulting viruses could infect human cells.
The materials reveal that the resulting novel, laboratory-generated SARS-related coronaviruses also could infect mice engineered to display human receptors on cells ("humanized mice").
The materials further reveal for the first time that one of the resulting novel, laboratory-generated SARS-related coronaviruses--one not been previously disclosed publicly--was more pathogenic to humanized mice than the starting virus from which it was constructed...
...and thus not only was reasonably anticipated to exhibit enhanced pathogenicity, but, indeed, was *demonstrated* to exhibit enhanced pathogenicity.
The materials further reveal that the the grants also supported the construction--in Wuhan--of novel chimeric MERS-related coronaviruses that combined spike genes from one MERS-related coronavirus with genetic information from another MERS-related coronavirus.
The documents make it clear that assertions by the NIH Director, Francis Collins, and the NIAID Director, Anthony Fauci, that the NIH did not support gain-of-function research or potential pandemic pathogen enhancement at WIV are untruthful.

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More from @R_H_Ebright

23 Sep
"Two new caches of documents have added considerable substance..to the idea that the SARS2 epidemic may have originated in a lab accident."

Nicolas Wade: New Routes to Making Covid-19 in the Lab
"One is a grant proposal written by EcoHealth in March 2018 to DARPA, a research agency in the Department of Defense."
"A prominent feature of the proposal is to 'introduce..human-specific cleavage sites' into SARS-like viruses. Such a procedure is eye-catching, if not jaw-dropping, because the distinctive feature of the SARS2 virus is a genetic element known as a furin cleavage site.
Read 10 tweets
23 Sep
"A GRANT PROPOSAL written by the US-based nonprofit the EcoHealth Alliance and submitted in 2018 to..DARPA, provides evidence that the group was working — or at least planning to work — on several risky areas of research."
"Among the scientific tasks the group described in its proposal..was the creation of full-length infectious clones of bat SARS-related coronaviruses and the insertion of a tiny part of the virus known as a “proteolytic cleavage site” into bat coronaviruses."
"Of particular interest was a type of cleavage site able to interact with furin, an enzyme expressed in human cells."
Read 9 tweets
21 Sep
"Wuhan scientists were planning to release enhanced airborne coronaviruses into Chinese bat populations to inoculate them against diseases that could jump to humans, leaked grant proposals dating from 2018 show."

"They also planned to create chimeric viruses, genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily, and requested $14million from the [US] Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) to fund the work."
"The bid was submitted by British zoologist Peter Daszak of EcoHealth Alliance, the US-based organisation, which has worked closely with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) researching bat coronaviruses. Team members included..Shi Zhengli, the WIV researcher dubbed 'bat woman'"
Read 7 tweets
21 Sep
EcoHealth: "We will analyze..SARSr-CoV..sequences for..proteolytic cleavage sites in S2 and..potential Furin cleavage sites..[W]e will introduce..human-specific cleavage sites and evaluate growth..in Vero cells and HAE cultures."

(full proposal now up)
Read 4 tweets
20 Sep
EcoHealth: "We will analyze all SARSr-CoV..sequences for..proteolytic cleavage sites in S2 and for..potential Furin cleavage sites..[W]e will introduce appropriate human-specific cleavage sites and evaluate growth potential in Vero cells and HAE cultures."

"1. The proposal is considered to potentially involve GoF/DURC research because they propose to synthesize spike glycoproteins which bind to human cell receptors and insert them into SARSr-CoV backbones to assess whether they can cause SARS-like disease.
"2. However the proposal does not mention or assess potential risks of Gain of Function (GoF) research.

"3. Nor does the proposal mention or assess Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC) issues, and thus fails to present a DURC risk mitigation plan.

Read 6 tweets
17 Sep
"More than a hundred safety breaches have been investigated at UK laboratories that handle dangerous viruses and other pathogens in the past 15 years, records obtained by The Times show."

Safety breaches at UK labs that deal with deadly viruses
"The real number of accidents and near-misses will have been [much, much] higher, as the executive has refused to provide any information of incidents involving so-called 'schedule 5' substances, which include diseases such as ebola and anthrax."
The sham list omits even widely reported lab incidents, such as the Foot and Mouth Disease virus leak from BSL-4 lab at Pirbright in 2007--which required culling 4 M animals and cost 3 B GBP--and the isolation-suit failures in Ministry of Defence BSL-4 lab at Porton Down in 2013.
Read 9 tweets

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