Richard H. Ebright Profile picture
Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology @RutgersU
SkyePuppy Profile picture margaret Profile picture Κασσάνδρα Παρί پری Profile picture Judy Lorenz Profile picture Medical Science and Technology #earlytreatments Profile picture 22 added to My Authors
12 Sep
Virus research: Germany and the EU are also working together with bio-laboratories in Wuhan

Virusforschung: Auch Deutschland und die EU arbeiten mit Bio-Laboren in Wuhan zusammen
de.rt.com/meinung/122326…
<< EU maintains two virus archives in one of the bio-laboratories in Wuhan. The project is funded by the EU investment program "Horizon 2020". A German-Chinese high-security laboratory also works in the city. But the international public hardly knows anything about it. >>
<< The European Union played a major role in promoting the WIV..The European Union set up, promoted, and financed a 'European Virus Archive' and a 'Global Virus Archive' in the WIV. >>
Read 5 tweets
12 Sep
"When the internal debt for the athletics program at Rutgers University jumped from $40 M to $120 M in one year, it raised a red flag..Our research ultimately led to a story revealing that Rutgers athletics has quietly racked up $265 M in debt"

northjersey.com/story/news/202…
""[T]he athletic debt included not only $70 M for new capital projects, but also $84 M in loans..university made to athletics to cover..annual deficits..sports programs had been running year after year. They had taken another $48 M in loans from..the Big Ten"
"In other words, Rutgers..was covering shortfalls by adding to..debt payments, which could create even larger deficits in the future. The..loans..became an annual practice, with larger and larger loans planned as expenses such as coaches' salaries grew while revenues..tanked."
Read 4 tweets
10 Sep
"There are many things we..do not know about the..pandemic—including..whether it began with natural spillover..or..laboratory incident..But we do know one thing now beyond debate:..gain-of-function..experiments on..bat viruses were taking place in Wuhan"

unherd.com/2021/09/is-thi…
"This research, carried out in labs that did not have maximum level of biosafety, was increasing the infectivity of laboratory-created diseases by constructing chimeric coronaviruses — despite strong denial of such practices by the key Chinese scientists."
"And the bio-engineering was being funded by United States taxpayers — channelled through a charity run by a British scientist — despite similar denials from America’s most senior public health officials that they supported such..activities in Chinese labs"
Read 6 tweets
10 Sep
"US and Chinese researchers funded by the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases created viruses in a Wuhan lab that exhibited over 10,000 times higher viral load in humanized mice, records released by the agency show."

dailycaller.com/2021/09/09/eco…
"The US nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance notified..NIAID..that between June 2017 and May 2018 it had created three lab-generated chimeric SARS-related coronaviruses in China that exhibited 'significantly higher' viral loads, documents first reported by The Intercept show"
“Three EcoHealth/WIV lab-generated viruses exhibited >10x to >10,000x higher viral load than the starting bat virus in humanized mice..One EcoHealth/WIV lab-generated virus exhibited higher pathogenicity than the starting bat virus in infection studies with humanized mice."
Read 11 tweets
10 Sep
"Scientists working under..NIH grant to..study bat coronaviruses combined..genetic material from a 'parent'..virus..with other viruses. They twice submitted summaries..that showed..three altered..viruses..reproduced far more quickly than..original virus"

interc.pt/3Ccridd
"The Intercept consulted 11 scientists who are virologists or work in adjacent fields and hold a range of views on both the ethics of gain-of-function research and the Covid-19 origins search."
"All but two of the scientists consulted agreed that, whatever title it is given, the newly public experiment raised serious concerns about the safety and oversight of federally funded research"
Read 13 tweets
10 Sep
The grave risk of lab-created potentially pandemic pathogens
thebulletin.org/2021/09/the-gr…
"Human error can lead to incidents or accidents that release a deadly virus into the community. According to my research, data from two sources show that human error was the cause of 73.5% and 79.3% of incidents leading to potential exposures in BSL-3 labs"
"A needlestick occurred in the ABSL3+ laboratory while the researcher was attempting to collect tissue culture supernatant..A decision was made to home quarantine the individual"
Read 6 tweets
9 Sep
"[D]ocuments..obtained..after..a..FOIA lawsuit..show 'unequivocally' that NIH grants were used to fund controversial gain-of-function (GOF) research at the Wuhan Insitute of Virology in China—something..Fauci has denied."

newsweek.com/fauci-untruthf…
"Multiple sections of the grant proposals and grant progress reports make it clear that the grants funded gain-of-function research of concern in Wuhan"
"Two especially noteworthy sections are page 28 and Figure 35 of the year four progress report on the first five year grant term (1R01-AI110964) and page 3, Figure 6, of the proposal for a second five-year grant term (2R01-AI110964)"
Read 5 tweets
8 Sep
"the documents confirm 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 confirm the resulting viruses could infect human cells"

voachinese.com/a/the-intercep…
"the documents reveal for the first time that the resulting novel, laboratory-generated SARS-related coronaviruses also could infect humanized mice"
"the documnets further reveal 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"
Read 4 tweets
7 Sep
"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.."

interc.pt/3yN1YIj
"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.
Read 10 tweets
4 Sep
US White House, September 2021:
American Pandemic Preparedness:
Transforming Our Capabilities
whitehouse.gov/wp-content/upl…
"The number of laboratories around the world handling dangerous pathogens is growing in part as a response to increasing pandemic risk, boosting the likelihood that a contagious pathogen could be released accidentally."
"As the technologies of modern biology become more powerful, affordable, and accessible,..a malign actor could develop and use a biological weapon, including one that is highly contagious, in violation of the Biological Weapons Convention and UN Security Council Resolution 1540."
Read 6 tweets
4 Sep
‘Unsustainable’: How Rutgers athletics quietly racked up $265M in debt

This was the year Rutgers University athletics expected to be on firm financial ground. Instead, the move to the Big 10 means anything but that.

northjersey.com/in-depth/news/…
"[T]he athletic division has been losing more money than ever. And almost half of its $265 million in outstanding debt has not gone toward new buildings — it has instead been used to cover the ever-rising operating costs associated with joining the Big Ten Conference."
"The university has stepped in, loaning athletics $84 million over the last six years to cover expenses — violating its own policy,"
Read 10 tweets
2 Sep
"'We do not need to wait for China’s cooperation to advance our understanding of the origin of the pandemic,' said Gallagher. 'What we cannot do is throw up our hands and shrug at more than 600,000 dead Americans.'"

washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/…
Many threads of investigation are available in the US and would be accessible to a Congressional inquiry with subpoena power.

At EcoHealth. At funding agencies (USAID, DTRA, DARPA, DHS, and NIH). At publishers (Springer-Nature and Lancet).

No cooperation from China needed.
Many threads of investigation also are available in Europe.

In France, which constructed WIV lab and trained WIV staff.

At EU and EVAg, which funded WIV research.

At Springer-Nature, Lancet, and Wellcome, which ran interference for WIV

No cooperation from China is needed.
Read 4 tweets
1 Sep
WaPo Editorial Board: "The need for a full and credible investigation into how the pandemic began—and how to prevent the next one—has never been greater."

The U.S. still doesn’t know the pandemic’s origins. The need for answers has never been greater.
washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/…
"The 18 organizations of the intelligence community are divided over whether the outbreak was caused by a zoonotic spillover — transmission from animal to human — or a laboratory accident, the two main hypotheses."
"Four elements of the intel..community..thought zoonotic spillover most likely, but only with 'low confidence,' which..intel..community defines as meaning..information is 'too..poorly corroborated to make solid analytic inferences, or..reliability of..sources is questionable.'"
Read 8 tweets
30 Aug
"COVID..had devastating effects. We need and deserve to know if culpability attaches to any engineering or irresponsible handling of this deadly, mutating virus. It is hard to recall another issue that has been manipulated by so much..disinformation."

thehill.com/opinion/health…
"Culpability, if it exists, demands accountability. Truth is worth honest pursuit. What we’ve been given so far does not appear to be an honest pursuit."
"We are in an accountability deficit in this country right now. If there is anything that should drive a righteous quest for accountability, 600,000 dead loved ones would seem to be it."
Read 4 tweets
30 Aug
"Gain-of-function research on viral pathogens is one of the most dangerous..endeavors which can be undertaken."

infectioncontroltoday.com/view/gain-of-d…
"It is hard to imagine a benefit which justifies the risk, but when one is identified such research should only be undertaken with the assumption that a lab accident may occur."
"There must be a viable plan which has a very high probability of success for containment of any escaped pathogen and the identification and quarantining of exposed personnel, without a risk of spreading to the general population.”
Read 4 tweets
27 Aug
"The U.S. Intelligence Community’s assessment, while inconclusive, vindicates those who insisted on asking if the virus could have escaped from a Wuhan laboratory."

Biden’s COVID-19 Origins Report Leaves the Lab Leak on the Table vanityfair.com/news/2021/08/b…
"'All agencies assess that two hypotheses are plausible.'"
"The intelligence report is almost certain to renew international calls for the Chinese government to release crucial information that could shed light on..origins. That includes: laboratory notebooks..medical records..[and]..database of..viral sequences maintained at..WIV"
Read 5 tweets
26 Aug
"Controls on 'gain of function' experiments with supercharged pathogens have been undercut despite concerns about lab leaks"

washingtonpost.com/nation/interac…
"In the United States, NIH Director Francis S. Collins and Anthony S. Fauci, director of the agency’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, have led the federal funding and oversight of gain-of-function research."
"Collins and Fauci in recent years have helped shape policy changes, directly and through..aides, that undercut the [review] committee’s authority, according to..documents, congressional testimony and interviews with dozens of present and former officials and science experts"
Read 12 tweets
25 Aug
Letter to NIH by House E&C Committee/Subcommittee Ranking Members:

"We have significant concerns that..NIH..has not been..meeting..oversight responsibilities over..NIAID..grant R01AI110964..awarded to..EcoHealth..to conduct research on..
coronaviruses"

republicans-energycommerce.house.gov/wp-content/upl…
"In addition to potentially inadequately assessing the inherent risks of the WIV research supported by NIH’s grant,..the NIH failed to oversee biosafety concerns at the WIV."
"The NIH, in accordance with its own policies and BMBL, should have required EcoHealth Alliance to ensure that all SARS CoV research by its sub-grantee was done in a BSL-3 lab."
Read 8 tweets
21 Aug
Estimating Global Patient Needs and Market Potential
for Priority Health Technologies Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance
globalamrhub.org/wp-content/upl… Image
"[A]t the apex of the public health need.., the market may be failing most acutely and therefore struggle to
deliver these most needed products to society. This situation, combined with the long development time of new drugs, signals that action is warranted..urgently."
"[W]idespread and immediate use of existing policy levers i.e., national-level reform of pricing and reimbursement (ideally backed by broader value-assessment frameworks) are required, as current sales revenues from AMR technologies are insufficient to support private investment"
Read 4 tweets
19 Aug
"People who work with..pathogens do so with..little transparency or supervision. Rules..are not legally binding or subject to independent oversight. That has to change. The world needs to know who is working with..pathogens, where, and under what..safety"

economist.com/leaders/2021/0…
"America, which could be leading the way, is not..Ideally there would be an agreed set of basic rules, enforced by a watchdog that is independent of the bodies that fund research. The backers of a project cannot be neutral arbiters of its safety."
"Many other countries follow America’s lead on biosafety. So if it improves its rules and procedures, others will, too. That could be a step towards a proper set of global norms. And it would be in every country’s interest, even China’s, to abide by such norms."
Read 5 tweets
17 Aug
"[The international community must immediately begin planning a parallel investigation process through a mechanism the Chinese government cannot block"

thehill.com/opinion/health…
"The United States should also extend the Biden intelligence review indefinitely until the pandemic origins issue is resolved and establish a bipartisan national COVID-19 commission to examine how this crisis began and other failures across-the-board."
"[N]o safe future can be built on a foundation of misrepresentations and lies. Accountability today will establish the essential principle of accountability for tomorrow."
Read 5 tweets