Leaked proposals show that U.S. and Chinese scientists were planning to create a brand-new coronavirus in 2018 before the covid-19 pandemic erupted.
A grant application filed in 2018 and submitted to the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) revealed that the international team of scientists planned to blend genetic data of closely related strains and grow completely new viruses.
The proposal was submitted by the British zoologist Peter Daszak on behalf of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the Daszak EcoHealth Alliance, the University of North Carolina, and Duke-NUS, a graduate medical school in Singapore.
The grant was never approved, but its existence provides evidence that the U.S. and Chinese scientists were surveying gain-of-function research – where scientists manipulate existing viruses to make them more contagious.
Earlier this year, top U.S. immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci dismissed claims that any U.S. funding was used for gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The shutdown of the U.S. bioweapons lab at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland in August 2019 — five months before the first case of coronavirus was reported in U.S. — raised questions about whether it was connected to the covid-19 pandemic.
An anonymous World Health Organisation (WHO) source who was interviewed by the Telegraph pointed out that artificial lab engineering could explain why a close match for Sars-CoV-2 has not yet been identified in nature despite an enormous Chinese and international effort to do that.
The closest match to Sar-CoV-2 that has been found in nature is a strain called Banal-52 which shares 96.8 percent of the genome.
For a virus to be the direct ancestor of another, the genome should be around a 99.98 percent match, according to the proposal.
Scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China — the city suspected of being the epicenter for the coronavirus global pandemic — have consistently denied creating Sars-CoV-2 in a laboratory.
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