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Lab run by Dr Anthony Fauci tested coronavirus strain shipped in from Wuhan year before pandemic began: Report

A recent investigation exposes the use of US taxpayer money in coronavirus experiments conducted in a Chinese laboratory suspected of being the source of the Covid pandemic. The research, led by Dr. Anthony Fauci at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), involved infecting bats with a 'SARS-like' virus in 2018. 

Lab run by Dr Anthony Fauci tested coronavirus strain shipped in from Wuhan year before pandemic began: Report
First Published Nov 1, 2023, 8:55 AM IST

An investigation has uncovered that US taxpayer funds were utilized for experiments involving coronaviruses originating from a Chinese laboratory suspected to be connected to the Covid pandemic, the DailyMail reported. These experiments took place more than a year before the global outbreak. The research, conducted under the leadership of Dr Anthony Fauci at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), involved infecting 12 Egyptian fruit bats with a 'SARS-like' virus known as WIV1 in a Montana laboratory in 2018. 

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The WIV1-coronavirus had been transported from the Wuhan lab, which the FBI believes may have played a role in the Covid pandemic, and was tested on bats acquired from a Maryland zoo described as 'roadside.' This recent revelation, brought to light by an investigative campaign group, indicates that the novel virus in question was unable to induce a 'robust infection.' 

According to the media report, the revelation adds to the growing body of evidence demonstrating connections between the US government and the Wuhan lab, as well as the financing of potentially hazardous virus research worldwide. The scientific paper titled 'SARS-Like Coronavirus WIV1-CoV Does Not Replicate in Egyptian Fruit Bats' was published in the journal Viruses in 2018 and was initially identified by DRASTIC, a group of online activists dedicated to investigating the origins of Covid-19 and the lab leak theory.

In response to this revelation, the White Coat Waste Project, a watchdog organization, is using the Freedom of Information Act to request further information about the experiment. This organization has been actively opposing the use of American tax dollars to support potentially dangerous virus research conducted abroad.

The 2018 experiment was carried out at the NIH's Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Montana, overseen by Dr Fauci, the former director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The research represented a collaborative effort between the NIH's Rocky Mountain Laboratories and Ralph Baric, a collaborator from the University of North Carolina associated with the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Researchers obtained 12 Egyptian fruit bats from a Maryland zoo and administered the WIV1-coronavirus, initially identified in Chinese rufous horseshoe bats. They conducted daily examinations, monitoring parameters such as body weight, temperature, and taking samples from the bats' noses and throats.

On days three, seven, and 28, four of the bats were euthanized, and their organs, including heart, liver, kidney, spleen, bladder, reproductive organs, eyes, and brain, were collected for analysis. The research also involved an analysis of white blood cell counts and antibodies. The findings revealed that the WIV1-coronavirus failed to induce a 'robust infection', with 'very limited evidence of virus replication.'

Notably, the bats had been transferred from a Maryland zoo to the Montana facility by the zoo's curator and director of animal health, who had previously worked at the in-house animal testing labs at the NIH from 2003 to 2012, DailyMil reported citing the White Coat Waste Project.

The Catoctin Wildlife Preserve (CWP) in Thurmont, Maryland, located less than 15 minutes from Camp David, had a history of animal welfare violations and received a $12,000 fine in 2012 for subpar and unsafe animal housing and inadequate animal care. Records show that as of April 2023, the preserve housed 523 federally regulated animals, including 241 bats, with 41 of them being Egyptian fruit bats.

Despite the absence of bat-to-bat transmission in the 2018 experiment, similar high-risk virus research projects with the potential to trigger a pandemic have continued worldwide for years. While there is an ongoing debate regarding whether the pandemic originated from a zoonotic transmission or a laboratory leak in China, it's worth noting that the lab leak theory is now endorsed by the FBI and several other government agencies.

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