When we compare the definition of Enhanced Potential Pandemic Pathogen in the Research Framework, to the NIH Letter’s description of the research conducted, the only conclusion one can reach is that the Framework was violated, and Fauci’s statements to the contrary are lies.
For those who have been following, I have been working overtime over the last several days, fact-checking Fauci’s falsehoods and explaining some of the ways my six months of in-depth reporting on the origins of COVID-19, have proven his assertions to be, well, total garbage. Then again, most of Fauci’s claims have been a various shade of misinformation for what appears to be the better part of the last several years. A quick look at my author page will reveal that I have made a career recently of dismantling many of the falsehoods spun regarding COVID-19.
Fauci’s latest defense is now to suggest that the research conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology didn’t ever rise to the level described as gain-of-function. On Sunday Fauci told George Stephanopolous that suggestions that a new NIH letter proved that he lied are ridiculous.
“The funding at the Wuhan Institute was to be able to determine what is out there in the environment, in bat viruses in China. And the research was very strictly under what we call a framework of oversight of the type of research,” Fauci said.
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“And under those conditions which we have explained very, very clearly, does not constitute research of gain of function of concern. There are people who interpret it that way, but when you look at the framework under which the guidance is, that is not the case. So I have to respectfully disagree with Senator Paul. He is not correct that we lied or misled the Congress. It’s just not correct,” he added.”
Fauci’s statement refers to a framework released by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2017. That framework specifically lays out instances under which research involving what they call “Enhanced Potential Pandemic Pathogens” (enhanced PPPs) must be reported to the government and must face additional biosafety requirements.
Enhanced PPPs are defined in the framework as:
“A PPP resulting from the enhancement of the transmissibility and/or virulence of a pathogen. Enhanced PPPs do not include naturally occurring pathogens that are circulating in or have been recovered from nature, regardless of their pandemic potential.”
Now, in order to understand why Fauci’s denial can’t coexist with reason, logic, and other known facts, we must take a look at the wording that was used in the letter the NIH sent Representative Comer.
“The limited experiment described in the final progress report provided by EcoHealth Alliance was testing if spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model. All other aspects of the mice, including the immune system, remained unchanged.”
There are three things to note here. The first is that they were supposed to only be using known naturally occurring viruses. The second is that the mice had humanized cells, which would suggest that the viruses they were using would have infected humans as well. Clearly, they had been modified, or there would be no point in stating that “all other aspects..remained unchanged.” Lastly, the ACE2 receptor is the same receptor SARS-CoV-2 binds to in human cells. The letter continues:
“In this limited experiment, laboratory mice infected with the SHC014 WIV 1 bat coronavirus became sicker than those infected with WIV1 bat coronavirus. As sometimes occurs in science, this was an unexpected result of the research, as opposed to something that the researchers set out to do. Regardless, the viruses being studied under this grant were genetically very distant from SARS-CoV-2.”
So again, enhanced PPPs are viruses that 1) don’t occur in nature, 2) which can infect humans, and 3) have been enhanced for transmissibility or virulence. Based on that definition and the explanation in the NIH letter, Fauci’s statements aren’t just misleading; they are total and complete hogwash.
First is that while SHC014 and WIV1 both exist in nature, the genetically modified hybrid of the two, SHC014-WIV1, does not. It is a synthetic creation, made in a lab. Second, this virus infected humanized mice and therefore would infect humans. Third, this synthesized hybrid virus made the mice more ill than did either SHC014 (which does not infect humans) or WIV1 (which does). Regardless of Fauci’s and the NIH’s arguments on whether or not it is intentional, this new virus is absolutely and unequivocally, outside of the framework established by the HHS. For Fauci or anyone else at the NIH to state that it is within the framework, is flat-out lies, full stop.
What is also alarming from this letter is the NIH’s objections to the results of the research but not that the research was outside of the proposed grant funding. Remember, the grant was for the study of naturally occurring bat viruses, and not Enhanced Potential Pandemic Pathogens. The letter makes it sound like the result was unexpected; however, if you remember, SHC014 was used in other gain-of-function experiments. From my article yesterday:
“Dr. Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina, often referred to as the “godfather of gain-of-function,” was researching coronaviruses, including bat coronaviruses. Among the viruses, his team worked with was SHC014, a bat coronavirus. Baric and his team manipulated a SARS viral backbone to present SHC014 surface proteins, essentially creating a new virus SHC014-MA15. This new virus was found to be able to infect human epithelial airway cells, making it more virulent (more transmissible and deadly) than the original virus. Even more alarming is that the genetics were provided by and some of the research for this experiment was conducted at… you guessed it… the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
That very same research was not only labeled as gain-of-function, but that research led to the funding pause and the creation of the new HHS Viral Research Framework. While Ralph Baric’s research used SARS as a backbone for SHC014, the subject research of the NIH Letter – the research Peter Daszak and the Bat Lady, Dr. Shi, performed on bat coronaviruses – used WIV1 as a backbone for SHC014. Both experiments were gain-of-function.
In summary, in order to believe Fauci’s (and the NIH’s) claims, we would have to ignore the Framework’s definition of Enhanced PPP, ignore that the research lab created a new virus that is not found in nature, and ignore that that new virus was more transmissible and virulent than either of the base viruses it came from. We would also have to ignore that the research conducted was identical to research on the same virus from 2014 that was labeled gain-of-function and the fact that that very research led to the creation of the Framework, to which Fauci says the new research doesn’t apply.
Fauci’s not even attempting to obfuscate or cleverly word answers anymore; he’s blatantly lying. If anything, these articles will serve as notice we knew all along when the house of cards comes tumbling down.