EXPOSING THE LIKELY WUHAN LAB LEAK OF SARS-COV-2/COVID-19
(Scientific report worded in lay terms to explain the science to the public, governments, and World media)
(Version 1.05 May 12, 2020)
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After weeks of research and an email discussion with a well known Harvard PHD molecular biologist on the topic, this research data is gathered here in logical format for the public, governments, and media companies in every country in the World to understand how SARS-COV-2 (cause of COVID-19), or its direct ancestor before mutation in humans, very probably "escaped" from a Wuhan lab into the public. The data here is presented anonymously, partially because the chinese communist party may have intentionally leaked COVID-19 and partially because many virology research labs may (and should) be closed based on some of the data presented here.
NOTE: Sadly some in the virology research industry (such as Peter Daszak) have seemingly been attempting to use a smokescreen of "it looks natural, not engineered" as a way to protect controversial "gain-of-function" virology research funding, as some virology research labs will likely close once the majority of the public knows that there is about approximately 99.99999% probability (based on data currently publicly available) that SARS-COV-2/COVID19 "escaped" from a Wuhan research lab. Breeding enhanced variations of viruses in a lab by infecting multiple ferrets (or other animals with ACE2 receptors similar to humans), and selecting resulting viral mutations from that group, is seemingly a relatively common way to do "gain of function" virology research. Basically the lab selects from the mutations of a virus resulting from the spread through various lab animals and a resulting enhanced bat coronavirus would look very "natural".
MAIN RESEARCH DATA
How SARS-COV-2/COVID19 very probably "escaped" into the public from a virology research lab in Wuhan:
(Presented in a way to be more easily understandable by the adult public and media in Western nations)
1. Starting with the MOST important proof to make sure it's blatantly obvious from the start: According to the official "Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)"(a), the most identical genome sequence (96.x percent identical) to SARS-COV-2 that is publicly known is: "BatCov RaTG13", also known as "Bat coronavirus RaTG13". That genome sequence was uploaded to the NCBI genome database by The Wuhan Institute of Virology (yes, a research lab in the same Wuhan, china that is the epicenter of the global pandemic). That Wuhan lab's name is literally on the NCBI genome sequence database submission(b). That is a bat (rhinopholus affinis, AKA: a chinese intermediate horseshoe bat) coronavirus sample reportedly collected in June 2013 by that Wuhan research lab. 2013 was during a known period that employees of that Wuhan lab are documented to have been collecting samples from caves (and a mine shaft where a miner reportedly passed away from a weird "pneumonia") in the southwest region of china. Most likely that bat coronavirus sample (or the bat carrying it) was collected from or near Yunnan, according to some of that Wuhan lab's research papers.
Richard H. Ebright (a well known Harvard PHD molecular biologist and documented on Wikipedia as "the Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University and Laboratory Director at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology") has stated very clearly in an email that the 3.x percent difference between "Bat coronavirus RaTG13" and SARS-COV-2 could have resulted from spreading a bat coronavirus through multiple lab animals (ferrets or another lab animal that has similar ACE2 receptors as humans do) in a Wuhan research lab. Basically Ebright has confirmed that the notorious "spike protein" found on SARS-COV-2 is also present in the genome sequence of "Bat coronavirus RaTG13". Those 2 coronaviruses are basically in a genetic lineage that ONLY those 2 publicly documented genome sequences are members of. Richard Ebright confirmed by saying: "RaTG13 has all features except two: receptor-binding-domain sequence optimized for ACE-2 binding, and furin cleavage site". Then when asked if those features could have been added to "Bat coronavirus RaTG13" by passing that bat coronavirus through multiple animals in a Wuhan research lab (a gain-of function breeding process that would look "natural"), Richard Ebright answered "Yes"!
A chinese researcher (named Zhengli Shi) at the Wuhan Institute of Virology is also listed as an author on an EXTREMELY controversial "gain of function" virology research paper(c) from 2015. That research paper states that the group involved had created/engineered a hybrid coronavirus IN A LAB using the spike protein from a chinese horseshoe bat, similar to the spike protein on SARS-COV-2!!! According to that research paper, the engineered coronavirus from 2015: "can efficiently use multiple orthologs of the SARS receptor human angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2), replicate efficiently in primary human airway cells and achieve in vitro titers equivalent to epidemic strains of SARS-CoV"!!!
Also from that paper(c): "Here we examine the disease potential of a SARS-like virus, SHC014-CoV, which is currently circulating in Chinese horseshoe bat populations. Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system, we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone. The results indicate that group 2b viruses encoding the SHC014 spike in a wild-type backbone can efficiently use multiple orthologs of the SARS receptor human angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2), replicate efficiently in primary human airway cells and achieve in vitro titers equivalent to epidemic strains of SARS-CoV."
And also from that paper(c): "Additionally, in vivo experiments demonstrate replication of the chimeric virus in mouse lung with notable pathogenesis. Evaluation of available SARS-based immune-therapeutic and prophylactic modalities revealed poor efficacy; both monoclonal antibody and vaccine approaches failed to neutralize and protect from infection with CoVs using the novel spike protein. On the basis of these findings, we synthetically re-derived an infectious full-length SHC014 recombinant virus and demonstrate robust viral replication both in vitro and in vivo. Our work suggests a potential risk of SARS-CoV re-emergence from viruses currently circulating in bat populations."
So basically Zhengli Shi (Wuhan Institute of Virology) was on a research lab project that had made something similar enough to SARS-COV-2 in a lab years ago to make it BLATANTLY OBVIOUS today that a Wuhan lab leak has a 99.999999999% or higher probability as the initial source of the SARS-COV-2/COVID-19 virus that has caused the global pandemic in 2020.
The main question remaining is if SARS-COV-2/COVID-19 was intentionally leaked or if it was accidentally leaked. Considering the extreme nature of some protests in hong kong (and some in southern china, where the hong kong protest slogans and hong kong style protests had reportedly started spreading) in the month of November 2019, that question is EXTREMELY important. Basically the first known patient was in Wuhan(d) and had reportedly showed symptoms of COVID-19 on December 1, 2019. Thus that patient would have probably received SARS-COV-2/COVID-19 sometime in mid to late November, according to known statistics about incubation duration of COVID-19. However, this research paper is focused on the scientific research of Wuhan lab employees and is not focused on the political motivations for the chinese government to have possibly intentionally leaked COVID-19.
2. There is PLENTY of precedent showing that research lab safety in china is and has been a MAJOR risk to the World. Sadly MANY chinese lab employees have been infected with various pathogens at various chinese research labs in china over the years. As recently as December 2019 (yes, that recently), both the science journal Nature(a) and also Newsweek(b) reported about an incident at another chinese research lab in china where "more than 100 students"(b) were reportedly infected by Brucella (yes, another chinese research lab in maybe the same month as the likely Wuhan lab leak, although a Wuhan lab leak may have been a month or more before). According to another Nature magazine article(c) from 2017 about that Wuhan lab, "The SARS virus has escaped from high-level containment facilities in beijing multiple times". That article is aptly titled: "Inside the chinese lab poised to study world's most dangerous pathogens". In that same article Richard Ebright had been quoted expressing some concerns: ""These facilities are inherently dual use," he says. The prospect of ramping up opportunities to inject monkeys with pathogens also worries, rather than excites, him: "They can run, they can scratch""
3. The Wuhan Institute of Virology (well known in bio-research community for gathering and studying bat coronaviruses) contains the first (and possibly still the ONLY) BSL-4 (bio-safety level 4) research lab in china. That lab is located approximately 12km from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market (the wet market in Wuhan where the global pandemic was originally believed to have started). Technically that research lab is about 14km walking distance (a) from that wet market and that is obviously EXTREMELY near, ESPECIALLY considering that Wuhan is the epicenter of an international pandemic. "Biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) is the highest level of biosafety precautions, and is appropriate for work with agents that could easily be aerosol-transmitted within the laboratory and cause severe to fatal disease in humans for which there are no available vaccines or treatments."(b)
NOTE: Sadly in china there is almost definitely no such thing as a bio-safety lab that is ACTUALLY at BSL-4 safety level by Western standards. Any expat from a Western nation that has resided in china long enough knows that was very likely the situation at that lab. There is a VERY common chinese word "chabuduo", that basically describes the quality standard inherent in chinese culture (similar to saying "close enough" or "tolerably passable" in English), and is one of many examples of how the highest level safety lab in china is more likely at a lower safety level than publicly stated. Considering that the chinese government reportedly decided to hire a chinese construction company (instead of the French that were seemingly originally supposed to have been building it), it is very, very questionable how safe that lab is. If every research lab in china is actually functioning at a bio-safety level one tier or more below the publicly stated safety level, that would explain why so many chinese labs have leaked pathogens into chinese lab employees.
a. A map showing approximate distance.
4. Sadly the Wuhan Institute of Virology (according it its official website) also has "different biosafety level laboratories for working on human pathogens, including 17 biosafety level 2 (BSL-2) labs, one animal BSL-2 (ABSL-2) lab and two BSL-3 labs." Quoting Professor Ebright in an article from another science journal: "bat coronaviruses at Wuhan [Center for Disease Control] and Wuhan Institute of Virology routinely were collected and studied at BSL-2, which provides only minimal protections against infection of lab workers."
5. The Wuhan WHCDC is another research lab in Wuhan that is less than 1.5km from that Huanan Seafood Wholesale market (actually the chinese government prevents google maps from being perfectly accurate and a chinese research paper(a) stated it's nearer than 500km). That lab was also reportedly handling bat coronaviruses. Quoting that chinese research paper containing the map data: "We noted two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus in Wuhan, one of which was only 280 meters from the seafood market." And another quote from that paper about a researcher at that lab that was in a chinese government propaganda movie about chinese research labs: "He described that he was once by attacked by bats and the blood of a bat shot on his skin. He knew the extreme danger of the infection so he quarantined himself for 14 days". And also from that paper: "The WHCDC was also adjacent to the Union Hospital where the first group of doctors were infected during this epidemic." And another quote: "It is plausible that the virus leaked around and some of them contaminated the initial patients in this epidemic, though solid proofs are needed in future study."
6. A researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology named Zhengli Shi (AKA: "the bat woman" (a)) is also listed as an author and team member on a 2015 project that previously made a hybrid (chimeric) virus that notably added a "spike protein". To quote that paper: "Therefore, to examine the emergence potential (that is, the potential to infect humans) of circulating bat CoVs, we built a chimeric virus encoding a novel, zoonotic CoV spike protein-from the RsSHC014-CoV sequence that was isolated from Chinese horseshoe bats"(b) There is A LOT more info about Zhengli Shi and her dangerous research in a recent Scientific American article about her that was seemingly written by a chinese writer in Beijing, named "Jane Qiu". The article was seemingly written as an attempt to gain prestige, but the article actually shows that a Wuhan lab almost DEFINITELY leaked SARS-COV-2 (or its direct ancestor before mutation in humans). The article on the Scientific American website states that Zhengli Shi is quoted as saying this when she was contacted by the institute's director about some patients in a Wuhan hospital having a novel coronavirus: ""I wondered if [the municipal health authority] got it wrong," "I had never expected this kind of thing to happen in Wuhan, in central China." "could they have come from our lab?"". Zhengli Shi had been doing research in Yunnan and had found direct transmission of bat coronaviruses to some chinese inhabitants near caves there. In a research paper(c) dated September 2019 titled "Human-animal interactions and bat coronavirus spillover potential among rural residents in Southern China"(c) with Zhengli Shi listed as an author, it is stated: "Nine participants (0.6%) tested positive for bat coronaviruses. 265 (17%) participants reported severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and/or influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms in the past year" and "This study provides serological evidence of bat coronavirus spillover in rural communities in Southern China."
7. That is OBVIOUSLY a mountain of peer reviewed scientific proof already presented in this paper. This section is added to further clarify some of the science behind what Richard Ebright had stated in an email about the possibility that "BatCov RaTG13" could have been spread through multiple ferrets (or other lab animals with ACE2 receptors similar to those in humans) in a Wuhan research lab to breed (by selection) the 3.x percent difference between the genome sequence of bat coronavirus BatCovRaTG13 and the virus now known as SARS-COV-2 (cause of COVID-19). That is not to say it was bred by a Wuhan to intentionally be a "bio-weapon" or similar, because I do not currently know of any completely definite proof of that. The purpose of the majority of "gain-of-function" virology research is seemingly "what if" scenarios. Basically "gain of function" virology research is similar to saying: "what if some natural evolution happened?" (including scenarios that may have never happened naturally) and attempting to prepare for those. The basic process to breed enhancements onto a virus seems vaguely similar, in some ways, to breeding a species of poodle with enhanced traits. Select the poodle that has the desired traits and continue doing so successively until the optimal poodle species results. Sadly there has been some such "gain of function" research done by some virology labs in the World to enhance viruses in the past decade. Again, the concept is generally that such research is done to prevent vaguely possible future versions of viruses that have a vague possiblity of occuring naturally sometime, somewhere…although some possibly billions of years from now. Thus, many have questioned whether such research is safe and if it is worth the risk of accidentally leaking a global pandemic from a research lab into the human species.
In addition to how Richard Ebright already confirmed that spreading "Bat coronavirus RaTG13" through lab animals with ACE2 receptors similar to humans (such as ferrets), another research paper published in Nature titled "The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2"(a) also seemingly confirms that to be true. Sadly though, the authors of that article seem to be attempting some smokescreen to protect the bio-research industry, so read the wording in that specific paper VERY CAREFULLY, if reading it. Some of it seems overly "opinionated" and from a Western ethics standpoint (not a chinese perspective) and seemingly attempts to dissuade the reader from some facts intentionally (for instance, by mentioning the already disproven pangolin theory, although the genome sequence of the bat coronavirus submitted by the Wuhan Institute of Virology is MUCH more similar to the full SARS-COV-2 genome sequence than any known coronavirus found in pangolins). Thankfully the paper still admits that SARS-COV-2 could have been leaked by a Wuhan lab: "In theory, it is possible that SARS-CoV-2 acquired RBD mutations during adaptation to passage in cell culture, as has been observed in studies of SARS-CoV. " and "Mutations, insertions and deletions can occur near the S1-S2 junction of coronaviruses, which shows that the polybasic cleavage site can arise by a natural evolutionary process. For a precursor virus to acquire both the polybasic cleavage site and mutations in the spike protein suitable for binding to human ACE2, an animal host would probably have to have a high population density (to allow natural selection to proceed efficiently) and an ACE2-encoding gene that is similar to the human ortholog." That sort of "population density" of ferrets or similar would have been possible in a research lab intentionally breeding a gain-of-function enhanced coronavirus by infecting those research lab animals with bat coronavirus RaTG13.
There is a statement in that research paper that a bat coronavirus would have had to have been isolated to have accomplished that. A lab in Wuhan has obviously isolated a bat coronavirus already(d). Actually it seems a Wuhan lab or labs have isolated multiple bat coronaviruses, as another research paper titled "Isolation and characterization of a bat SARS-like coronavirus that uses the ACE2 receptor" has Zhengli Shi's name listed as an author. Perhaps the authors of that "The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2"(a) paper did not know that Zhengli Shi was involved in prior isolation of bat coronaviruses. Although from the general overly opinionated and misleading tone of some sections of that paper, it seems more likely the authors were trying to intentionally dissuade the public from focusing on an EXTREMELY likely Wuhan lab leak of SARS-COV-2.
That "The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2"(a) research paper also links to another research paper(b) about the process of adding "polybasic cleavage sites" to enhance a virus. That linked paper was about the EXTREMELY controversial "gain of function" research that had been done to breed an enhancement in avian bird flu. H5N1 (enhanced avian bird flu) is a notorious gain-of-function enhanced coronavirus (A CORONAVIRUS!) that was bred in a lab by spreading a type of avian flu through multiple lab animals. H5N1 research was so controversial that the scientific community had apparently considered not publishing the process of how it was done publicly, as it was so risky if that technique was used and a virus was accidentally leaked. An article(c) about that prior H5N1 research on the Scientific American states: "Ten ferrets, some bird flu and swabs. That is all, according to a presentation last summer, one needs to concoct a virulent strain of influenza that could start a deadly pandemic among humans."
8. On February 15, 2020, china's "ministry of science and technology" (title translated with google translate) announced new increased safety requirements for chinese bio-research labs in china in a document titled: "Guiding Opinions on Strengthening the Biosafety Management of the New Coronavirus High-level Viral Microbiology Laboratory"(a) (translated with google translate). This is a quote from that news announcement "the competent departments also emphasized the need to strengthen the management of laboratories, especially viruses, to ensure biological safety. Ensure biological safety!" So OBVIOUSLY that is MAJOR proof that a Wuhan lab likely leaked SARS-COV-2 into the chinese public! That specifically mentions "coronavirus"!!!
That completes this iteration of this document. The first version was launched in early April of 2020. Hopefully now it is BLATANTLY OBVIOUS (based on the scientific data presented in this document) that there is about 99.99999999% probability or higher that SARS-COV-2/COVID19 "escaped" from a Wuhan virology research lab. There is already more proof that can be added to this document, although it seems unnecessary to add more data to this document on that topic. That said, more scientific proof may be added to this document soon.
NOTE: I previously tutored Stanford doctoral students (PHD students) and while on Stanford campus had warned some Stanford officials that some of the students from china were probably attending Stanford on the chinese government's payroll. I had stated multiple times that it was extremely foolish for universities in the US to have allowed students from china, because many were probably having tuitions paid by the chinese government in an attempt to copy Western technology for the purpose of subjugating chinese citizens and also for military purposes. Basically chinese universities in china did not (and almost definitely still do not) have ANYTHING of any major worth to teach any Western students. So in the US the leftist "be nice to those sad, underprivileged students from china" attitudes of some US universities were OBVIOUSLY being BLATANTLY exploited by the chinese government (and, as of April 17, 2020, still are being exploited by the chinese government). Sadly the communist chinese government has been using multiple features of Western democracies as ways to attack and exploit Western countries. The use of chinese state media videos on youtube and the hordes of chinese "wumao" (paid propaganda employees of the chinese government) posting on Western social media such as twitter, reddit, quora, etcetera, is a very large example of that problem.
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