THEY KNEW: The FBI was aware of coronavirus engineering and a potential lab leak for SARS-CoV-2 in March of 2020
By Lance D Johnson // Feb 06, 2024

The U.S. Right to Know (USRTK) released a trove of documents that detail a sophisticated collaboration between U.S. scientists and Chinese scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Back in 2018, Ralph Baric from the University of North Carolina and Peter Daszak from EcoHealth Alliance worked together to patent coronavirus genomes that were “less than 2% different” than SARS-CoV-2. These SARS-like chimeras were denoted as 293 and HK3.

In the year leading up to SARS-CoV-2, the U.S. and Chinese research teams were developing novel coronaviruses as part of “Project DEFUSE.” – of which Baric and Daszak were a part. These engineered coronaviruses share many similarities with the genome of SARS-CoV-2, which was never isolated from the bat caves in Wuhan China. These details were shared with the FBI in March of 2020, but the federal government covered up valuable intel pointing to a lab leak.

FBI had credible evidence of lab leak in March 202o

According to an investigation by Public, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) received credible intelligence in March 2020 that SARS-CoV-2 was engineered and had leaked from the WIV.

Public reporters Michael Shellenberger and Alex Gutentag claim that “multiple sources” reveal that a “Chinese national from Wuhan, working as a confidential human source for the FBI, told their handler at the FBI’s Chinese Intelligence Squad.” The “wet market” and “bat soup” narratives were cover stories. The FBI’s entire 25-person unit that monitored Chinese intelligence knew that SARS-CoV-2 came from a lab back in March 2020.

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After the FBI contacted Public, the agency let it be known that they, the FBI, trusted the individual who provided the intelligence. They had corroborated the person’s information at least three times and it was considered “good intel.” However, government officials continued to downplay and censor any mention of coronavirus gain-of-function and the very real potential of a lab leak.

Baric, Daszak, Shi Zhengli et al. worked to enhance coronavirus transmissibility and lethality

In the latest documents from USRTK, scientists at the WIV had a recipe for assembling SARS-type viruses from six synthetic pieces of DNA. These six pieces of DNA were designed to be a “consensus sequence” that are genetically altered to be the most infectious pieces related to SARS-CoV-1, which was a bat virus that caused a localized epidemic in 2002. EcoHealth Alliance conducted furin cleavage site insertions on these consensus sequences, enhancing the lethality of the strain. As part of the DEFUSE project, EcoHealth Alliance actually submitted a proposal to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to move forward experiments that increase the transmissibility of bat coronaviruses to humans. Their proposal asked DARPA for $14 million to fund the experiment.

“The grant proposed to ‘introduce appropriate human-specific cleavage sites’ into SARS-related viruses, a procedure that could have led to the creation of SARS2, with its distinctive furin cleavage site, depending on the starting virus used for the manipulation,” wrote Nicholas Wade, former science editor for The New York Times.

The proposal also allowed Baric to engineer twenty or more “chimeric” SARS-related viral spike proteins every year. The proposal also gave him permission to engineer two to five full length engineered SARS-related viruses.

According to the USRTK documents, EcoHealth concealed their plans to conduct this unethical research at the WIV. They left out the name of a Chinese research – Shi Zhengli – who was a major part of the research.

“The new drafts show the authors planned to synthesize eight to 16 strains of SARS-type bat viruses, selected for their likely ability to infect human cells,” Wade said, “to make a vaccine to immunize bats in regions that military troops might have to enter.”

USRTK wrote that the genome of SARS-CoV-2 matches the viruses described in the research proposal. Wade says the original outbreaks of covid-19 had all the unique properties that were being engineered in the DEFUSE recipe for coronaviruses.

“Instead of slowly evolving the ability to attack human cells, as natural viruses must do when they jump from animals to humans, SARS2 was immediately infectious to people, possibly because it had already been adapted in humanized laboratory mice to the human cell receptor,” Wade said.

Sources include: [PDF] [PDF]

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