(SNews) – Anthony Fauci has a lot of explaining to do after a new report, quitting US Government sources, says the first people sick with COVID were Wuhan Institute of Virology scientists working on gain-of-function research.
Michael Shellenberger and Matt Taibbi reported: “After years of official pronouncements to the contrary, strong new evidence has emerged suggesting the virus known as SARS-CoV-2 escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).
“According to multiple U.S. government officials interviewed as part of a lengthy investigation by Public and Racket, the first people infected by the virus, “patients zero,” included Ben Hu, a researcher who led the WIV’s “gain-of-function” research on SARS-like coronaviruses, which increases the infectiousness of viruses.
“More than three years after the pandemic’s outbreak, many around the world had given up on learning the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the highly infectious respiratory virus that has killed millions, and the response to which shut down businesses and schools, upended societies, and caused enormous collateral damage.
“Public officials in the U.S. and other countries have repeatedly suggested that uncovering the pandemic’s origin may not be possible. “We may never know,” said Anthony Fauci, the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who oversaw pandemic response for two administrations.
“Now, answers increasingly look within reach. Sources within the US government say that three of the earliest people to become infected with SARS-CoV-2 were Ben Hu, Yu Ping, and Yan Zhu. All were members of the Wuhan lab suspected to have leaked the pandemic virus.
“As such, not only do we know there were WIV scientists who had developed COVID-19-like illnesses in November 2019, but also that they were working with the closest relatives of SARS-CoV-2, and inserting gain-of-function features unique to it.
“When a source was asked how certain they were that these were the identities of the three WIV scientists who developed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 in the fall of 2019, we were told, “100%”
“Ben Hu is essentially the next Shi Zhengli,” said Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Shi is known as “the bat woman of China,” and led the gain-of-function research at the WIV. “He was her star pupil. He had been making chimeric SARS-like viruses and testing these in humanized mice.
“If I had to guess who would be doing this risky virus research and most at risk of getting accidentally infected, it would be him.”
“Hu and Yu researched the novel lineage of SARS-like viruses from which SARS-CoV-2 hails, and in 2019 coauthored a paper with Shi Zhengli that described SARS-like lineages they had studied over the years.
“Jamie Metzl, a former member of the World Health Organization expert advisory committee on human genome editing who raised questions starting in early 2020 about a possible research-related pandemic origin, said, “It’s a game changer if it can be proven that Hu got sick with COVID-19 before anyone else. That would be the ‘smoking gun.’ Hu was the lead hands-on researcher in Shi’s lab.”
“Sources tell Public and Racket that other news organizations are chasing aspects of this story. On Saturday, The Times of London quoted an anonymous U.S. State Department investigator saying, “It has become increasingly clear that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was involved in the creation, promulgation, and cover-up of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“Public and Racket are the first publications to reveal the names of the three sick WIV workers and place them directly in the lab that collected and experimented with SARS-like viruses poised for human emergence.
“Next week, the Directorate of National Intelligence is expected to release previously classified material, which may include the names of the three WIV scientists who were the likely among the first to be sickened by SARS-CoV-2.
“A bill signed by President Biden earlier this year specifically called for the release of the names and roles of the sick researchers at the WIV, their symptoms and date of symptom onset, and whether these researchers had been involved with or exposed to coronavirus research.
“On Dec. 29, 2017, two years before the pandemic began, Chinese state-run television aired a video that includes a scene of Ben Hu watching a lab worker handle specimens. Neither are wearing protective gear.
“The same video shows WIV scientists hunting for bat viruses with little protective gear. “If they were worried about being infected in the field, they would need full body suits with no gaps” to be safe, said Chan. “That’s the only way.”
“The WIV research with live SARS-like viruses was performed at too low of a safety level, “BSL-2,” explains Chan, “When we now know that the pandemic virus is even capable of escaping from a BSL-3 lab and infecting fully vaccinated young lab workers.”
“While scientists justify such research as necessary for developing vaccines, President Barack Obama banned federal funding for gain-of-function research of concern in 2014, because experts had come to the consensus that it was too dangerous.
“However, the National Institute of Health and NIAID headed by Francis Collins and Fauci, and a major U.S. government grantee, EcoHealth Alliance, deemed their work on SARS-like viruses as not falling under the gain-of-function research of concern definitions and funded this project in China and Southeast Asia,” the report says.