World Wuhan lab collaborator recused from Lancet’s COVID-19 origins investigation
Is China to Blame for a Hypothetical Lab Leak?
The epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch explains that the risky virus research done at the Wuhan Institute has complex rootsProminent scientists long on the sideline, like Scott Gottlieb and Peter Hotez, have begun echoing calls for a deeper investigation. Both the National Security Council and the Director of National Intelligence have made a point of emphasizing their agreement with the previous administration that the pandemic’s origins are a very open — and very important — question.
Peter Daszak, a longtime collaborator with the Wuhan Institute of Virology who hundreds of thousands of dollars in National Institutes of Health funding to the Chinese lab, has been recused from a COVID-19 origins investigation run by a commission organized under the auspices of the Lancet medical journal.
The Lancet COVID-19 Commission, which will “focus on analyzing data on all of the theories put forward on the origins of COVID,"on its website that Daszak, who had been as a chairman of the origins task force as early as December, is now “recused from Commission work on the origins of the pandemic.”
GOP senators call for HHS and NIH to hand over records on COVID-19 origins and Wuhan lab
Five Senate Republicans are urging the leaders of the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health to hand over records related to the origins of COVID-19 and China's Wuhan Institute of Virology following recent revelations within heavily-redacted emails from Dr. Anthony Fauci. © Provided by Washington Examiner Sen. Ron Johnson, ranking member on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, along with Sens. Josh Hawley, James Lankford, Rand Paul, and Rick Scott, sent a letter obtained by the Washington Examiner to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and NIH Director Francis Collins on Monday.
The NIH’s RePORTERsaid the agency provided $15.2 million to Daszak’s New York-based EcoHealth Alliance over the years, with $3.74 million understanding bat coronavirus emergence. Daszak, a key member of the World Health Organization- joint study team earlier this year, maintained a long working relationship with Wuhan lab “bat lady” Shi Zhengli, sending at least $600,000 in NIH funding for bat coronavirus research.
Daszakthe lab leak hypothesis during a 60 Minutes in March when he admitted he took Wuhan lab workers at their word and claimed their answers seemed convincing. He also said he didn't see evidence of a Chinese cover-up. Daszak the Biden administration for skepticism of WHO’s findings and defended China on Communist Party-linked outlets.
First on CNN: HHS watchdog announces review of NIH grants that likely includes money connected to Wuhan lab
Federal government investigators said Tuesday that they are launching a review into how the National Institutes of Health manages and monitors its grant program, which likely includes money connected to a Wuhan lab that GOP lawmakers have been scrutinizing. © Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images This general view shows the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province on February 3, 2021, as members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team investigating the origins of the COVID-19 coronavirus, visit.
Human Eventson Monday Daszak had been recused from the Lancet’s origins inquiry. Archived from earlier this year show Daszak was recently listed as a member of the team.
It was not immediately clear why Daszak was recused.
The Lancet origins investigation is looking into “the reasons why SARS-CoV-2 was able to break out of Wuhan and spread globally” and “will assess the validity of evidence, the weight of evidence, and the gaps in our understanding for each key question and issue," according to its.
Asigned by 27 scientists, including Daszak, and published in Lancet in February 2020, dismissed the lab leak hypothesis as a conspiracy theory. Numerous outlets pointed to Daszak to shut down the debate over COVID-19’s origins.
The letter praised China’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as “remarkable.” It claimed early last year, “The rapid, open, and transparent sharing of data on this outbreak is now being threatened by rumours and misinformation around its origins. We stand together to strongly condemn conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin … Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumours, and prejudice that jeopardise our global collaboration in the fight against this virus … We want you, the science and health professionals of China, to know that we stand with you in your fight against this virus.”
G-7 and Biden pin hopes on WHO to lead follow-up COVID-19 origins investigation
The United States and its allies are pinning their hopes for a second COVID-19 origins investigation in China on the World Health Organization again, despite the WHO-China joint study team’s visit to Wuhan earlier this year that essentially dismissed the lab leak hypothesis widely being considered a failure. © Provided by Washington Examiner The Trump and Biden administrations cast doubt on the joint study by Chinese government-linked scientists and international scientists organized under the auspices of the WHO that was conducted in China early this year.
A State Departmentreleased in January contended Wuhan lab researchers “conducted experiments involving RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by the WIV in January 2020 as its closest sample to SARS-CoV-2 (96.2% similar)” and that the lab “has a published record of conducting ‘gain-of-function’ research to engineer chimeric viruses.”
The fact sheet also asserted the lab “engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military” and that lab workers became sick with coronavirus-like symptoms in autumn 2019.
The U.S. intelligence communityat least one of its 18 agencies is leaning toward the lab leak hypothesis, and President ordered all of the spy agencies to “redouble” their investigative efforts last month.
Emails obtained by U.S. Right to Know, a nonprofit group,Daszak the Lancet statement denouncing the lab leak hypothesis and recruited prominent scientists to sign on to it. One said, “This statement will not have EcoHealth Alliance logo on it and will not be identifiable as coming from any one organization or person.”
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Daszak suggested he would not sign the letter “so it has some distance from us and therefore doesn't work in a counterproductive way.” However, he ultimately attached his name as a signatory but not the organizer.
The Lancet letter claimed their statement was “further supported” by a previous letter, written two weeks earlier by the three presidents of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which also downplayed the likelihood of a lab accident.
Daszak was one of seven experts consulted for that letter, according to the. In the emails about drafting the Lancet statement, Daszak wrote of his desire to release the supposedly independent Lancet statement after the science academy's letter came out to reference it. Daszak cautioned another scientist, Ralph Baric, against signing the Lancet statement because he planned to “put it out in a way that doesn't link it back to our collaboration so we maximize an independent voice.”
Baric, another prominent coronavirus researcher,he would not sign the letter because “otherwise it looks self-serving and we lose impact.” An in Nature Medicine published in 2015 following a study by Baric, Shi, and others noted, “Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system, we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014.”
There's still no evidence of a Chinese lab leak. But here’s what's changed, scientists say.
President Biden and some scientists are demanding an investigation into the lab leak theory, a hypothesis that the origin of coronavirus was a virology lab in Wuhan, China."I know a lot of people want to have a smoking gun," said Chan, a postdoctoral associate at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University who specializes in genetic engineering and has been vocal about the need to investigate the possibility of a lab leak. "It's more like breadcrumbs everywhere, and they're not always leading in one direction. It's like the whole floor is covered in breadcrumbs.
An editor’s note added to the article in March 2020 added, “We are aware that this article is being used as the basis for unverified theories that the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 was engineered. There is no evidence that this is true; scientists believe that an animal is the most likely source of the coronavirus.”
Baric was among several scientists who signed ain Science magazine in May arguing "theories of accidental release from a lab and zoonotic spillover both remain viable."
The United States and its allies are largely pinning hopes for a second COVID-19in on the WHO, despite the WHO- joint study team’s visit to Wuhan earlier this year that essentially dismissed the lab leak hypothesis as a failure. The WHO- report said a lab leak was “extremely unlikely” and that a jump from animals to humans was most likely. Meeting minutes from discussions between Wuhan lab scientists and the WHO- team reveal lab leak concerns were as “conspiracy theories.”
The top watchdog for the Department of Health and Human Servicesan investigation into NIH’s research funding, likely including EcoHealth and the Wuhan lab, earlier this month following calls from Republicans to scrutinize funds ending up at the Wuhan lab.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and NIH Director Francis Collinsthe NIH gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab, but they also admit they don’t actually know about all the activities of the secretive Chinese lab.
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The footage, said to have been taken from inside a Wuhan lab, was unearthed by a team of self-described "underground detectives" who say they are dedicated to exposing the origins of COVID-19.A team of self-described "underground researchers," who told Newsweek they are dedicated to exposing the origins of COVID-19, unearthed the footage.
The NIH said its grant to EcoHealth was “terminated” on April 24, 2020, but “reinstated” on July 8, 2020. ShiNature magazine in August the NIH’s actions were “outrageous,” and Daszak said it was “extremely frustrating.”
Fauciin August the awarding of $17 million in grants for a “global network” to investigate “how and where viruses and other pathogens emerge from wildlife and spillover to cause disease in people.” One out of the 11 “principal investigator” grantees was Daszak. EcoHealth in August it had received $7.5 million over five years from the NIAID.
During ain Geneva following a summit with President Vladimir Putin, Biden media questions about whether he would press Chinese President Xi Jinping on Chinese on the origin investigations.
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Chinese Science Academy Lists Wuhan Lab as Outstanding Prize Candidate for COVID-19 Research .
U.S. officials have suggested that there may be evidence that the virus accidentally leaked from the Chinese lab. China has strongly denied the claim, defended the lab, and accused Western media of spreading rumors and engaging in smear campaigns. On Friday, the Chinese Academy of Sciences published a list of candidates for its annual outstanding achievement award, which included the Wuhan lab. The award is often given to researchers who have "demonstrated significant achievements in the past five years," according to the Global Times, a Chinese state-run newspaper.