Two weeks ago we reported on several disturbing grant proposals submitted to the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 2018 by US nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance to release genetically enhanced airborne bat coronaviruses into the wild in collaboration with Chinese scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).
One of the proposals, leaked to pandemic origins analysis group DRASTIC, reveals that EcoHealth, headed by WIV collaborator Peter Daszak, planned to combine genetic data of closely related Covid strains to grow completely new viruses.
"We will compile sequence/RNAseq data from a panel of closely related strains and compare full length genomes, scanning for unique SNPs representing sequencing errors," reads the application. "Consensus candidate genomes will be synthesised commercially using established techniques and genome-length RNA and electroporation to recover recombinant viruses."
Now, a genetics expert who works with the World Health Organization (WHO) has explained in detail to The Telegraph exactly how Covid-19 could have been created via genetic engineering in a lab.
The proposal was submitted by the British zoologist Peter Daszak on behalf of a consortium which included Daszak EcoHealth Alliance, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the University of North Carolina and Duke NUS in Singapore.
The plans are in addition to other proposals made in the Darpa documents, including inserting a section into existing viruses to make them more infectious to humans and inoculating wild bats with aerosolised engineered spike proteins from viruses.
Experts said if the ultimate aim of the proposal was to create a pan-coronavirus vaccine, constructing an "ideal" average virus would have been a good starting point. -The Telegraph
"This means that they would take various sequences from similar coronaviruses and create a new sequence that is essentially the average of them. It would be a new virus sequence, not a 100 per cent match to anything," said the geneticist, who remains to wish anonymous for fear of reprisals.
"They would then synthesize the viral genome from the computer sequence, thus creating a virus genome that did not exist in nature but looks natural as it is the average of natural viruses," the source continued, adding "Then they put that RNA in a cell and recover the virus from it. This creates a virus that has never existed in nature, with a new 'backbone' that didn't exist in nature but is very, very similar as it's the average of natural backbones."
As the Telegraph notes, "Mr Daszak, currently a member of the WHO team investigating the pandemic's origins, was also behind a letter published in The Lancet which dismissed suggestions that Covid did not have a natural origin as a conspiracy theory."
He also explained in 2019 how easy it is to manipulate viruses:
@PeterDaszak on Gain of Function-experiments, Dec. 2019:— Bobby Rajesh Malhotra ツ ψ (@Bobby_Network) February 28, 2021
"You can manipulate them in the lab pretty easily"
"... inserting the spike protein into a backbone of another virus"
"[...] insert these other related diseases and get a better vaccine.”
Last year, WIV scientists - trying to make the case for a natural origin spillover event - claimed to have found a strain named RaTG13 in bat droppings during a 2013 expedition to a cave in Yunnan province. The strain was 96.1% identical to SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes Covid-19. According to the report, "RaTG13 could have been included in a set of viral genomes to help create an average sequence."
While the grant proposal was rejected by DARPA in 2018, the WIV's database of viral strains was taken offline some 18 months later - making it impossible to see what scientists had been working on or created.
"If Sars-CoV-2 comes from an artificial consensus sequence composed of genomes with more than 95 per cent similarity to each other… I would predict that we will never find a really good match in nature and just a bunch of close matches across parts of the sequence, which so far is what we are seeing," said the WHO source, adding "The problem is that those opposed to a lab leak scenario will always just say that we need to sample more, and absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence. Scientists overall are afraid of discussing the issue of the origins due to the political situation. This leaves a small and vocal minority of biased scientists free to spread misinformation."
According to the WHO source, he and other scientists had been warned not to go on record with concerns over a lab leak.