Shi Zhengli, the Peter Daszak collaborator whose Wuhan virus database was altered 48 hours before the Chinese government ordered virus samples destroyed in the early days of the pandemic, and whose team was using genetic engineering to create 'chimeric SARS-like viruses to test on humanized mice' at the lab across town from ground zero for Covid-19, has warned that it's 'highly likely' that we'll see another coronavirus outbreak.
"If a coronavirus caused diseases to emerge before, there is a high chance it will cause future outbreaks," she warned in a recent paper co-authored with colleagues.
In this study Shi’s team from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, evaluated the human spillover risk of 40 coronavirus species and rated half of them as “highly risky”.
Of these, six are already known to have caused diseases that infected humans, while there is evidence that a further three caused disease or infected other animal species. -SCMP
"It is almost certain that there will be future disease emergence and it is highly likely a [coronavirus] disease again," the study warned, after looking at various viral traits - including population, genetic diversity, host species and any previous history of zoonosis – diseases that jump from animals to humans.
Shi and pals also identified potential zoonotic hosts for a new Covid pathogen (of which there are none for Covid-19), including bats, rodents or possible intermediary hosts such as camels, civets, pigs or pangolins - which the damage control 'natural origin' types (such as Daszak) have been desperately trying to locate to exonerate themselves.
According to the US State Department, "several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses."
"This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli's public claim that there was "zero infection" among the WIV's staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses."
State Department: "The U.S. government does not know exactly where, when, or how the COVID-19 virus...was transmitted initially to humans. We haven't determined whether the outbreak began thru contact w/ infected animals or was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan." pic.twitter.com/16zjr9duUS— Jerry Dunleavy 🇺🇸 (@JerryDunleavy) January 16, 2021
Zhengli came under fire in 2015 over her controversial 'gain-of-function' research creating chimeric bat viruses designed to infect humans (but suggesting that an emergent coronavirus that's over 96% similar to a bat coronavirus could have escaped from Zhengli's lab is a conspiracy theory).
According to a 2021 statement by former UK Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith - a member of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, the revelations are yet another example of a Chinese coverup.
"China is clearly trying to hide the evidence," he said, adding "It is vital that there is a thorough investigation into what happened but China seems to be doing all it can to stop that happening. We don’t know what was going on in that laboratory. It may well be the case that they played around with bat coronaviruses and made some kind of mistake. Unless China opens itself up to scrutiny, the world will assume they have something to hide."
According to the State Department, "starting in at least 2016 - and with no indication of a stop prior to the COVID-19 outbreak -- WIV 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).
Further, "The WIV has published a record of conducting "gain-of-function" research to engineer chimeric viruses. But the WIV has not been transparent or consistent about its record of studying viruses most similar to the COVID-19 virus, including "RaTG13," which it sampled from a cave in Yunnan Province in 2013 after several miners died of SARS-like illness."
Also of note, "hundreds of pages of information" spanning over 300 studies conducted by WIV were wiped from a database, including some which discuss passing diseases from animals to humans - which were published online by the state-run National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), and are no longer available, according to the Daily Mail.
Secret military activity
The State Department further noted that "Secrecy and non-disclosure are standard practice for Beijing," adding that "For many years the United States has publicly raised concerns about China's past biological weapons work, which Beijing has neither documented nor demonstrably eliminated, despite its clear obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention."
According to the release, "Despite the WIV presenting itself as a civilian institution, the United States has determined that the WIV has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China's military. The WIV has engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military since at least 2017."