Evidence Shows that a military team collaborated with the lab where the COVID-19 pandemic began

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Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli is seen inside the P4 laboratory in Wuhan city, Hubei Province, on Feb. 23, 2017. (Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images)

The Chinese regime has said that its contentious virology institute has no links to the military, but the institute has collaborated with military leaders on a government-sponsored project for nearly a decade.

From 2012 to 2018, the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) took part in a project sponsored by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), a regime-funded scientific research organization. A team of five military and civil experts worked on the project, conducting research at WIV laboratories, military labs, and other civil labs that resulted in the “discovery of animal pathogens [biological agents that cause disease] in wild animals.”

The WIV is in Wuhan, central China, which is the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. The WIV, as an advanced virology institution, has China’s only P4 lab (the highest biosafety level lab) and Asia’s largest repository of bat coronaviruses. The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as novel coronavirus, is “96 percent similar at the whole-genome level to a bat coronavirus,” according to Chinese researchers in a February 2020 research article (pdf).

In recent months, the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry and Shi Zhengli, the WIV virologist dubbed “Bat Woman” for her work on coronaviruses of bat origin, have denied any connection between the WIV and the military, and have stated that no WIV researchers have been infected with COVID-19.

According to a State Department investigation, “several researchers within the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first confirmed case of the outbreak, with symptoms associated with both COVID-19 and normal seasonal illnesses.”

According to a State Department fact sheet, “the WIV has engaged in classified studies, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military since at least 2017.”

Shi, on the other hand, denied that the WIV conducted research with the Chinese military. “I am not aware of any military employment at the WIV.” That information is incorrect, “Shi said during a March 23 public webinar. Shi made no mention of the WIV being used by a Chinese military medical team to produce COVID-19 vaccines in early 2020.

Shi told Science magazine in July 2020 that there had been no pathogen leaks or staff infections. According to Shi, “there is’ zero infection ‘among staff or students with SARS-CoV-2 [2019 novel coronavirus] or SARS-related viruses,” according to the magazine.

Overseas Chinese media announced in late March that three WIV staff members began experiencing symptoms close to COVID-19 as early as November 2019. Soon after, the Chinese state-run media outlet China News announced that the news was based on speculation.

According to China News, a Chinese specialist told the WHO investigation team, which visited China in February to look into the origins of the CCP virus, that cases dating back to 2019 were patients at WIV-related hospitals, rather than WIV employees.

On February 1, 2018, the NSFC published research findings regarding animal pathogens on its website. It was also reported that the project “discovered over 1,640 types of new viruses by using metagenomics technology,” and that the study was carried out by a civil and military team.

Cao Wuchun, 58, is a colonel and top epidemiologist in the Chinese military and a member of the project’s military team. He has been a researcher at the Academy of Military Medical Sciences since September 2017, but he has been a member of the staff for the previous 21 years. According to his official biography, he was the academy’s director from 2007 to 2017. Cao was second in command to Major General Chen Wei, China’s top biowarfare specialist, on the team.

Cao followed Chen to Wuhan on January 26, 2020, and they took command of the WIV. At the time, Chinese state-run media announced that the key goal of the military takeover was to produce a vaccine against the CCP virus.

Cao also co-led the NSFC project with Shi (the WIV virologist), and when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in Wuhan, the Chen-Cao team took over.

The NSFC project’s other three team leaders were Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention researchers Liang Guodong, Zhang Yongzhen, and Xu Jianguo (CDC). Xu was the project leader or manager for the other four team members.

Xu, 69, is the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s state main laboratory for communicable disease prevention and control, a scholar at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and the director of Nankai University’s Research Institute of Public Health. According to Xu’s resume, he secured $987,820 in support from the NSFC for the project.

In early 2020, Xu, one of China’s top virus specialists, relocated to Wuhan to act as team chief. Xu told China’s Science magazine on January 14, 2020, “All 763 near contacts are not contaminated.” The pandemic isn’t serious, and it might end next week if no new infections emerge. ”

In reality, Wuhan residents began crowding within hospitals for treatment of pneumonia symptoms in early January 2020, but the regime refused to acknowledge that the virus would spread between humans until January 20, 2020. People were duped into traveling because of the late announcements, allowing the virus to spread all over the world from Wuhan.

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A team of scientists and science students from Chulalongkorn University paint the toenails of a wrinkle-lipped free-tailed bat after sampling as a way of tagging it at an on-site lab near the Khao Chong Pran Cave in Ratchaburi, Thailand, on Sept. 12, 2020. (Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images)

Shi, 56, is the director of WIV’s Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases. After four years of research, she earned her Ph. D. in virology from the University of Montpellier II in France in 2000.

Shi began researching coronaviruses during China’s extreme acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2002 and 2003.

The SARS virus was transmitted from civets (a meat-eating animal) to humans in southern China’s Guangdong Province in November 2002, and it spread to other Chinese cities and neighboring Hong Kong because the regime did not encourage citizens to discuss the infectious disease for the first two months, according to Beijing authorities. SARS killed at least 774 people and infected 8,096 others from 31 countries.

Chinese state-owned enterprises Shi and her staff, according to CCTV on December 29, 2017, did not believe that civets were the natural hosts of SARS and were just the intermediate host. In 2004, they began researching bats from various Chinese regions.

Shi’s team discovered a SARS-like virus in bats living in a cave in Yunnan Province, southwestern China, in 2011. They then dubbed this virus “WIV1” and continued their research. CCTV did not reveal the virus’s specifics, but said Shi’s team continued to collect samples from the same cave for five years.

Shi’s team has been publishing their research results in international journals such as Virologica Sinica, Nature, and Lancet since 2015.

Shi and her colleagues published an article in Nature weeks after the Chinese regime officially confirmed the COVID-19 outbreak, relating COVID-19 to bats.

Shi and his colleagues discovered the bat coronavirus in bats captured from an abandoned copper mine in Tongguan township, Mojiang county, Yunnan Province. The WIV researchers had been visiting the mine for several days, despite the fact that six employees had become contaminated while working there.

After translating a 66-page master’s thesis by Li Xu, a Chinese medical doctor who treated the miners and sent tissue samples to the WIV for research, virologist Jonathan Latham and molecular biologist Allison Wilson from Ithaca, New York, co-published an article in Independent Science News on July 15, 2020.

Li’s thesis was completed in May of 2013. In April 2012, six miners extracted bat feces from a mine, he wrote. After 14 days, both employees became ill with serious symptoms such as high fever, dry cough, and achy limbs.

Li researched, got, and treated the miners at Kunming Medical University’s School of Clinical Medicine. Finally, three miners were killed. Their samples were forwarded to WIV for further examination.

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