By Breitbart. Sunday on New York AM 970 radio’s “The Cats Roundtable,” Rudy Giuliani, personal legal counsel for President Donald Trump, accused the President Barack Obama administration in 2014 of funding the Wuhan laboratory in which the coronavirus is believed to have originated. . .
“You could say [China’s experimenting] … was for the purpose of weaponizing it,” Giuliani told host John Catsimatidis. “Back in 2014, the Obama administration prohibited the U.S. from giving money to any laboratory, including in the U.S., that was fooling around with these viruses. Prohibited! Despite that, Dr. Fauci gave $3.7 million to the Wuhan laboratory. And then even after the State Department issued reports about how unsafe that laboratory was, and how suspicious they were in the way they were developing a virus that could be transmitted to humans, we never pulled that money. So, something here is going on, John. I don’t want to make any accusations. But there was more knowledge about what was going on in China with our scientific people then they disclosed to us when this first came out. I mean, just think of it, if this laboratory turns out to be the place where the virus came from — we paid for it. We paid for the damn virus that’s killing us.” (Read more from “Giuliani: ‘Fauci Gave $3.7 Million to Wuhan Laboratory’ in 2014” HERE)
Is Bat coronavirus 4991 a smoking gun in China’s COVID-19 cover-up?
By Dr. Lawrence Sellin. There is no doubt that COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, but from where did it originate?
No one knows. There have been hints. Yet, now, for some reason, some of those hints have disappeared from the debate.
In the February 3, 2020 article in the prestigious journal Nature, scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, led by Zheng-Li Shi, claimed that the coronavirus RaTG13, isolated from bats in Yunnan Province, China, showed a 96.2% sequence identity with COVID-19 and, therefore, “RaTG13 is the closest relative” of COVID-19 and forms a distinct lineage from other coronaviruses.
A month later on March 17, 2020, in now the most widely-cited article both by scientists and the media, “The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2,” published by Nature Medicine, the authors supported the conclusion that RaTG13 is CoVid-19’s closest relative, which “jumped” from animals to humans in the Wuhan Seafood Market.
But is that conclusion warranted?
In an article that appeared on February 6, 2020, scientists at the State Key Laboratory of Virology, Modern Virology Research Center, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University wrote that the partial RdRp gene sequence of bat coronavirus strain BtCoV/4991 (GenBank KP876546) had a 98.7% nucleotide identity with COVID-19.
On March 16, 2020 and maybe earlier, it was noted that BtCoV/4991’s short sequence was a 100% match for the same short sequence in RaTG13 and was also a 100% match for SNU01, the viral isolate from the first COVID-19 patient in South Korea.
The obvious question then as now remains, are RaTG13 and BtCoV/4991 the same coronavirus? If true, it could reveal a cover-up by China as to the true origin of COVID-19.
Both bat coronaviruses RaTG13 and BtCoV/4991 were isolated from bats in Yunnan Province, China in July 2013. There GenBank accession designations are MN996532 and KP876546, respectively.
BtCoV/4991 was partially sequenced in 2016, but its full sequence has never been published. Oddly, although isolated in 2013, the sequence of RaTG13 was not submitted until January 27, 2020.
It is also strange that with all the information publicly available, the most widely cited article by many scientists and media, “The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2,” never mentions BtCoV/4991.
And how did a coronavirus, whether it be RaTG13 or BtCoV/4991, isolated from bats in Yunnan Province, nearly 1,000 miles away, end up in the Wuhan Seafood Market, if that was indeed the source of the outbreak?
Or, more likely, was it the result of a leak from a Wuhan laboratory, where experiments were being conducted on a variety of bat coronaviruses?
In addition, no one has explained the origin of COVID-19’s furin polybasic cleavage site, which exists in none of the yet identified close coronavirus relatives and may be partially responsible for its enhanced transmissibility in humans.
Furthermore, as an April 22, 2020 comment states:
“If they [the Chinese] obfuscated the origin of this virus, how can we be sure the RaTG13 genome is accurate and not manipulated? In this context, we would need independent third-party access to the original specimen to extract the genetics.”
Indeed. The science coming out of China seems to raise more questions than it answers.
Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel, who previously worked at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and conducted basic and clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry. His email address is email@example.com.
NPR Tries to Convince Americans that the Chicom Virus Didn’t Come From a Wuhan Laboratory
By NPR. Virus researchers say there is virtually no chance that the new coronavirus was released as result of a laboratory accident in China or anywhere else.
The assessment, made by more than half-a-dozen scientists familiar with lab accidents and how research on coronaviruses is conducted, casts doubt on recent claims that a mistake may have unleashed the coronavirus on the world. . .
But after corresponding with 10 leading scientists who collect samples of viruses from animals in the wild, study virus genomes and understand how lab accidents can happen, NPR found that an accidental release would have required a remarkable series of coincidences and deviations from well-established experimental protocols.
“All of the evidence points to this not being a laboratory accident,” says Jonna Mazet, a professor of epidemiology at the University of California, Davis and director of a global project to watch for emerging viruses called PREDICT. (Read more from “Virus Researchers Cast Doubt on Theory of Coronavirus Lab Accident” HERE)