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Discussion in 'News & Current Events (Articles Required)' started by whatbogsends, Oct 26, 2021.

  1. whatbogsends

    whatbogsends Senior Veteran

    DOCUMENTS RELEASED BY the National Institutes of Health yesterday raise new questions about government-funded research on viruses conducted in China. The annual grant reports from EcoHealth Alliance, which the NIH sent to The Intercept in response to a lawsuit, provided additional evidence that the U.S. nonprofit — which studies emerging infectious diseases — and its sub-awardee, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, were engaged in risky experiments and that the NIH may not have been fully aware of these activities.
    “Changing the receptor binding site on MERS is sort of crazy,” wrote Jack Nunberg, a virologist and director of the Montana Biotechnology Center at the University of Montana, in an email to The Intercept after reviewing the documents. “Although these new chimeric viruses may retain properties of the MERS-CoV genetic backbone, engineering of a known human pathogen raises new and unpredictable risks beyond those posed by their previously reported studies using a non-pathogenic bat virus backbone.” The researchers’ intent, which some scientists consider integral to defining gain-of-function, remains unclear.

    “In the very same report, they showed data that one of their chimeric SARS-like viruses caused more severe disease in a humanized animal model than the original virus,” said Alina Chan, a Boston-based molecular biologist and co-author of the upcoming book “Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid-19.” “After seeing that result, why did they do similar work using the MERS human pathogen?”

    The work with the MERS virus complicates EcoHealth Alliance’s previous claims that the research covered in the grant had not involved work with “potential pandemic pathogens,” or viruses, bacteria, and microorganisms that carry a likely risk of uncontrollable spread between humans. Kessler had previously told The Intercept that “All the other viruses studied under this grant are bat viruses, not human viruses.” But MERS is known to infect and spread in humans, and was specifically designated under the NIH’s former pause on funding gain-of-function research of concern.
    “This is a pattern of dishonesty,” said Chan, the molecular biologist and “Viral” author. “It should be clear now that we cannot take the word of conflicted parties in the search for the origin of Covid-19,” she added. “It is urgently important that the public and investigators gain full access to all EcoHealth documents relating to research conducted in Wuhan.”

    EcoHealth Alliance Conducted Risky Experiments on MERS Virus in China
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  2. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    One thing I have noticed in media and politics —how easily people are led into thinking of an agency as an entity in and of itself, and then away from that way of thinking again. The FBI variously is, or is not corrupt, as a result. If someone wants to claim those in higher office in the entity are corrupt, the media makes it sound as if those accusers are accusing the whole entity as one body. So it is with the NIH. I generally tend to mistrust IT (forgetting that 'it' is a 'them' (no, not in the woke language sense, haha)). Headlines of the NIH admitting to something, may quote one person, but the group as a whole, since we mustn't ever consider disbanding it, is thought to blame, but the matter is put aside for the sake of the individuals. Nobody gets separated from the group. Kind of funny, that.

    Stranger, though, is the way the media is so often, even usually, on the same page with each other on these things! I don't think they conspire. I don't think someone always issues talking points to them about a news item, but their words almost always sound the same; you can listen to any one of them and get the same POV.