The original gain-of-function research goes back ten years, with a Netherlands study that involved ferrets. The researchers wanted to see if coronaviruses could be genetically manipulated so they could be transferred through the air. After demonstrating airborne transmission with ferrets, the researchers wanted to replicate contagion in humans. This opened up an entirely new, controversial science that involved manipulation in the genetic code of viruses.
It was Dr. Fauci and the NIAID who funded the first ferret study. Ten years ago, Fauci co-wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post praising the research as “a risk worth taking.” He wrote, “Important information and insight can come from generating a potentially dangerous virus in the laboratory…"
The Wuhan virologists found that they could force an influenza virus to mutate and spread via aerosol droplets by injecting the virus from one ferret to another. By engineering the most lethal viruses in a laboratory setting, researchers believed they could better understand how to invent treatments and vaccines in the case of a real outbreak.
The Obama Administration put a halt on gain-of-function virology research in 2014, for fear of viruses leaking from the laboratory. This opened up an opportunity for Dr. Anthony Fauci to subcontract gain-of-function research on coronaviruses. Fauci concealed ongoing research through New York’s Eco Health Alliance. Dr. Fauci funded a project there to learn about the risk of new coronaviruses, and how they could emerge from wild animals to rapidly infect humans.
Dr. Fauci used the cover of EcoHealth Alliance to subcontract the research to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology. In order to continue receiving money, the head of the Wuhan lab, Dr. Shi Zhengli, reported back to Fauci on the progress they were making on coronaviruses.
Fauci commissioned Eco Health to find out what viruses could infect both animals and humans, using experimental genetic studies and virus infection experiments across a range of cell cultures from different species and humanized mice. Fauci commissioned and funded Peter Daszak, the zoologist who first discovered the bat origin of SARS ten years ago. Daszak off-shored a key part of the research to the Wuhan Institute of Virology under lab director Shi Zhengli, who was responsible for collecting bat samples.
Fauci ordered the institute to collect several samples of bat feces in caves. After isolating several coronaviruses from the bat feces, the Chinese virologists analyzed and sequenced their genetic information. Finally, they built genetically engineered viruses, or chimeras, and they went on to infect human cells, showing how the man-made viruses replicated. These genetic changes unlocked a unique doorway that allowed the virus to infect human cells with ease. The virus is known to attach to human cells ten to twenty times tighter than the first SARS virus.
“Until now, the only reporting of Dr. Fauci’s role in all of this has been his funding of the Wuhan lab in general,” said Steve Hilton, Fox News journalist. “But tonight we can go further thanks to this paper. We can see the specific activity that Dr. Fauci funded and it is terrifying — so terrifying that after we reached out to NIH this paper was mysteriously taken off-line on Friday for a while. But we downloaded it weeks ago.” Hilton is calling on Fauci to step down from his role as chief science advisor to the Biden administration until Americans can learn more about Fauci's role in the covid-19 pandemic. Fauci must be held to account for off-shoring and guiding unethical, banned gain-of-function virus research.