According to a bombshell report from Judicial Watch, which reviewed 552 pages of records from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology worked together to create mutant COVID strains “to better predict the capacity of our CoVs [coronaviruses] to infect people.”
From Judicial Watch:
Eco Health planned to sequence the spike protein from coronaviruses obtained from bats for the purpose of “creating mutants to identify how significantly each would need to evolve to use ACE2,” which is explained as “the receptor to gain entry to human cells.”
Judicial Watch obtained the records through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request it filed in December 2021 for:
All reports submitted by EcoHealth Alliance to NIH or its sub-agencies related to NIH Grant No. 1R01A|110964 titled “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence” during the term of the grant.
In the initial “Application for Federal Assistance” submitted on June 5, 2013, by EcoHealth Alliance, a section is titled “Specific Aims,” which notes the intention to create mutant bat viruses and “predict the capacity of our CoVs [coronaviruses] to infect people:”
To understand the risk of zoonotic CoV [coronavirus] emergence, we propose to examine 1) the transmission dynamics of bat-CoVs across the human-wildlife interface; and 2) how this process is affected by CoV evolutionary potential, and how it might force CoV evolution. We will assess the nature and frequency of contact among animals and people in two critical human-animal interfaces: live animal markets in China and people who are highly exposed to bats in rural China.
“Specific Aim 3” discusses “Testing predictions of CoV inter-species transmission:”
We will test our models of host range (i.e. emergence potential) experimentally using reverse genetics, pseudovirus and receptor binding assays, and virus infection experiments in cell culture and humanized mice. With bat-CoVs that we’ve isolated or sequenced, and using live virus or pseudovirus infection in cells of different origin or expressing different receptor molecules, we will assess potential for each isolated virus and those with receptor binding site sequence to spill over. We will do this by sequencing the spike (or other receptor binding/fusion) protein genes from all our bat-CoVs, creating mutants to identify how significantly each would need to evolve to use ACE2, CD26/DPP4 (MERS-CoV receptor) or other potential CoV receptors.
In the continuing discussion of the aims of the research, the report states:
In vitro [outside the body] cell lines & Humanized mouse model: We have developed primary cell lines and transformed cell lines from 9 bat species using kidney, spleen, heart, brain and intestine. We have used these for virus isolation, infection assays and receptor molecule gene cloning. We also have a large number of cell lines from humans and animals that we will use for virus infectivity assays. We have obtained a letter of support from Dr Ralph Baric, who is keen to collaborate with us initially to infect his humanized mouse model with our bat SL-CoV [SARS-Like Coronavirus] that uses ACE2, and subsequently to use other CoVs that we identify …
Read the full report over at Judicial Watch:
BREAKING: Judicial Watch received 552 pages of records from the HHS which include the initial grant application and annual reports to the NIH from EcoHealth Alliance (1/3). https://t.co/HEpPVYo8eg
— Judicial Watch ⚖️ (@JudicialWatch) April 19, 2023