Top British scientist privately condemned ‘Wild West’ research being carried out in Wuhan 

Britain’s top scientist who played a central role in quashing suggestions that Covid could have originated in a laboratory has privately condemned ‘Wild West’ research taking place in Wuhan, the Chinese city that saw the first outbreak of the virus. viruses in the world.

Sir Jeremy Farrar’s damning indictment, sent to two leading scientists in the US, shows the Wellcome Trust director admitted to fears that the new virus emerging in China could have been linked to the research, even while coordinating a paper influential that he ruled out ‘any kind of lab-based scenario’.

The emails released under Freedom of Information rules also reveal that the then-chief White House medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, was so alarmed by an unusual feature of the coronavirus that he warned his colleagues that perhaps they should notify the FBI and the MI5.

The revelations are the latest developments in the unresolved mystery of whether the Covid pandemic could have been caused by a laboratory leak, engineered by scientists, or crossed from animals infected with a bat virus.

Sir Jeremy Farrar's damning indictment, sent to two leading scientists in the US, shows the Wellcome Trust director admitted to fears that the new virus emerging in China could have been linked to the research, even while coordinating a paper influential who ruled out 'any kind of lab-based scenario'

Sir Jeremy Farrar’s damning indictment, sent to two leading scientists in the US, shows the Wellcome Trust director admitted to fears that the new virus emerging in China could have been linked to the research, even while coordinating a paper influential who ruled out ‘any kind of lab-based scenario’

Bob Seely, Conservative MP and member of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, said: “It is depressing and alarming that influential scientists appear to have had private concerns about the possibility of the pandemic emerging from a laboratory, even as they publicly denied such ideas”.

‘One of the more serious issues to emerge from this unfortunate saga has been the role of leading figures in science in stamping out any questioning of origins or overt sense of transparency. It is incredible what has happened.

The latest revelations fuel concerns that the scientific establishment colluded to quash suggestions that Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19, might have resulted from research the US helped fund in China.

The email discussions took place among an elite group of scientists brought together by Fauci and Farrar after the media began digging into research on bat coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where the scientists participated in experiments of ” gain-of-function” that can potentially increase coronavirus infectivity. But these were banned for three years in the US amid fears they could trigger a pandemic.

Although the Wuhan lab was the first in China with top-level biosafety clearance, the expert group confirmed that the researchers carried out risky experiments under conditions with much lower-level safety protocols.

Their work included transferring viruses into mice that contained the human version of a receptor on cell surfaces through which some coronaviruses infect our bodies.

Bob Seely, Conservative MP and member of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee, said: “It is depressing and alarming that influential scientists appear to have had private concerns about the possibility of the pandemic emerging from a laboratory, even as they publicly denied such ideas”.

Referring to the biosafety level of the laboratory used, Francis Collins, head of the main US research body that funded the work of the Wuhan Institute of Virology through the EcoHealth Alliance, a New York-based organization led by the scientist Briton Peter Daszak, said: ‘Surely that wouldn’t be done in a BSL-2 laboratory.’

‘Wild West…’ Farrar replied.

Their emails, dated February 4, 2020, followed a conference call four days earlier that Farrar led at Fauci’s request as the pandemic erupted across the globe. He was joined by Collins and Sir Patrick Vallance, Britain’s chief scientific adviser.

It later emerged that several participants, including Farrar, the head of Britain’s largest private research funding body that has backed the work in Wuhan, believed in advance that Covid may have been linked to the research.

However, after the conference call, his public stance shifted with uncanny speed given the lack of any new data from China or any firm evidence that the virus might have a natural origin, and key figures began attacking “conspiracy theories.” “About Laboratory Links.

Farrar later admitted to coordinating an influential statement from five experts, including four of the participants, that was published by Nature Medicine. He was adamant that the authors “do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible.”

Now these emails show that even when scientists shared early drafts of the paper, some still feared a lab link.

The emails released under Freedom of Information rules also reveal that then-White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci was so alarmed by an unusual feature of the coronavirus that he warned his colleagues they might need to notify the FBI and to MI5.

The emails released under Freedom of Information rules also reveal that then-White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci was so alarmed by an unusual feature of the coronavirus that he warned his colleagues they might need to notify the FBI and to MI5.

The emails released under Freedom of Information rules also reveal that then-White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci was so alarmed by an unusual feature of the coronavirus that he warned his colleagues they might need to notify the FBI and to MI5.

Farrar said they “probably” ruled out deliberate engineering of the virus, but that Eddie Holmes, an Australian virologist, was “60:40 on the lab side” while “I’m still 50:50.”

Holmes wrote on February 8 that he had worked extensively in China and that he knew that many people there were convinced by “suggestions that the virus escaped from the Wuhan laboratory… and believe they are being lied to.”

Since then, he has been among the prominent voices pushing the idea that the pandemic can be traced back to a wet animal market in Wuhan.

The discussions show that Fauci was so alarmed by a dangerous feature in SARS-CoV-2 called the ‘furin cleavage site,’ which allows for more efficient entry into human cells and is not found in similar types of coronavirus, that he warned to the group that they might need to inform the FBI and MI5.

Vallance is understood to have tipped off UK intelligence agencies of his concerns.

EcoHealth Alliance, a long-term partner of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, sought funding from a US defense agency in 2018 to insert a ‘furin cleavage site’ into bat coronaviruses. There is no evidence that such work has obtained Western funding.

The emails show that Ron Fouchier, a Dutch scientist behind the controversial gain-of-function experiments (which can potentially increase the infectivity of coronaviruses), advised on Nature Medicine’s statement. Accessed 5.7 million times, it has been called one of the most influential scientific articles in history.

Fouchier told a television documentary that he discussed the new disease in the first week of December 2019 with a colleague, though China claims the first case emerged the following week. He later insisted that he was confused about the dates.

These documents show debate among scientists about whether to publish any mention of laboratory-related causes.

“Putting that into the public domain as a hypothesis, in my opinion, will be interpreted as ‘look, they thought the same thing too,'” said one participant.

Wuhan’s biosafety chief admitted concern for China’s labs because maintenance costs were “neglected” and part-time workers carried out the work of skilled staff, “making it difficult to identify and mitigate potential risks of security”.

However, Farrar and two colleagues from the Wellcome Trust joined signatories to another key statement in the Lancet medical journal condemning “conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin”.

A Wellcome Trust spokesman declined to answer questions about the latest revelations, but referred to Farrar’s earlier statements about the origins of the virus that stress the importance of staying ‘open-minded’.

“It is important that we understand how all pathogens emerge so that we can prevent future pandemics. In my opinion, the scientific evidence continues to point to the crossover of SARS-CoV-2 from animals to humans as the most likely scenario,” he said.

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