Bombshell new documents shed light on a shady 2018 project between US and Chinese scientists to create a novel virus with the same rare features seen in Covid.

The proposals lay out plans to use US taxpayer money to engineer bat coronaviruses with several properties that would make them infectious to humans – a year before the pandemic happened.

The documents – which consist of hundreds of emails, grant applications and scientific papers – highlighted four characteristics that would make the new viruses a ‘clear… danger of a new SARS-like pandemic.’  

All four characteristics spelled out in the research proposal match features of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid, according to a watchdog who exposed the files, as well as several experts who reviewed them.

The experiments, part of a grant known as DEFUSE, were to be a collaboration between US scientists and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is where the FBI and many scientists believe Covid leaked from. 

The proposal was ultimately denied funding and there are no official records that the experiments were actually carried out. Nonetheless, virology experts have called the records are a clear ‘blueprint’ to create Covid-19. 

All four characteristics scientists sought to create a novel virus in the 2018 research proposal match features of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid

All four characteristics scientists sought to create a novel virus in the 2018 research proposal match features of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid

Shi Zhengli - dubbed the 'Bat Lady' or 'Bat Woman' for her work on bat coronaviruses - investigated the possibility Covid could have emerged from her lab back in 2020, according to colleagues

Shi Zhengli – dubbed the ‘Bat Lady’ or ‘Bat Woman’ for her work on bat coronaviruses – investigated the possibility Covid could have emerged from her lab back in 2020, according to colleagues

Jamie Metzl, an adviser to the World Health Organization and founder of One Shared World, a group working to prevent the next pandemic, said on X the documents disprove the zoonotic origin theory of Covid – that the virus began in the wild and spilled over to humans.

He tweeted: ‘The details of the 2018 DEFUSE proposal plus the phylogenetic data make an extremely convincing case for a COVID19 research-related origin in Wuhan. 

‘The evidence for zoonosis in the wild or in the Huanan market is essentially nil.’

Dr Richard Ebright, a chemical biologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, tweeted the proposal ‘provided step-by-step plans for the construction of a virus having the sequence and properties of’ SARS-CoV-2.

He added: ‘The match between the evidence provided by the genome sequence and the evidence provided by the FOIA release is remarkable and elevates the evidence provided by the genome sequence from the level of “noteworthy” to the level of “smoking gun.”‘

The documents come from a March 2018 grant proposal called Project DEFUSE: Defusing the Threat of Bat-borne Coronaviruses

The DEFUSE project proposal was made by the now-notorious EcoHealth Alliance, a New York nonprofit that channels US government grants abroad to fund these types of experiments.

The first set of documents pertaining to the DEFUSE grant were released in December 2023. The above is an excerpt of an email from the March 2018 proposal showing a comment from PD - Peter Daszak.

The first set of documents pertaining to the DEFUSE grant were released in December 2023. The above is an excerpt of an email from the March 2018 proposal showing a comment from PD – Peter Daszak. 

The first set of documents pertaining to the DEFUSE grant were released in December 2023. The above is an email from Peter Daszak to researchers included in the 2018 proposal talking about work to be done by scientists as part of the project

The first set of documents pertaining to the DEFUSE grant were released in December 2023. The above is an email from Peter Daszak to researchers included in the 2018 proposal talking about work to be done by scientists as part of the project

The first set of documents pertaining to the DEFUSE grant were released in December 2023. The above is an email from Peter Daszak to researchers included in the 2018 proposal

The first set of documents pertaining to the DEFUSE grant were released in December 2023. The above is an email from Peter Daszak to researchers included in the 2018 proposal

Previously published documents from the proposal in December 2023 showed the research team sought to synthesize spike proteins with furin cleavage sites that had been designed to bind to human receptors more easily.

The grant then proposed attaching the furin to coronavirus strains and infecting mice to see how sick it would make them.

The furin has been one of the focal points of debate about Covid-19’s origin, with some experts claiming it could only have been acquired through lab experiments. 

It was what ‘supercharged’ Covid into a highly transmissible pathogen. 

The plan for the DEFUSE project was then to use drugs and vaccines to treat pathogens that had not arisen yet – effectively getting ahead of future pandemic.

The 2023 documents also showed how the grant applicants tried to mislead the Pentagon on how risky the experiments were to secure funding.

Dr Peter Daszak (pictured left alongside Dr Anthony Fauci) oversees EcoHealth Alliance, the organization that applied for the 2018 grant

Dr Peter Daszak (pictured left alongside Dr Anthony Fauci) oversees EcoHealth Alliance, the organization that applied for the 2018 grant

They showed the experiments were proposed to take place at the WIV, which has fewer safety precautions for working with pandemic-potential specimens than the US, which was advertised to the Department of Defense as cost-saving.

In initial proposals for DEFUSE, the lab work was to be done in a biosafety-level 2 lab, which researchers said would appeal to federal grant-makers as ‘highly cost effective’ despite the fewer safety precautions taken in lower-level labs

Dr Ralph Baric, a known expert in making recombinant coronaviruses who was listed as a subcontractor on DEFUSE, acknowledged in an edited version of the proposal that US researchers would ‘freak out’ if they knew novel coronavirus engineering and testing was being done in a BSL-2 lab.

Similar experiments in the US are conducted in BSL-3 labs.

A later version of the proposal changed BSL-2 to BSL-3.

In a statement in December addressing the first set of documents, EHA called them ‘incomplete’ and said the ‘allegations are false based on misunderstanding of edits and comments on the document, and based on misleading out-of-context quotations and a lack of understanding the process by which federal grants are awarded.’

The initial December trove of documents detailing plans to create a Covid-like virus in China in 2018 made the ‘lab leak almost certain,’ experts said at the time. 

A year later, in late 2019, the Covid-19 virus emerged with a uniquely adept ability to infect humans, going on to cause a global pandemic.

Dr Ebright, told DailyMail.com after the first documents’ release: ‘These revelations are important because the experiments in the grant proposal likely – indeed highly likely – led to the creation and release of SARS-CoV-2.’ 

Other experts said the documents served as further support of the Covid lab leak theory – that the virus was borne out of gain-of-function research bankrolled by the US taxpayer through Dr Anthony Fauci’s former department, a theory the FBI and other government agencies now subscribe to. 

Now, experts are doubling down on those concerns. 

The most recent group of documents describes several proposals made by the scientists for a new pathogen with extremely similar aspects of the Covid virus, including: 

The desire to insert a furin cleavage site in a spike protein; an order for the restrictive enzyme BsmBI; the search for a binding domain that would infect the same receptor SARS-CoV-2 does; and a viral genome with a 25 percent relation to the SARS virus. 

The SARS-CoV-2 virus contains a furin cleavage site in its spike protein and its genome includes the restrictive enzyme BsmBI. It also has a receptor binding domain ‘finely tuned’ to infect a specific human receptor, and Covid’s genome falls within range of a 25 percent genetic difference from SARS.

US Right to Know, the organization that obtained both sets of documents via FOIA requests, claims these documents are the first to show that Dr Baric, was planning to engineer 20 or more chimeric SARS-related viral spike proteins per year during the grant.

They also show he was planning to engineer two to five full-length SARS-related viruses. 

The group – which has been accused of pedaling antivax sentiments – also says the documents challenge an argument made by the National Institutes of Health that the partnership between China and America only planned to research viruses already in public research and that these viruses were too different to have played a role in the Covid pandemic. 

However, the documents describe the SARS-related viruses scientists sought to study during DEFUSE posed ‘a clear-and-present danger of a new SARS-like pandemic.’

They also show the scientists planned to use a reverse genetics system to engineer live novel viruses. 

Ultimately, the documents do not contain ‘step-by-step’ instructions on how to generate SARS-CoV-2 in a lab and the genomes of some of the SARS-related viruses scientists wanted to work with remain unknown. 

The origin of Covid-19 has long been a contested topic, with people generally believing in one of two theories: lab-borne and zoonotic in nature. 

While lab leak supporters were once seen as conspiracy theorists, mounting evidence has been uncovered that favors the lab-origin belief, with federal agencies now subscribing to the belief that SARS-CoV-2 was created in and leaked from a Chinese lab.

Dr Fauci has undergone dozens of hours of questioning from Congressional committees regarding the origin of Covid and his department’s role in the funding of research that could have led to its creation. 

While Dr Fauci has always vehemently denied the lab-leak theory and even commissioned a 2020 study to disprove the possibility that Covid originated in lab, he has recently begun to deny that he had ever rejected the notion that Covid could have accidentally escaped from a lab.

And in his latest round of questioning last week, he acknowledged the lab-leak hypothesis was no longer a conspiracy theory. 

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