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The Evidence Mounts: A New NIH Letter Reinforces the Lab-leak Hypothesis for the Origins of Covid-19

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Director at Public Health and American Well-Being Initiative
Joel M. Zinberg, M.D., J.D. is the Director of the Public Health and American Well-Being Initiative at Paragon Health Institute, and a senior fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute. A native New Yorker, he recently completed two years as General Counsel and Senior Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President.

The origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19 remains unclear, but recent revelations reinforce the likelihood that the true source was a lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

letter from Lawrence Tabak, the National Institutes of Health’s principal deputy director, to Kentucky congressman James Comer confirms that the NIH funded research at the WIV during 2018–2019 that manipulated a bat coronavirus called WIV1. Researchers at the institute grafted spike proteins from other coronaviruses onto WIV1 to see if the modified virus was capable of binding in a mouse that possessed the ACE2 receptors found in humans—the same receptor to which SARS-CoV-2 binds. The modified virus reproduced more rapidly and made infected humanized mice sicker than the unmodified virus.

Starting in 2014, the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, headed by Anthony Fauci, funded the New York-based research nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance with annual grants through 2020 for “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence.” Total funding was $3,748,715. More than $600,000 of that went to the WIV. Three other Chinese institutions received funding as well. The principal investigator was EcoHealth Alliance president Peter Daszak, who, from the onset of the pandemic, has consistently campaigned in public and behind the scenes to convince people that SARS-CoV-2 did not come from the WIV but evolved naturally from animal-to-human transmission.

Read the full article in City Journal.

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