Newly revealed documents purport to show grant proposals to release skin-penetrating nanoparticles containing “novel chimeric spike proteins” of bat coronaviruses into cave bats in Yunnan
Image: EcoHealth Alliance)
Scientists in Wuhan planned to release airborne coronaviruses into Chinese bats to inoculate them against diseases that could leap to humans, it has been claimed.
Newly revealed documents from 2018 purport to show grant proposals to release skin-penetrating nanoparticles containing “novel chimeric spike proteins” of bat coronaviruses into cave bats in Yunnan, China.
The documents have been published by Drastic, a web-based team set up by scientists from across the world who look into the origins of the Covid outbreak.
The group claimed the documents were brought to their attention by an unnamed whistle-blower.
They say that the EcoHealth Alliance worked with the Wuhan Institute of Virology in a bid to carry out ‘advanced and dangerous’ human pathogenicity Bat Coronavirus research.
The documents are for a grant proposal submitted to the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 2018.
It is claimed Peter Daszak and the EcoHealth Alliance (EHA) proposed injecting deadly chimeric bat coronaviruses collected by the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) into humanised and “batified” mice.
The proposal (named ‘DEFUSE’) was ultimately rejected for full funding, the group said, but the door was left open for partial funding.
The refusal reportedly stated: “It is clear that the proposed project led by Peter Daszak could have put local communities at risk”, going on to warn the team had not properly considered the dangers of enhancing the virus or releasing a vaccine by air.
The group who published the documents said in a statement: “The grant proposal includes some elements of research that are already public via scientific papers, as well as other elements that have never been made public.
“Including vaccinating wild bats using aerosolized viruses and further work on published and unpublished strains that could have directly produced SARS-CoV-2.
“These grant proposal documents also show a staggering level of deep involvement of EHA with the WIV, on matters of national interest.”
A World Health Organisation investigation into the origin of the coronavirus pandemic has not ruled out any theory behind the outbreak.
In February, a team of WHO and Chinese experts said the virus was “extremely unlikely” to have entered the human population as a result of a laboratory-related incident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
But the WHO then added that “all hypotheses still remain on the table” as it vowed to arrange a second phase of the investigation.
Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies programme, previously said: “With regards to the origins of the virus, WHO views it as extremely important to understand the origins of this particular virus which has caused the global pandemic.
“There are many hypotheses for that origin and the international team which was sent to the team by Dr Tedros at the request of the World Health Assembly carried out a number of studies and investigations.
“All hypotheses still remain on the table.”