Scientists in Wuhan were planning to release enhanced airborne coronaviruses into Chinese bat populations to inoculate them against diseases that could jump to humans, reveal leaked grant proposals dating from 2018.
Documents show that just 18 months before the first COVID-19 cases appeared, researchers submitted plans to release skin-penetrating nanoparticles containing “novel chimeric spike proteins” of bat coronaviruses into cave bats in Yunnan, located about 2,000 km southwest of Wuhan.
They also planned to create chimeric viruses genetically enhanced to infect humans more easily and requested US$14 million from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
They hoped to introduce “human-specific cleavage sites” to bat coronaviruses which would make it easier for the virus to enter humans. When COVID-19 was genetically sequenced, scientists were puzzled about how the virus had evolved such a human-specific adaptation at the cleavage site on the spike protein, which is why it is so infectious.
The documents were released by an investigations team called Drastic, set up by scientists to look into the origins of COVID-19. Drastic said: “Given that we find in this proposal, a discussion of the planned introduction of human-specific cleavage sites, review by the wider scientific community of the plausibility of artificial insertion is warranted.”
Global ramifications. Global ramifications. The stress that billions have been under because of COVID …
If this is even half-true, China must — at the very least — throw the Wuhan Institute of Virology under the bus.Wuhan scientists sought to infect bats with coronavirus 18 months before first case, documents show