“Patients zero” included Ben Hu, who is seen in video handling specimens with no protective gear.
An investigation by journalists Michael Shellenberger, Alex Gutentag, and Matt Taibbi has led them to conclude that scientists conducting research on novel coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) were the first humans to contract covid.
“Patients zero” included Ben Hu, Ping Yu and Yan Zhu — scientists researching SARS-like viruses at the institute, according to an investigation by journalists Michael Shellenberger and Matt Taibbi published on the Substack newsletter Public.
The three scientists were researching “gain-of-function” experiments with the virus — which increases its infectiousness and makes pathogens stronger in order to better understand their dangers — when they became sick in the fall of 2019, multiple US government officials reportedly told the journalists.
The new details were revealed about four months after FBI Director Christopher Wray said the bureau believes that the horrific COVID-19 virus responsible for millions of deaths likely originated from an accidental outbreak at a Chinese lab.
The emerging details that continue to confirm the lab leak scenario may be the reason that the former head of China’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC), Prof George Gao, recently indicated a lab leak origin for the pandemic could not be ruled out. I concluded a post about his statement by noting:
Yet, this is an intriguing trial balloon that suggests more information may be revealed that the Chinese may want to get ahead of. Stay tuned!
The report in the Substack newsletter is detailed and aligns with the findings recently laid out by the Sunday Times of London, which I recently reviewed. Former White House Coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has always asserted we “may never know” the true origin of the pandemic.
However, Shellenberger, Gutentag, and Matt Taibbi show the answer may be within reach.
…[N]ot only do we know there were WIV scientists who had developed COVID-19-like illnesses in November 2019, but also that they were working with the closest relatives of SARS-CoV-2, and inserting gain-of-function features unique to it.
When a source was asked how certain they were that these were the identities of the three WIV scientists who developed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 in the fall of 2019, we were told, “100%”
“Ben Hu is essentially the next Shi Zhengli,” said Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and coauthor with Matt Ridley of Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid19. Shi is known as “the bat woman of China,” and led the gain-of-function research at the WIV. “He was her star pupil. He had been making chimeric SARS-like viruses and testing these in humanized mice. If I had to guess who would be doing this risky virus research and most at risk of getting accidentally infected, it would be him.”
Shellenberger also offered a Twitter thread with supplemental information supporting this article.
Here is the video that includes a scene of Ben Hu watching a lab worker handle specimens. Neither are wearing protective gear.
The same video shows WIV scientists hunting for bat viruses with little protective gear.https://t.co/oS7a5yU9IP
— Michael Shellenberger (@shellenberger) June 13, 2023
Normally, work done with airborne viruses that can cause severe disease in humans would be conducted in a full protective suit, gloves, and with a respirator. A biosafety cabinet be used for all processes that could generate airborne material. The facility would have a special ventilation system, specially coated walls, and floors, and be within double interlocked doors.
Despite the massive disaster of the response to covid, “experts” at the National Institute of Health insist that gain-of-function research, such as the experiments conducted at WIV, is essential…for preventing pandemics.
…[C]ritics argue that if viruses evolve in that way, it might take thousands of years, or it might never happen at all. Scientists are often doing gain-of-function research for months for no practical purpose, such as using it to build their own resumes.
But whatever the motive, today the research continues around the world, with little oversight, and often funded by taxpayers.
The National Institutes of Health, which approves funding for these projects, has said, “While such research is inherently risky, the risk of not doing this type of research and not being prepared for the next pandemic is also high.”
I would argue the risk of the next pandemic is higher with this research. It takes one careless and arrogant scientist, focused only on results and data, to unleash another pathogen.
I will conclude with the full ethics lecture offered in “Jurassic Park” by character Ian Malcom:
Gee, the lack of humility before nature that’s being displayed here, uh… staggers me.
I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here, it didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now [bangs on the table]
..Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.
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