US had secret talks with China’s ‘Batwoman’ on deadly coronavirus tests two years before pandemic, bombshell docs reveal

US had secret talks with China’s ‘Batwoman’ on deadly coronavirus tests two years before pandemic, bombshell docs reveal

US scientists held secret talks with China’s “Batwoman” on her deadly coronavirus experiments two years before the pandemic, bombshell emails have revealed.

Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers obtained security clearance to visit the National Institutes of Health in 2017 to discuss their work.

Dr Shi Zhengli pictured in 2014 at the Wuhan Institute of Virology with EcoHealth Alliance president Peter Daszak60 Minutes

AP‘Batwoman’ Shi Zhengli at the Wuhan Institute of Virology[/caption]

ReutersThe Wuhan Institute of Virology has been at the centre of the lab leak theory[/caption]

The Wuhan lab has been at the centre of the lab leak theory ever since Covid first emerged near the facility – which was known to be studying very similar bat viruses.

Many scientists and intelligence officials suspect bungling researchers at the lab accidentally spread Covid during risky experiments on bat coronaviruses.

Even the FBI and the US Department of Energy now believe Covid most likely leaked from a lab in China.

Now, emails obtained by US Right to Know reveal how Shi Zhengli – dubbed “Batwoman” for her bat coronavirus research – visited the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in June 2017.

The emails add to mounting evidence that the Wuhan lab’s risky experiments on coronaviruses were supported – and often funded – by the US.

The meeting was set up by EcoHealth Alliance – a New York non-profit that channels US government grants into overseas experiments.

EcoHealth Alliance had been studying coronaviruses in bats for more than ten years with funding from the National Institutes of Health – and developed close working ties with the Wuhan lab.

Documents previously uncovered by DRASTIC – a team of scientists and sleuths investigating Covid’s origins – revealed how EcoHealth Alliance applied for funding to create a Covid-like virus in China.

The leaked proposal – named DEFUSE – laid out plans to engineer coronaviruses to infect humans more easily in the notorious Wuhan lab.

Critics have long claimed the proposal clearly served as a “blueprint” for how to create Covid, and in turn, kick start a pandemic.

In June 2017, it’s understood Shi and EcoHealth Alliance’s president Peter Daszak were seeking backing for the project by giving a presentation to US scientists.

Ahead of the meeting, an email from Daszak says: “Zhengli and I will do a double act, and we’ll cover the work we’re doing… as well as the broadscale surveillance of bats for novel viruses.”

The title of a joint talk was billed as “SARS, MERS and the risk of novel viral emergence from bats,” the email shows.

Peng Zhou, an associate professor at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, was also invited to the meeting.

After the talk, Daszak thanked the hosts, saying it was “nice to have a chance to introduce our collaborators to you personally”.

A year after the meeting, EcoHealth Alliance submitted the funding application for its coronavirus experiments in Wuhan.

The team planned to engineer high-risk coronaviruses by inserting proteins that infect human cells “into SARS-Covid backbones”.

In an edited version of the proposal, Dr Ralph Baric – a known expert in creating recombinant coronaviruses – makes a note of its riskiness, saying “US researchers will likely freak out”.

The bid for funding was later refused by the US Department of Defence – but it’s not known if the project was completed without government funding.

EcoHealth Alliance has repeatedly denied allegations of wrongdoing.

It says “the emerging consensus, based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence, is that Covid originated through zoonotic spillover”.

US Right to Know said the 2017 email “demonstrates the awareness of Anthony Fauci and his top aides of the novel coronavirus research underway at the pandemic’s epicentre”.

“The emails raise yet more questions about the rigour of US regulations on virology experiments that may generate new pandemic viruses, including how and why high-risk research was outsourced to a rival nation,” it said.

It said Fauci – the head of the National Institutes of Health – did not mention this 2017 meeting with Mr Daszak in a 2022 sworn deposition with the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana.

“I don’t even remember meeting him… nut that is not unusual, when you go to a scientific meeting, you run into hundreds of people,” Fauci said of Daszak.

US Right to Know obtained the emails in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the National Institutes of Health.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology has conducted research projects “for defensive and biosecurity needs of the military” since at least 2017, according to US intelligence. 

The findings come after a scientist who worked closely with the Wuhan lab claimed Covid was genetically engineered – and leaked from the facility.

Dr Andrew Huff, former vice president of EcoHealth Alliance, alleged he had a ringside seat to what he brands one of the greatest cover-ups in history.

In his book – The Truth About Wuhan – whistleblower Dr Huff claimed the pandemic was the result of the US government’s funding of dangerous genetic engineering of coronaviruses in China.

The epidemiologist said China’s gain-of-function experiments – carried out with shoddy biosecurity – led to a lab leak at the US-funded Wuhan Institute of Virology.

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