This article is from Lawrence Sellin’s Newsletter in Substack

Executive Summary

SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 disease and pandemic, was made in a laboratory in China as part of its biowarfare program. After two years from the start of the pandemic, no natural source of SARS-CoV-2 has been identified. In contrast, structures within the virus itself have been identified that prove its laboratory origin.

It remains unclear how SARS-CoV-2 was released and when. It could have occurred either as a laboratory accident or as a deliberate open-air test by China’s People’s Liberation Army. There is circumstantial evidence that the virus began circulating in China as early as August 2019, but more likely the earliest cases occurred between mid-October and mid-November 2019.

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials and scientists both in China and the United States have actively engaged in a cover-up of its origin and attempted to suppress any discussion that SARS-CoV-2 was not a natural disease transmission from animals to humans. Many of those engaged in the scientific censorship could be considered culpable for assisting in the laboratory creation of SARS-CoV-2 and, at least indirectly, contributing to China’s biowarfare program.

Since the 2002-2004 SARS-CoV-1 pandemic, the Chinese military augmented its traditional biowarfare program to include weapons based on biotechnology. To achieve that end, China has fused military and civilian research and implemented a program of massive “scientific chain migration,” whereby Chinese scientists obtain positions in the United States and access American knowledge, skills, technology and research funding. The products from all of that effort is fed back into China’s biowarfare program. Thus, U.S. research laboratories have become little more than Chinese colonies, extensions of China’s fused military-civilian research program and fully-funded by the U.S. taxpayer. As of today, the U.S. government has done little or nothing to slow the massive infiltration of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) scientists into U.S. research programs.

Three “Smoking Guns” – The Indisputable Evidence for the Laboratory Origin of SARS-CoV-2

SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 disease and pandemic, possesses a number of unusual structural features, which make a natural origin highly unlikely.

The spike protein, which extends outward from the body of the virus and modulates the binding and fusion of the virus with the human cells, has components that appear to be unique to SARS-CoV-2 and not a consequence of a normal evolutionary process.

Foremost among the unusual genetic features of the virus is a small structure called a furin polybasic cleavage site, which can be considered one of the three major pieces of “smoking gun” evidence for the laboratory origin of SARS-CoV-2.

Already in 2005, subsequent to the first 2002-2004 SARS pandemic (SARS-CoV-1), furin and other protein cleavage processes were known to increase both the transmissibility and pathogenicity of coronaviruses (1,2).

The presence of the furin polybasic cleavage site may enhance the ability for SARS-CoV-2 to infect multiple human organ systems (3,4).

Identified already by mid-February 2020 (5), the furin polybasic cleavage site in SARS-CoV-2 is a four amino acid sequence, Proline-Arginine-Arginine-Alanine or PRRA at the junction of the S1 and S2 components of the spike protein, a structure that is not found in any animal coronavirus from which SARS-CoV-2 could have evolved (4).

Furthermore, the RR part pf the PRRA furin polybasic cleavage site is coded by the gene sequence CGG-CGG, an extremely rare double codon (6), not found elsewhere in SARS-CoV-2 (7) or in any coronavirus from which SARS-CoV-2 could have evolved (8), a fact even recognized by Chinese scientists by June 2020 (9).

In 2007, PLA-linked scientists, Lanying Du, Yusen Zhou and Shibo Jiang, all of whom would later play prominent roles in the U.S.- China research activities leading up to the creation of SARS-CoV-2 (10), began studying the effect of cleavage sites at the S1-S2 junction on coronavirus infectivity using genetically-engineered “pseudo-viruses” combining the SARS-CoV-1 spike protein with the human immune deficiency (HIV) virus (11).

In 2009, U.S. scientists confirmed that the artificial insertion of a furin polybasic cleavage site at the S1-S2 junction of the 2002-2004 SARS-CoV-1 virus enhanced its infectivity (12).

In 2004, during the first SARS pandemic, an important patent entitled “Insertion of Furin Protease Cleavage Sites in Membrane Proteins and Uses Thereof” was filed (13, 14).

As of today, there have only been 24 scientific citations of that patent. One is by Shibo Jiang and his PLA-trained colleague Shuwen Liu.

In 2013, Shibo Jiang and Shuwen Liu, demonstrated the artificial insertion of a furin polybasic cleavage site similar to that found in SARS-CoV-2 (14, 15).

That study was directly funded by the Chinese government and a private Chinese biotech company, while Shibo Jiang was also being funded by Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to conduct U.S. biodefense research (16).

In fact, during the 21 years (1997-2018) he was being funded by Anthony Fauci for over $17 million, Shibo Jiang maintained continuous research collaboration with the PLA.

The above-cited facts alone provide sufficient evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 furin polybasic cleavage site is not a product of natural evolution and was artificially inserted into a coronavirus by Chinese scientists to increase its infectivity.

In addition, during the course of the pandemic, mutations have occurred in the SARS-CoV-2 furin polybasic cleavage site making it more “polybasic,” which contributed to an increased infectivity in the Alpha (17), Delta (18) and Omicron (19) variants with mutations P681H, P681R and N679K and P681H, respectively.

From the beginning, the SARS-CoV-2 virus appeared to be well-adapted (20), even pre-adapted (21) for binding to human cells because it did not undergo the same mutation and adaptation to humans over time as did the 2002-2004 SARS-CoV-1 virus, but was already, from the beginning, resembling late-stage SARS-CoV-1 infections (22).

In fact, SARS-CoV-2 binds to human cells 15-times better than SARS-CoV-1 from the 2002-2004 pandemic (23).

Such pre-adaption for human infection can be accomplished in the laboratory by repeatedly exposing coronaviruses to genetically-engineered mice that have the human receptor, a process known as serial passage (24).

Serial passaging is the repeated re-infection within an animal or human population, which allows a virus to specifically adapt to the infected species.

That process occurs in nature, but it can be greatly accelerated in the laboratory by deliberate serial passaging of viruses in cell culture systems or animals, potentially leaving few or no traces as to whether the adapted viruses are naturally-occurring or laboratory-manipulated.

Since 2007, Chinese scientists have used humanized mouse models to experiment with coronaviruses, starting with the 2002-2004 SARS-CoV-1 (25), as a means to increase virulence or to pre-adapt coronaviruses for human infection (26).

Dr. Chuan Qin is considered China’s foremost expert in animal models for increasing viral virulence and the use of humanized animals for testing natural or man-made viruses.

The second “smoking gun” is an unusual structure within the spike protein near the furin polybasic cleavage site, not found in other bat coronaviruses from which SARS-CoV-2 could have evolved, which may make SARS-CoV-2 far more toxic than first realized (27).

The approximately 20 amino acids surrounding SARS-CoV-2’s furin polybasic cleavage site possess sequence and structural elements comparable to those of Staphylococcal enterotoxin B (28).

Staphylococcal enterotoxin B acts as a “superantigen” and immune system activator stimulating the release large amounts of cytokines, often called “cytokine storm” and capable of producing multi-organ hyperinflammation similar to toxic shock syndrome.

The authors also state that SARS-CoV-2 mutations strengthen its “superantigen” character.

As a confirmation of those observations, the same research group demonstrated that monoclonal antibodies directed against the Staphylococcal enterotoxin B “superantigen” inhibit the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into cultured cells (29).

It may be no accident that the PLA’s Third Military Medical University has done extensive research on Staphylococcal enterotoxin B and “superantigens” (30) because that center has been implicated in the creation of SARS-CoV-2 (31) and is associated with the recent monoclonal antibody “cure” announced for SARS-CoV-2, which reduces inflammation (32) and may be targeting the Staphylococcal enterotoxin B component of the spike protein.

The third “smoking gun” is the de facto scientific recipe for the laboratory creation of SARS-CoV-2 described in the 2018 research grant application to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) entitled “Project DEFUSE: Defusing the Threat of Bat-borne Coronaviruses” (33, 34).

That grant application was submitted by Peter Daszak of the EcoHealth Alliance and his primary co-applicants: Zheng-Li Shi, the “bat woman” of the Wuhan Institute of Virology; Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina; and Linfa Wang of Duke University-National University of Singapore, a Chinese scientist, who also worked at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

In the same year, all the applicants named in that DARPA research grant application participated in the 8th International Symposium on Emerging Viral Diseases in Wuhan, China, October 21-22, 2018.

The application was ultimately rejected by DARPA because it involved dangerous “gain of function” experiments that created new human-infecting viruses and because the research had a clear potential for dual use within a bioweapons development program (35).

Gain of function research is defined as when a naturally-occurring virus is genetically or otherwise manipulated to make it either more contagious, more lethal, or both.

DARPA, however, left the door open for partial funding and it is very likely that experiments were already underway in the laboratories of the principal investigators at the time the application was submitted.

The research proposal states that bat coronavirus samples, collected in southern China by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, would be isolated and genetically sequenced in Wuhan, in particular, the spike proteins, which is the binding element for initiating infection.

In follow-up experiments conducted by Zheng-Li Shi of the Wuhan Institute of Virology and Linfa Wang of Duke University-National University of Singapore, spike proteins demonstrating “high risk” for human infection would be artificially combined with other bat coronavirus “backbones,” creating entirely new and potentially dangerous coronaviruses, which would then be tested for human infection by Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina.

The 2018 DEFUSE research grant application explicitly states the applicants’ intention to artificially insert furin polybasic cleavage sites into high abundance, but low risk bat coronaviruses found in China and testing the ability of those laboratory-created viruses containing an artificially inserted furin polybasic cleavage site to infect human cells:

“We will analyze all SARS-CoV gene sequences for appropriately conserved proteolytic cleavage sites in S2 and for the presence of potential furin cleavage sites. SARSr-CoV S with mismatches in proteolytic cleavage sites can be activated by exogenous trypsin or cathepsin L. Where clear mismatches occur, we will introduce appropriate human specific cleavage sites and evaluate growth potential in Vero cells and HAE cultures. In SARS-CoV, we will ablate several of these sites based on pseudotyped particle studies and evaluate the impact of select SARSr-CoV S changes on virus replication and pathogenesis. We will also review deep sequence data for low abundant high risk SARSr-CoV that encode functional proteolytic cleavage sites, and if so, introduce these changes into the appropriate high abundant, low risk parental strain.”

The 2018 DARPA grant application reads like a “confession,” in which the authors express their intention to artificially create a novel coronavirus that is highly infectious to humans, just like SARS-CoV-2.

It is likely that sometime in 2018 the PLA, together with a tight circle of Chinese scientists both inside and outside the People’s Republic of China, hijacked that project design.

The artificial insertion of the furin polybasic cleavage site into a bat coronavirus backbone could have been done under the supervision of Shibo Jiang in coordination with his military-trained colleague Shuwen Liu and others at the School of Pharmaceutical Science, Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China.

In addition to those named above, there are a number of other Chinese scientists who had the appropriate expertise and may have been involved in the creation of SARS-CoV-2.

As is later discussed, the characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 align well with China’s military doctrine and the development of SARS-CoV-2 reflects the modern structure and operation of China’s biowarfare program focusing on novel “biotechnology” weapons with multiple effects.

To continue reading, click here to go to Lawrence Sellin’s Newsletter at Substack.

The views expressed in CCNS member articles are not necessarily the views or positions of the entire CCNS. They are the views of the authors, who are members of the CCNS.

© 2024 Citizens Commission on National Security

© 2024 Citizens Commission on National Security