It is now clear beyond any reasonable doubt that SARS-CoV-2 (SARS-2) originated in a virus lab in Wuhan.
Three virologists just released their study “Endonuclease fingerprint indicates a synthetic origin of SARS-CoV-2,” which compared the genome of SARS-2 against known natural or “in the wild” viruses, and known “man-made” synthetic viruses made in the lab. The study was released Oct. 20 by Valentin Bruttel (University Clinics Wurzburg), Alex Washburne (Selva Analytics), and Antonius VanDongen (Duke).
To create infectious versions of CoV’s in the laboratory, it’s necessary to “reconstruct” the entire 30kb-long (kb being a unit of measurement) coronavirus genome (genome is the hereditary information of an organism encoded by the genomic DNA) by using the process called in vitro genome assembly, or IVGA.
Researchers have been creating RNA viruses with IVGA for more than 20 years. A coronavirus genome that is 30kb in length is considered long, and making a full-length DNA copy of this viral genome — a large DNA sequence — requires the lab creator to assemble smaller DNA fragments to create the larger, full-length viral genome.
The lab creator first takes the “wild type” genome, and then adds or removes from it what are called “restriction sites.” These are the locations on a DNA molecule which contain specific sequences of nucleotides recognized by “restriction enzymes.” Restriction enzymes are proteins (biological catalysts) that perform what’s called “cleaving” the genome or cutting it into fragments at or near the recognition sites within the genome molecule.
The lab creator then works with the several DNA segments of the synthetic viral genome, each of which can be “mutated” before the assembly of the full-length genome. The lab creators place the restriction sites in a regular and not random order, evenly spacing them. Scientists discovered in 2013 that “efficient” fragment production requires that all the fragments created not be too long, and that the maximum length of the longest segment created be relatively small, and much shorter than expected by chance.
This regular spacing of restriction sites and a relatively small maximum length segment become, in the words of the authors, “fingerprints” of IVGA in the genomes of infectious clones. The synthetic assembly leaves a distinct pattern of regularly spaced recognition sites.
The authors proceed to analyze the restriction site distribution in “non-modified,” “in the wild” viruses by examining the before and after of two manmade viruses, iMERS created in 2013, and iWIV1 created in 2016.
Using IVGA, researchers created a synthetic MERS-CoV. They added and subtracted evenly spaced restriction sites using “synonymous mutations.” The natural virus had a longest fragment that was 40 percent of the total length of the 30kb MERS genome, while the newly-created MERS coronavirus had a longest length segment of only 19 percent of the length of the 30kb MERS genome.
The authors found the same fingerprint present in the restriction map of the 2016 synthetically engineered bat sarbecovirus iWIV1, an unusually short longest segment, and evenly spaced restriction sites. All synthetically-created viruses prior to SARS-CoV-2 have restriction maps with a narrow range of numbers of fragments and significantly shorter longest fragment lengths than expected from the “wild type” distribution.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus has a restriction site map like synthetically-created viruses. The longest fragment length for SARS-CoV-2 is 25 percent of the length of the full-length genome. Under the “wild type” coronaviruses, the longest length segment is 43 percent of the full length of the genome. The restriction site map for CoV-2 is an outlier in the bottom 1 percent of the longest fragment lengths of the non-engineered CoVs, and it is consistent with observations from previously published coronavirus infectious clones.
The authors rank-plotted z-scores, which measure the standard deviations below the “wild type” expectation, and concluded that SARS-CoV-2 appears “more likely to have been engineered for IGVA than several known CoV (lab created) reverse genetic systems.” There was a 0.07 percent chance of “observing such an anomalous restriction map with such a high z-score in a non-engineered, wild type virus.”
Finally the authors conducted 100,000 random mutations of SARS-CoV-2’s closest relatives, RaTG13 and BANAI-20-52, in order to estimate the probability of natural mutations generating an infectious clone as good or better for IVGA than SARS-CoV-2. They found a 1.2 percent chance of RaTG13 mutating to have a larger z-score than SARS-C0V-2, and a 0.1 percent chance of BANAL52 mutating to have a larger z-score than SARS-CoV-2. All of this evidence led the authors to the hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 was created in the Wuhan laboratory.
The cumulative evidence of a lab origin for SARS-CoV-2 is overwhelming:
- SARS-CoV-2 just happens to break out in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of viral research in China.
- Due to critics in the U.S. who argued that the risks of creating novel infectious viruses were enormous, Dr. Anthony Fauci as early as 2014 funded researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology who collected bat viruses in the wild and manipulated the viral genomes in the lab. The specific goal was to see which virus held the greatest potential for infecting people.
- SARS-CoV-2, unlike all the other thousands of coronaviruses, has a “furin cleavage site” precisely and optimally positioned on the single point of the 30,000-unit long genome —the S1/S2 junction — that has now been found to be the key to SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis. There are over 66,000 sarbecovirus spillovers every year, none of these but SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in a pandemic, precisely because SARS-CoV-2 has that “furin cleavage site” that no other coronavirus possesses.
- In 2018 the United States Department of Defense rejected a Wuhan request for funding to take genetic elements such as the furin cleavage site and insert them into a specific position on viral genomes.
- Unlike all other “spillovers” of a virus from animal to human (such as SARS1-civets, and MERS, camels), for SARS-CoV-2 no intermediate host animal has been identified as the spillover agent. That’s after almost three years.
- SARS-CoV-2 came out of the chute fully adapted to attack humans. Unlike other outbreaks where the virus mutated multiple times over in animals before perfecting for human invasion, SARS-CoV-2 was 100 percent deadly to humans from day one, precisely because it had been engineered for humans.
- SARS-CoV-2 doesn’t even like bats, who don’t like it either, and so it is not possible that the virus is a bat spillover.
- Ties to the wet market in Wuhan don’t wash, because the Chinese included ties to the wet market as part of the early case definitions. The wet market may have been a site of transmission, but not the site of a spillover from bats to humans.
The most convincing evidence of Chinese guilt is their refusal to produce the evidence that would refute the hypothesis of lab creation. The three authors describe this evidence as: “Databases of all CoVs collected and studied by relevant researchers” which could show that no progenitor to SARS-CoV-2 existed in any Chinese lab, and “laboratory notebooks” leading up to the 2019 estimated start of COVID that would demonstrate that there were no laboratory modifications of bat CoVs. The Chinese haven’t produced these because what’s in the databases and notebooks would damn them.
COVID-19 has killed 6 million people; 18 million if you count “excess deaths.” It is beyond belief that we are letting the Chinese get away with deep-sixing the evidence.
Our president has allowed the Chinese to bully us. The Chinese have declared they will look no further. Dr. Shi, the famous “bat lady” of Wuhan, mocks us: “I offer some advice … shut your dirty mouths.” The president ordered an intelligence committee report. It was a dud and nothing has come from it. The Chinese, in the face of the overwhelming evidence of a lab leak, bask in the sunshine and silence of Anthony Fauci and the other leaders of the United States virological community. It was Fauci and this gang who fostered the deadly research the Chinese were conducting in Wuhan, and who to this day steadfastly refuse to admit their complicity, and compound it by now covering for the Chinese.
It is time for the president to step up. Start an international lawsuit in the Hague. Ban trade (yes, ban trade). Ban the Chinese from our schools. Ban funding for any Chinese organization. Ban Chinese travel to the United States. Do something, Mr. President. It is your job to protect Americans, and to achieve justice for all those who have died from this dread disease.
Until and unless the president acts, we are letting the Chinese get away with murder.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not represent an official position of Alpha News.