(cont. from prev post)
Secondly, what if, instead of the 20-50 years of evolutionary change required to bridge the 3.8% gap between RaTG13 (or similar collected virus) and Covid-19, the process had a helping hand in a lab?
As it turns out, that’s exactly the sort of experiments that were being conducted at WIV. Apart from genetically modifying viruses, as we saw in the 2008 experiment, WIV scientists were also forcing viruses to mutate through artificial means. In an article published June 24, 2016 in Journal of Virology, a team of WIV scientists, including Shi Zheng-li, detail how they succeeded in getting a bat virus sample (named WIV1) to mutate. In a section titled ‘Construction of WIV1 mutants’ they write:
“RT-PCR was used to generate five amplicons containing the five mutations designed in the strategy.”
The paper states that stocks of these viruses were cultivated and stored at the lab “for future use”.
In the same paper, under the heading, 'Strategy for construction of an infectious WIV1 BAC' the WIV scientists report that: “we have developed a fast and cost-effective method for reverse genetics of coronaviruses.”
Again the point of the exercise was to see if they could make the virus more infectious to humans … “to develop therapeutics for future control of emerging SARS-like infections.”
So, according to their own published papers, WIV scientists, including Shi, were actively devising strategies to both genetically modify existing bat viruses as well as forcing them to mutate.
But were they performing such techniques on RatG13, or a similar collected virus - or combining "all the building blocks" of different ones?
The very last line in the 2016 paper suggests they were - at the very least it says they wanted to:
“The development of different cell lines from the Rhinolophus bat, which is the reservoir host of SL-CoV, will facilitate this research in the future.”
RatG13 is a virus collected from Rhinolophus bats in Yunan. It was held at WIV. As were others.
Finally, in an article published on Feb 2, 2020 in Cell Research, Shi Zheng-li and other authors declare:
“(R)emdesivir and chloroquine are highly effective in the control of 2019-nCoV infection in vitro... (W)e suggest that they should be assessed in human patients suffering from the novel coronavirus disease.”
According to a comprehensive article in Gulf News, Shi Zheng-li’s team “applied for a patent for the drug (remdesivir) in China on behalf of the WIV.”
So what have we learned?
1. Shi Zheng-li originally thought WIV was the source of Covid-19.
2. RatG13 is the closest known match to Covid-19 at 96.2%
3. RatG13 was stored at WIV.
4. WIV was conducting experiments that involved inserting SARS sequences into new bat viruses (to enhance ACE-2 binding) in order to make them more infectious to humans.
5. WIV was forcing viruses to mutate - to see what happens.
6. Shi Zheng-li doesn’t support the pangolin theory.
7. Shi- Zheng-li is an advocate for remdesivir as a cure and applied for a patent on behalf of WIV.
8. She hasn’t been heard from since the CCP clamped down on domestic scientists making public comment in early April.