The taxpayer-funded National Institute of Health reportedly conducted experiments with coronaviruses more than a year before the global outbreak of Covid-19, a new investigation has found.
The NIH infected 12 Egyptian fruit bats with WIV1, a “SARS-like” virus, at a Montana lab in 2018. The bats were obtained from a Maryland “roadside” zoo that lies just 15 minutes away from Camp David, according to the Daily Mail. The WIV1-coronavirus was shipped from the same Wuhan laboratory where some experts believe the 2020 pandemic-causing virus leaked from.
The research, published in a 2018 study and revealed this week by a campaign group, determined that the specific virus could not cause “robust infection.”
According to the Daily Mail, the study was first flagged by DRASTIC, “a group of internet activists who investigate the origins of Covid-19 and the lab leak theory.” White Coat Waste, a watchdog group, is now using the Freedom of Information Act to request more details about the experiment.
The 2018 experiment was carried out at the NIH’s Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Montana, This lab was overseen by Dr. Anthony Fauci, former National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director.
The bats were obtained by scientists from the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve in Thurmont, Maryland, which has a history of animal welfare violations and was fined $12,000 in 2012 for inadequate animal care and poor and dangerous animal housing.
The scientists inoculated the bats with the WIV1-coronavirus, which was first detected in Chinese rufous horseshoe bats, and performed exams on the bats daily.
On days three, seven, and 28, four bats were euthanized and their organs were collected for analysis, with scientists also analyzing the bats’ white blood cell count and antibodies.
The scientists determined the virus did not cause “a robust infection” and “observed very limited evidence of virus replication.”
President and founder of White Coat Waste Anthony Bellotti said in a statement: “Our investigation has uncovered the real-life horror story of how a shady roadside zoo whose curator was an NIH animal experimenter shipped off bats to a deadly government virus lab overseen by Dr. Fauci to be infected with a coronavirus obtained directly from the Wuhan lab that experts believe caused Covid.”