Scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were running risky experiments to create deadly mutant coronaviruses by fusing newly discovered strains – just before the outbreak of Covid-19.
US investigators believe Covid-19 was created by scientists at the Wuhan lab through experiments on a similar coronavirus discovered in a mineshaft in southern China.
Researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were fusing deadly coronaviruses to create highly-infectious mutant strains, that were then used to infect albino mice, the US investigators claim.
The research programme was kept secret and covered up due to it being funded by the Chinese military with the aim of developing bioweapons, the investigators believe.
The secret initiative in turn led to the creation of Covid-19, which was then leaked into the city of Wuhan through a lab accident, before it spread across the globe, the US investigators claim.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology (pictured) was running risky experiments on coronaviruses just before the outbreak of Covid-19
The Wuhan laboratory had initially set out to discover the origins of the deadly SARS virus that first broke out in southern China in 2002, US investigators told the Sunday Times.
However, the research institute soon became engaged in increasingly risky experiments on coronaviruses that were taken from caves in southern China.
The Wuhan lab initially made all of its findings public and claimed its research was necessary to develop coronavirus vaccines.
The institute’s position, however, shifted in 2016 when researchers from the Wuhan institute discovered a new coronavirus in a mineshaft in Mojiang, Yunnan, near China’s border with Laos.
The coronavirus that was discovered in the Mojiang mineshaft is understood to be the only member of Covid-19’s immediate family to have existed prior to the pandemic.
Chinese authorities, however, failed to report fatalities linked to the new coronavirus that was discovered in the Mojiang mineshaft.
Instead, the mineshaft viruses were taken back to the Wuhan Institute of Virology where researchers launched a classified research programme, investigators say.
Scientists discovered a new coronavirus in a mineshaft in Yunnan, in the south of China that is linked to a number of fatalities (File photo: Scientists collect bats from a cave in Guangdong)
The Wuhan Institute of Virology (pictured) launched a secret research initiative that saw them fuse coronaviruses in a series of risky experiments
US investigators believe this classified research initiative was aimed at making the newly discovered virus more infectious by fusing it with other coronaviruses.
They claim the facts of the research programme were kept secret due it being funded by the Chinese military, in line with efforts to develop bioweapons.
The experiments saw albino mice with human-like lungs infected with SARS-like viruses, that caused death rates of 75 per cent.
The risky experiment saw the mice infected with three lab grown viruses, made by fusing SARS-like viruses with one discovered in a cave in Yunnan in 2012.
The investigators believe these secret experiments eventually led to the creation of Covid-19, before it was accidently leaked from the Wuhan lab.
They believe the virus was leaked from the Wuhan lab into the city of almost nine million people through a laboratory accident.
The investigators believe a number of researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology caught Covid in November 2019 – a month before the West became aware of the virus.
A study from Wuhan University shows the area surrounding the Wuhan Institute of Virology was the initial centre of the spread of Covid-19.
Covid-19 was created as a result of the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s experiments before it was leaked through a laboratory accident, the US investigators say (File photo: Students celebrate the start of the new semester in Wuhan in September 2021)
Scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology carried out a series of experiments that saw them infect mice with highly-infectious coronaviruses (File photo: Medical staff carry a patient in Wuhan in January 2020)
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Links to the Wuhan lab were however covered up, the investigators say, as they claim the outbreak was instead blamed on the Huanan wet food market, that is located on the other side Yangtze river that runs through the city, several miles away.
The investigators also claim the Wuhan lab had already begun working on a vaccine before the pandemic, in autumn 2019.
A highly decorated military scientist, Zhou Yusen, later produced a vaccine patent with remarkable speed, in February 2020, just months after the outbreak was revealed.
A report later claimed Zhou must have begun developing his vaccine by November 2019 at the latest – just as the pandemic began.
The 54-year-old military vaccine specialist is now understood to have died, with US investigators having been told by witnesses he was thrown off the roof of the Wuhan institute.
Following the leak, Chinese authorities led an information clampdown, that saw researchers blocked from investigating the origins of Covid-19, the US investigators said.
Foreign scientists were refused entry to the caves where the coronavirus was initially discovered, and had their samples taken by police.
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