COVID19 Files – Scientific Investigation On Mysterious Origin Of Coronavirus

As Wuhan’s Coronavirus poses an increasing global threat, more and more experts from various countries have also cast more attention to the source of the new crown virus (COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2). In this scientific investigation on the mysterious origin of Coronavirus we explore the sources of New Coronavirus from five major areas, including epidemiological investigation, virus gene comparison, cross-species infection research, key “intermediate hosts” and the findings on the Wuhan P4 lab, to provide readers with a deep and completely scientific perspective.

Two months have elapsed since the outbreak of New Coronavirus in Wuhan, but the scientific community’s knowledge is still very limited on the mysterious “COVID-19” (also called SARS-CoV-2, formerly known as WHO-2019-nCoV by WHO, referred to as New Coronavirus in this report).

Is the South China Seafood Market the source of the outbreak? What role does the closely watched P4 laboratory the Wuhan Institute of Virology play? Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials insist that the new Coronavirus came from the original host bat, and several scholars from South China Agricultural University even claimed that they found an intermediate host – pangolin. However, the scientific community’s research on the viral gene sequence and the comparison and verification of a large number of scientific literature show that the source of the virus is not so simple.

COVID19-Files-Scientific-Investigation-on-Origin-of-Coronavirus
COVID19 Files – A Scientific Investigation on Mysterious Origin of Coronavirus

South China Seafood Market: the controversial “source of epidemic”

The Internal Circular

This fierce epidemic broke into public view for the first time with an internal circular of the Wuhan Municipal Health and Health Commission circulating on the Internet. The circular clearly stated: “Pneumonia patients of unknown cause have appeared in our South China seafood market.” It stated that all medical units are required to report similar cases of pneumonia of unknown cause to the Medical and Health Administration of the Health and Medical Commission.

Internal circular of the Wuhan Municipal Health and Health Commission on Coronavirus
Internal circular of the Wuhan Municipal Health and Health Commission on New Coronavirus

The South China Seafood Market is located in Jianghan District, Wuhan City, Hubei Province. It is a large-scale comprehensive market that includes pork supplies and a variety of seafood frozen products, chilled, dry goods and condiments, and also sells some game products.

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When “unknown pneumonia” suddenly appeared in front of the public, the word “game” no doubt quickly became the focus of most attention. After all, the outbreak of the SARS epidemic seventeen years ago has been officially regarded as a calamity caused by Cantonese people eating wild game “fruit beaver”.

Destroying the “Crime Scene”

On December 31, 2019, the Wuhan Municipal Health and Health Commission publicly announced for the first time that some medical institutions recently discovered that multiple cases of pneumonia admitted there were related to the South China seafood market. On January 1, 2020, the South China Seafood Market posted a market closure announcement, followed by a thorough environmental sanitation rectification. Guan Yi, a well-known Hong Kong SARS expert, later criticized that this measure was equivalent to destroying the “crime scene”.

Since then, Wuhan has repeatedly emphasized that most cases of Wuhan Coronavirus have a history of exposure or exposure in the South China seafood market. A total of 585 samples were sampled from the Virus Disease Institute of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention on January 1st and 12th and transferred to the laboratory for testing.

China CDC’s Statements

On January 22, Gao Fu, director of the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a press conference of the State Council Information Office that the source of the New Coronavirus in Wuhan was wild animals illegally sold in a seafood market in Wuhan.

On January 26, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that the institute first detected 33 samples containing the New Coronavirus nucleic acid from 585 environmental samples from the South China Seafood Market and successfully isolated the virus from positive environmental specimens. They announced that the virus originated from wild animals sold in the South China Seafood Market.

At this point, the statement that the South China seafood market is the source of the epidemic became the official conclusion.

The explosive Lancet Papers

Unexpectedly, just one day later, a report published online by Science on the 27th raised a major challenge to the CCP’s official conclusion.

The report cited a paper in the world’s top medical journal The Lancet, questioning that the epidemic source of the New Coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan may not be the South China seafood market.

The paper, titled “Clinical Features of New Coronavirus Infected Patients“, was published in The Lancet on January 24. The first author of the paper was Huang Chao Lin, the deputy director of Jinyintan Hospital, the first designated hospital for unknown pneumonia in Wuhan. The rest of the authors included other clinicians in the hospital and members of several research institutions.

This paper revealed the following key information:

  • The first patient had an onset of disease on December 1st, which was not associated with the seafood market.
  • The first patient had no epidemic association with subsequent patients.
  • On December 10th, another 3 cases had occurred, of which 2 were not related to South China seafood market.
  • Starting from December 15th, cases with a history of exposure to the seafood market are concentrated.
  • The paper counts a total of 41 patients, and 14 cases are not related to the seafood market, the proportion exceeds 1/3.
  • No bats are sold in the seafood market and no trace of bats has been found.
2019-nCoV infection chart
Date of illness onset and age distribution of patients with laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection
(A) Number of hospital admissions by age group. (B) Distribution of symptom onset date for laboratory-confirmed cases. The Wuhan local health authority issued an epidemiological alert on Dec 30, 2019, and closed the Huanan seafood market 2 days later. Source: the above study published in The Lancet

Not only that, but another issue of The Lancet on January 29 analyzed 99 confirmed cases at Jinyintan Hospital, 50 of which had no history of contact with the seafood market. The New England Journal of Medicine also has a paper showing that: Of the 425 cases, 45% of those affected before January 1 had no history of exposure to the seafood market.

Compared with the official report, it can be seen that there are obvious differences between the two. The corresponding official information is as follows:

  • The first patient’s onset time was December 8th, which was related to the seafood market.
  • The South China Seafood Market was officially identified as the epidemic source. The first patient had no history of seafood market contact and the above mentioned 1/3 cases had no seafood market exposure Historical data.
  • Wuhan Institute of Virology’s Zheng Li et al., published January 23, refers to the horseshoe bats found from Yunnan Province containing a virus whose genome they announced was 96.2% identical to the Wuhan Coronavirus, thus virus from bats become a popular consensus.
Comparison of The Lancet Thesis and the CCP's Official Announcement
Comparison of The Lancet Thesis and the CCP’s Official Announcement

Infectious disease scientist Daniel R. Lucey of the University of Georgetown in the United States wrote a paper on The Lancet that if the data in the paper is accurate, the first case should be in November 2019. So the first patient has been infected by the virus for a month, because there is an incubation period after infection and before symptoms appear. Some experts previously said that the incubation period of the New Coronavirus is about 10 to 14 days.

Timeline of 2019-nCoV cases after onset of illness
Timeline of 2019-nCoV cases after onset of illness. Source: the above study published in The Lancet

Obviously, this means that the virus had spread silently between some places in Wuhan and some people before the concentrated cases of South China seafood market began to appear on December 15. Lucey pointed out frankly: “China must have realized that this epidemic did not originate in the South China Seafood Market in Wuhan.”

One of the co-authors of The Lancet paper and a professor at Beijing’s Capital Medical University, Cao Bin also responded to Science, an American science news website: “It is relatively clear that the (South China) seafood market should not be the sole source of New Coronavirus. But honestly, we still don’t know where the virus came from. Now It seems clear that [the] seafood market is not the only origin of the virus“, he wrote in an e-mail to Science.

It is worth noting that the authors of both the The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine are doctors and medical experts in Mainland China. On the contrary, the practice of the national expert group of the Chinese Communist Party shows that they seem to intentionally or unintentionally ignore this extremely important information.

Diagnostic Criteria

The first expert group of the National Health Commission had arrived in Wuhan as early as December 31, 2019. According to an interview with Caixin, mainland Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Peng Zhiyong, director of Critical Care Medicine confirmed that the group of experts to investigate the hospital after Wuhan Jinyintan developed a set of diagnostic criteria: have a history of exposure to the South China seafood market; have a fever Symptoms; whole genome sequencing. All three criteria are required to confirm the diagnosis.

Three indicators for diagnosis of COVID-19 confirmed by the first group of national experts
Three indicators for diagnosis of COVID-19 confirmed by the first group of national experts

Peng Zhiyong said that this standard was not revised until the second group of experts such as Zhong Nanshan arrived in Wuhan on the 18th.

This raises an inexplicable problem: the details of the 41 cases investigated by The Lancet in the first group of experts should be understood. Because in the official notification of the Wuhan Health Commission, from January 10 to January 17, the number of confirmed 41 cases has not changed.

Why does the expert group require that the “history of seafood market contact” be included in the diagnosis criteria when it knows that at least one third of the cases are not related to the seafood market?

People with a little medical knowledge of infectious diseases know that identifying the true source of infectious diseases is one of the three keys to preventing and controlling infectious diseases. Since there is very clear epidemiological evidence and the judgment of the earliest peer experts who participated in the investigation of the epidemic, both agree that the South China seafood market is not the source of the virus, why should the expert group diagnostics criteria “mandatorily” have a history of seafood market contact?

Virological Evidence: Gene Variation in Wuhan New Coronavirus COVID-19

E Protein

January 10 is an important day. On this day, China officially disclosed the entire gene sequence of Wuhan Coronavirus to the world. The world’s top virology experts immediately conducted in-depth research on this mysterious virus and began to publish their own research reports on the new crown virus.

After an overall analysis of the Wuhan Coronavirus gene, a team of Greek experts released a report on January 27, 2020 saying that they studied and analyzed the genetic relationship of Wuhan virus and found that “the genes of the new Coronavirus has no close genetic relationship with other viruses in the sarbecvirus subgenus“, and the virus has a special intermediate segment that no other Coronavirus has, and this gene happens to be the key to helping the virus invade host cells.

These research findings indicate that Wuhan virus is a new type of Coronavirus and overthrew the author’s original assumption that Wuhan virus originated from random natural mutations between different Coronaviruses. In other words, the author believes that the Wuhan virus did not evolve naturally.

The findings of Greek experts are not alone. As early as January 7, academician Zhang Yongzhen of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the School of Public Health of Fudan University submitted a joint paper to the journal Nature and published it on February 3. The paper clearly proposes that Wuhan virus has the closest kinship with the Chinese military’s two Zhoushan bat virus samples, CoVZC45 and CoVZXC21. Among them, the nucleotide sequence identity of Wuhan virus and CoVZC45 virus was 89.1%, and even showed 100% amino acid similarity in nsp7 and envelope protein (E protein).

A paper submitted by Zhang Yongzhen and others to the journal Nature showed that the similarity between E-protein of Wuhan New Crown Virus and Zhoushan Bat CoVZC45 virus was as high as 100%. (Screenshot of Nature paper)
A paper submitted by Zhang Yongzhen and others to the journal Nature showed that the similarity between E-protein of Wuhan New Crown Virus and Zhoushan Bat CoVZC45 virus was as high as 100%. (Screenshot of Nature paper)

Soon, some experts used the comparison tool BLAST from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Biotechnology Information Center (NCBI) to perform a gene alignment on the genome sequence submitted by the Chinese Communist Party for the third time on the 12th, confirming Zhang Yongzhen’s discovery.

The information in the pink highlights shows that the E-protein similarity between the virus sample of Wuhan Seafood Market and the virus sample numbered "AVP78033.1" is as high as 100%.
The information in the pink highlights shows that the E-protein similarity between the virus sample of Wuhan Seafood Market and the virus sample numbered “AVP78033.1” is as high as 100%.

The Zhoushan virus

A team of experts from China Disease Center, Lu Roujian also published a paper in The Lancet on January 30, stating that the overall similarity between New Wuhan Coronavirus and a coronavirus previously found in Zhoushan bats in Zhejiang, China, is very high – upto 88%.

The coronavirus carried on Zhoushan bats was first discovered by experts at the Military Medical Research Institute of the Nanjing Military Region. The institute published a paper in English in 2018, announcing the discovery of a new coronavirus in Zhoushan bats —  Zhoushan bat SARS Coronavirus. For the sake of understanding, this paper is referred to as “Zhoushan virus” for short.

The green highlight shows that the virus sample number "AVP78033.1" is from the Military Medical Research Institute of Nanjing Military Region, which is "Zhoushan virus".
The green highlight shows that the virus sample number “AVP78033.1” is from the Military Medical Research Institute of Nanjing Military Region, which is “Zhoushan virus”.

Sean Lin, PhD in microbiology and former director of the Virology Laboratory at the former Walter Reed Army Institute in the United States, believes that it is extremely unusual for the amino acid sequences of the E proteins of Wuhan virus and Zhoushan virus to be 100% identical. Because E protein has an indispensable effect on the virus morphology, assembly, budding, and virus pathogenicity of β-type coronavirus. If the virus changes the host, many cytokines will change, and the E protein will necessarily have corresponding changes to adjust the virus synthesis and pathogenicity.

He further pointed out: The genes of the E protein and the genes of the S protein are adjacent to each other. In the viral RNA replication process, these two genes also need to complete the production of subgenomic RNA (subgenomic RNA) to complete replication, which also involves similar Intracellular factors and viral RNA polymerase, so the error rate of gene replication during this process is also similar. Therefore, there is no reason that during the natural viral replication process, the S protein has various mutations, while the E protein remains completely similar with the entire host transformed. This is basically impossible to happen naturally.

Ms. Dong Yuhong, PhD in infectious disease from Peking University and Chief Scientific Officer of Swiss biotechnology company SunRegen Healthcare AG, pointed out that according to Lu Roujian’s paper published in The Lancet, several coronaviruses in the Coronaviridae family and Wuhan virus are the most recent. The amino acid sequences of proteins (S, M, N, etc.) cannot reach 100% complete agreement, such as E protein, with a degree of agreement of 73.2% to 98.6%. Then, why this E protein maintains so much consistency with the so-called “ancestral” bat virus in Wuhan virus is worth further investigation (Lu et al 2020 Lancet).

She said that compared to S, M or N protein, although E protein is the smallest protein among the main structural proteins of Wuhan virus, its function cannot be underestimated. During the human replication cycle of Wuhan virus, E protein is expressed in large quantities in infected human cells. Most E proteins are located at key sites of human cell transport, such as the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus, and participate in the assembly of coronaviruses. And sprouts. With lack of E protein recombination, virus maturity is reduced or the ability to reproduce is not strong, indicating the important interaction between E protein and host cells, especially in the virus reproduction, maturity. The importance of transmission ability should also be an important functional protein that determines the virus’s ability to spread in human races.

In a nutshell, Wuhan virus and Zhoushan virus showed this perfect consistency of E protein, which is difficult to explain with “natural variation”.

S Protein

On January 21, 2020, a paper published by researchers in the Key Laboratory of Molecular Virology and Immunity of the Shanghai Pasteur Institute of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Science China Life Sciences mentioned an important phenomenon: The sequence of a key part of the S protein of the virus is highly homologous to the SARS virus.

What is S protein? It is the “small mushrooms” on the surface of the virus in the pictures of coronaviruses that are already widely known. This S protein (also known as spike protein, spinous protein) is the most important tool for coronaviruses to invade human cells.

Structural diagram of SARS virus (Joseph S Malik Peiris, Nature Medicine)
Structural diagram of SARS virus (Joseph S Malik Peiris, Nature Medicine)

Pasteur Institute experts have found that residues 442, 472, 479, 487, and 491 in the S protein of the SARS virus are located at the interface of the receptor complex and are considered to be cross-species and interpersonal transmission vital position.

Surprisingly, there are 442, 472, 479, and 487 residues in the S protein of Wuhan virus that differ from SARS virus, but this difference does not affect the structural composition of S protein. That is to say, the S protein of Wuhan virus still maintains the same structure as the S protein of SARS virus, and it can still share almost the same 3-D structure in the RBD domain as SARS, and use it to communicate with human cells. The ACE2 receptor binds to easily invade the body.

This is a genetic variation that can be described with precision. It is like a key with 5 clamping teeth, of which the material of 4 teeth has changed, but the overall shape of the key is perfectly maintained, and the key can still open to the human body.

Schematic diagram of the abnormality of the 4 site residues of the new crown virus S protein
Schematic diagram of the abnormality of the 4 site residues of the new Coronavirus S protein

Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, a senior epidemiologist at Harvard University in the United States, also noticed this anomaly. He posted on Twitter on January 28, citing the latest findings of Greek scholars, stating that the virus was not caused by a corona. The virus was generated by recent random combinations, and some parts were “incompatible” with all coronaviruses. The mid-sequence of its genome has never been seen before in coronaviruses and can “encode” a spike protein (S protein) that invades host cells.

Molecular Evolution Clock & Recent Common Ancestors

The molecular evolution clock is a technology that estimates the evolution rate of species through the rate of genetic mutations. It can be traced back to millions of years of evolution, and the short one can trace the source of current infectious disease pathogens.

Roujian Lu of the China CDC Virus Prevention Institute published a paper in The Lancet journal on January 30, 2020, and found that the sequence of the new Coronavirus from different patients in Wuhan pneumonia was almost the same. Sequence identity is over 99.9%. This finding indicates that the new Coronavirus was produced from a single origin in a short period of time and was detected relatively quickly.

Kristian Andersen, a molecular biologist at the world-renowned Scripps Research Institute, also published an article titled “Biology clock based on 27 genetic analyses and recent common ancestor time.” Analysis of 27 publicly published complete genes of Wuhan virus in China, found that the genomes of 24 samples from Wuhan, Thailand, Shenzhen and other places are very consistent, “showing very limited genetic variation, showing that all of these virus strains have a relatively new common ancestor.”

Anderson believes that the virus enters humans from a single source and then passes from person to person. This can be a single animal or a small group of recently infected animals infected to a single person or a small group of people. All cases analyzed were human-to-human, and no animal-to-human.

According to the molecular evolution clock, Andersen calculated the time from when the virus in people first started to spread. The median was December 2 and the earliest could be October 1. This was equivalent to the December 1st when the CCP officially announced the first consultation. Although neither paper speculated on the origin of the virus, the possibility of multiple animal origins was apparently ruled out.

Shi Zhengli: Mystery of cross-species Coronavirus infection

A remarkable fact is that the Coronavirus carried by bats cannot directly infect the human body, let alone a virus that can possess human-to-human transmission. But with the opinion that the Wuhan Coronavirus was created in a lab and growing doubts over the official CCP position, Wuhan Institute of Virology and well-known virus expert of the institute Zheng Li stepped into public view.

Special relationship between S protein and ACE2 receptor

After the SARS outbreak in 2003, Shi Zhengli led the team to collect bat samples across the country for virus detection, and published the results in the journal Nature in 2013. In 2017, Shi Zhengli’s team determined that the SARS virus was recombined from several bat SARS-like coronaviruses and once caused widespread concern.

Due to his long-term research on bat and SARS virus, Shi Zhengli has undoubtedly become the authority in the field of Coronavirus research, and is more focused on the field of Coronavirus infection across species.

What is intriguing is that Shi Zhengli’s research on the Coronavirus S protein, the “passport” for infecting humans across species, began as early as 2010. Shi Zhengli’s team has conducted a long-term, systematic and in-depth study of how coronaviruses can spread across species barriers.

In 2010, Shi Zhengli’s team published a paper to examine the sensitivity of different types of bat ACE2 to human SARS-CoV spike protein (S protein) using live SARS virus and HIV (AIDS) pseudovirus. In the experiment, they also changed several key amino acids of bat ACE2 to test its binding to the S protein and constructed the HIV pseudovirus HIV / BJ01-S with the SARS virus BJ01-S protein. This shows that Shi Zhengli’s team has realized the special relationship between protein and ACE2 receptor.

How Coronavirus infects human cells with S protein
How Coronavirus infects human cells with S protein

Key to Coronavirus Cross-Species Infection

On October 30, 2013, Shi Zhengli’s team released a “new breakthrough” in Coronavirus research. Nature magazine published its paper entitled “Isolation and characterization of a bat SARS-like Coronavirus that uses the ACE2 receptor“, from the research team including Ge Xingyi, Shi Zhengli, Dasak and other experts from Yunnan. The entire genome sequence of the new coronaviruses RsSHC014 and Rs3367 isolated from the chrysanthemum bat (horse hoof bat). Shi Zhengli provided the SHC014 Coronavirus S protein sequence and plasmid, which is her field of expertise.

In this research, Shi Zhengli’s team also isolated a third type of live bat Coronavirus — the SARS-like coronavirus WIV1 — from bat stool samples, which has a sequence homology of 99.9% with Rs3367 virus. The S protein of the virus can bind to the human receptor ACE2 through the receptor binding point (RBD), and effectively infect SARS virus directly to humans without the need for intermediate hosts such as civet.

This is undoubtedly an important breakthrough. This breakthrough shows that Shi Zhengli and others have initially mastered the “key” for the Coronavirus to break through the species barrier and directly infect the human body.

On November 9, 2015, Shi Zhengli’s team from Wuhan Institute of Virology published a paper in the British journal Nature Medicine titled, A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence. The main content is that they successfully produced a self-replicating chimeric virus, which has the wild mouse SARS Coronavirus of the aforementioned RsSHC014 coronavirus “S protein” which can bind to human ACE2, and thus has a strong infectious power across species. In the experimental results, mice infected with this “synthetic” virus had severe lesions in their lungs, and there was no cure.

SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence
e is the curve of weight loss of mice infected with SARS coronavirus (black) and novel chimeric virus (green) over time. f shows the replication of the virus in the lungs 2 and 4 days after the mice were infected with the two viruses. g and h show images of lung lesions in mice after infection with SARS virus and chimeric virus from the respiratory tract, respectively. (Nature Medicine)

Surprisingly, the successful experiments on mice were just Shi Zhengli’s “trial”, and they were preparing to conduct further experiments on primates. This move is undoubtedly dangerous, because it is very easy to think of whether Shi Zhengli’s team was mimicking how to use this chimeric virus to infect the human body.

Shi Zhengli's Trilogy on Coronavirus Cross-Species Infection
Shi Zhengli’s Trilogy on Coronavirus Cross-Species Infection

Academic Controversy

Shi Zhengli’s thesis quickly caused great controversy in the academic world. Simon Wain-Hobson, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in France, expressed this concern deeply, telling Nature: “If the (new) virus escapes, no one can Predict its path.”

“The only impact of this research is the creation of a new type of unnatural risk in the laboratory,” said Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist and biodefense expert at Rutgers University.”

But Shi Zhengli’s pace obviously did not stop. On November 14, 2018, Shi Zhengli was invited by the School of Life Science and Technology of Shanghai Jiao Tong University to make a keynote speech titled “Research on Bat Coronavirus and its inter-species infection.

In this speech, Shi Zhengli introduced how her team used “recombination analysis” to discover the latest ancestor of human SARS virus, which may have been reorganized by three virus strains (WIV1, Rs4231, and Rs4081) in a bat cave in Yunnan.

It is worth noting that the report has been deleted from the official website of Shanghai Jiao Tong University for unknown reasons.

Screenshot of Shi Zhengli's deleted report on official website of Shanghai Jiaotong University
Screenshot of Shi Zhengli’s deleted report on official website of Shanghai Jiao Tong University

New horseshoe bat virus RaTG13

On January 23, 2020, at the time when the new Coronavirus broke out and Wuhan declared lockdown, the Shi Zhengli team published an article on bioRxiv preprinted version of the platform titled, “A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin.” The report proposed that the new Wuhan Coronavirus was derived from bats. The paper was subsequently published in the journal Nature on February 3.

The article mentions that new Wuhan Coronavirus uses the same cells to enter the receptor (ACE2) as SARS Coronavirus, that is, the new Wuhan Coronavirus uses the same “key” as SARS to open the door to the human body.

The article also stated that they found that the sequence of the novel Coronavirus was 96.2% identical to that of the Coronavirus numbered RaTG13 derived from Yunnan horseshoe bats.

As everyone knows, the entire genome sequence of Wuhan virus uploaded by China’s National Center for Disease Control and Prevention was on January 11. So the Shi Zhengli team was able to compare Wuhan Virus and lock the virus with the highest similarity from many coronaviruses in the virus bank in just 12 days, and also isolated, uploaded the gene bank, and even wrote a paper.

Compared with the last 10 years of finding the natural source of the SARS virus , Shi Zhengli’s team is surprisingly quick and efficient this time.

An unnoticeable detail is that Shi Zhengli submitted the registration information of RaTG13 bat virus on January 27th, showing that the virus was isolated from the feces of Yunnan horseshoe bats (chrysanthemum bat) as early as July 24, 2013. It was collected three months before Shi Zhengli published the paper in October 2013, but Shi Zhengli’s paper did not mention this particular virus.

In other words, the extremely important “new horseshoe bat virus RaTG13” , which is likely to be the culprit causing the plague, was frozen in the Wuhan P4 laboratory for seven years.

The virus submission records show that the collection date of "New Horseshoe Bat Virus RaTG13" was July 24, 2013
The virus submission records show that the collection date of “New Horseshoe Bat Virus RaTG13” was July 24, 2013

Why was the “new horseshoe bat virus” frozen for seven years? No one knows the reason for this, but Shi Zhengli now reports that she “discovered” the link between the virus and Wuhan virus; no doubt trying to prove that this virus is the natural source of Wuhan virus.

However, an unexplainable phenomenon is that the comparison of the viral gene sequence shows that the envelope protein (E protein) and membrane protein (M protein) gene fragments ORF6 of the new horseshoe bat virus (RaTG13) and Wuhan virus have reached the amino acid sequence of 100% identical, S protein is 97.7% similar to Wuhan virus.

The yellow highlight shows that the overall homology between the new horseshoe bat virus and Wuhan virus has reached 96.2%, and the E protein has reached 100% consistency.
The yellow highlight shows that the overall homology between the new horseshoe bat virus and Wuhan virus has reached 96.2%, and the E protein has reached 100% consistency.

Virology expert Sean Lin, former director of the Virology Laboratory at the Walter Reed Army Research Institute, pointed out that this is another Coronavirus that is 100% similar to Wuhan virus after Zhoushan virus unusual phenomenon.

He believes that the current research results have also found that the gene sequence of E protein can have a high elastic space. In other words, many positions of this E protein can have genetic changes, but it will not affect it to assist the virus to complete the assembly process. In other words, there is no strong selection pressure to force E protein to maintain the high fidelity of the entire protein gene sequence.

Pangolin Mystery: the sudden “intermediate host”

Unlike the previous SARS epidemic, the Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic has been reported since the outbreak. Officials have always claimed that bats are likely to be the natural host of Wuhan Coronavirus. However, even after the national expert team conducted a comprehensive investigation of the South China seafood market, the officials still failed in declaring what kind of wildlife caused the “national disaster”. The lack of intermediate hosts has also become a major cause for doubt about the origin of the virus.

The Special Pangolins

On February 7th, news came from Guangzhou, which was more than 1,000 kilometers away from Wuhan. The local South China Agricultural University released the latest research saying that pangolin may be a potential intermediate host for the new Coronavirus.

At the press conference, Liu Yahong, President of South China Agricultural University, revealed that researchers from South China Agricultural University, Lingnan Guangdong Provincial Laboratory of Modern Agriculture, Shen Yongyi, Xiao Lihua and other researchers analyzed a thousand metagenome samples and found a β-crown on pangolins. The virus they said may be closely related to Wuhan Coronavirus.

The team also announced at the press conference that through further isolation and identification of the virus, a typical Coronavirus particle structure was observed under an electron microscope; finally, by analyzing the genome of the virus, the isolated virus strain was found to be infecting human. The similarity of strain sequences is as high as 99% and so they declared that above results indicate that pangolin is a potential intermediate host for new Coronavirus.

This is another heavyweight news about the efficient exposure of Wuhan Coronavirus after the Shi Zhengli team announced on January 23 that it has locked the natural host of new Wuhan Coronavirus.

Such a major news naturally caused the mainland media to follow up quickly. On February 8th, the “Southern Daily” exclusively interviewed relevant experts of South China Agricultural University, so that the outside world learned about some unusual facts about Pangolin Coronavirus.

Shen Yongyi of Huanong Veterinary College Research Institute stated in an interview that the pangolin samples found to carry the virus did not come from Guangdong, nor from a specific population. The pangolins were “obtained from certain institutions.”

Screenshot of Nanfang Daily report
Screenshot of Nanfang Daily report

Feng Yaoyu, a member of the team and a professor at Huanong Veterinary College, in an interview with Caixin, another mainland media, bluntly stated that this batch of pangolins was actually “imported by some units” and obtained “for the purpose of judging the cause”. These samples were “not particularly large”.

Caixin News Report Screenshot
Caixin News Report Screenshot

Do Pangolin Coronavirus infect Humans?

Obviously, this batch of pangolin is a batch of samples with special characteristics, because Shen Yongyi admits that no such virus was found in the samples of common Chinese pangolins collected by themselves. As to why “a specific agency” took the initiative to provide them with these special samples, it was not mentioned in the report.

Speaking of the most critical question of “how pangolin coronavirus infects people”, Feng Yaoyu replied: “This batch of pangolin is a special group with symptoms. Whether we can infect people or not is not clear at this time, we need relevant information. Further research by the department validated. ”

The Caixin report also quoted a third-party expert who pointed out that in the viral gene sequence isolated from the pangolin by Huanong’s team, there were about 4,000 unsequenced and unclear nucleotides (the new crown virus has about 29410 nuclear Glycine), which needs further analysis. The report also said that to determine pangolin as a potential intermediate host for the new Coronavirus, experts believe that “more evidence is needed.”

Since the evidence is insufficient, the key issue of whether pangolin Coronavirus can infect people is uncertain. Even when the process of how bats infected pangolin was unclear, why did the Huanong team rashly announce that pangolin is the intermediate host and countless experts are doing everything possible? What about the “bridge” from bat to man?

Huanong experts acknowledged in an interview with Nanfang Daily that scientists generally publish academic papers before announcing the results. This time, before the paper is written, a press conference is arranged to announce the results, “in response to the national call”, and “it’s very stressful for us.”

Virus expert Ms. Dong Yuhong questioned this: If these pangolins considered to be “intermediate hosts” did not come from Guangdong, how did they enter the Bat Cave in Yunnan, infected with three virus strains, and then how the virus traveled back Guangdong, finally crossed the mountains and waters and returned to Wuhan, Hubei to trigger the epidemic?

Wuhan Institute of Virology: the epicenter of Coronavirus outbreak

Questioning the research results of Shi Zhengli’s team led the outside world’s attention to the source of the virus to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. After all, here is the highest level P4 (bio-safety level 4) laboratory in China’s virus research area.

Since the beginning of the entire outbreak in Wuhan, the Wuhan Institute of Virology has maintained an abnormal silence. This virus research institute has experienced a series of ups and downs since its inception, and it seems to indicate that this research institute is doomed to be extraordinary.

The Sino-French Collaboration

On January 23, Wuhan just announced the closure of the city, and the French “Challenge Network” published an article revealing many disturbing details of Sino-French cooperation in setting up a P4 laboratory in Wuhan.

The article states that, as France is a leading country in the field of global virus research, as early as 2003, the Chinese Academy of Sciences had asked the French government to assist China in opening a highest-level virus research center. The Chinese request has caused divisions between the French government and virus experts, because although the Wuhan Institute of Virology can fight outbreaks of infectious diseases, some French experts are worried that the CCP will use French technology to develop biological weapons. Indeed a serious warning!

With the support of then Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, China and France signed an agreement in 2004 to cooperate in the construction of a P4 virus center amidst widespread concern.

The French General Administration of Foreign Security warned that RTV, an architectural design firm in Lyon, France was originally responsible for the laboratory’s project, but in 2005 the Chinese Communist Party officially selected Wuhan’s local design agency IPPR (Zhongyuan International Engineering Co., Ltd.) for the project. According to the department’s investigation, the IPPR design institute is closely related to the subordinate departments of the Communist Party of China. These departments have long been the monitoring targets of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Wuhan Institute of Virology Coronavirus
Wuhan Institute Of Virology – Epicentre Of Coronavirus

Public information shows that IPPR (Zhongyuan International Engineering Co., Ltd.) was founded in 1953 and is affiliated to China National Machinery Industry Corporation (SINOMACH), a large state-owned enterprise of the Communist Party of China and a Fortune 500 company. SINOMACH is the largest large-scale state-owned enterprise group of the CCP machinery industry and has close relations with the CCP military. Among its 12 departments, it has set up a special “Military Industry Management Office (Ministry of Science and Technology Development)”.

Zhongyuan International Engineering Co
Zhongyuan International Engineering Co has 12 departments including a special “Military Industry Management Office”

Li Yuan, a former project executive of the Chinese Red Cross Society, interviewed by Radio Free Asia pointed out that since the establishment of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, there has been a serious lack of transparency. The drawing of the P4 laboratory was provided by France. The original design was a layer of negative pressure. A “black hole” was formed in the center of the virus laboratory. Everything outside just flowed to the center and would not leak out in the reverse flow.

Li Yuan believes that the Chinese side does not allow the French side to construct, the purpose is to build something that the French side does not know.

At the same time, intelligence sources told GreatGameIndia that these “things not to be known to the French” are related to biological weapons.

China’s Secret Biological Weapons Program

On January 24, the Washington Times published a reporter Bill Gertz’s interview with Dany Shoham, a former Israeli military intelligence officer. Shoham made it clear in the interview that Wuhan Institute of Virology is related to Beijing’s secret biological weapons program.

Shoham has a doctorate in medical microbiology. From 1970 to 1991, he was a senior analyst in the Israeli military intelligence service, leading the rank of lieutenant colonel, responsible for biological and chemical warfare issues in the Middle East and the world. As an expert on biological warfare, Shoham has pointed out that the deadly infectious disease of Wuhan Coronavirus may spread worldwide, and its source is the Wuhan Laboratory related to the CCP ’s secret biological weapons program.

He said that the CCP has consistently denied possession of any offensive biological weapons, but the US State Department stated in a report last year that it suspected that the CCP government was engaged in a secret biological warfare research and development program.

Shoham further pointed out that the Wuhan Institute of Virology is affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, but some laboratories in the Institute are related to the Chinese Army or the Chinese Communist Party’s biological weapons program. And the Institute is not the only one. The CCP has three other institutes engaged in the development of biological weapons.

The Chinese Communist Party has been developing biological weapons long ago. In 1993, the Communist Party of China announced Wuhan’s second biological institution, Wuhan Institute of Biological Products. This is one of the eight biological warfare research institutions covered by the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), which the CCP joined in 1985.

Shoham also made it clear that the SARS virus has been included in the CCP ’s biological weapons program as a whole, and the P4 laboratory in Wuhan also stores many deadly viruses, including Ebola, Nipah, and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus.

Although the Chinese Communist Party implemented a comprehensive blockade of reporting about the Wuhan Institute of Virology, domestic voices of suspicion continue to circulate.

GreatGameIndia investigation on Coronavirus Bioweapon

At present, the epidemic situation of Wuhan Coronavirus is still spreading all over the world. The century-old plague that erupted in Wuhan has been considered the most infectious disease threatening humanity since the Spanish flu. The more serious situation is that in mainland China, which is at the center of the outbreak, many important information is still opaque, including the crucial source of the virus.

White House Coronavirus Task Force

On February 5, the US House of Representatives held its first hearing on related issues. Several lawmakers questioned the Beijing authorities’ concealment of the epidemic in China and said that the role of the World Health Organization (WHO) is losing credibility.

As a direct impact of GreatGameIndia investigation on Coronavirus which found deadly viruses smuggled by Chinese Biowarfare agents from a Canadian lab to Wuhan, where it is believed Coronavirus was weaponized, the White House has opened an investigation to determine if these findings are true and whether Coronavirus is indeed bio-engineered in a lab.

The director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), in a letter to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, requested that scientific experts “rapidly” look into the origins of the virus in order to address both the current spread and “to inform future outbreak preparation and better understand animal/human and environmental transmission aspects of coronaviruses.”

The director of the OSTP, Kelvin Droegemeier, wrote in the letter to the president of the National Academy of Sciences, Marcia McNutt, that a widely disputed paper on the origins — subsequently withdrawn — had shown the urgency for accurate information about the genesis of the outbreak.

Coronavirus Bioweapon

This investigation is in direct response to GreatGameIndia’s findings on Coronavirus, as Joshua Phillip puts it:

The original report making the claim about the P4 lab as a potential source was published by GreatGameIndia, a journal on geopolitics and international relations in its report Coronavirus Bioweapon. Other publications, such as The Washington Times, followed, with additional claims based on interviews.

While the narrative of the virus coming from the lab hasn’t been debunked, it has been criticized by several news outlets.

Regardless of where the coronavirus came from, the attention on the P4 lab has focused a spotlight on the Chinese regime’s alleged biological warfare program and is raising questions about the nature of the P4 lab in Wuhan.

GreatGameIndia investigation has also been corroborated by Bioweapons expert Dr. Francis Boyle in an exclusive interview given to Geopolitics and Empire. Dr. Boyle drafted the U.S. domestic implementing legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention, known as the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, that was approved unanimously by both Houses of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.

Assassination of Frank Plummer

Frank Plummer Winnipeg Lab Scientist Working On Coronavirus Assassinated
Frank Plummer, Winnipeg, Canada based scientist, a key to Coronavirus investigation.

Further to our investigation, recently in a very strage turn of events, renowned Canadian scientist Frank Plummer who received the Saudi SARS Coronavirus sample and was working on Coronavirus (HIV) vaccine in the Winnipeg based Canadian lab from where the virus was smuggled by Chinese Biowarfare agents and weaponized, has died in mysterious conditions. Frank Plummer was the key to the Chinese Biological Espionage case at Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory.

For the White House Coronavirus Task Force along with the Indian authorities probing the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a good place to launch the investigation would be Nairobi, Kenya, where Frank Plummer died.

The intervention of the international community is releasing a positive signal. Perhaps the mystery of the origin of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) will be revealed in the near future, allowing people to have more confidence to face this disaster.


GreatGameIndia Coronavirus Coverage

For latest updates on the outbreak check out our Coronavirus Coverage.

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GreatGameIndia is a journal on Geopolitics and International Relations. Get to know the Geopolitical threats India is facing in our exclusive book India in Cognitive Dissonance. Past magazine issues can be accessed from the Archives section.

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