World Health Organization investigators, including Peter Daszak, EcoHealth Alliance president, claimed the suggestion of live bats inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China was a conspiracy theory.1 The dismissal was part of the rationale used to bolster the idea that SARS-CoV-2 is a natural virus that jumped from animals to humans, possibly due to a wet market in Wuhan, China.
Anyone who suggested otherwise — including that the virus may actually be a manmade product that escaped from a lab — was censored, discredited and called a conspiracy theorist.
Now, however, evidence continues to accumulate that COVID-19 likely emerged from a laboratory in China after having undergone some sort of manipulation to encourage infectiousness and pathology in humans, known as gain-of-function (GOF) research.
Australian investigative journalist Sharri Markson revealed another bombshell in the video above — proof via video footage taken inside the facility that WIV kept live bats in cages.2 The live bats at WIV directly contradict statements by Daszak and others, who insisted no bats were housed in the lab. “It is not a conspiracy to state there were live bats at the lab,” Markson says. “It is a fact.”3
Video Footage Shows Live Bats at WIV
Footage from WIV, shown in the video above, shows live bats in cages, a researcher feeding bats and a bat hanging off a researcher’s hat in the field, along with hundreds of mouse cages. Shi Zhengli, Ph.D., the director of WIV’s Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, also known as “bat woman,” has been studying bat-borne viruses since 2004, including SARS-like coronaviruses.
According to the World Society for Virology, “One of her great contributions is to uncover genetically diverse SARS-like coronaviruses in bats with her international collaborators and provide unequivocal evidence that bats are natural reservoirs of SARS-CoV.”4
Part of WIV’s GOF research involved using humanized mice for experiments to determine which coronaviruses could infect humans, as well as research to make viruses that weren’t able to infect humans do just that.5
Other reports also claimed that WIV was carrying out research infecting humanized mice with novel bat SARS coronaviruses in 2019, and years earlier video was released showing WIV scientists working with little or no protective gear while working with live viruses.6
Daszak Denied Bats Were Kept at WIV
Daszak has close ties to WIV and Zhengli, which is why his participation in the WHO investigation into COVID-19’s origins was highly conflicted from the start. Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance has long funded controversial GOF research at WIV. Further, Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, gave funding to the EcoHealth Alliance, which in turn funneled it to WIV.7
In case there were any doubt of their close ties, The Sun,8 a tabloid paper in the U.K., featured a Twitter conversation in which Daszak “appears to say he is looking forward to an alcohol-fueled karaoke party in a bat cave with Shi Zhengli,” GM watch noted.9
Daszak tweets, “Looking forward to that special moment when we hit the baiju and the karaoke with Zhengli & Linfa [likely referring to Wang Linfa, aka ‘batman,’ another bat researcher and WIV’s chairman of a scientific advisory board10].” He adds, “Right now a party in a bat cave sounds just right to me!!”11
Daszak has also publicly denied there were bats kept at WIV. According to Markson, in December 2020, Daszak tweeted:12
“No BATS were “sent to Wuhan lab for genetic analyses of viruses collected in the field” That’s now how this science works. We collect bat samples, send them to the lab. We RELEASE bats where we catch them!”
In a second December 2020 tweet, Daszak repeats:13
“This is a widely circulated conspiracy theory. This piece describes work I’m the lead on & labs I’ve collaborated w/ for 15 yrs. They DO NOT Have live or dead bats in them. There is no evidence anywhere that this happened. It’s an error that I hope will be corrected.”
But months later, in June 2021, Daszak starts to backpedal, tweeting:14
“We didn’t ask them if they had bats. I wouldn’t be surprised if, like many other virology labs, they were trying to set up a bat colony. I know it’s happening in labs here and in other countries.”
Daszak Desperately Pushed Natural Origin Theory
Not surprisingly, given his involvement in the GOF research on bat coronaviruses at WIV, Daszak has fervently supported the natural origin theory of SARS-CoV-2 from the beginning. While investigating her book, “What Really Happened in Wuhan?” Markson discovered that Daszak was invited to brief the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on February 3, 2020, during the early days of the pandemic.
Ironically, misinformation was a key topic at the meeting, Markson said. Not long after, on April 30, 2020, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a statement saying that SARS-CoV-2 was of natural origin: “The Intelligence Community also concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the COVID-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified.”15
This statement is false, Markson pointed out, as there was no scientific consensus that the virus had a natural origin. Nonetheless, it was the official narrative being spewed from mainstream media and health officials alike. In an April 17, 2020, White House press briefing, Fauci said the science was “totally consistent with a jump from an animal to a human.”16
Two days after this press briefing, Daszak wrote to Fauci thanking him for his help in deflecting the lab origin theory. The email reads:
“As the PI of the R01 grant publicly targeted by Fox News reporters at the Presidential press briefing last night, I just wanted to say a personal thankyou on behalf of our staff and collaborators, for publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”
Daszak was also the mastermind behind the publication of a scientific statement published in The Lancet in March 202017 condemning such inquiries as “conspiracy theory,”18 which was then relied on by the media to “debunk” theories and evidence showing the pandemic virus most likely originated from a laboratory. Daszak then ended up on both the WHO investigation into COVID-19s origins and The Lancet’s COVID-19 commission,19 despite the glaring conflict of interest.
What Happened to WIV’s Virus Database?
In Markson’s report, it’s stated that, over more than a decade, Zhengli’s research team collected more than 15,000 bat samples in China and Africa, “searching for the origins of SARS, as well as isolating and characterizing many new viruses.”20
But WIV’s online virus databases disappeared from the internet beginning September 12, 2019. Zhengli has claimed that they were the victim of hacking attempts, but as Markson noted, the databases were not reuploaded or made available to investigative agencies.
A reasonable starting point of WHO experts investigating the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic would certainly have been access to those databases, but they didn’t even ask for them. In the video, you can see Daszak stating that Zhengli’s claims that the database was taken down by hackers are “absolutely reasonable” and confirm they did not ask for access.21
Safety Risks Were Well-Known
There were red flags at WIV, a biosafety level 4 laboratory, from the start. In Markson’s report, you can see deputy director Song Donglin state, “Back in 2004 when we began work on this lab, China had no prior experience designing or constructing BSL-4 laboratories. There was no prior experience in using and managing autoclave sterilizers nor life-support systems for personnel. The specifications for standards in these areas were still under development.”
This is an admission that the lab had no prior experiences dealing with the deadly pathogens of a biosafety level 4 lab, yet they were genetically manipulating bat viruses nonetheless. They also relied on French experts to build the laboratory, which was supposed to be a center of international collaboration.
However, France has no role in running the facility22 and, according to Markson, “the French were immediately kicked out” of the lab after it was built, raising alarm bells with French intelligence.23 A video from WIV director Yuan Zhiming also states, “Staff in our central control room remain in constant contact with staff in our laboratory, providing necessary technical support for their experiments as well as for any accidents.”24
This is another admission that not only do accidents happen, but they have cameras set up monitoring for this purpose. It also doesn’t appear that WHO investigators asked to review this security footage in their COVID-19 investigation. Daszak was also well aware of the risks of GOF research.
In 2015, he spoke at a National Academies of Science seminar on reducing risk from emerging infectious diseases, warning of the danger of experimenting on “humanized mice,”25 meaning lab mice that have been genetically altered to carry human genes, cells or tissues.
He also published a paper in which he warned a global pandemic might occur from a laboratory incident and that “the risks were greater with the sort of virus manipulation research being carried out in Wuhan.”26
The Truth Will Be Revealed
Nikolai Petrovsky, professor of endocrinology at Flinders University College of Medicine in Adelaide, Australia, is among those who has stated SARS-CoV-2 appears to be optimally designed to infect humans.27
His team sought to identify a way by which animals might have comingled to give rise to SARS-CoV-2, but concluded that it could not be a naturally occurring virus. Petrovsky has previously stated it appears far more likely that the virus was created in a laboratory.28
The U.S. has recently redoubled its efforts to look into the real origins of COVID-19, with the Energy and Commerce Committee requesting extensive records from both the NIH and EcoHealth Alliance detailing research and collaborations with WIV.29
The Senate also passed an amendment to ban U.S. funding to WIV going forward, while another banned U.S. funding for any GOF research in China.30
This is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough and will in no way prevent another manmade pandemic because this type of research is being done all around the world, not just in China. Ultimately, however, the truth will prevail as the long-censored lab-leak theory and evidence in support of it — like live bats at WIV — go mainstream.