Scientists in the U.S. and China planned to create coronavirus genomes in order to study them, leaked documents show according to experts who spoke to Newsweek.
The plan was outlined in a proposal by the U.S. research organization EcoHealth Alliance to the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which was leaked in September by a group of online researchers and correspondents known as the Decentralized Radical Autonomous Search Team Investigating COVID-19 (DRASTIC). The documents could not be verified by Newsweek.
'Less than two years before the COVID-19 pandemic began, scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology planned to genetically alter viruses to make them more infectious for humans and release them into bat caves.'https://t.co/scI9TIz7Mc
— HK Winter (@HKWinter1) October 5, 2021
EcoHealth Alliance has been under scrutiny in recent months due to its work with the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), a facility in the Chinese city of Wuhan that was the original epicenter of the COVID pandemic and where researchers study bat viruses. This research has placed it at the center of COVID lab leak theories.
The proposal, for a project called DEFUSE, details how scientists from EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology wanted to study the threat of bat-borne coronaviruses by sequencing samples from cave bats, reverse-engineering those samples to produce viruses, and then inserting these into mice to see what would happen in order to prepare for possible human outbreaks.