Dr. Ralph Baric – a researcher known for his controversial coronavirus collaboration with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and advocacy for Gain of Function research – is "reconstructing” viruses with risky tactics potentially responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic in taxpayer-funded studies, War Room can reveal.
Conveniently, researchers from Dr. Baric’s team have also started working for COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers such as Moderna since the research conducted under the taxpayer-backed grant has been published.
Gain of Function (GOF) research refers to the artificial manipulation of viruses to make them deadlier to humans, and Dr. Baric’s frequent use of the risky method is concerning given his deep ties to Chinese Communist Party scientists.
Dr. Baric has been described by the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s top bat coronavirus researcher, whom experts allege played a critical role in the lab birthing COVID-19, Shi Zhengli as a "longtime collaborator.” Senator Rand Paul also confronted Anthony Fauci with Dr. Baric’s work during a heated exchange about whether or not his agency, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), had funded the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
"For years, Dr. Ralph Baric, a virologist in the U.S., has been collaborating with Dr. Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Virology Institute, sharing his discoveries about how to create super viruses. This gain-of-function research has been funded by the NIH.”
Despite this controversy, the NIAID is continuing to fund Dr. Baric’s research, most recently for the study, "Host range, transmissibility and antigenicity of a pangolin coronavirus.”
The text and methodology of the study, published September 25th, is strikingly similar to Dr. Baric’s manipulations of bat coronaviruses. In the latest paper, researchers used humanized mice models and "reconstructed” viruses from the wild to test their lethality in humans, focusing on the comparison between SARS-CoV-2 and a new pangolin CoV GD strain.
"The pathogenic and cross-species transmission potential of SARS-CoV-2- related coronaviruses (CoVs) remain poorly characterized. Here we recovered a wild-type pangolin (Pg) CoV GD strain including derivatives encoding reporter genes using reverse genetics,” explains a summary before emphasizing an "emergence potential”:
"Efficient PgCoV replication in primary human cells and hACE2 mice, coupled with a capacity for airborne spread, highlights an emergence potential.”
Researchers also used humanized mice models – the same tactic used during controversial bat coronavirus research many believe led to COVID-19.
"To test a model more relevant to human populations, we evaluated PgCoV GD growth in the K18 human ACE2 mouse model, which has been repeatedly shown to progress to severe clinical disease and death following SARS-CoV-2 infection,” explains the paper. In some cases, mice experienced a mortality rate of 60 percent.
It is unclear whether or not Gain of Function tactics were used by Baric and his researchers, however in a biosafety segment of the paper, his team admitted that they "synthetically reconstructed” a Pangolin Coronavirus that necessitated working in a biosafety level three facility.
"Synthetic reconstruction of the authentic, wild-type Pangolin Coronavirus GD virus strain was based on its published sequence and undertaken with the approval of the Institutional Biosafety Committee of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Application no. 80022). All constructs were handled under proper biosafety level conditions as specified by the institutional approval, with reconstructed virus handled exclusively at biosafety level 3, with personnel wearing full-body personal protective equipment and HEPA-filtered respiratory protection,” the paper revealed.
"Current US Gain-of-Function (GOF) regulations note that wild-type pathogens that are circulating in or have been recovered from nature are not enhanced potential pandemic pathogens (PPPs), regardless of their pandemic potential,” adds a disclaimer.
Featuring over a dozen researchers besides Baric, one of the paper authors – Yixuan J. Hou – joined the staff of COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer Moderna shortly after its publication.
The unearthed paper follows a separate admission from Dr. Baric that Fauci’s NIAID backed a study focusing on viruses "program[ing] entry into human cells” conducted alongside the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Dr. Baric has also attended Beijing-based scientific conferences discussing "gain-of-function” research alongside several researchers working for the Chinese military and the Wuhan Institute of Virology. He spoke at a Chinese Academy of Sciences event in 2015 discussing Gain of Function research alongside researchers working for China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).