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Western Spy Agencies Investigating Wuhan Scientist Highlighted By Zero Hedge In January

‘Zhou arranged for wild-caught bats to be transported alive to be euthanized for dissection and studied for deadly viruses.’

Western intelligence agencies are “looking closely at the work of a senior scientist at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Peng Zhou,” as part of a joint international investigation into the origins of COVID-19, according to the Daily Telegraph.

In a stunning expose, the Australian newspaper reports that “the Five Eyes intelligence agencies of Australia, Canada, NZ, UK and US, are understood to be looking closely at the work of a senior scientist at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Peng Zhou, as they examine whether COVID-19 originated from a wet market or whether the naturally-­occurring virus may have been released from the level four laboratory in Wuhan that was studying deadly coronavirus pathogens from bats.”

Of course, the name of Peng has been long familiar to our readers, and would have been familiar to far more people had Twitter not decided to arbitrarily suspend the Zero Hedge account over a report exposing Mr. Zhou.

As we reported in January – posting publicly available professional contact information and suggesting people ask him about the outbreak near his lab – Peng, head of the Bat Virus Infection and Immunization Group, sought to hire two post-doc fellows last November, who would be tasked with using bats “to research the molecular mechanism that allows Ebola and SARS-associated coronaviruses to lie dormant for a long time without causing diseases.”

One press release from his lab was titled: “How bats carry viruses without getting sick.” Via the Telegraph:

It can be revealed that Zhou — the head of the Bat Virus Infection and Immunity Project at the Wuhan Institute of Virology — spent three years at the bio-containment facility, Australian Animal Health Laboratory between 2011 and 2014, where he was sent by China to complete his doctorate.

During this time, Zhou arranged for wild-caught bats to be transported alive by air from Queensland to the Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Victoria where they were euthanised for dissection and studied for deadly viruses.

His work was funded jointly by the CSIRO and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

It examined bat immunology and the role of interferons and how “bats are rich reservoirs for emerging viruses, including many that are highly pathogenic to humans and other mammals” and “many of which cause significant morbidity and mortality in humans and other mammals.

Western intelligence is also looking into the work of the original “Bat Woman” Shi Zhengli, a colleague of Zhou who is the director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

As we reported in February, Shi notably co-authored a controversial paper in 2015  which described the creation of a new virus by combining a coronavirus found in Chinese horseshoe bats with another that causes human-like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in mice. This research sparked a huge debate at the time over whether engineering lab variants of viruses with possible pandemic potential is worth the risks.

As Nature.com reported in 2015, the findings reinforce suspicions that bat coronaviruses capable of directly infecting humans (rather than first needing to evolve in an intermediate animal host) may be more common than previously thought, the researchers say.

Zhengli also spent time in Australia as a visiting scientist for three months from February 22 to May 21, 2006 where she worked at the CSIRO’s top-level Australian Animal Health Laboratory.

She used faecal samples of horseshoe bats to identify that they were the natural host for SARS-like coronaviruses. -Daily Telegraph

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that researchers at the WIV had collected bats in a cave over 1,000 miles away in Yunnan which carried COVID-19.

Also disturbing is that the lab had been operating in part on a $3.7 million grant from the US government.

The Mail on Sunday has learned that scientists there experimented on bats as part of a project funded by the US National Institutes of Health, which continues to licence the Wuhan laboratory to receive American money for experiments. –Daily Mail

In mid-April, the Washington Post reported that the US State Department received two cables from US Embassy officials in 2018 warning of inadequate safety at Wuhan Institute of Virology, which was conducting ‘risky studies’ on bat coronaviruses, according to the report – which notes that the cables have “fueled discussions inside the U.S. government about whether this or another Wuhan lab was the source of the virus.”

According to the Telegraph, the revelation comes as Australian politicians are ramping up pressure on China to cooperate with the international investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus. Accroding to Andrew Hastie, Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, “The Chinese Communist Party must take responsibility for the virus that began inside their borders and work with the rest of the world to prevent it from happening again. We are simply asking for transparency and co-operation.”

Australia’s official position is that the virus likely originated in the Wuhan wet market, however they are now considering whether the virus escaped fom the Wuhan Institute of Virology due to human error – a theory which US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo endorsed last week when he told Fox News: Look, we know it began at one [lab], but we need to figure this out.”

https://www.zerohedge.com/health/five-eyes-western-intelligence-investigating-wuhan-researcher-highlighted-zero-hedge-january

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Olivia Kroth
April 28, 2020

I think that this hobby horse is being ridden to death. How many more China-bashing articles will we have to suffer in the coming weeks and months?

BobValdez
BobValdez
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
April 28, 2020

Many more, Olivia, many more. The west has to blame somebody for their inept and flawed handling of this so-called “pandemic”.

The Political Pooper Scooper
The Political Pooper Scooper
Reply to  BobValdez
April 29, 2020

Fox is China-bashing Central. MSNBC is Russia-bashing Central.

It’s like watching reruns of all seven seasons of Beavis and Butthead.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  The Political Pooper Scooper
April 30, 2020

True! And what is Iran-bashing Central?

Yoshinoya
Yoshinoya
April 28, 2020

Americans find it funny and cringe at same time of Chinese bat soup. I think it is not that far that the same people poke fun of ending themselves eating bat soup themselves.

Topolcats
Topolcats
April 28, 2020

It is clear the Duran is selling itself to the highest bidder. This article and others like it seem to point the way. Trust a Greek, American and pommie wanna be? Let’s just say that the Duran being for sale to US propaganda is a very Greek thing & expected.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Topolcats
April 29, 2020

I do not think so but I believe that the editors share President Trump’s negative view of China.

The Political Pooper Scooper
The Political Pooper Scooper
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
April 29, 2020

You can hold negative views based on solid arguments but to stretch things from whole taffy, like Trump’s ‘China did it. Sue China for XXXXX billion bucks.” and have his own lamestream media repeat the mantra ad nauseam is frankly, nauseating.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  The Political Pooper Scooper
April 30, 2020

True! However, during these exasperating times of the lockdown, the DURAN provides us with a lot of different reading materials, not just pro-Trump texts. I appreciate the variety because I like to read a lot.

Clarity
Clarity
April 29, 2020

So the article is telling us that Australia is into bat research big time, so big in fact that Chinese researchers can go there to complete their PhD [which is apparently not possible in China – perhaps because of lack of such research?]. And that the US is also big time into bat research to the tune of millions. And virus research. Both. But the attention is on ONE Chinese researcher, or two.

Verdict for The Duran: FAIL! = downvote

LOL
LOL
Reply to  Clarity
April 29, 2020

Sort of explains why the 5-eye nations have so many bats in their belfries.

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  LOL
April 30, 2020

Excellent joke, may I use it too? “Bat in the belfries”. That says it all.

Clarity
Clarity
April 29, 2020

crap articles like this need more downvotes when it doesn’t pass the smell test

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