Gallagher Addresses New Documents Supporting Lab-Leak Hypothesis

September 23, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) today called on federal agencies to publish all data and documents related to the EcoHealth Alliance's work with the Wuhan Institute of Virology after reports from Drastic Research indicated the EcoHealth Alliance had applied for funds that would allow them to further modify coronavirus spike proteins and find potential furin cleavage sites. Furin cleavage sites are a unique component of the COVID-19 virus that allows it to more easily infect and replicate in human cells. Some researchers have pointed to this feature as evidence the virus could have been engineered in a lab.

In a video explaining the importance of the documents to the investigation into the origins of COVID-19, Rep. Gallagher said“We already know that Daszak's EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology were modifying coronaviruses and their spike proteins to infect human cells under an earlier grant from Dr. Anthony Fauci's Institute at the NIH. But what we learned from this DARPA proposal is that Daszak wanted to go even further, he wanted to further modify the coronavirus spike protein to find potential, what's called furin cleavage sites, and even introduce human specific cleavage sites..."

"...Okay, so what exactly then is a furin cleavage site?...This is one of the characteristics of the virus that made some of the scientists say, hey, this looks like it could have come from a lab because, of all of the known coronaviruses that are genetically similar to the one causing COVID-19, none of them have this particular characteristic of a furin cleavage site," he continued.

Click HERE to watch Rep. Gallagher's full video, or read the text below.

Hey everybody, it's Congressman Mike Gallagher and we are about to go back down the Wuhan coronavirus rabbit hole. In recent days, an organization called Drastic Research published leaked documents about the EcoHealth Alliances' dangerous gain of function research, this time in a proposal titled DEFUSE. So what happened is in March of 2018, there was a proposal to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA, as it's known, in which Peter Daszak, the head of the EcoHealth Alliance, proposed collecting hundreds of bat coronavirus samples, and then modifying them to test their ability to infect and replicate in human cells -- gain of function research. 

Now, we already know that Daszak's EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology were modifying coronaviruses and their spike proteins to infect human cells under an earlier grant from Dr. Anthony Fauci's Institute at the NIH. But what we learned from this DARPA proposal is that Daszak wanted to go even further, he wanted to further modify the coronavirus spike protein to find potential, what's called furin cleavage sites, and even introduce human specific cleavage sites. 

Okay, so what exactly then is a furin cleavage site? Well, by now, everyone is familiar with this distinctive image of the coronavirus with spike proteins poking out. And remember, it's the spike protein that is key to the coronavirus entering human cells. Now, if we zoom in on the spike protein itself, what we see is the furin cleavage site right in the middle of the spike protein. That's this little thing right here. But this feature is basically perfectly placed to allow the coronavirus to cleave the human cell membrane and infect the cell. It's critical to it being infectious.

This is just one of the characteristics of the virus that causes COVID-19 that made some of the scientists go look at the virus and say, hey, this looks like it could have come from a lab because, of all of the known coronaviruses that are genetically similar to the one causing COVID-19, none of them have this particular characteristic of a furin cleavage site. So the virus would have had to get extremely lucky to naturally evolve in just the right way to have a furin cleavage site that is so well adapted to being able to infect human cells. And on the other hand, adding a furin cleavage site to a virus to increase its pathogenicity is a long standing gain of function practice. 

In fact, as Dr. Steven Quay has found, there are at least 11 published gain of function experiments that add a furin site to make a virus more effective, including some by Dr. Shi Zhen Li, the bat lady, at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, who's worked with Daszak in the past. Okay, so furin cleavage site, an indication that this may have been modified, genetically altered etc, etc. 

But back to the DEFUSE program that I mentioned at the beginning. DARPA gets this proposal from Daszak and does the right thing: DARPA rejected the proposal, citing in part concerns surrounding gain of function research. But the story doesn't end there. As Alina Chan, a COVID origins investigator has noted, the detail Daszak uses in the proposal to describe how he would work on cleavage sites suggests that his team of researchers had already done preliminary work introducing cleavage sites into coronaviruses in a laboratory set. 

But here's the real kicker: When COVID first emerged, and the scientific community was all hands on deck, analyzing the virus for ways to combat it, one of the things that stood out was the furin cleavage site. Again, for scientific experts, this feature right there was an obvious outlier compared to most related coronaviruses. So you have this strange new coronavirus, with a unique and typically non-naturally occurring furin site, wreaking havoc in Wuhan, China. And then you have Peter Daszak, and three other American researchers who had just two years earlier put together a proposal to play with cleavage sites in bat coronaviruses in collaboration with researchers at the Wuhan Coronavirus lab. And they didn't think that was materially relevant to the scientific discussion? Of course, they probably did. But they didn't want to speak up. 

And actually, it's worse than that. Peter Daszak wasn't just silent. He didn't just sit there silent. He actively organized a letter in a scientific journal, the Lancet, to smear anyone who dared to think critically about the origins of the virus to smear them as a conspiracy monger, he was communicating with Dr. Fauci. And in so doing, he not only helped the Chinese Communist Party avoid blame for the pandemic, but he actively impeded the scientific investigation into the virus that could have helped the world better understand and combat the pandemic, and in so doing saved thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives. 

We keep getting all of these documents coming to light. Where's the outrage? 

Enough is enough. EcoHealth and the federal agencies must release all of their data and documentation surrounding their work, we need to know everything EcoHealth was doing with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and everything they were doing with bat coronaviruses so that the larger scientific community, not just supporters of gain of function research, can determine what Peter Daszak was doing and whether it contributed to the start of this pandemic. 

This means Congress needs to subpoena Peter Daszak. The fact that he has not been asked to testify under oath, given his role in the origin, this pandemic is a shame on this institution. And the fact that the democrats don't want to join us in a bipartisan investigation. Right now.

The fact that Fauci was able to testify for Congress and lie about his role in supporting gain of function research should further offend everybody and the fact that the Biden administration concluded a 90 day intelligence community review of the origins of Coronavirus and effectively said, Well, we don't know. And we're unlikely to know until we get the cooperation of the Chinese Communist Party, that is simply unacceptable, we're talking about one of the most devastating events of our entire lifetime. And based on what we know now we're talking about one of the biggest intelligence failures and potentially biggest cover ups in recent history, we need to get to the bottom of this.

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