Chinese lab had COVID-19 mapped two weeks before global outbreak: documents

A Chinese researcher had isolated and mapped out COVID-19 — and uploaded it to a US-run database — at least two weeks before Beijing officially unveiled details of the virus that would go on to claim more than 3 million lives worldwide in its first year, according to bombshell new documents.

The documents, obtained from the US Department of Health and Human Services by House Republicans and first reported by the Wall Street Journal, show that virologist Dr. Lili Ren uploaded nearly the entire sequence of COVID-19’s structure to a US government-run database on Dec. 28, 2019.

Her work was nearly identical to what Beijing eventually presented to the World Health Organization on January 11, 2020, when the virus had already spread across the world, according to the documents obtained by Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The extra two weeks could have proven pivotal to the global response to the pandemic and the development of COVID-19 vaccines as scientists were racing to understand the virus in late 2019 and early 2020.

Ren, of the Institute of Pathogen Biology at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing, attempted to publish information on the virus to GenBank, which is operated by the US National Institutes of Health.

Her work, however, was never uploaded but rather deleted after she failed to respond to technical issues with her submission — issues that did not pertain to the science backing her work, the documents state.

Ren is also notably a sub-grantee of the controversial nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance.

The New York-based organization was on the same National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) grant given to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has now been barred from receiving US funding for the next 10 years over evidence that the pandemic leaked from a Chinese lab.

Dr. Anthony Fauci was the director of NIAID during the pandemic and has received widespread criticism over his handling of the crisis. He retired in December 2022.

Ren did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment on her deleted submission to GenBank.

For the full article, visit The New York Post. The original story was published by The Wall Street Journal.
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