US Concerned About Wuhan Research Two Years Ago

This from the UK Daily Mail, April 15, 2020

The US State Department raised concerns over safety issues at the Wuhan research lab studying coronaviruses in animals like bats two years ago, new diplomatic cables reveal.

A US delegation led by Jamison Fouss, consul general in Wuhan, and Rick Switzer, the Beijing embassy’s counselor of environment, science, technology and health, visited the Wuhan level four biosafety lab multiple times from January to March 2018.

They voiced concern over a lack of safety protocols and the biosafety of the lab’s research on coronavirus in animals like bats and warned that if cautionary steps weren’t taken, the lab’s research could spark a SARS-like outbreak.

They sent two ‘sensitive but unclassified cables’ back to Washington, DC asking for assistance to help the lab heighten its security measures.

They warned that a lack of tight safety measures in handing the contagious viruses in the lab ‘represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic.’

‘During interactions with scientists at the WIV laboratory, they noted the new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory,’ a cable dated January 19, 2018 said.

‘The cable was a warning shot. They were begging people to pay attention to what was going on,’ one US official said.

The cables argued that the United States should give the Wuhan lab further support to help control the situation, but after those messages no extra assistance was provided to those labs.

The US was not only flagged to the activities going on in that laboratory, but they were also prior financially and scientifically involved in their studies.

The WIV received assistance from the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch and other U.S. organizations in its work.

The US National Institute of Health, a government agency, also gave a $3.7million research grant to the WIV to carry out research on bats from caves in Yunnan, more than 1,000 miles away. Scientists have traced the sequencing of the COVID-19 genome to Yunnan, the Mail on Sunday revealed over the weekend. It’s not clear when that grant was given. 

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