Top NIH Official Was Unaware of Boston Lab’s New COVID Research With ‘80 Percent’ Kill Rate in Mice
Top NIH Official Was Unaware of Boston Lab’s New COVID Research With ‘80 Percent’ Kill Rate in Mice

By Jack Phillips

A National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases official said the agency will further evaluate a controversial Boston University-commissioned preprint study that developed a COVID-19 hybrid that killed “80 percent” of lab mice, saying the team involved didn’t clear the work with the federal agency.

Speaking to STAT News, Emily Erbelding, the head of NIAID’s division of microbiology and infectious diseases, suggested that BU researchers did not properly disclose what their study would entail and did not say they would carry out that specific work. The grant proposal, Erbelding stated, also didn’t make it clear that scientists would be possibly enhancing a COVID-19 strain in reports that were handed to NIAID, the agency headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci.

This week, BU’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories drew condemnation and controversy when it published (pdf) the non-peer-reviewed paper showing researchers took the spike protein for the COVID-19 Omicron strain and grafted it to the original, Wuhan COVID-19 strain. They found that when tested on lab mice, the newly created strain is more lethal than the original Omicron variant—killing 80 percent of mice—although Erbelding noted that the original Wuhan strain killed 100 percent of those mice.

“I think we’re going to have conversations over upcoming days,” Erbelding told STAT on Tuesday, suggesting the BU team did not inform NIAID about what they were planning to do. “We wish that they would have, yes.”

Refutation

In response to a request for comment from The Epoch Times on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Boston University pointed to an updated statement issued by the college on Tuesday. The Epoch Times has also contacted NIAID for comment.

The university defended the research and pilloried what it described as misleading and false reports about the study, asserting that no gain-of-function research, which could enhance the lethality or transmissibility of a pathogen, was carried out during the research.

In this file photo, students and passers-by walk past an entrance to Boston University College of Arts and Sciences in Boston, on Nov. 29, 2018. (Steven Senne, File/AP Photo)

It also refuted claims made by Erbelding and NIAID in the STAT News articles, saying that it “fulfilled all required regulatory obligations and protocols,” and “following NIAID’s guidelines and protocols, we did not have an obligation to disclose this research for two reasons.”

“The experiments reported in this manuscript were carried out with funds from Boston University. NIAID funding was acknowledged because it was used to help develop the tools and platforms that were used in this research; they did not fund this research directly,” the statement said. “National Institutes of Health funding was also acknowledged for a shared instrumentation grant that helped support the pathology studies. We believe that funding streams for tools do not require an obligation to report.”

And “secondly, there was no gain of function with this research,” the university said, adding that if “there was evidence that the research was gaining function, under both NIAID and our own protocols we would immediately stop and report. All research at Boston University, whether funded by NIAID or not, follows this same protocol. We are in continued conversation with NIAID leadership and program officers.”

Criticism

Following reports about the study, however, some groups and conservative lawmakers expressed alarm.

The P4 laboratory, designated as the highest level of biological safety, at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, on April 17, 2020. (AFP via Getty Images/Hector Retamal)

Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), a doctor, issued a statement that such research should not be carried out in “densely populated areas” because it creates the “potential to kill more people than any singular nuclear weapon.”

“History has taught us that viruses have managed to escape even the most secure labs. This is not a risk that scientists alone should be able to take without concurrence from the American public. This research must stop immediately while the risks and benefits can be investigated,” he said in a statement.

The senator made reference to the federal government having provided funding to a third-party group to carry out possible gain-of-function research at a top-security laboratory in Wuhan, China—located in the same city where the first COVID-19 cases were recorded in 2019. Some U.S. intelligence officials issued a report in 2021 that the virus may have escaped from a lab.

Affiliate News Feeds

  • Reuters
  • Washington Examiner
  • The Federalist
  • The Epoch Times
  • The Guardian
  • The Gateway Pundit
  • Judicial Watch

By Jack Phillips The CEO of Spotify joined Twitter owner Elon Musk Wednesday in criticizing Apple over its App Store rules, claiming the firm only acts in its own self-interest. In a… [...]

By Joseph Lord House Democrats on Nov. 30 voted for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) to replace Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as the party’s top leader in the lower chamber. Democrats gathered behind closed doors… [...]

A trend of increasing governing trifectas may point to a decrease in bipartisanship across the country at the state level. [...]

EXCLUSIVE — U.S. air marshals are planning to stage an open rebellion against the Biden administration over a plan that would strip 99% of commercial flights from federal protection as… [...]

Politico should have done far better than stating opinion as fact and blithely ignoring concerns that medical experts have raised. [...]

What the Rhine case reveals is the danger that a partnership between an equally politicized federal government and Big Tech presents to disfavored groups.  [...]

House Democrats on Nov. 30 voted for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) to replace Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as the party’s top leader in the lower chamber. Democrats gathered behind closed… [...]

American Legislative Exchange Council will host its 49th Annual Meeting from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 at The Grand Hyatt in Washington, DC. The three-day meeting will discuss critical issues… [...]

Guardian unpicks complex web of investment firms, wealth funds and tax haven-based businesses that own most of sectorEngland’s water: the world’s piggy bankCan global water investors be held to account?England’s… [...]

Former lady-in-waiting to queen issues apology after Ngozi Fulani questioned over where her ‘people’ came fromThe late queen’s lady-in-waiting has resigned and apologised after a black guest at a reception… [...]

On Tuesday, Governor Kristi Noem (R-SC) signed an executive order prohibiting the use of the China-controlled app TikTok by state agencies, workers, and contractors using state devices due to national security… [...]

Joe Biden’s energy advisor Amos Hochstein appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Wednesday morning to discuss the Regime’s plan to phase out oil. Of course the elites will still be using… [...]

Though years ago India passed a sweeping law giving transgender people rights—and prohibiting discrimination in education, employment, and healthcare—the Biden administration is spending American taxpayer dollars to counter stigma and… [...]

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for all communications between the Secret… [...]

NH Politician

NH POLITICIAN is owned and operated by USNN World News Corporation, a New Hampshire based media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information, local,...