The National Institutes of Health (NIH) deleted COVID-19 gene sequences that may have proven valuable to detecting earlier the probability the SARS-CoV-2 virus originated at the Wuhan lab.
The deleted gene sequences were recently discovered in a Google cloud database by a virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. The finding was revealed in an academic paper awaiting peer-review, authored by Dr. Jesse D. Bloom.
“The origin and early spread of SARS-CoV-2 remains shrouded in mystery,” Bloom writes. “Here I identify a data set containing SARS-CoV-2 sequences from early in the Wuhan epidemic that has been deleted from the NIH’s Sequence Read Archive. I recover the deleted files from the Google Cloud, and reconstruct partial sequences of 13 early epidemic viruses.”
“Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences in the context of carefully annotated existing data suggests that the Huanan Seafood Market sequences that are the focus of the joint WHO-China report are not fully representative of the viruses in Wuhan early in the epidemic,” Bloom significantly notes. “Instead, the progenitor of known SARS-CoV-2 sequences likely contained three mutations relative to the market viruses that made it more similar to SARS-CoV-2’s bat coronavirus relatives.”
The NIH, which encompasses 27 federal agencies, including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, has attempted to explain the deletion.
“Submitting investigators hold the rights to their data and can request withdrawal of the data,” the NIH said in a statement. The issue is whether it is ethical to cover up perhaps one of the greatest crimes, if not one of the most egregious lies, committed by any government in the 21st century.
Dr. Bloom told the Wall Street Journal that the removal of the gene sequences ‘sows doubts about China’s transparency in the continuing investigation into the origin of the pandemic.’ Other scientific experts agreed with Dr. Bloom.
“It makes us wonder if there are other sequences like these that have been purged,” said Vaughn S. Cooper, a University of Pittsburgh evolutionary biologist.
The Wall Street Journal put the deletion of the gene sequences in context.
“To pursue the origin of the pandemic, scientists need access to information that could shed light on how the virus emerged into the human population and began spreading,” WSJ said. “The removal of information from a database can make it harder for them to find it, potentially slowing their research, as can lack of access to other research.”
The influence of China on the United States’ reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic is now undeniable and highly concerning. Dr. Peter Daszak, a scientist who funneled millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the Wuhan Institute of Virology through a “charity” called EcoHealth Alliance, was recently removed from a COVID-19 panel at “The Lancet” for purported conflicts of interest involving the Wuhan laboratory.
Peter Daszak was a key organizer of a letter that described the hypothesis that the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus was ‘manmade’ as a “conspiracy theory.” Daszak was one of the WHO team members who subsequently determined that the Wuhan lab origin theory could not be proven.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.