Newly released documents provide details of U.S.-funded research on several types of coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.
The Intercept has obtained more than 900 pages of documents detailing the work of EcoHealth Alliance, a U.S.-based health organization that used federal money to fund bat coronavirus research at the Chinese laboratory.
Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute, said the documents show that EcoHealth Alliance has reason to take the lab-leak theory seriously. “In this proposal, they actually point out that they know how risky this work is. They keep talking about people potentially getting bitten — and they kept records of everyone who got bitten,” Chan said. “Does EcoHealth have those records? And if not, how can they possibly rule out a research-related accident?”
The closest relative of SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, is a virus found in bats, making the animals a focal point for efforts to understand the origins of the pandemic. Exactly how the virus jumped to humans is the subject of heated debate.