Saturday, March 14, 2020

March 10, 2020: Coronavirus and UNC Chapel Hill

In case the article is removed.

"A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence"

Nature Medicine volume 21, pages 1508–1513(2015)

Authors include
Xing-Yi Ge
Zhengli-Li Shi 
All authors: "Vineet D Menachery, Boyd L Yount Jr, Kari Debbink, Sudhakar Agnihothram, Lisa E Gralinski, Jessica A Plante, Rachel L Graham, Trevor Scobey, Xing-Yi Ge, Eric F Donaldson, Scott H Randell, Antonio Lanzavecchia, Wayne A Marasco, Zhengli-Li Shi & Ralph S Baric" 
From the abstract: "The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV underscores the threat of cross-species transmission events leading to outbreaks in humans." 
"Here we examine the disease potential of a SARS-like virus, SHC014-CoV, which is currently circulating in Chinese horseshoe bat populations." 
"On the basis of these findings, we synthetically re-derived an infectious full-length SHC014 recombinant virus and demonstrate robust viral replication both in vitro [in the lab - DB] and in vivo [organically]." 
"Methods: Viruses, cells, in vitro infection and plaque assays."

"Human lungs for HAE cultures were procured under University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Institutional Review Board–approved protocols." 
"Research in this manuscript was supported by grants from the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Disease and the National Institute of Aging of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH)" 
"under awards U19AI109761 (R.S.B.), U19AI107810 (R.S.B.), AI085524 (W.A.M.), F32AI102561 (V.D.M.) and K99AG049092 (V.D.M.)" 
"and by the National Natural Science Foundation of China awards 81290341 (Z.-L.S.) and 31470260 (X.-Y.G.)," 
"and by USAID-EPT-PREDICT funding from EcoHealth Alliance (Z.-L.S.)."

USAID is the sister agency of the U.S. Department of State that supports U.S. foreign assistance to extremely poor populations overseas. 
"Human airway epithelial cultures were supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease of the NIH under award NIH DK065988 (S.H.R.)." 
"We also thank M.T. Ferris (Dept. of Genetics, University of North Carolina) for the reviewing of statistical approaches and C.T. Tseng (Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Medical Branch) for providing Calu-3 cells." 
"Experiments with the full-length and chimeric SHC014 recombinant viruses were initiated and performed before the GOF research funding pause and have since been reviewed and approved for continued study by the NIH." 
So it seems disingenuous for anyone to claim that this was a mystery virus that somehow emerged from a market in China (a very racist formulation, in my view) when anyone who takes 5 minutes to go to DuckDuckGo can validate that #Coronavirus was produced in partnership. 
The partnership was at the very least between the U.S. and China, and on an interagency basis at that, during the prior Administration, supported by the NIH, which is the sister agency to the CDC under HHS.

The partnership worked through at least 2 universities. 
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By Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal. All opinions are the author's own. Public domain.