Senators probe Fauci-run virus lab in Montana: Lawmakers demand answers after ... trends now
Senators are demanding answers about a laboratory in Montana where US taxpayer money was used to manipulate coronaviruses before the pandemic.
DailyMail.com revealed last week how government-sponsored researchers infected bats with a 'SARS-like' virus in 2018 as part of a collaboration with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which is at the center of the Covid cover-up scandal.
Republican Senators Joni Ernst, from Iowa, and Eric Schmitt, from Missouri, have sent a letter to the National Institutes of Health demanding 'to learn more about potentially risky research’ carried out at Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML).
The senators’ letter reads: ‘There is no room for error and no excuse for carelessness, since even a minor mishap can be catastrophic when dealing with dangerous biological agents, especially those with pandemic potential.’
They have sent 10 questions to the NIH probing about the number of live bats housed at the lab and future planned experiments.
Photos of bats confined at the Maryland zoo that shipped the animals to an NIH lab for coronavirus experiments in 2018 obtained by the White Coat Waste Project
Questions include: 'Will the renovated RML conduct gain-of-function research or any other type of experimentation enhancing the pathogenicity of infectious agents or creating chimeric versions?'
'Should any biosafety incidents at RML occur, how will Congress and the public be notified?'
'Where are RML’s lab animals sourced from? Are bats or other animals being imported from foreign nations?'
The senators' letter highlighted the lab had previously reported a number of protocol breaches, including a mouse infected with an Ebola-like virus escaping its cage and roaming free for a day and unauthorized individuals, including a child, found wandering near the lab’s primate facility.
The CDC was not alerted immediately about the breaches because, the letter states, lab officials 'did not believe they needed to report the escaped rodent but later did when instructed to by CDC officials.'
The revelation last week was met with anger among politicians who said it revealed eerie ties between the NIH, which was under Dr Anthony Fauci's leadership at the time, and the Chinese lab feared to have sparked the global Covid-19 pandemic.
It also exposed the controversial research tactics being funded by American taxpayer dollars.
The 2018 collaboration saw Rocky Mountain researchers infect 12 Egyptian fruit bats that had been acquired from a shady, 'roadside' Maryland zoo.
The animals were infected with a 'SARS-like' virus called WIV1-coronavirus to study the virus' behavior and transmissibility. The virus had been shipped from the Wuhan lab the FBI believes caused the Covid pandemic, though the research determined the novel virus could not cause a 'robust infection.'
Rocky Mountain Laboratories was constructed in 1928 in Hamilton, Montana, and is a 'state-of-the-art biomedical research facility,' the NIH said. A key component of the facility is its research into vector-borne diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease, as well as coronaviruses and antibiotic-resistant diseases.
Now, the lab is spending $125 million in Covid-19 funds to construct a new biosafety level 2 lab that will support animal breeding, holding and experiment programs, as well as quarantine for animals classified as biosafety levels 3 and 4.
The new facility will also expand RML’s capabilities for studies involving exotic species, including bats.
The senators sent a letter to the NIH asking 10 questions about a lab in Montana that performs dangerous virus experiments on animals
Shi Zhengli - dubbed the 'Bat Lady' or 'Bat Woman' for her work on bat coronaviruses -