Canadian News Aug 3, 2021 1:54 PM EST

Canada's Conservatives demand transparency from Trudeau on relations with Wuhan Institute of Virology

Scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were conducting gain-of-function research at BSL-2 and BSL-3 safety levels. A BSL-2 lab has the same safety protocols as a dentist’s office.

Canada's Conservatives demand transparency from Trudeau on relations with Wuhan Institute of Virology
Alex Anas Ahmed Calgary, AB

Canada's Conservative leaders are demanding action amid recent additions to the September 2020 Origins of COVID-19 report, which outlined a potential cover-up at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) as the source of the outbreak.

The report also analyzed how scientific papers written by researchers at the WIV not only proved the WIV was doing dangerous genetic modification research on coronaviruses at unsafe biosafety levels but also that WIV researchers could genetically modify coronaviruses as early as 2016 without leaving any trace of that modification.

The report also claimed that gain-of-function research was happening at the WIV and that it was done in unsafe conditions. He cited statements from the head of the Chinese CDC and the director of the WIV’s BSL-4 lab, who publicly expressed concerns about safety at PRC labs in the summer of 2019.

There were multiple requests for maintenance at the WIV, including in their new facility operational for less than two years. Some of those requests included maintenance on "environmental air disinfection system” and "hazardous waste treatment system," – which would indicate concerns about how these systems meant to prevent lab leaks were functioning.

Scientists at the WIV were conducting gain-of-function research at BSL-2 and BSL-3 safety levels. A BSL-2 lab has the same safety protocols as a dentist’s office.

Shi Zhengli, who directs the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at WIV, has repeatedly lied about why the WIV took their virus database offline on September 12, 2019, as well as the gain-of-function research being done at the WIV and the People’s Liberation Army’s presence at the WIV.

Zhengli was also not forthcoming on the timing of when she sequenced the virus that is the closest known relative to SARS-CoV-2 to hide what they knew about that virus before the pandemic and claimed that safety protocols were followed when they were not.

Former Conservative leadership candidate Dr. Leslyn Lewis called on Canada's federal government to release the files sent from Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. "Canadians need to know the truth about the origins of this virus," said Lewis on social media.

The federal government is in the midst of another scandal as it fights tooth and nail to protect classified documents on the firing of two scientists in Canada's highest-security laboratory. Dr. Xiangguo Qiu and her husband, Keding Cheng, had their security clearance revoked in July 2019 from the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. The pair was escorted from the lab alongside a group of students from China.

Erin O’Toole, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, also took the federal government to task over its mishandling in procuring documents on the firing of two Canadian scientists with suspected ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). "Let’s go back to July 2019," he said, "Two scientists with ties to the Chinese military were escorted out of the Winnipeg virus laboratory."

O'Toole questioned how they were approved to work at this facility despite these ties to a foreign regime with a longstanding history of gross human rights abuses. "How did they get approval to bring students from China, with even more direct contact with the Chinese military, to come to help them with the research?" he asked.

O'Toole argued this is a story about some of the world’s deadliest pathogens and espionage. The National Microbiology Laboratory is a level 4 laboratory that Canada uses to research some of the world’s most deadly pathogens and viruses.

In January 2021, it was made public that the pair had been fired after CSIS intervention on the grounds of shipping samples of the Ebola and Henipah viruses and sharing other information with the WIV.

Speaker Anthony Rota, a Liberal MP, hauled Iain Stewart, head of the Public Health Agency of Canada, to Parliament after a motion was passed by opposition parties. He was to be reprimanded over his repeated refusal to disclose documents to the Canada-China relations committee on the firing of two high-clearance scientists.

Rota openly challenged the federal government's court application against him that usurped the House of Commons' ability to demand the procurement of any documents they requested.

"It is our belief the virus leaked sometime in late August or early September 2019," said House Republican Michael McCaul. "When they realized what happened, CCP officials and scientists at the WIV began frantically covering up the leak." He said they took their virus database offline in the middle of the night and requested more than $1 million for additional security.

"But their cover-up was too late," he claimed, "the virus was already spreading throughout the megacity of Wuhan." Within a month, satellite images showed a significant uptick in the number of people at hospitals around the WIV with symptoms similar to COVID-19. Athletes at the Military World Games also became sick with symptoms identical to COVID-19.

McCaul claimed that some athletes carried the virus back to their home countries, and created one of the earliest super spreader events in the world, and explained how countries who participated in the games had reported cases as early as November 2019.

"It is also concerning [that] the scientific community told the American people for more than a year it was impossible to modify a virus without leaving a trace when this technology existed more than 14 years before the pandemic began," said McCaul. Scientists have been able to genetically modify coronaviruses without leaving a trace of that modification since 2005.

Scientists at the WIV successfully modified coronaviruses without a trace as early as 2016 – three years before the outbreak. McCaul added it is "no longer appropriate" for anyone to dismiss the notion this virus could have been genetically modified before it leaked from the WIV.

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