A SCIENTIST who worked closely with the Wuhan lab has claimed Covid was genetically engineered – and leaked from the facility.
Dr Andrew Huff, former vice president of EcoHealth Alliance, claims to have had a ringside seat to what he brands one of the greatest cover-ups in history – and the “biggest US intelligence failure since 9/11“.
Both China and the lab have furiously denied any allegations – but evidence of a lab leak has been piling up over the last two years as scientists, researchers and governments hunt for answers and step forward with evidence.
Dozens of experts have suggested Covid could have escaped from the Wuhan lab through an infected researcher, improper disposal of waste, or potential breaches in the security at the site.
Even the head of the World Health Organisation reportedly believes Covid did leak from the lab after a “catastrophic accident”.
In his new book – The Truth About Wuhan – whistleblower Dr Huff claims the pandemic was the result of the US government’s funding of dangerous genetic engineering of coronaviruses in China.
The epidemiologist said China’s gain-of-function experiments – carried out with shoddy biosecurity – led to a lab leak at the US-funded Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“EcoHealth Alliance and foreign laboratories did not have the adequate control measures in place for ensuring proper biosafety, biosecurity, and risk management, ultimately resulting in the lab leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” he said in his book, an exclusive pre-release copy of which was provided to The Sun Online.
EcoHealth Alliance had been studying different coronaviruses in bats for more than ten years with funding from the National Institutes of Health – and developed close working ties with the Wuhan lab.
Dr Huff, who worked at EcoHealth Alliance from 2014 to 2016 and served as vice president from 2015, worked on the classified side of the research programme as a US government scientist.
The army veteran, from Michigan, said the organisation taught the Wuhan lab the “best existing methods to engineer bat coronaviruses to attack other species” for many years.
And he claimed “China knew from day one that this was a genetically engineered agent”.
“The US government is to blame for the transfer of dangerous biotechnology to the Chinese,” he said.
Speaking to The Sun Online, Dr Huff added: “I was terrified by what I saw. We were just handing them bioweapon technology.”
In his book, the emerging infectious diseases expert claims “greedy scientists killed millions of people globally” – and goes as far as to claim the US government covered it up.
Former intelligence chiefs and diplomats have already claimed Covid was leaked from a Wuhan lab in the “cover-up of the century”.
Dr Huff said: “Nobody should be surprised that the Chinese lied about the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 and then went to extraordinary lengths to make it appear as if the disease naturally emerged.
“The shocking part of all of this is how the United States government lied to all of us.”
In 2009, the Wuhan lab started working with the EcoHealth Alliance on a USAID programme – called PREDICT – focusing on emerging pandemic threats.
PREDICT was designed to help detect and find zoonotic viruses with pandemic potential – including coronaviruses.
The shocking part of all of this is how the United States government lied to all of usDr Andrew Huff
Shi Zhengli – the Wuhan virologist who famously became known as “Batwoman” – hoped the programme would create an early-warning system for pandemics.
But in 2014, Dr Huff was asked to review a funding proposal which revealed that gain of function work was being carried out to create SARS-CoV-2 – which causes Covid.
Gain of function work sees viruses souped up to more easily infect humans to help researchers test scientific theories, develop new technologies and find treatments for infectious diseases.
But the risky research method can pose safety and security concerns – and it’s banned in many countries.
It was originally banned in the US in 2014 — but was reintroduced by the NIH in 2017.
Dr Huff realised the EcoHealth Alliance was working closely with the Wuhan lab on gain of function research, with the support of USAID – a US government department.
He soon realised the virus would never occur in nature and had been developed into a much more powerful pathogen in the lab.
Dr Huff believes Covid was genetically engineered in Wuhan through gain of function research funded by the US government – and poor biosafety led to a lab leak.
“EcoHealth Alliance developed SARS-CoV-2 and was responsible for the development of the agent SARS-CoV-2 during my employment at the organisation,” he said.
Although he pointed out he has seen no evidence China deliberately released the virus.
Dr Huff believes the US-funded project was “mostly a global fishing expedition for coronaviruses” to carry out gain of function work or for intelligence collection – rather than preventing future pandemics.
“At the time, I felt like the project seemed more like intelligence collection than scientific research and development,” he said in his book.
The scientist said the PREDICT programme wasn’t collecting the data is should have been – and he told The Sun Online it appeared to be a “giant intelligence operation”.
He alleges the US were using the project to assess the bioweapon capabilities of foreign labs – including the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
SOUNDING THE ALARM
During a meeting with top executives in 2015 and 2016, Dr Huff said he sounded the alarm over biosafety and biosecurity risks in contract laboratories.
“I was concerned that EcoHealth Alliance did not have enough visibility or firsthand knowledge of what was happening at foreign laboratories contracted and managed by EcoHealth Alliance,” he said.
Dr Huff said US government officials again issued warnings in January 2018 about the Wuhan lab – including the major shortage of experts needed to safely manage research on deadly coronaviruses.
“It could be reasonably argued that EcoHealth Alliance set up China to fail,” he said.
And when Covid emerged in late 2019, he said China “and some of their US government collaborators at the Department of State, USAID, and the Department of Defense went into full cover-up mode”.
Dr Huff said he “has good reason to believe that the US government was alerted to the outbreak in August or October 2019”.
He quit EcoHealth Alliance in 2016 “due to a large number of ethical concerns with the scientific work and EcoHealth Alliance as a whole”.
But in late 2019, he was suddenly offered a position at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) – and was told he would need top security clearance and a polygraph for the job.
Dr Huff now believes he was approached for the role to keep him quiet about the origins of Covid.
“It is my belief that people working within the US government potentially identified me as a risk to knowing firsthand that the SARS-CoV-2 disease emergence event was a consequence of the US government’s sponsorship of the genetic engineering of SARS-CoV-2 domestically and abroad,” he said in his book.
“If I would have accepted the position, then I suspect that DARPA would have disclosed restricted information to me, which would have consequently prevented me from discussing any of this information publicly, like I have been and am doing now.”
He added: “About a month after the pandemic began, and I was adamant that SARS-CoV-2 was a manmade agent, I suddenly realised what the potential motivation and persistence for recruiting me were.
“The intelligence community realised that I was the only person in a senior position that had left EHA, and the fact I was working outside the government’s control made me a threat to their agenda.”
‘SWORN INTO SILENCE’
Dr Huff believes government officials offered him the role so he could be “sworn into silence for the rest of my life”.
As he began to unravel the alleged extensive cover-up by the US government, he said the authorities launched a massive campaign of harassment against him.
He claimed military-grade drones would often appear at his home, he was stalked at the supermarket, and he was followed by unknown vehicles.
Dr Huff has since filed a lawsuit with Renz Law LLC against EcoHealth Alliance in the state of New York.
EcoHealth Alliance has denied the scientist’s allegations – stating that his claims are “not true”.
“Mr Huff makes a number of other speculations and allegations about the nature of the collaboration between EcoHealth Alliance and the Wuhan Institute of Virology,” the non-profit said.
“Given that he never worked at or with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, his assertions along these lines cannot be trusted.”
It added: “Mr Huff alleges that EcoHealth Alliance was engaged in gain of function research to create SARS-CoV-2. This is not true.”
Documents obtained by The Intercept show the US government and EcoHealth Alliance were working on gain of function research with the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
EcoHealth Alliance claimed “the emerging consensus, based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence, is that Covid originated through zoonotic spillover”.
Scientists and researchers have not yet been able to determine the origins of the pandemic – with a lab leak and a natural source both being probed.
The National Institutes of Health previously stated in a letter to Congress the bat viruses EcoHealth Alliance were studying in Wuhan could not have become the virus that causes Covid.
The Truth about Wuhan: How I Uncovered the Biggest Lie in History by Dr Andrew Huff is out on December 6