It’s interesting that this is the first time this is making the news, but Senators want answers from the NIH about a laboratory in Montana.
Republican Senator Joni Ernst and Eric Schmitt have sent a letter to the National Institutes of Health demanding to “learn more about potentially risky research” that took place at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories (RML) facility.
There have been reports that government-sponsored researchers were infecting bats with a “SARS-like” virus as early as 2018 in partnership with the now-infamous Wuhan Institute of Virology. According to reports, RML researchers infected 12 Egyptian fruit bats with a “SARS-like” virus called WIV1-coronavirus to study its behavior and transmissibility.
The letter asks ten questions, including how many live bats are housed at the facility and what are their future plans.
From the Dailymail:
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 laboratory, constructed in 1928 is spending $125 million in COVID-19 funds to create a new biosafety level 2 lab.
Senator Joni Ernst told DailyMail.com in a statement: “We have watched the horror movie of Chinese state-run Wuhan Lab’s experiments on coronaviruses in bats, and I have worked to defund Ecohealth’s dangerous projects.”
“To willingly allow the sequel to happen at the taxpayers’ expense is plain batty. But under Fauci’s leadership, Rocky Mountain Lab has increased its risky research of pandemic potential, she added. “We cannot allow what happened in Wuhan on our own shores, which is why I’m working to prevent any future lab leak.”