The Defender’s COVID NewsWatch provides a roundup of the latest headlines related to the SARS CoV-2 virus, including its origins and COVID vaccines. The views expressed in the excerpts from other news sources do not necessarily reflect the views of The Defender.

Vanity Fair reported:

In late October 2017, a U.S. health official from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) arrived at the Wuhan Institute of Virology for a glimpse of an eagerly anticipated work in progress. The WIV, a leading research institute, was putting the finishing touches on China’s first biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory. Operating with the highest safeguards, the lab would enable scientists to study some of the world’s most lethal pathogens.

The project had support from Western governments seeking a more robust partnership with China’s top scientists. France had helped design the facility. Canada, before long, would send virus samples. And in the U.S., NIAID was channeling grant dollars through an American organization called EcoHealth Alliance to help fund the WIV’s cutting-edge coronavirus research.

In emails obtained by Vanity Fair, the NIAID official told her superiors what she’d gleaned from the technician who’d served as her guide. The lab, which was not yet fully operational, was struggling to develop enough expertise among its staff — a concern in a setting that had no tolerance for errors. “According to [the technician], being the first P4 [or BSL-4] lab in the country, they have to learn everything from zero,” she wrote. “They rely on those scientists who have worked in P4 labs outside China to train the other scientists how to operate.”

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