A scientist is saying he has found what could be a critical gene sequence that was removed from a NIH database after a request from researchers in China.
Jesse Bloom, a biologist from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, published the sequence in his recent paper. “I know this is a hot-button issue., Bloom said during an interview with reporters. “It is not a very traditional study, but it does have new data.”
Scientists who have looked at the data report there is nothing in it that proves a Chinese lab leak theory. But it still leads to bigger questions about NIH processes given that they deleted data in June of 2020 — during the middle of the pandemic and while the search for the origins of the virus was happening.
The NIH states that they got the original data around three months before the request to remove it.
The scientist who sent in these sequences asked in June of 2020 that they be removed because they were updated and were meant to be moved to another database. The person said they wanted the old version to be deleted to stop any possible confusion.
Chinese scientists sent the sequences to the NIH in March of 2020 and used information about them in a paper. This paper described using an advanced sequencing process to find SARS-CoV-2, the virus that leads to Covid-19.
The data included information from numerous early coronavirus cases linked to the Wuhan market back in December of 2019.
Dr. Bloom speculates about why so little data about these earlier covid cases has been found. He says the deletion of these sequences give “a skewed view of viruses being spread in Wuhan early on. It suggests possibly the reason we have not seen more of these sequences is that there has not been a true effort to publish them.” In other words, a coverup.
Author: Scott Dowdy