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The Wuhan Laboratory Origin of SARS-CoV-2 and the Validity of the Yan Reports Are Further Proved by the Failure of Two Uninvited "Peer Reviews" Opening Statement

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Abstract The origin of SARS-CoV-2 is a question that has attracted attention from all over the world. It has been portrayed by some as a great mystery, although the laboratory nature of this virus is evident to people with trained eyes. The fundamental reason for this current situation is a large-scale, multi-domain, deliberate scientific misinformation. In an effort to defeat this scientific misinformation and expose the true nature of SARS-CoV-2, we have published two scientific reports. Our first report showed, using substantial evidence and logical analyses, why SARS-CoV-2 must be a laboratory product and how it could be created conveniently by following well-known concepts and established techniques. Our second report exposed a large-scale, organized scientific fraud, through which the nature of SARS-CoV-2 as an Unrestricted Bioweapon was revealed. Our efforts were immediately met by great resistance. Within ten days of the publication of our first report, two self-claimed “peer reviews” came out to specifically criticize our report. The first review was published by four scientists from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security led by Dr. Gigi Gronvall. The second review was published on the MIT Press and produced by a group of four scientists led by Dr. Robert Gallo. Although we welcome critical reviews of our reports, such reviews have to be honest, logical, evidence-based, and produced by qualified scientists. These two reviews, however, did not meet any of the criteria. Unfortunately, these poor reviews were nonetheless used by the media to defame our reports, label laboratory origin theories as “conspiracy theories”, and further suppress the truth of SARS-CoV-2 origin. Building on these media reports, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime then greatly amplified its own voice and promoted the falsified theory that SARS-CoV-2 must have come from nature. In a continued effort to fight and defeat scientific misinformation, here we provide our point-to-point responses to these reviews. Part I of the document is our responses to the MIT Press review, and Part II is our responses to the review published by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. We also included an opening statement at the beginning, where we summarized the main events of the Unrestricted Scientific Misinformation, including various cover-ups executed by individuals having close ties with the CCP regime, as well as Dr. Yan’s sustained efforts in exposing the truth of COVID-19. We sincerely hope that this document may help the world recognize the ongoing misinformation campaign and come to the realization that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is an Unrestricted Bioweapon developed by the CCP regime. We believe that this realization is crucial in defeating the COVID-19 pandemic and in protecting the global community from future bioweapon attacks. Publication Note (July 17th, 2021): The three Yan reports used scientific evidence and analyses to prove that SARS-CoV-2 is an Unrestricted Bioweaponcreated by military scientists of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime. These reports have played a pivotal role in revealing the true identity of the ongoing Unrestricted Biowarfare. For this reason, the CCP and its allies have been constantly launching attacks at the Yan Reports. Very recently, the Rule of Law Foundation (ROLF) and Rule of Law Society (ROLS), which we have listed as our honorary affiliation in our reports, requested Zenodo to have the original uploads of our reports closed. This was done by the ROLF & ROLS without informing us authors or seeking our agreement. This is unacceptable because the work was done by us authors independently with no financial assistance provided by the ROLF & ROLS or any other organization. Their action here has no scientific basis and is against the rules of scientific publications. To restore the availability of our reports to the world, we have therefore re-uploaded the three Yan reports. Our affiliation has been changed to Yan Research – An Independent Research Team. The current report was originally published on March 31st, 2021. As of July 16th, 2021, the original Zenodo upload of it has been viewed 246,571 times and downloaded 43,152 times. Upon mutual agreement, Dr. Jie Guan opted out of this publication and his contributions have instead been specified in the acknowledgements. Wording on the number of authors has been changed accordingly. Minor typos have been corrected.
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The Wuhan Laboratory Origin of SARS-CoV-2
and the Validity of the Yan Reports Are Further Proved
by the Failure of Two Uninvited “Peer Reviews”
Li-Meng Yan (MD, PhD)1, Shu Kang (PhD)1, Shanchang Hu (PhD)1
1Yan Research – An Independent Research Team
Opening Statement
A year has passed since the COVID-19 pandemic first started. Its damage so far is astonishing: 127
million people have been infected and, among them, 2.78 million died. These numbers continue to grow
at a significant speed, indicating that the pandemic is far from being over. Furthermore, mutant viral strains
continue to emerge, and no public policies or treatment strategies seem to be sufficiently effective in
blocking COVID-19. There seems to be a consensus that the virus will not be eradicated and humans will
continue to live under the influence of COVID-19 in the foreseeable future.
The defeat of humans by COVID-19 is for two fundamental reasons. First, SARS-CoV-2, the causative
agent of COVID-19, is not a naturally occurring pathogen but an Unrestricted Bioweapon. It has designed
and significantly enhanced functions and therefore could not be controlled easily using strategies that
would normally work for naturally occurring pathogens. It is a product of the bioweapons program of the
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government, the network of which includes not only the CCP scientists
but also certain overseas scientists and organizations. SARS-CoV-2 was created based on template viruses
ZC45 and ZXC21, which were originally discovered in bats by scientists of the People’s Liberation Army
(PLA). The subsequent laboratory modifications had enabled its ability to infect humans as well as had
enhanced the virus in its pathogenicity, transmissibility, and lethality.
The second fundamental reason of our defeat was that the world was made to look away from the true
nature of SARS-CoV-2 and therefore responded inadequately on multiple aspects and occasions. A
massive misinformation campaign has been undertaken by the CCP government to cover up the true origin
of SARS-CoV-2, which involved destroying data and samples, publishing fabricated viruses on top
scientific journals, controlling the narrative of the origin debate through bribed top scientists and
organizations, amplifying the falsified natural origin theory through media control, labeling all other origin
theories as “conspiracy theories”, and defaming individuals who reveal the truth of SARS-CoV-2. As a
result of the CCP’s efforts here, the true, weaponized nature of SARS-CoV-2 has been obscured and was
not known by most of the public.
One example of the CCP’s misinformation campaign is the defamation of the Yan reports.
On September 14th, 2020, we published our first report1, where we provided abundant scientific
evidence and analyses proving that SARS-CoV-2 must not be a product of natural evolution but a product
of laboratory creation. We also postulated/reconstructed, based on substantial literature evidence, a
pathway for the convenient laboratory creation of SARS-CoV-2. On October 8th, 2020, we published our
second report2, where we used scientific evidence and logical analyses to uncover a large-scale, organized
scientific fraud committed by the CCP laboratories and orchestrated by the CCP government. This fraud
clearly indicates that SARS-CoV-2 is not a natural occurring virus or a simple gain-of-function product
that accidentally leaked out from a laboratory. Rather, it must be a deceiving, non-traditional bioweapon
created by the CCP regime. We also refuted the claim that the virus was derived from a virus from a mine
in Mojiang. Furthermore, the fact that certain fabrications preceded the initial outbreak of COVID-19
suggests that the release of the SARS-CoV-2 must be intentional.
Our two reports were published on as preprint articles. We chose this site and this format
because we were fully aware of the censorship on the laboratory origin of SARS-CoV-2 imposed by the
top scientists of the field peer review would not allow our report to be published as it is in a timely
manner or at all. The transparency and expedited publication process offered by zenodo, however, were
necessary and appropriate in this situation – Dr. Yan and the rest of us wanted the truth of SARS-CoV-2
to be known by the rest of the world as early as possible. Furthermore, peer review is not a guarantee for
scientific quality or truthfulness3-7, which is a view shared by many experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci.
After the publication of our first report, within ten days, two uninvited “peer reviews” were
published8,9. As shown in the rest of the document, these reviews were completely mistaken and
intentionally misleading. However, they were published on well-known platforms and were produced by
“reviewers” who hold high academic titles and are affiliated with prestigious institutions. It was a fine
display of the status of personnel and organizations engaged in the CCP’s scientific misinformation.
However, before diving into details of these “peer reviews”, let us travel back in time and take a quick
tour to review Dr. Yan’s journey since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as some early
events in the origin “debate”.
A brief timeline
On December 31st, 2019, Dr. Yan, a virologist and a then core team member of the WHO H5 Reference
Laboratory and the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases of China at the University of
Hong Kong School of Public Health, conducted a secret investigation on the outbreak in Wuhan. On Jan
16th, 2020, Dr. Yan conducted a second investigation. On both occasions, Dr. Yan used her personal
connections inside China’s research and hospital systems, including PLA laboratories and hospitals, and
the CDC. Through communications with them, Dr. Yan learned first-hand information of the emerging
COVID-19 disease, including its severity and scale of spread. She also learned how the CCP government
was hiding such information from the public, which was deeply worsening the situation. Dr. Yan then
gave timely feedback to her supervisors, professors Leo LM Poon and Malik Peiris, who are top
coronavirus experts and core consultants of the WHO. She had hoped that certain actions would be taken
internationally to pressure the CCP government to act responsibly. However, no such actions took place.
Instead, Dr. Yan was warned repeatedly by professor Poon that she “should not cross the red lineand,
if not, would be disappeared”.
At the same time, Dr. Yan also obtained intelligence information about the true identity of the SARS-
CoV-2 virus – a bioweapon created by the Chinese military. She then verified this herself by analyzing
the genetic information of the virus shared on the database using her own expertise in virology and biology.
While chasing the initial sequence information, Dr. Yan also noticed that strange changes were made to
the earliest deposited SARS-CoV-2 sequence. The first version of the genomic sequence, which was
uploaded on January 12th was strangely mistaken. It was then quickly withdrawn and replaced by the
second version (MN908947.2) on Jan 14th, which was largely correct. It is noteworthy that, on January
13th, Thailand reported the first case of infection outside China, which entails that sequence information
would be obtained by the outside world and no longer under the full control of the CCP government. What
is also noteworthy is that the first version was not accessible on the database for a long while until it
reappeared (MN908947.1), surprisingly, free of the severe errors that it had carried previously. Finally,
on January 17th, a third version was uploaded and some missing nucleotides were added to the sequence
(MN908947.3). The intelligence information, the genetic evidence, the severity of the disease, and the
cover-up by the CCP government convinced Dr. Yan that a public health crisis may be forthcoming.
This great sense of urgency compelled Dr. Yan to seek alternative avenues to let this information go
out to the public. Her hope was, once again, to alert the world and trigger certain international pressure to
make the CCP government act responsibly, which may then prevent a global health crisis. On Jan 19th,
2020, she anonymously shared this information on the LUDE Media, a YouTube channel that broadcasts
to a great Chinese audience both inside and outside mainland China. In this broadcast10, Dr. Yan sent the
following five messages:
The virus was created in a PLA laboratory using ZC45/ZXC21 as the template.
The CCP government is actively covering up the true information of the disease.
There is human-to-human transmission.
There are no wild animal intermediate hosts, and the Huanan seafood market is not the origin of
the virus.
If not controlled immediately, the virus may lead to a pandemic and, as a result, many mutants will
emerge inevitably and rapidly.
The red line had been crossed. Dr. Yan knew very well then that her actions could lead to severe
consequences in her personal safety. If her identity was revealed, she could be “disappeared”, just like
what happened to thousands of Hong Kong youths during the pro-democracy protests since June 2019.
Dr. Yan did it anyways.
The effect of Dr. Yan messages was immediate and significant. The CCP government was shocked by
the substantial truth in Dr. Yan’s messages; it was afraid that this anonymous insider was going to expose
more of its lies. With its original plans disrupted, the CCP government reacted in a hurry:
Four hours after LUDE Media’s broadcast, the CCP government tripled their official number of
infections, increasing it from 62 to 198.
A few hours later, the CCP government reported, for the first time, infections outside of Wuhan.
It also made a nation-wide announcement elevating the infectious disease alertness to the highest
level according to the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Prevention and Treatment of
Infectious Diseases.
Within one day, the CCP government admitted for the first time that there was human-to-human
Three days later, Wuhan was put into lockdown.
At the same time, the scientific field has been mobilized. In China, Dr. Zhengli Shi, the batwoman
from the Wuhan Institutes of Virology (WIV), hurried out a Nature publication (submitted on January
20th and published on February 3rd, 2020)11, where she reported a RaTG13 bat coronavirus sharing a 96.2%
sequence identity with SARS-CoV-2. Since then, this RaTG13 virus has served as the founding evidence
for the natural origin theory (this publication of Shi has been accessed over 1.11 million times and cited
5431 times by March 30th, 2021). Interestingly, in the same issue of Nature, a similar article was published
by Dr. Yongzhen Zhang12, which described ZC45 and ZXC21 as the closest match to SARS-CoV-2
evolutionarily. However, Dr. Zhang’s publication received much less attention (0.47 million accesses and
2588 citations by March 30th, 2021). On February 8th, 2020, Major General and bioweapon expert Dr. Wei
Chen took over the leadership of the WIV. Furthermore, a compulsory regulation was put into place
demanding that all manuscripts concerning SARS-CoV-2 research produced by Chinese laboratories must
be first reviewed and approved by the CCP government before being submitted for publication.
Significant movements had also taken place in the scientific circle in the west. On February 19th, 2020,
a statement signed by 27 experts was published on the influential journal Lancet13. In this statement, the
scientists asserted a natural origin of SARS-CoV-2 and condemned “conspiracy theories” that suggested
a laboratory origin of the virus. It was later revealed through exposed email exchanges that, intriguingly,
their assertion on the virus’ origin was accepted by the signees in the absence of any scientific discussions
or supporting evidence14,15. Furthermore, the statement was organized secretly by Dr. Peter Daszak, CEO
of the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance and long-term collaborator of Dr. Zhengli Shi and the WIV. In fact,
it was through Daszak and EcoHealth Alliance that millions of NIH funding, which are US tax dollars,
were channeled to the WIV and used presumably in military-civil fusion projects there. This conflict of
interest (COI) was very likely what prompted Daszak to keep his central role in the Lancet statement under
the radar. Though, the same COI somehow failed to discourage him from leading the WHO investigation
of the origin of COVID-19 in 2021 and subsequently “concluding” that SARS-CoV-2 is extremely
unlikely to have come from a laboratory. Interestingly, when the NIH funding was discontinued for
EcoHealth Alliance in 2020, Daszak was immediately offered a donation of half a million dollars from an
anonymous foundation (Figure 1). It is not known whether or not this donation played any role in
encouraging Daszak’s actions in supporting the CCP government.
Figure 1. Exposed email shows that an anonymous donation of $500,000 was made to EcoHealth Alliance to
partially offset the NIH funds withdrawn.
It is also worth mentioning that Dr. Linfa Wang from Duke-NUS Medical School and Dr. Ralph Baric
from the University of North Carolina, both long-term collaborators of Zhengli Shi and the WIV, also
consciously distanced themselves from the Lancet statement to make sure that the statement “doesn’t link
back to our collaborationbecause “(o)therwise it looks self-serving and we lose impact” (Figure 2)16.
Figure 2. Exposed email shows Peter Daszak, Linfa Wang, and Ralph Baric purposely avoided signing the Lancet
statement although Daszak eventually signed likely because of the central role he played in organizing this
In addition to the Lancet statement, on March 17th, 2020, an opinion article titled The Proximal Origin
of SARS-CoV-2was published on the top journal Nature Medicine17. Here the authors also asserted a
natural origin of SARS-CoV-2 despite that no convincing evidence was provided and that their theory was
built upon the fabricated RaTG13 virus published by Zhengli Shi. Among the five authors of this article
was Dr. Ian Lipkin from Columbia University, who, like Daszak, has close ties with China and has
received several prestigious awards from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government in the past two
The Lancet statement and the Nature Medicine article, although baseless scientifically, both concluded
that SARS-CoV-2 is a natural occurring pathogen. These publications had subsequently been promoted
greatly on traditional media, social media, and other platforms. The result of these combined operations
was to declare to the scientific community: SARS-CoV-2 having a natural origin is the official, accepted
view; any dissenting voices would be condemned and dismissed by experts of the field.
Therefore, unsurprisingly, although various scientific evidence continued to emerge pointing to the
laboratory origin of SARS-CoV-2, much of such information was suppressed fairly efficiently. The
public’s opinion of the virus’ origin remained dominated by the natural origin theory.
However, the truth was not meant to be blocked. While Dr. Yan continued to use the LUDE Media to
expose various facts of COVID-19, including providing intelligence information (For example, pointing
out that the Lancet statement was an organized effort to suppress the laboratory origin theories) and
sharing her expert analyses on aspects of asymptomatic infections, antibody evaluation, autopsy studies,
treatment strategies, vaccine development, etc., her identity was eventually discovered by the CCP
government, which forced her to leave Hong Kong. At the end of April 2020, Dr. Yan successfully escaped
from Hong Kong and arrived at the US. Here she continued to reveal the truth of SARS-CoV-2 to the
world. On July 10th, 2020, Dr. Yan made her first public appearance on Fox News and, since then, has
been continuing to spread the truth of COVID-19 on different platforms. The CCP’s defamation of Dr.
Yan, which took place on both traditional media and social media involving CCP’s cyber army, also
started right after Dr. Yan’s escape and came in huge waves continuously since then.
Uninvited “peer reviews” on our report were extremely poor scientifically and meant to mislead
On Sep 14th, 2020, Dr. Yan and the rest of us authors published our first scientific report1, presenting
substantial scientific evidence and analyses to prove that SARS-CoV-2 is a product of laboratory creation.
Since then, the origin of SARS-CoV-2 has become an open secret to people who have the relevant
knowledge and have carefully analyzed our report, although some of these honest opinions may not have
been made public for various reasons. The report has gained its fair share of attention so far, reaching over
1.1 million views and over 0.75 million downloads.
Interestingly, almost immediately after its publication, our report received “peer reviews”, although
uninvited, from two groups of scientists, respectively. The first review, published on September 22nd, 2020,
eight days from the publication of our report, was produced by a group of four scientists from the Johns
Hopkins Center for Health and Security: Kelsey Warmbrod, Rachel West, Nancy Connell, and Gigi
Gronvall8. Two days later, on September 24th, a second review was published by the MIT Press, where
comments came from four seemingly independent scientists: Takahiko Koyama, Adam Lauring, Robert
Gallo, and Marvin Reitz9.
It has to be mentioned that no “reviews” came from the coronavirus research community. The WIV
and the Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS) also kept silent despite that the scientific
evidence provided in our reports clearly and repeatedly pointed to them as the responsible parties for the
creation of SARS-CoV-2.
Although we welcome critical reviews of our report, such reviews have to be evidence-based, logical,
honest, unbiased, and produced by qualified scientists. Unfortunately, these two published “reviews” did
not meet any of those criteria.
The four “reviewers” at the MIT Press showed severe misunderstanding and lack of knowledge in
coronavirus biology. They practically ignored the large body of evidence and analyses in our report and,
through this practice, unfairly described our report as “lack of evidence”. On the other hand, their own
judgements were based on a series of published “scientific findings”, which have been now proven to be
fraudulent. Therefore, their review comments, which are exclusively criticisms of our report, are of no
scientific strength at all.
These “reviewers” at the MIT Press also violated the rules of peer review. Dr. Robert Gallo and Dr.
Marvin Reitz published practically identical comments on multiple occasions, which indicates clearly that
at least one of the two has committed plagiarism and that their review comments were not all results of
independent, critical thinking.
Furthermore, the “reviewers” at the MIT Press politicized the issue when their job as “peer reviewers”
was to judge the science of our scientific report in an unbiased manner. They questioned our affiliation to
the Rule of Law Foundation and Rule of Law Society. Our choosing of these two organizations as our
affiliation was because we appreciate their crucial assistance in Dr. Li-Meng Yan’s escape from Hong
Kong. The twin organizations are non-profit organizations that work to promote freedom, human rights,
and equality for Chinese people. They have financed Dr. Yan’s flight from Hong Kong and provided a
stipend for her to get settled in the US. Without this help, Dr. Yan would not have the chance to tell the
truth of COVID-19 to the world and much evidence within the Yan reports may not be revealed in a timely
manner. However, importantly, the science in the Yan reports was produced solely by us scientists and
has not been altered in any way by the two foundations or their founders.
(Comments on July 17th, 2021: Because the ROLF & ROLS unilaterally requested to have our reports closed, which
violated the rules of scientific publications, we have changed our affiliation in responding to this situation. Relevant
contents in the above paragraph were crossed out because we believe our earlier views on this matter were misled
and such descriptions do not truthfully reflect real events.)
The “reviewers” at the MIT Press also questioned the timing of the publication of the first Yan report.
However, the publication of our report was not the only thing that Dr. Yan did to alert the world about the
public health threat of COVID-19 or the artificial nature of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Dr. Yan first revealed
these truths on January 19th, 2020. She cautioned the world then that a global pandemic would be
unavoidable if her revelation about the artificial, weaponized nature of the virus was not taken seriously.
Since then, through the LUDE Media, Dr. Yan continued to reveal various facts of COVID-19. After
escaping from Hong Kong, Dr. Yan also went onto different platforms, for example, Fox News and Daily
Mail, to continue to alert the world. The publication of the first Yan report was only one of those efforts.
More importantly, like with any other manuscript, the preparation of the first Yan report, which took a
significant amount of time and efforts of the authors, followed its natural course until it reached
publication quality in September 2020.
Interestingly, while criticizing the timing of our report, this MIT Press review itself was published in
a hasty manner – only ten days after the publication of our report. In their comments, they also expressed,
repeatedly, their doubts on our statement that we have a second report to publish. In fact, the second Yan
report was published on October 8th, 20202, only 15 days after the appearance of the MIT Press “review”.
Apparently, it was these reviewers, not us, who felt some urgency in terms of timing.
There seems to be an intriguing question here: while the timing of Dr. Yan’s actions has always been
consistent with her commitment to global health and revealing the truth of COVID-19, what is behind the
urgency or timing of the MIT Press in publishing the review to negate the Yan report?
The uninvited “peer review” published by the Johns Hopkins researchers are even poorer in terms of
scientific vigor. These four scientists, Warmbrod, West, Connell, Gronvall, showed a complete lack of
understanding in every branch of biology that was relevant to the topic. Some of their comments were
plainly ignorant, which makes responding to them feel like grading exams of clueless students – they were
piling up key words to get partial credits and at the same time have no idea what they are talking about.
What was even more ridiculous with Warmbrod et al.’s “review” was that, in almost every comment,
these four “reviewers” intentionally distorted the original descriptions in our report. By doing so, they
then invented room, which did not exist otherwise, to insert criticisms. Their actions have then falsified a
scene: our report was full of mistakes and the “reviewers” themselves appeared to be superior scientists
that hold the truth. The reality, however, is that they had only rudimentary understanding of the science
here. Yet, they abused their tiny advantage over the public on this knowledge as well as their academic
brand to fool the public and to defame our report.
When the quality of these two sets of uninvited “peer reviews” is so poor, one has to wonder why
these “reviewers” would rush out their shoddy judgements publicly? Did they not realize that this is a
global health issue and that the world would suffer from misinformation coming from irresponsible,
unqualified scientists?
There may be some clues to this mystery.
Dr. Robert Gallo, the leading “reviewer” at the MIT Press, has deep ties to the CCP government. In
2009, the Gallo Virology Institute was established in Shandong Province, China20. Gallo is also a member
of the management team for the Hong Kong-based company, Medisun Holdings Limited21. Furthermore,
interestingly, on December 20th, 2020, three months after Dr. Gallo published his review criticizing our
report, the CCP government gave him the VCANBIO Award for Biosciences and Medicine, one of the
most prestigious awards in China22. Enormous praises were placed on Gallo when this news was reported
across many media platforms. These connections and the long-term “friendship” that Gallo has with the
CCP government leave little doubt on why Dr. Gallo would come out and baselessly criticize the Yan
report – he should have been encouraged or even directed by the CCP government.
Based on her interview at CNNpolitics published on October 21st, 2020, Dr. Gigi Gronvall appears to
be the leading figure of the Johns Hopkins “reviewers”. As revealed recently23, Gronvall was a member
of the expert group, who was consulted by the US government very early on in the pandemic about the
origin of SARS-CoV-2. The now-exposed email exchanges show that Gronvall and other scientists
(including Peter Daszak, Kristian Andersen, Trevor Bedford, Stanley Perlman, etc) in this group formed
an agreement that the virus must have come from nature despite that there is an absence of supporting
evidence. Interestingly, Gronvall’s actions then and her review of our report later have been consistent
she came to this conclusion in the absence of supporting evidence or analyses. Whether her past stance
urged her to publish the biased, baseless review and thus muddle the water on the origin of SARS-CoV-2
is everyone’s guess.
It is necessary to point out that, comparing to the enormous “scientific criticisms” that our first report
has received, not a single “review” or any scientific counter-argument was made toward our second report.
The same trend was seen in the media world: while news articles thrashed our first report, no news article,
to the best of our knowledge, was published specifically attacking our second report. It is intriguing that
whatever incentives encouraged the two uninvited “peer reviews” against our first report did not succeed
in motivating anyone to “review” our second report. Given that such incentives tend to be huge, the
absence of “peer review” here can be seen as a proof that our second report is even more unbeatable
Although the two “reviews” on our first report were so poor in quality that any scientist with the proper
knowledge would automatically disregard them, they did spread widely through the media. National
Geographics, New York Times, and CNN, all cited these reviews, without any fact check, to criticize Dr.
Yan and our report. As described previously in our response to CNN24, although CNN offered to interview
Dr. Yan, it did not accommodate Dr. Yan’s request that she would only do live interviews with CNN. The
CCP government also put a spin on these news articles published in the western media to further defame
Dr. Yan and thereby further suppress the truth of the SARS-CoV-2 origin.
This round of scientific misinformation and media manipulation, once again, caused great confusion
in the general public. We therefore felt that responses from us would be beneficial as they may help the
world defeat such misinformation and arrive sooner at the truth of COVID-19. So, as we have promised
in our second report, here we present our point-to-point responses to the review comments from both
groups of “reviewers”.
This document has an excessive length in part because we often had to cite the exact words from our
report to prove that the “reviewers” intentionally distorted our original descriptions. On the positive side
though, on a few occasions, we did use room to further clarify certain points, which should benefit people
outside the coronavirus research circle as they may not have fully appreciated certain evidence from
reading our report. These issues include but are not limited to:
Why ZC45 and ZXC21 must have been used as the template for the creation of SARS-CoV-2.
How ~3,000 nucleotide changes (~10% of the viral genome) could be safely introduced to the
Why these changes are necessary in concealing the bioweapon-nature of SARS-CoV-2.
Whether or not these changes could bear additional designed functions, which may be associated
with unique pathogenic outcomes.
How Zhengli Shi and her important collaborators (Lanying Du, Shibo Jiang, Ralph Baric, Fang Li,
etc.) learned early on the two most essential elements in Spike engineering for human infection:
receptor binding and presence of human protease-cleavage site25. (It is also worth mentioning that,
Yusen Zhou, husband of Lanying Du and an AMMS expert in the understanding of immune evasion
strategies of coronaviruses, suddenly passed away in summer 2020. Right before his passing, on
April 29th, 2020, a manuscript was submitted by his research group to Science26. This work
described the Spike N501Y mutation, which was later shown to be the determining mutation of the
prevalent UK variant B.1.1.7. that emerged in the human population a few months afterwards in
the fall.)
Structurally, our point-to-point responses here are separated into two parts. Part I are our responses to
the “review” published by the MIT Press and Part II are responses to the “review” published by the Johns
Hopkins “reviewers”. In both parts, our responses are colored in black, while the original “review”
comments are in blue. At the end of each part, our references are provided, also in black. Please note that
references in different parts partially overlap with each other as we have intended to make each part a
separate, stand-alone piece of writing.
Significance in acknowledging SARS-CoV-2 as an Unrestricted Bioweapon
As shown in the remainder of the document, our responses here further prove that the science in our
reports is solid and irrefutable. We urge the public and relevant governments to face the truth revealed in
our reports: SARS-CoV-2 is an Unrestricted Bioweapon created by the CCP regime.
Figure 3. The 2015 book “Unnatural Origin of SARS and Genetic Weapons Based on Artificial Human-Infectious
Viruses”. A) Chief editors: Dezhong Xu (Major General of PLA, leading PLA epidemiologist & SARS expert) and
Feng Li (Vice Director, Health Bureau of the PLA General Logistics Department). B) Publication details.
Publisher: Military Medical Science Press. C) Description of some key features of contemporary genetic weapon
in Chinese (top, Chapter 4, Page 85) and its translation in English (bottom).
The concept of Unrestricted Bioweapon may be new to the rest of world, but to the CCP it is not. Such
a novel bioweapon had been developed by the CCP secretly for a long while, and the term “Unrestricted
Bioweapon”, which was first coined by us in the second Yan report, describes this novel bioweapon
perfectly. In fact, the CCP did not hide its intention here. In a book published in 2015 (Figure 3), a group
of CCP’s military virologists/scientists headed by professor and Major General Dezhong Xu described an
ideal “contemporary genetic weapon”. The key features of it include:
It would be created in a way that it is practically indistinguishable from a naturally occurring
pathogen. This way, even if scientific, virological, and/or animal evidence were in place (to
support the accusation), (one can) deny, prevent, and suppress the accusation of bioweapon usage,
rendering international organizations and the justice side helpless and unable to make the
Its use is not restricted for military battles, but is for non-military settings where it would be
causing terror (in) and gaining political and strategic advantage, regionally or internationally,
(over the enemy state)”.
Combining the above descriptions with professor Ralph Baric’s assessment that “you can engineer a
virus without leaving any trace27, people may finally be able to connect the dots and peel off the many
layers to access the core of the COVID-19 pandemic.
(A future report from us will focus on further describing Unrestricted Bioweapons as well as proposing
actions in facing the attack by such a weapon)
As revealed in our second report, the scientific misinformation and cover-up by the CCP started before
the initial outbreak, which indicates that the release of the SARS-CoV-2/bioweapon was not accidental
but should be intentional. Evidence suggests that the outbreak should have originated from community
tests of the bioweapon that went out of control. As Dr. Yan shared through the LUDE Media on January
19th, 202010, community testing is a key step of the CCP’s unrestricted bioweapons plan. The goal of
community testing could include: 1) To observe the bioweapon’s effect on its intended target – humans;
2) To further adapt the virus in humans and the environment and thereby give the virus a more natural
look. However, due to the lack of proper animal models, the CCP scientists should have underestimated
the transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 and, as a result, the containment strategy used in the community tests
somehow failed, leading to the release of this bioweapon. In a way, intentional release here refers to the
conscious actions of the CCP scientists during the community tests – they took the virus out of the P3/P4
laboratory and released it in the community as part of its development. After the virus got out of hand,
however, the CCP government did not really control it. Instead, it took advantage of the outbreak and
made sure that the virus spread to and hurt other parts of the world by doing at least the following:
It stopped domestic travel and yet allowed international travel from Wuhan.
It hoarded the PPE and thereby greatly worsened the COVID-19 crisis in other countries.
Because of the CCP’s long-term planning, which includes pre-installing scientific fabrications28,29 and
pre-establishing relationships with certain western experts, organizations, journals, and media, the
Unrestricted Biowarfare then took off conveniently around the globe and yet was sufficiently covered up.
It is also important to realize that a bioweapon could carry designed and added functions, which
naturally occurring pathogens of the same kind may not have. This level of awareness should be the key
in finding answers to the many unknowns of the COVID-19 disease. It needs to be investigated whether
any of the following symptoms and/or phenomena, which are concerning and somewhat mysterious, be
results of artificial design:
Coagulopathy: Distinct from other viral illnesses, coagulopathy is frequently observed in COVID-
19 patients and is often life-threatening with poor prognosis30-33. COVID-19-associated
coagulopathy may occur in a wide range of organs, taking the forms of arterial and venous
thromboembolism or systemic microangiopathy34-38.
Neurological damage: Many COVID-19 patients also experience neurological damage39-42, the
reason for which is not known and has to be studied carefully. Interestingly, the template viruses
ZC45 and ZXC21, upon their discovery, were shown by the PLA scientists to cause brain
infections and inflammation in suckling rats43. Coincidentally or not, the E protein, which is
associated to neurotoxicity in coronavirus infections44, was kept 100% identical between
ZC45/ZXC21 and SARS-CoV-2.
Autoimmune disorders: Overactive immune response contribute significantly to the pathogenesis
of COVID-1935,36,45,46. Autoimmune disorders secondary to SARS-CoV-2 infections present
similar clinical manifestations as systemic autoimmune diseases and may result in damages in a
wide range of organs in many age groups. COVID-19-induced autoimmune disorders
include systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)-like syndrome47-49, kawasaki-like syndrome50-53,
and immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)54-56.
Long hauler: A significant percentage of infected individuals become long haulers. They develop
various complications in multiple systems57-60, which adversely affect the quality of their lives and
are very difficult to treat. Diagnosis for long haulers is also difficult. The medical reasons behind
and molecular basis of long haulers need to be investigated thoroughly.
Antibody-Dependent Enhancement (ADE): ADE refers to the general situation where certain
antibodies generated from the infection of one viral variant may lead to harmful effects during
reinfection by a different variant of the virus. ADE is a confirmed phenomenon in SARS, Dengue,
and other viral infections. Studies have shown that ADE may exacerbate SARS-CoV-2
infections61-64. While mutant variants of SARS-CoV-2 continue to emerge, understanding ADE
may be critical in the treatment and prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infections as well as the
development of safe vaccines65.
In addition to realizing SARS-CoV-2 as an Unrestricted Bioweapon, people should also come to the
realization that the CCP’s Unrestricted Scientific Misinformation campaign is a significant component of
this Unrestricted Biowarfare. Many people and organizations were put into work by the CCP and
functioned in a highly coordinated manner, including scientific experts (CCP scientists and experts from
other countries), scientific journals (Nature, Lancet, etc), research institutions (WIV, AMMS, etc), and
international organizations such as the WHO. The Unrestricted Scientific Misinformation campaign not
only obscured the artificial nature of SARS-CoV-2 but also led to misjudgements by individuals,
governments, policy makers, or even investors, leading to greater medical, social, and economic disorders.
Importantly, this campaign is still ongoing. More “novel” animal coronaviruses are going to be
published by the CCP-influenced individuals and laboratories and thereby continue to build the falsified
theory of SARS-CoV-2 having a natural origin. Similarly, the CCP will continue to use scientists under
its control and influence, who often hold high titles, to try to control the narratives using these fraudulent
At the same time, Dr. Yan remains committed to revealing the truth of SARS-CoV-2 to the world.
Honest discussions that are based on scientific facts and logic are always welcome by Dr. Yan. Dishonest
and intentionally misleading arguments, like these two “reviews”, will be exposed as demonstrated in this
document. Dr. Yan is open for live debates on any influential platform with any scientist(s) who support
the natural origin theory and/or believe that China is not where SARS-CoV-2 originated. Dr. Yan and us
co-authors will also produce additional report(s) providing our analyses on important aspects of COVID-
19. We sincerely hope that our reports, both published and upcoming, would be treated with seriousness
that they deserve. We suggest so because we believe the truths in our reports can not only help the global
fight against COVID-19 but also awaken the world to take actions to prevent future Unrestricted
Bioweapon attacks.
Ultimately, the realization of SARS-CoV-2 being an Unrestricted Bioweapon and the current
pandemic an Unrestricted Biowarfare makes it clear that the CCP regime is the one responsible for this
brutal attack on humanity. The CCP government must be held accountable. If not, it can only be
encouraged to commit more crimes and continue to hurt the global community.
We thank Dr. Steven Quay for his kind suggestions. We also thank everyone who has contributed and
continues to contribute to fighting against the scientific misinformation and revealing the true origin of
COVID-19 to the world.
Added on July 17th, 2021: We thank Dr. Jie Guan for helping proofread the original manuscript when
it was published in March 2021.
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Part I:
Point-to-Point Responses to the MIT Press “Reviewers”
These reviews are now openly published, along with a response from the RR:C19 Editorial Office, that
states, "Collectively, reviewers have debunked the authors' claims that: (1) bat coronaviruses ZC45 or
ZXC21 were used as a background strain to engineer SARS-CoV-2, (2) the presence of restriction sites
flanking the RBD suggest prior screening for a virus targeting the human ACE2 receptor, and (3) the
furin-like cleavage site is unnatural and provides evidence of engineering. In all three cases, the reviewers
provide counter-arguments based on peer-reviewed literature and long-established foundational
knowledge that directly refute the claims put forth by Yan et al. There was a general consensus that the
study's claims were better explained by potential political motivations rather than scientific integrity."
Overall response to the “reviewers” at the MIT press:
We disagree with the “reviewers” or the editor soliciting these “reviews” on their conclusion. In fact, none
of the arguments offered by the reviewers stands on solid grounds. The so-called evidence that they used
to support their claims has been proven to be fraudulent1. The reviewers also showed severe deficiencies
in their understanding of coronavirus biology and evolution. Their comments are baseless, careless, and
misleading. As a result, their reckless behaviors have damaged the world’s efforts in revealing the true
origin of COVID-19. They were the ones lacking scientific integrity, not authors of the Yan reports. In
fact, the Yan reports continue to stand strong because they are based on solid facts, logical and robust
analyses, and scientific integrity.
Also, the reviewers baselessly stated that our report can be “explained by potential political motivations”
and questioned the timing of our publication. However, the truth is the opposite: our report was not about
politics but about the scientific investigation of the true origin of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ones that
are politicizing the issue are these “reviewers” led by Dr. Robert Gallo. Instead of focusing on discussing
the science of our scientific report, they went out of their ways as “peer reviewers” and brought in issues
that have nothing to do with science. The timing of our report was not calculated. However, it is interesting
that, when the “reviewers” questioned the timing of our report, their “review” was published only ten days
after our publication. This is an unbelievable speed in the world of peer review. One has to wonder what
is behind the timing of the rushed publication of this “review” and what are the motivations of these
It has to be pointed out that Dr. Gallo, the leading “reviewer” here, has close ties to the Chinese Communist
Party (CCP) government. In 2009, an institute named the Gallo Virology Institute was established in Jinan,
Shandong Province2. Dr. Gallo also has business and financial ties in Hong Kong since 20173. Furthermore,
the CCP government has very recently awarded Dr. Gallo the VCANBIO Award for Biosciences and
Medicine4, which is, according to the news report, a significant and authoritative award in the life
sciences and medicine field of China”. It is very interesting that the award was announced three months
after Dr. Gallo published this review criticizing and defaming our report.
Although we are not obligated to respond to these biased and scientifically weak comments, we do feel
that responses from us would be valuable in preventing further damage that these “review” comments
might cause. In the end, it is the true origin of COVID-19 that we want the world to understand. We have
therefore provided point-to-point responses below. For distinction, our responses are in black, while the
reviewers’ comments are in blue. References added by us are grouped at the end of Part I, also in black.
Review 1 by Takahiko Koyama
RR:C19 Evidence Scale rating by reviewer:
Misleading. Serious flaws and errors in the methods and data render the study conclusions
misinformative. The results and conclusions of the ideal study are at least as likely to conclude the
opposite of its results and conclusions than agree. Decision-makers should not consider this
evidence in any decision.
COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 has damaged economies of nations in unprecedented degree and the
virus has exposed the fragilities and vulnerabilities of our society against novel pathogens. Therefore, the
origin of the virus needs to be identified promptly and unambiguously to prevent further damages and
future occurrences of similar pandemics. Unfortunately, as of today, we have not identified viable
intermediate host candidates for SARS-CoV-2, yet. In this manuscript “Unusual Features of the SARS-
CoV-2 Genome Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and
Delineation of Its Probable Synthetic Route”, authors have implied that SARS-CoV-2 is engineered rather
than naturally emerged. Such possibility should not be ruled out if compelling scientific evidences are
The authors claim that SARS-CoV-2 was engineered from CoV ZC45, which was obtained from a bat
sample captured in Zhoushan in 2017[1]. A variant analysis with respect to SARS-CoV-2 is performed
and over 3000 genomic differences are identified between ZC45 and SARS-CoV-2 genomes. Authors
need to explain how these differences are engineered in a similar manner to their argument in spike protein
with specific restriction enzymes utilized. In practical point of view, ZC45 cannot be a template and
authors need to find a better template.
Furthermore, authors’ speculation of furin cleavage insert PRRA in spike protein seemed quite interesting
at first. Nevertheless, recently reported RmYN02 (EPI_ISL_412977), from a bat sample in Yunnan
Province in 2019, has PAA insert at the same site[2]. While the authors state that RmYN02 is likely
fraudulent, there are no concrete evidences to support the claim in the manuscript. In addition, argument
of codon usage of arginine in PRRA is not convincing since these are likely derived from some kind of
mobile elements in hosts or other pathogens. Further investigations are necessary to unravel the mystery
of the PRRA insert.
For these reasons, we conclude that the manuscript does not demonstrate sufficient scientific evidences to
support genetic manipulation origin of SARS-CoV-2.
1. Hu D, Zhu C, Ai L, He T, Wang Y, Ye F, et al. Genomic characterization and infectivity of a novel
SARS-like coronavirus in Chinese bats. Emerging microbes & infections. 2018;7(1):154-. doi:
10.1038/s41426-018-0155-5. PubMed PMID: 30209269.
2. Zhou H, Chen X, Hu T, Li J, Song H, Liu Y, et al. A Novel Bat Coronavirus Closely Related to
SARS-CoV-2 Contains Natural Insertions at the S1/S2 Cleavage Site of the Spike Protein. Curr Biol.
2020;30(11):2196-203.e3. Epub 2020/05/11. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.05.023. PubMed PMID: 32416074.
Response to Review 1:
The reviewer asked for an explanation of how other parts of the genome could be engineered in a similar
way as the Spike engineering – using restriction enzyme digestion. Clearly, this reviewer failed miserably
in understanding our report. We have never said in the report that other parts of the genome of SARS-
CoV-2 were also engineered using restriction enzyme digestion. In fact, in part 2 of our first report5,
particularly in section 2.2 step 4, we have clearly described how other parts of the genome should have
been incorporated without the need of restriction enzyme digestions:
In addition to the engineered spike gene (from steps 1 and 2) and the ORF1b gene (from step 3), other
fragments covering the rest of the genome would be obtained either through RT-PCR amplification from
the template virus or through DNA synthesis by following a sequence slightly altered from that of the
template virus. We believe that the latter approach was more likely as it would allow sequence changes
introduced into the variable regions of less conserved proteins, the process of which could be easily guided
by multiple sequence alignments. The amino acid sequences of more conserved functions, such as that of
the E protein, might have been left unchanged.
The mistake that the reviewer made here indicates that he either did not understand the relevant section of
the report or he intentionally ignored this section when giving his comments. In either case, he has proven
himself as an unqualified reviewer.
In the final remarks section of our second report1, we further described how changes could be introduced
and why such changes are necessary in the making of a bioweapon:
As illustrated in our earlier report, although a template virus was used, the creation of SARS-CoV-2 must
have involved introducing changes to the template sequence through DNA synthesis (steps 1 and 4 in part
2 of our earlier report). Such a practice can be safely guided by multi-sequence alignment of available
SARS and SARS-like coronavirus sequences. The process of this practice has been illustrated115, and both
syn mutations and amino acid (non-syn) mutations at variable positions/regions would be introduced.
From the perspective of the responsible scientists, these changes are necessary because, otherwise, the
engineered nature of the virus and its connection to its template would be evident.
The reviewer also argued that ZC45 could not be used as a template in the creation of SARS-CoV-2. The
reviewer’s comment here is mistaken and irresponsible. An important fact here is that, although
ZC45/ZXC21 and SARS-CoV-2 are 89% identical on the nucleotide level, their sequence identity on the
amino acid level is 95%. Apparently, over 50% of these changed nucleotides are synonymous mutations
that do not alter the identity of the encoded amino acids. The remaining differences, which are non-
synonymous mutations, could easily be introduced into variable regions/positions of proteins. Again, this
process has been nicely illustrated in the supplementary figure 1 of a 2008 publication6. Finally, a small
number of random mutations must have also accumulated during the subsequent laboratory developments
as some downstream processes mimic natural evolution to a certain extent. These random mutations
should have contributed to this overall divergence as well. Therefore, the apparent divergence between
ZC45/ZXC21 and SARS-CoV-2 does not preclude ZC45/ZXC21 from being used as the template for the
creation of SARS-CoV-2.
Importantly, we have shown in our report that 1) SARS-CoV-2 and ZC45/ZXC21 share 100% identity on
the E protein and 2) the E protein is tolerant of amino acid mutations as evidenced in both bat
coronaviruses and in the SARS-CoV-2 strains. If the virus has evolved naturally and jumped from bats
first to intermediate host(s) and then to humans, how could the SARS-CoV-2’s E protein remain 100%
identical to that of the ancestor bat virus? The fact that this reviewer failed to recognize the significance
of this evidence in our report should be noted in assessing the credibility of this review.
Furthermore, it is important to recognize that, when what is being created is a bioweapon, the perpetrators
would understandably want to blur the connection between the bioweapon and the template used for its
creation. The ~11% differences at the nucleotide sequence or ~5% differences at the amino acid level are
necessary from their perspective.
It is also important to realize that some of these changes may have been introduced with an intention to
enable other designed functions, although these intended functions may or may not have fully materialized
in the final version of the virus. We will publish future reports investigating such possibilities.
Concerning RmYN02 and the furin-cleavage site, the reviewer needs to explain in details how the PRRA
insertion can be derived through mobile elements in hosts or other pathogens. The one sentence comment
he provided here has no scientific strength and therefore does not constitute a valid argument. We
recommend the reviewer read our reports carefully and learn how to analyze a scientific problem properly.
Only then he can respond adequately and responsibly and thereby possibly qualify as a reviewer here.
Finally, RmYN02 is fraudulent as explained in our second report1. In our first report, we have described
RmYN02 as fraudulent and stated that we will publish a second report providing the evidence of its
fabrication. The reviewer should not have rushed (ten days after the publication of our first report) to use
RmYN02 as his evidence in making his comment.
Overall, the arguments made by this reviewer do not stand scientifically at all.
Review 2 by Adam Lauring
RR:C19 Evidence Scale rating by reviewer:
Misleading. Serious flaws and errors in the methods and data render the study conclusions
misinformative. The results and conclusions of the ideal study are at least as likely to conclude the
opposite of its results and conclusions than agree. Decision-makers should not consider this
evidence in any decision.
The main issue with this manuscript is that it is not “scientific.” In presentation, it reads like an opinion
piece. The authors tie various threads together into a story. However, they are only able to do this by
focusing on the most sinister interpretation of just a subset of evidence. Much data is ignored or discounted.
Perhaps most important, the argument or hypothesis made by the authors is neither provable nor falsifiable.
This falsification principle is a key tenet of science.
Overall response to Review 2:
It is nothing short of a lie that this reviewer described our report as “not scientific”. As evidenced from
his specific comments below, this reviewer failed to provide any solid scientific evidence or argument and
yet repeatedly used similar degrading terms to label our report. The strong bias of his could not be more
evident. His behavior here is reckless not only because peer review is supposed to be done in an unbiased
manner but also because his irresponsible comments have misled the world’s efforts in tracing the true
origin of COVID-19.
The reviewer commented that we have intentionally ignored “much data”. Evidently, the reviewer is
referring to publications reporting RaTG13, pangolin coronaviruses, and the RmYN02 bat coronavirus.
All of these viruses have been proven to be fraudulent in our second report1. It is clear that Dr. Lauring’s
opinion was built upon these fabricated evidence and data, which dictates that his judgements/comments
here are practically baseless and therefore not credible.
The reviewer is also wrong in stating that our argument or hypothesis is neither provable nor falsifiable.
In part 2 of our report, we have described a postulated synthetic pathway for the laboratory creation of
SARS-CoV-2. There, all steps were proposed with strong support from the literature, indicating that these
experiments have all been carried out in the coronavirus research labs in recent years and the proposed
methods are the preferred ones that are still popular in the field7,8. Therefore, our hypothesis is entirely
provable and falsifiable by research labs having such capacities. The inability to recognize this fact speaks
strongly of Dr. Lauring’s lack of quality as a reviewer and a scientist in general.
Additional questions posed by the editorial office:
1. Does the manuscript confirm previous work or refute current understanding?
It does not. The manuscript attempts to refute our current understanding of the origins of SARS-CoV-2.
Briefly, the consensus is that SARS-CoV-2 is a zoonosis and originated in bats with perhaps an
intermediate host before spilling over into humans. The authors of this manuscript argue instead that
SARS-CoV-2 was engineered in a laboratory starting from a bat coronavirus sequence. They are selective
in their citation of the literature. They discount several peer reviewed studies that have provided evidence
for the natural origins of SARS-CoV-2. They claim that some of these are not worthy of consideration,
because of conflicts of interest from the authors. It is not clear what those conflicts of interest are and why
those studies should not stand. They also offer “evidence” that calls these papers into doubt. However, the
citations do not appear to substantially call these papers into question. Some appear to be preprints that
are more opinion pieces or conjecture, much like this one. To put it another way, the authors don’t contest
the natural origin hypothesis with data. Instead, they offer ideas and opinions.
Response: As stated in our report, the reason we were selective in trusting published work was because
some recent publications were clearly reporting fabricated coronaviruses9-14 and some other publications
have based their arguments on these fabricated data15,16. In fact, we have published our second report
debunking these fabrications, which further disproves the natural origin theory that these fabrications
meant to support1.
Contrary to the reviewer’s comment, we have clearly specified conflict of interests of individuals involved
in publishing the unfounded opinion piece, “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-215. Specifically, among
these authors, Dr. Ian Lipkin has been working with the CCP government since 2003. He has been honored
by the CCP government with several prestigious awards17,18, including one given to him in January 202017,
not too long before the publication of his misleading Nature Medicine opinion piece. Dr. Edward Holmes,
another co-author of this article, has also been working closely with the CCP laboratories, including
publishing two articles reporting fabricated pangolin coronaviruses and the RmYN02 bat coronavirus,
respectively9,13. It is noteworthy that two publications of fabricated pangolin coronaviruses (only one of
them involves Holmes) were done in collaboration with scientists from the Academy of Military Medical
Sciences (AMMS)9,11,19,20. Dr. Holmes also holds two visiting/guest professor positions in China, one at
Fudan University and the other at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention21. These conflicts
of interests are factual and substantial. In addition, this influential Nature Medicine publication relied
heavily on the fabricated viruses to form its argument for a natural origin of SARS-CoV-215. It is both
appropriate and necessary to exclude it in any valid analysis of the origin of SARS-CoV-2.
Our citations were inclusive (peer-reviewed, preprint, etc) and were chosen based on their scientific values
rather than their formats. It is also important to realize that all the fabricated coronaviruses were published
as peer-reviewed articles on top scientific journals9-14, highlighting the possible disconnection between
peer reviewed publications and scientific truth. Furthermore, it is proven that an influential, peer-reviewed
publication on a reputable journal can be fraudulent and later retracted22-26. Therefore, peer-reviewed
publication does not automatically guarantee scientific merits or integrity. What is especially relevant and
noteworthy is that manuscripts dissenting from the natural origin theory of SARS-CoV-2 have clearly
been censored27.
Finally, in our report, we have provided in-depth analyses on the genomic sequences of relevant viruses.
Our conclusion was drawn based on substantial genetic evidence and analyses. Describing our evidence-
based reasoning and analyses as just ideas and opinions is therefore counterfactual and dishonest. It is a
great shame that Dr. Lauring is so awfully deficient in his capacity as a reviewer and yet functioned in
this role regardless.
2. How well does the manuscript position the work within the current literature/understanding?
As above, citations are selective and the authors dismiss available data and literature without trying to
work within it. The evidence for a remote or recent bat origin of SARS-CoV-2 is supported by the
following manuscripts:
Andersen et al. Nature Medicine, 10.1038/s41591-020-0820-9
Lam et al. Nature 2020, 10.1038/s41586-020-2169-0
Latinne et al. Nature Communications
Xiao et al. Nature
Yan et al. Current Biology
Boni et al. Nature Microbiology
Response: In fact, these publications listed by the reviewer are exactly what we have intentionally
excluded due to their fabricated and/or misleading nature1. Among them, three were directly reporting
fabricated coronaviruses9,11,13 (the reviewer also made an error in the Current Biology publication as the
first author should be Zhou, not Yan). The other three articles the reviewer listed have all based their
phylogenetic analyses on the fabricated viruses. In fact, not only these publications should be excluded
from our report, but also they should be excluded from all phylogenetic analyses that wish to sustain future
validations. The reviewer’s approach, putting a blind trust on publications that are clearly fraudulent
according to the overwhelming evidence, is wrong and irresponsible, especially in facing the pressing
issue of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additional areas in which the work does not fit with the current science.
(a) The authors speculate - without evidence - that SARS-CoV-2 was engineered from the backbone of
ZC45 or ZXC21 bat coronaviruses. This appears to be convenient for their argument, as these viruses have
some linkage, per the authors, to the Chinese government or military. As others have pointed out, using
these as starting points for genetic engineering makes little sense. These viruses differ from SARS-CoV-
2 at approximately 10% of the positions in the genome. If someone were to engineer a virus like SARS-
CoV-2, they would start with a more closely related virus. It is much simpler.
Response: Contrary to the reviewer’s comment here, in our report, we have laid out the evidence
supporting that ZC45/ZXC21 should be used as the template. Part of the evidence was the 100% identity
on the E protein between ZC45/ZXC21 and SARS-CoV-2. The reviewer should offer his evidence-based,
logical counter-argument against this before he could argue that ZC45/ZXC21 was not used as the
template. This empty comment of his weighs next to nothing in front of the relevant evidence and analyses
provided in our report.
About the 10% divergence between ZC45/ZXC21 and SARS-CoV-2, we have elaborated extensively in
our response to review 1 and will not repeat here again. In addition, the reviewer here ignores the simple
logic that creation of a bioweapon also bears the burden of hiding its template and thus its creators. Having
a product closely resembling the original template is something they would avoid as much as possible.
This is common sense, which is unfortunately missing in the reviewer’s mind.
(b) The authors attach inordinate significance to a restriction enzyme site near the receptor binding domain.
They consider it something of a smoking gun as it will allow for sub cloning of receptor binding domains
during the engineering process. This site is a 6 nucleotide recognition sequence and would occur by chance
once every 4096 bases in a genome sequence. In SARS-CoV-2, which is approximately 30,000 bases, one
would expect to find this particular sequence 7-8 times by chance. Therefore, attaching significance to its
existence in the genome does not make a lot of scientific sense.
Response: This comment showcased the biased and sinister nature of the reviewer’s mindset in carrying
out this “review”. The reviewer took our argument on the restriction sites out of its significant context and
thereby “justified” his criticism.
First, we have offered our analyses proving that the receptor-binding motif (RBM) of SARS-CoV-2 could
not be derived from natural evolution. To argue the opposite, the reviewer needs to first come up with an
evidence- and logic-based rebuttal and prove how natural evolution could be responsible for the
emergence of such a RBM in SARS-CoV-2. However, this essential element could not be identified in the
reviewer’s argument here.
Second, EcoRI and BstEII sites are located exactly at where Dr. Zhengli Shi and Dr. Fang Li (Shi’s long-
term collaborator and an expert in the structure biology of Spike-ACE2 interactions) used restriction
enzyme digestion to swap the RBM7,28.
Third, the EcoRI and BstEII sites are unique in the spike gene. No other EcoRI or BstEII sites are available
in the spike, which makes a RBM swap extremely convenient.
Fourth, these two sites are unique only to the SARS-CoV-2 spike and are not present at the corresponding
locations of any other coronavirus’ spike gene. Importantly, the “introduction” of an EcoRI site has
changed a conserved amino acid from Threonine to Serine. Except for SARS-CoV-2 and the fabricated
coronaviruses published after the outbreak29, no other coronaviruses have a Serine at this particular
location and all contain a Threonine instead.
These circumstances are substantial and key in enabling us to describe the existence of EcoRI and BstEII
sites at either end of the SARS-CoV-2 RBM as the “smoking gun” and indicative of genetic manipulation.
The reviewer is fully aware of this context as it was thoroughly described in our report. However, he left
this significant context out intentionally so that he could call our conclusion here as “does not make a lot
of scientific sense”. The bias of his cannot be more evident.
(c) The furin-like cleavage site is also considered highly suspicious to the authors. It should be noted that
many viruses have these cleavage sites. In and of itself, its existence is not evidence for an engineered
origin for SARS-CoV-2. See for example Yan et al. Current Biology (doi above)
Response: In our report, we have fully acknowledged that furin-cleavage site at this location (S1/S2
junction) has been observed in other groups of coronaviruses”. However, we have also emphasized that
such a site is completely absent naturally in the lineage B of β coronaviruses (excluding SARS-CoV-2
and the fabricated ones), which the reviewer bluntly ignored in his comment here. One of our arguments
is that “certain selective pressure seems to be in place that prevents the lineage B of β coronaviruses from
acquiring or maintaining such a site in nature.We continue to stand with this argument as it is factual
and accurate.
Our conclusion was also based on the fact that the rare codon, CGG, was used in tandem to code the two
adjacent Arginine residues within the inserted -PRRA- sequence, which is essential in constituting the
furin-cleavage site. In addition, a FauI restriction site is also formulated by the codon choices here. This
evidence is indispensable in our conclusion that genetic manipulation should be responsible for the
insertion of the furin-cleavage site. However, the reviewer left it out in his argument, which, once again,
speaks against his qualification as a competent, unbiased reviewer here.
The article13 that the reviewer suggests to be supportive of the natural origin of the furin-cleavage site is
one that is proven fraudulent in our second report1. He also repeated his mistake in stating the first author’s
last name incorrectly13.
Furthermore, introducing human protease cleavage site into the Spike protein of coronaviruses to enable
cross-species transmission into human population is a concept well-known to Drs. Zhengli Shi and Fang
Li30 (reference #50 in our report5). In fact, in 2015, they have already acquired the most essential
knowledge in Spike engineering:
Viral adaptation to human cellular proteases is critical for viral infection of human cells because human
cellular proteases, particularly endosomal proteases, are more reliable sources than some extracellular
proteases to activate viral entry. Previous research also identified two mutations in SARS-CoV spike that
led SARS-CoV to transmit from palm civets to humans. These mutations increased the capability of SARS-
CoV spike to bind human receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. Thus, different entry factors appear
to have played the most critical roles in the cross-species transmission of MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV:
adaption to human cellular proteases by MERS-CoV and adaption to human receptor by SARS-CoV.30
Intriguingly, this understanding by the above experts has been precisely mirrored in the reality of SARS-
CoV-2 Spike – it has a designed/engineered RBM and an inserted human protease-cleavage site.
Clearly, the genetic evidence identified in the spike of SARS-CoV-2, which concerns both the RBM and
the furin-cleavage site, respectively, match precisely these scientists’ deep understanding and extensive
experience in Spike engineering.
(d) The proposed route to engineering SARS-CoV-2 as diagrammed in Figure 8 is simply not credible. If
there were a sophisticated effort to engineer SARS-CoV-2 in a laboratory, this would not be the route.
Entire viral and bacterial genomes have been created by gene synthesis. That would be the route, as
opposed to the multistep restriction enzyme cloning strategy outlined by the authors (see also the
significance attached to EcoRI restriction site in my comment above).
Response: The reviewer is suggesting that the creation of a highly efficient, weaponized viral pathogen
can be done through gene synthesis based on an entirely designed genome. This comment, however, is
devoid of scientific vigor.
Is there any literature evidence or real-life example that a novel virus, produced based on an entirely
computer-designed and synthesized genome, can recognize human receptors optimally and over the
receptor of any other animals? Has such a designed virus ever caused a global pandemic? Without
providing such evidence, the reviewer is only showing his ignorance in science here by making the above
The reviewer does not seem to understand that virology is more of an experimental science. So far, all of
the gain-of-function work done in the coronavirus area involved testing of designed constructs in wet labs.
The efficiency of infection and many other aspects of a novel, artificial virus have to be tested and
sometimes selected for. The overall success can be maximized through a step-wise process, where each
key function would be ensured and likely optimized at a particular step. In many (if not all) of these steps,
the optimal variant(s) would be selected over other candidates and carried over to the next stage of
Contrary to the reviewer’s description of “not credible”, our postulated route as illustrated in Figure 8 of
our report was fully supported by literature. We have provided references for each step, showing that the
exact techniques have been used by experts in the coronavirus field. More importantly, the sequence of
these steps is logical and consistent with what is typically followed in such gain-of-function work.
(e) A complete review of the many issues with this manuscript can be found here. I concur with the
assessments of these authors.
Response: The review provided by Warmbrod et al. from Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security is of
extremely poor quality. We have also included our point-to-point responses to these reviewers in the next
section (part II) of the current writing. It is unfortunate that this reviewer concurs with Warmbrod et al.,
although we are also not surprised given that both parties are similarly biased and miserably incompetent
as reviewers and scientists.
3. Is there clarity regarding the recommended actions the result from the findings?
In this reviewer’s opinion, no. The manuscript does not make its case from the foundation of sound
scientific argument. It is therefore not accurately presented and does not speak to key audiences.
Response: As demonstrated in his above comments, this reviewer has fatal deficiencies in his capacity as
a reviewer here. Needless to say, this judgement of his carries no weight.
4. Do the authors pay attention to ethics, diversity, and inclusion?
A key aspect of research ethics and the responsible conduct of research is to include information on who
supported the work - financially or otherwise. The authors’ affiliation is the “Rule of Law Society & Rule
of Law Foundation.” It is not clear who supports this Foundation or what its purpose is. It is important for
there to be transparency regarding research support, especially for a manuscript that is based on conjecture
as opposed to data or empiricism. It is also unethical to promote what are essentially conspiracy theories
that are not founded in fact.
Response: The work was led by Dr. Li-Meng Yan and done collaboratively by a group of scientists, who
are experts in their respective fields. Except for Dr. Yan, the co-authors are using pseudonyms. This work
did not require any wet laboratory experiments or cost. The analyses were all based on publicly available
data and literature and were done by all authors voluntarily in their spare time. Our work is independent;
except for the authors, no one else was involved in or has altered our report in any way.
The affiliation to the Rule of Law Society & Rule of Law Foundation was chosen because we want to
express our gratitude toward these organizations for having helped Dr. Yan escape the life-threatening
situations she faced in Hong Kong. At the time of her escape at the end of April in 2020, her personal
safety was under jeopardy because her revelation of the true origin of SARS-CoV-2, which started in
January 2020, had caught the attention of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government. The two
organization had provided financial support for Dr. Yan’s flight from Hong Kong to the US and for her
initial settlement here.
(Comments on July 17th, 2021: Because the ROLF & ROLS unilaterally requested to have our reports closed, which
violated the rules of scientific publications, we have changed our affiliation in responding to this situation. Relevant
contents in the above paragraph were crossed out because we believe our earlier views on this matter were misled
and such descriptions do not truthfully reflect real events.)
Contrary to Lauring’s blame here, our conclusions were drawn from comprehensive, logical, and
in-depth analyses, which were based on substantial available data and evidence. The inability to
acknowledge these facts showed once again the severe lack of quality of Lauring as a scientist and a
Review 3 by Robert Gallo
RR:C19 Evidence Scale rating by reviewer:
Misleading. Serious flaws and errors in the methods and data render the study conclusions
misinformative. The results and conclusions of the ideal study are at least as likely to conclude the
opposite of its results and conclusions than agree. Decision-makers should not consider this
evidence in any decision.
Reviewer Comments:
I) Widely questionable, spurious, and fraudulent claims are made throughout the paper about
the thought-to-be precursor of SARS-2, RaTG13, found in bat caves. The author’s attacks include quotes
which have not been referenced, including how this “has been disputed and its truthfulness widely
questioned. Soon a paper proving that will be submitted.” She then goes on to attack several genome
sequences as fraudulent, ranging from pangolin coronaviruses to bat coronaviruses, again without
evidence. The reference she cites for that, in fact, does not make that claim.
Response: We disagree completely with the reviewer. We have cited seven references in the introduction
section when we described the fraudulent nature of the RaTG13 virus, which should, at the very least,
caution the reviewer to not put a blind trust on RaTG13. In addition, to help people fully understand the
fraudulent nature of RaTG13 and other viruses fabricated by the CCP-controlled labs, we have published
our second report on October 8th, 2020, where we provided substantial evidence and analyses to support
and prove our claims1. Gallo should not have rushed to blindly support RaTG13 and thus the natural origin
of the virus. This behavior of his is highly unprofessional and irresponsible.
Importantly, the overwhelming evidence presented in our second report irrefutably proved that the above-
mentioned coronaviruses are all fraudulent. Clearly, it is the reviewer’s comment here, not our report, that
is “questionable, spurious, and fraudulent”. If Dr. Gallo disagrees, we welcome him to challenge the
findings in our second report with evidence-based, logical analyses and reasoning.
II) In her killing off of RaTG13 (without a shred of evidence or logic) she brings in her favorite
“horse,” ZC45, but I do not understand why she chooses this except that it has connections to the Chinese
military. She wants this candidate to be the backbone of SARS-2. This “military” virus she writes about
as the real predecessor of SARS-2 is over 3,000 nucleotides different from SARS-2. This is a long way
Response: Again, we disagree with the reviewer as we have provided sufficient literature evidence in our
report regarding RaTG13. We also have published our second report, which presented, in great details,
various evidence proving the fraudulent nature of the RaTG13 virus.
More importantly, we have reasoned extensively and in great depth on why ZC45/ZXC21 or a closely
related bat coronavirus must be the backbone/template used for the creation of SARS-CoV-2. Part of it
was based on the evidence that SARS-CoV-2 and ZC45/ZXC21 are 100% identical on the E protein. We
have proved that the coronavirus E protein is tolerant of mutations and the SARS-CoV-2 E protein has
seen mutations shortly after the virus started circulating in the human population. How could such a
protein sequence be preserved 100% during natural evolution when the virus must have evolved
extensively previously and have jumped the species barrier multiple times? This is simple logic based on
clear and straightforward virological facts. The inability of Dr. Gallo to correctly weigh these facts is a
In addition, although on January 19th, 2020, Dr. Yan for the first time revealed that ZC45/ZXC21 are the
template used for the creation of SARS-CoV-231, there are other indications too. In the very first
publication reporting the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus on January 21st, 2020, a group of Chinese scientists
intentionally left out ZC45 and ZXC21 in their polygenetic analysis of the SARS-CoV-2 evolution32. This
was the time when the fabricated RaTG13 virus had not been published and ZC45/ZXC21 were, by any
means, the closest relatives of SARS-CoV-233. The intentional omission of ZC45 and ZXC21 by this
group of Chinese virologists was clearly an effort to cover up the connection between SARS-CoV-2 and
It is also worth mentioning that two Nature papers were published simultaneously on Feb 3rd, 2020, both
reporting the first genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-214,33. However, while Dr. Zhengli Shi’s article that
also reported RaTG13 became one of the most cited in the field and the foundation of the natural origin
theory14, the other Nature article, which revealed ZC45/ZXC21 as the closest relatives to SARS-CoV-2,
has largely been ignored in the origin discussion33. The “importance” of publishing a fabricated RaTG13
virus to influence or control the narratives in the origin debate is, once again, evident.
In regard to the reviewer’s comment on the over 3,000 nucleotide difference between SARS-CoV-2 and
ZC45/ZXC21, detailed explanations have been provided in our response to review 1 and will not be
repeated here again.
Therefore, clearly, it is these facts that led us to safely conclude that SARS-CoV-2’s laboratory creation
must have involved the Chinese military, not the other way around. The question now becomes: what has
led Gallo to the assertion that it must not have anything to do with the Chinese military?
III) She then provides a complex scheme for converting ZC45 into SARS-2. God knows why.
All one has to do is synthesize that sequence of SARS-2. Of course, this leaves one wondering how the
satanic scientists would know in advance that SARS-2 would be so dangerous.
Response: This is a self-contradictory comment. Here, the reviewer has essentially admitted that the
pathway he proposed, which is to “synthesize that sequence of SARS-2”, is not practical. In our response
to review 2, we have elaborated why it is ridiculous to propose that one can artificially create a novel,
optimally human-targeting, pandemic-inducing virus based only on computer design and DNA synthesis.
We will not repeat the details of our explanation here again.
However, it is important to point out that this comment showcased how irresponsible this reviewer is.
Apparently, his questioning of our postulated route for the lab creation of SARS-CoV-2 is baseless; he
did not provide any scientific evidence supporting his judgement. At the same time, he trashed his own
proposal immediately in the next sentence. Dr. Gallo is abusing his role as an infectious disease expert
here. People must have hoped that Gallo would offer his responsible judgements on this important issue
and yet he did the very opposite.
IV) And how would the Chinese protect themselves? Well, according to the paper, the military
knew it could be stopped by remdesivir. I would surely not want to be in the Chinese military if they were
that naive.
Response: How would the Chinese people protect themselves? Under the ruling of the CCP, they could
not. As we have stated in our second report, “(t)he current pandemic is an attack on humanity” and the
Chinese people were no exceptions. In fact, they were the ones attacked and victimized first by this
artificial pathogen.
Here, the reviewer distorted the relevant section of our report in making his comment. We have never
stated that the Chinese military knew that remdesivir could block SARS-CoV-2 infection. In section 2.1
of our report, we have provided two possible reasons for why an RdRp segment of RaBtCoV/4991 could
be used in the construction of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. One of the possible reasons was that the
responsible scientists could have seen a feature in this RdRp, which makes them believe that this RdRp
could be more amenable for antiviral drug discovery.
It is extremely unfortunate that the reviewer distorted our descriptions so severely in making this comment.
Given the reviewer’s accomplishments in the field of retrovirus biology, it is unlikely that he would
misunderstand scientific writing to such a degree. It is more likely that Dr. Gallo did not treat the article
under his review with the attention that is absolutely required from a peer reviewer. Such a behavior is
reckless and irresponsible because the problem here concerns a world-wide pandemic caused by a deadly
pathogen. It is an issue that deserves the ultimate respect from all scientists involved in the discussions.
V) The author also claims that the receptor binding domain (RBD) is suspiciously close to
SARS-1. That is frankly untrue. The SARS-CoV-2 RBD sequence is nearly 100% homologous with that
of the pangolin sequence —this is the reason she attempts to label the pangolin sequence data as also
Response: The reviewer again based his belief on fabricated data. As pointed in our first report5 and proven
in our second report1, the pangolin coronaviruses were indeed fabricated. Therefore, the fact that the
SARS-CoV-2 RBD is nearly 100% identical to that of the pangolin coronaviruses does not support a
natural origin of this RBD. Rather, the fact that they had to falsify a natural origin for this RBD indicates
that the opposite is true – this RBD must have been created artificially, which is consistent with the various
evidence that we presented in section 1.2 of our first report5.
Also contrary to the reviewer’s argument, the way SARS-CoV-2 RBM resembles the SARS RBM is
indeed suspicious. As described in section 1.2 and illustrated in Figures 3 and 4 in our report5, all RBM
residues crucial for hACE2 interaction have been “preserved”, while majority of the non-essential residues
have “mutated”.
Note that our conclusion of this being suspicious is also based on the fact that the RBM of SARS-CoV-2
could not have been derived through natural evolution, which we have discussed extensively also in
section 1.2 of our report. Furthermore, while a natural origin of SARS-CoV-2 RBM is not possible,
evidence for artificial genetic manipulation is substantial (Figure 5 and associated discussions in our
report), clearly indicating that the RBM must be a product of genetic engineering.
VI) She states that the furin cleavage sites do not occur in “other viruses of this class.” By class,
she means SARS-like. This is not true, as such sites are present in some coronaviruses and are subject to
the whims of Mother Nature’s evolutionary bent. In fact, MERS has two such sites and a chicken
coronavirus also has two.
Response: The reviewer is behaving dishonestly here. Not only the words cited by the reviewer could not
be found anywhere in our report, but also we have never hinted or described that this furin-cleavage site
does not occur in “other viruses of this class”. In fact, we have acknowledged in our report that “furin-
cleavage site at this location (S1/S2 junction) has been observed in other groups of coronaviruses5.
What we have also stated was that “(w)ithin the lineage B of β coronaviruses and with the exception of
SARSCoV-2, no viruses contain a furin-cleavage site at the S1/S2 junction (Figure 6)”5.
Once again, Dr. Gallo has behaved dishonestly in making his comment here.
Furthermore, MERS and that chicken coronavirus are not SARS-like (lineage B β) coronaviruses, which
is common knowledge of any virologist. Dr. Gallo’s intentional omission of this fact here is misleading
and speaks further against his credibility as a trustworthy reviewer.
VII) There is also the question of timing. Why is she “publishing” the paper now? Why hasn’t she
published before? Is it because it is election time? Why is she rushing to submit so soon? The research is
backed by Steve Bannon! I question her credibility.
Response: This comment is not scientific. In peer review, it is of pivotal importance that the evaluation or
judgement of the article is based solely on its scientific merits. Dr. Gallo had once again crossed the line
and behaved irresponsibly in his role as the “peer reviewer”.
We have never calculated the timing for our publication. As experts in our respective fields, we authors
share the scientific judgement that SARS-CoV-2 is a lab-made, weaponized virus. We were also saddened
by the fact that the natural origin theory, although baseless, is dominating in the scientific world as a result
of a large-scale misinformation campaign. This was what had driven us into working toward a preprint
article. Our analyses and writing, which were done carefully because we are fully aware of the seriousness
of the issue, had progressed gradually and naturally until the manuscript had matured to publication quality.
In fact, we wish we had published our report earlier and had brought what we believe is the truth to the
world sooner.
What is actually interesting is the timing of this review by Dr. Gallo and his fellow “reviewers” – their
review was published only ten days after the publication of our report34. What is also interesting was the
timing of Dr. Gallo’s recent award from the CCP government. On Dec 20th, 2020, three months after Dr.
Gallo published this review criticizing our report, the CCP government honored him with the VCANBIO
Award for Biosciences and Medicine4. However, Dr. Gallo’s connection to the CCP goes long way back
and beyond just awards. In 2009, the Gallo Virology Institute was founded in Jinan, Shandong Province2.
Dr. Gallo also has business ties in Hong Kong3. These conflicts of interests speak strongly against Dr.
Gallo’s credibility as a peer reviewer here.
Contrary to Gallo’s claim here, Dr. Yan’s credibility and the timing of her actions are unquestionable. On
January 19th, 2020, Dr. Yan then anonymously warned the world with the following messages31:
The virus is transmitting from human to human.
The CCP government is covering up the truth of the virus, including its human-to-human
transmission and actual numbers of infections in Wuhan.
The Huanan Seafood Market is a smokescreen and not where the virus originated.
No intermediate, wild animal host exists.
The virus will lead to a devastating pandemic if there is no timely and potent intervention.
The virus is mutation-prone and new variants may emerge inevitably and rapidly.
The virus is a bioweapon developed by the CCP government using the PLA-discovered
ZC45/ZXC21 as the template.
Clearly, Dr, Yan’s timely warnings then, like her other actions later, were all meant for protecting public
health and for saving people’s lives, not for politics. Also, these facts and assessments of Dr. Yan’s had
all been proven to be true.
Who is more credible than Dr. Yan on this issue?
Did Dr. Gallo ever deliver such truthful and helpful COVID-19-related knowledge to the public at
this level of scale, with this much accuracy, and this early in time?
How much credibility does Dr. Gallo have here?
In reality, when the world was in a desperate need of the truth of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Gallo
abused his academic power and status and misled the world with a biased and dishonest review of the Yan
report. He has proven himself a complete disgrace.
Finally, Gallo’s assertion of a connection between our research and Mr. Bannon is untrue and extremely
inappropriate. Our research was completely independent and not backed by Mr. Bannon or anyone else.
The work was done exclusively by the scientist co-authors, and Mr. Bannon took no part in it whatsoever.
There is also no financial link between us and Mr. Bannon.
However, it has to be mentioned that Mr. Bannon was one of the first people to have spoken the truth of
COVID-19. Revealing the bioweapon nature of SARS-CoV-2 is crucial in the global fight against this
harmful pathogen and in preventing future bioweapon attacks. In this sense, the actions of Mr. Bannon
and many others who have described the true nature of COVID-19 to the public are honorable and deserve
the recognition and appreciation from the public. In contrast, the actions of Gallo and the rest of these MIT
Press “reviewers”, which are dishonest and with a clear intention to mislead the public on the crucial issue
of the COVID-19 pandemic, are absolutely shameful.
VIII) Finally, this paper should be used by teachers forever as a crystallized example of the “Gish
Gallop”. Alternatively, it could be used by editors to punish their most unfriendly reviewers.
Response: It cannot be more evident that Dr. Gallo’s review comments here were all mistaken and/or
dishonest. On the other hand, the science in our report has proven to be solid and irrefutable. “Gish Gallop”
is a vivid description of the Gallo comments, but not of our report.
Review 4 by Marvin Reitz
RR:C19 Evidence Scale rating by reviewer:
Misleading. Serious flaws and errors in the methods and data render the study conclusions
misinformative. The results and conclusions of the ideal study are at least as likely to conclude the
opposite of its results and conclusions than agree. Decision-makers should not consider this
evidence in any decision.
My thoughts on this report are that it is composed entirely of opinion and innuendo. Yan says she will be
coming out with more concrete data later, but I doubt it, especially as this current report has been so long
in coming. The timing is suspicious.
Response: It is very interesting that, while our report is irrefutably scientific with abundant evidence and
analyses put together in a logical manner, all four reviewers here outrageously described our report as “not
scientific” and/or just “opinions”. At the same time, the four reviewers provided no valid scientific
argument themselves and instead left only unsupported claims, which equal opinions. It is intriguing that
the same mistake could be made by each of the four reviewers. This pattern is suspicious and should be
Consistent with this pattern, as evidenced below, multiple comments from reviewer 4 are essentially the
same as those made by reviewer 3. This is a blunt violation of the rules of peer review as each reviewer is
supposed to provide his/her unbiased, independent critical analyses of the manuscript.
The reviewer also commented that no more concrete data would come from us. Clearly, he had already
been proven wrong as our second report, a concrete scientific article, was published on October 8th, 20201,
only 14 days after their “review” was published34 and only 24 days after the publication of our first report5.
She modulates her description of the RaTG13 sequence from “widely questioned” moves to “spurious”
moves to “likely fraudulent”. The old camel nose/tent trick. See the following.
“However, the existence of RaTG13 in nature and the truthfulness of its reported sequence are being
widely questioned6-9,19-21.”
“A follow-up report, which summarizes the up-to-date evidence proving the spurious nature of RaTG13,
will be submitted soon.”
“What is not thoroughly described in this report is the various evidence indicating that several
coronaviruses recently published (RaTG1318, RmYN0230, and several pangolin coronaviruses27-29,31)
are highly suspicious and likely fraudulent.”
She requires certain viral sequences (including RaTG13 and the pangolin viruses) that are closely related
to SARS-CoV2 to be fraudulent, as it allows her to claim that her candidate virus, ZC45, is the closest
relative to SARS-CoV2. Why is this her candidate? The reason is probably it’s connection with military,
see below.). RaTG13 is 97% identical at the nucleotide level, ZC45 only 89%. At least one of the sources
she quotes for the pangolin sequence being fraudulent does not, in fact, make that claim. It merely says
that the pangolins may have gotten the virus from a different species. And even if they were fraudulent, it
still would require more than 3,000 nucleotide substitutions to become SARS-CoV2. This is not even
slightly credible; it beggars reason.
“Genomic sequence analysis reveals that ZC45, or a closely related bat coronavirus, should be the
backbone used for the creation of SARS-CoV-2.”
“The genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 is suspiciously similar to that of a bat coronavirus discovered by
military laboratories in the Third Military Medical University (Chongqing, China) and the Research
Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command (Nanjing, China) (i.e, ZC45).”
Response: We have published our second report which proved the fraudulent nature of these novel animal
coronaviruses: RaTG13, RmYN02, and a series of pangolin coronaviruses. We assume that the reviewer
had been misled by these fabricated viruses in making this comment here.
However, if the reviewer truly believes that these coronaviruses are not fabricated, he could only argue so
scientifically — he would have to use in-depth analyses and valid supporting literature to prove his point,
similar to what we have done in our second report1. Unsupported claims like what this reviewer is making
here carry no weight.
In regard to the over 3,000 nucleotides difference between ZC45 and SARS-CoV-2, we have provided
detailed explanations in our response to review 1.
Then she presents a scheme for converting ZC45 to SARS2. Totally unnecessary, all you would have to
do is synthesize your desired genome, transfect the DNA into a host cell, and out pops your virus. The
larger question is, how would you know what exact genome would have all the characteristics you
Response: This is essentially the same argument made by reviewer 3. Not only both reviewers argued that
designed genome and DNA synthesis would be the go-to approach, but also they both immediately
disproved their own proposal.
As we have explained previously in responding to review 3, it is simply ridiculous to propose that a novel
coronavirus, which is optimal in infecting humans and can cause a pandemic, can be produced only
through computer-design and DNA synthesis. Unless the two reviewers had the same brain or one had
copied the idea from the other, it is impossible for them to have been so synchronized: making the identical,
scientifically absurd proposal and then dismissing it immediately afterwards.
Her second point is that the RBD is “suspiciously close to that of SARS1. No it’s not. The pangolin
sequences are 100% in the RBD. Can’t get much closer than that. That’s why she has to claim the pangolin
sequences are fraudulent.
Response: This is also essentially the same mistaken comment made by reviewer 3, which we have
responded to earlier.
Point 3 is the furin cleavage site. She states that this doesn’t occur in “other viruses of this class”. Not
clear what she means by class. Presumably she means SARS-like CoVs. It’s certainly in some other
coronaviruses. MERS has 2 of them. infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) Beaudette strain, a chicken
coronavirus, has 2. People have presented a credible origin of the furin cleavage site by a simple copy-
choice mistake by the viral polymerase.
Response: This is again essentially the same comment made by reviewer 3. Reviewer 4 here even “cited”
the same words “other viruses of this class” – as reviewer 3 did. However, as we have responded earlier,
these words are nowhere to be found in our report. This is iron proof that at least one of the two reviewers
had committed plagiarism.
We will not repeat our earlier response to this comment, except to point out that the reviewer ought to cite
at least one reference to support his final claim. Without it, people have no way of judging how credible
is the reviewer’s theory that the furin-cleavage site could originate from a simple copy-choice error by the
viral polymerase. Importantly, has such a copy-choice error led to the occurrence of a functional furin-
cleavage site at the S1/S2 junction in any naturally occurring lineage B β coronaviruses? Also, what could
be the molecular basis for having tandem CGG rare codons introduced here in SARS-CoV-2 spike by
simple copy-choice mistake by the viral polymerase? We have provided extensive and in-depth analyses
in our report to prove the non-natural origin of this furin-cleavage site. Having no answers to our questions
or showing no evidence when making unsupported claims like he did here dictates that the reviewer’s
argument is of no value.
Finally, her timing is odd. Why hasn’t she published before. What will she submit soon? Why not now? I
doubt anything substantive is coming.
Response: This again is the same comment made by reviewer 3. We have commented on the “issue” of
timing in our response to reviewer 3 and will not repeat here again. In addition, contradictory to what this
reviewer has predicted, we indeed have published a second report that substantiated our claim that certain
coronaviruses have been fabricated to mislead the world on the origin of SARS-CoV-21. This reviewer
has been proven wrong once again.
It is shameful and utterly irresponsible that one of the two reviewers repeatedly copied from the other in
a published peer review. Where is the independent, critical thinking? Is there any credibility in them giving
advice to decision-makers on the issue of the COVID-19 pandemic?
Her research appears to be funded by the Rule of Law Society and the Rule of Law Foundation. The sister
nonprofit organizations are connected to Steve Bannon, a former chief strategist for the Trump
administration, and Guo Wengui, a billionaire and political activist who fled China in 2014 in anticipation
of corruption charges from the Communist Party. Neither organization has published scientific literature
before, according to a Google Scholar search. A website linked to Bannon and Wengui has a history of
making inaccurate claims about the coronavirus pandemic.
Response: This again is the same exact issue raised by reviewer 3 earlier, which we have responded to
Both reviewers crossed the line here as this issue has nothing to do with the science presented in our report.
As peer reviewers, they are obligated to judge the article based on its scientific merits. The politicization
by these reviewers on this topic is a shame.
Mr. Guo and Mr. Bannon did not know Dr. Yan until right before she escaped from Hong Kong at the end
of April 2020. By then, Dr. Yan had been anonymously exposing various facts of the COVID-19 pandemic
for over three months, and all the information she shared had been verified.
Mr. Guo started exposing the corruptions and injustice of the CCP regime since 2017. His efforts have led
to the awakening of many Chinese people and have encouraged them to pursue freedom, human rights,
and equality. Because of these actions, Mr. Guo has been brutally attacked and defamed by the CCP
regime. The Rule of Law Foundation and Rule of Law Society were founded by him, which played a
pivotal role in assisting Dr. Yan’s escape from Hong Kong so that she could now tell the truth of COVID-
19 to the world.
(Comments on July 17th, 2021: Because the ROLF & ROLS unilaterally requested to have our reports closed, which
violated the rules of scientific publications, we have changed our affiliation in responding to this situation. Relevant
contents in the above paragraph were crossed out because we believe our earlier views on this matter were misled
and such descriptions do not truthfully reflect real events. Similarly, concerning Guo, due to the recent
developments, we felt necessary to remove the relevant descriptions.)
Finally, given the reviewer’s severe incompetency in understanding the coronavirus biology as evidenced
in his comments, it is clear that he has no authority in judging what are accurate claims or what are
inaccurate claims about the coronavirus pandemic. He has proven himself simply not credible.
To more specifically review Yan’s publication, let’s look at her Abstract.
1. She says the natural origin theory lacks substantial support. No it doesn’t(1-3). This seems
deliberately deceptive.
2. She says papers claiming a man-made origin are strictly censored by peer reviewed journals. As a
sometime peer reviewer, I don’t call peer review censorship.
3. She says the virus shows biological characteristics that are inconsistent with a naturally occurring,
zoonotic virus. Dubious claim.
4. She postulates a synthetic route that is partly doable but tedious, and is otherwise logically
1. Reference 1 listed by the reviewer15 was promoting the natural origin theory and yet the arguments
within were founded upon RaTG13 and pangolin coronaviruses. With RaTG13 and pangolin
coronaviruses proven fraudulent1, this reference is now proven of no value. Reference 2 and 3 do
not support the natural origin theory35,36. Rather reference 3 proved that genetic engineering of the
Spike could turn a bat coronavirus into a novel, artificial coronavirus that is capable of using
human ACE2 for cell entry and infection35. In fact, here, the reviewer used a reference that supports,
not dismisses, our first report. This indicates that the reviewer is either unfamiliar with the relevant
literature in coronavirus research or is careless in giving his reviewer’s comments.
2. The censorship on the lab origin theories by journals has been documented in an article27, which
we have cited in our report (reference #22)5. Furthermore, email exchanges between signees of the
Lancet statement, which were exposed by the US Right to Know37-39, clearly indicated that the
journal Lancet was promoting the natural origin theory without supporting evidence and at the
same time called the lab origin claims “conspiracy theories also without putting forward any
The reviewer argued that his own experiences do not suggest peer review censorship. We would
argue that his actions here indeed provided a fine example of peer review censorship on this
sensitive topic. Having functioned in the role of a peer reviewer does not mean that one is a
competent or qualified peer reviewer. This reviewer’s comments and behavior here showed
convincingly that he is completely incompetent and unqualified as a reviewer. Yet, he was placed
in the role of a “reviewer” regardless. If our report had to be approved by a peer reviewer like him
to be published, then it simply would not get published despite that it is solid scientifically.
3. Part 1 of our report, which is at least half of our overall content, was dedicated to supporting and
proving just this claim. Compared to the substantial evidence and analyses we have provided in
part I of our report5, the two-word comment, “dubious claim”, of the reviewer weighs next to zero
4. Similarly, the reviewer came to his conclusion about our postulated synthetic route without
providing any reasoning or literature support. While the route postulated by us is convenient,
inexpensive, verifiable, involving established techniques and available materials, and still popular
in top labs doing coronavirus research, the reviewer failed to propose anything realistic himself.
His comment is, once again, invalid.
The Introduction
1. She says it has characteristics that are incompatible with a zoonotic respiratory virus, including
being highly transmissible and significantly lethal in high-risk populations. The Incas would be
relieved to know that measles, derived from rinderpest in cattle, does not share those characteristics.
2. She claims that the receptor binding domain of the spike protein binds human ACE2 better than
any other species. No it doesn’t; it binds various ACE2 receptors from other species about as well,
including pikas and rabbits . Her
citation is a non-peer reviewed in silico modeling study.
3. She accuses the reports of the sequence of one of the purported precursors to SARS2, RaTG13, as
being probably fraudulent. The references she gives are either weak or don’t claim this at all. In
fact, one of them notes that six workers in a cave from which a closely related sample was obtained
from bat feces suffered from an atypical viral pneumonia and three of them died in 2013
( This would rather seem to point to the
reality of RaTG13.
1. Our exact description was (a)s a coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 differs significantly from other
respiratory and/or zoonotic viruses: it attacks multiple organs; it is capable of undergoing a long
period of asymptomatic infection; it is highly transmissible and significantly lethal in high-risk
populations; it is well-adapted to humans since the very start of its emergence1; it is highly
efficient in binding the human ACE2 receptor (hACE2), the affinity of which is greater than that
associated with the ACE2 of any other potential host”. Apparently, we did not suggest that any
single feature listed is unique for SARS-CoV-2. Instead, we meant that these features collectively
make SARS-CoV-2 unique among respiratory and/or zoonotic viruses. The reviewer manipulated
our description and took things out of context in making his comment and criticism. Were measles
well adapted to humans at the very beginning? Did the initial measles strain, which just crossed
over into humans, bind human receptor optimally over the receptor of any other animal?
Furthermore, our conclusion on the laboratory origin of SARS-CoV-2 was also based heavily on
the genetic evidence, such as the “smoking gun” that matches the cloning routine of Drs. Zhengli
Shi and Fang Li7,28, suggesting past genetic manipulation of the genome. Could the reviewer point
to similar marks of genetic manipulation in measles to prove his point that all characteristics of
SARS-CoV-2 are precedented? Clearly, our original statement is accurate and appropriate. The
reviewer’s counterargument here, however, is invalid.
2. We had cited two publications when we made this point in our report. However, the reviewer
picked only one and questioned the validity of this citation since it is a in silico study40. The
reviewer intentionally left the other citation out, which looked at the RBD-ACE2 binding using a
robust biochemical assay41. The results of both studies prove that the SARS-CoV-2 RBD binds
human ACE2 the best. What ridicules the matter further was that the article that the reviewer used
as a counterargument here is also an in silico study and did not even describe binding energies for
the pairs of RBD-ACE2 that they modeled. This comment speaks in volumes of the reviewer’s
incompetency as a peer reviewer and a scientist in general.
3. The references we provided in regarding to RaTG13 were robust and consistent with our
description. More importantly, we have published our second report, which has proved RaTG13
fraudulent1. We also have offered our insights to reject the Mojiang Miner Passage hypothesis
(section 1.6 of our second report). RaTG13 is a fabricated virus, not obtained from a cave or any
other place in nature, and Mojiang cave is not the home of SARS-CoV-2.
The Proposed Construction
It is necessary for her to claim that a number of sequences (including RaTG13, 97% identical by nucleotide
sequence) are fraudulent, because its absence allows her to use ZC45 (89% identical by nucleotide
sequence). She probably chose this because she could link it to the military. Here’s what she suggests. She
says you start with ZC45 as a precursor. At 89% identity, you would need about 3,300 nucleotide changes.
You engineer in an ACE2 receptor binding domain and furin cleavage sites. OK, although that ACE2
binding site is not optimal for ACE2 binding. Then you engineer in a pol gene that responds well to
remdesivir (because this gives you a good antiviral and would make remdesivir profitable). Then you
adapt the virus by passage in culture for the ability to better infect human cells. This step, however, is
simply beyond belief. You would need more than 3,000 individual mutations. This probably represents
hundreds of millenia of evolution. It’s even more incredible because coronaviruses have RNA
proofreading enzymes that make them fairly stable genetically, although they do readily undergo
recombination by RNA polymerase template slippage or switching.
Response: The reviewer is completely mistaken here.
First, these mentioned coronaviruses, RaTG13, a series of pangolin coronaviruses, RmYN02, are indeed
fraudulent. We have provided substantial evidence in our second report in proving so1. If the reviewer
disagrees with our second report, he needs to come up with robust, evidence-based scientific arguments,
not empty comments, to contest our analyses and conclusions.
Second, we have provided evidence on why ZC45/ZXC21 must be the template/backbone used for the
creation of SARS-CoV-2, part of which is the 100% sequence identity on the E protein between SARS-
CoV-2 and ZC45/ZXC21. Before the publication of RaTG13, ZC45 and ZXC21 were the closest match
genetically to SARS-CoV-2, which we have elaborated in our response to review 1.
Third, the reviewer is also awfully mistaken in stating that SARS-CoV-2 Spike is not optimized for
binding human ACE2. The literature evidence all speaks overwhelmingly against his statement – it has
been shown repeatedly and consistently that SARS-CoV-2 RBD binds the human ACE2 better than to
ACE2 of any other animal40-43. The reviewer’s lack of knowledge on this subject proves once again that
he is severely and dangerously underqualified as a peer reviewer here.
Fourth, we have never stated that the chosen RdRp would respond well to remdesivir. Instead, we listed
two possible reasons why the CCP scientists would want to incorporate a particular RdRp gene into the
artificial genome of SARS-CoV-2. One of the possible reasons was that they may see this particular RdRp
more amenable toward antiviral drug discovery. This review comment, written by reviewer 3 or reviewer
4 and copied by the other, made it evident that these two reviewers were unable to read and understand a
well-written scientific report. They, once again, failed to meet the standard of competent peer reviewers
Fifth, the reviewer was wrong in assuming that changes as many as 3,000 could not be introduced into the
genome of a template coronavirus when artificially creating a novel coronavirus. We have explained this
issue in our response to review 1 and will not repeat those details here again. However, one thing we do
want to point out is that, as we have described both in the original report and in responding to review 1,
most of these changes should have been introduced at steps prior to serial passage. Although the serial
passage step may introduce some changes, it is not where majority of nucleotide mutations were
introduced. Therefore, the reviewer’s arguments that “(t)his probably represents hundreds of millenia of
evolution” and “coronaviruses have RNA proofreading enzymes that make them fairly stable genetically
are simply irrelevant; they do not support his argument that significant changes could not be introduced.
He again failed, shamefully, to understand our report.
My opinion is that this is an inept attempt to make the case the virus was man-made. There are no concrete
facts in this report. I do wonder why this is coming out now. She implies she will be coming out with
something more convincing in the future, but I’m willing to bet that if anything comes it will just be more
of the same.
Response: Unfortunately, most of Dr. Reitz’s comments are completely incorrect and the rest of
them are opinions that lack scientific support entirely. The only thing he succeeded here was to
prove to the world that he is not credible as a reviewer, which dictates that his conclusion about our
report is of no value.
If Dr. Reitz or any of the other reviewers truly believe their argument that SARS-CoV-2 must have
come from nature, we suggest that they, working either individually or together, write formal,
evidence-based article(s) to support this view of theirs. We would consider commenting on it,
although, judging from the quality of their “review” comments here, we are very much convinced
that their article(s) on this topic would be of very low quality scientifically.
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spike protein for risk of human transmission. Sci China Life Sci 63, 457-460 (2020).
33. Wu, F. et al. A new coronavirus associated with human respiratory disease in China. Nature 579, 265-269
34. Koyama, T., Lauring, A., Gallo, R. & Reitz, M. Reviews of "Unusual Features of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome
Suggesting Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its
Probable Synthetic Route". Rapid Reviews COVID-19, (2020).
35. Menachery, V.D. et al. A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human
emergence. Nat Med 21, 1508-13 (2015).
36. Hu, B. et al. Discovery of a rich gene pool of bat SARS-related coronaviruses provides new insights into
the origin of SARS coronavirus. PLoS Pathog 13, e1006698 (2017).
37. Suryanarayanan, S. EcoHealth Alliance orchestrated key scientists’ statement on “natural origin” of SARS-
statement-on-natural-origin-of-sars-cov-2/ (2020).
38. Suryanarayanan, S. Scientist with conflict of interest leading Lancet COVID-19 Commission task force on
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arXiv:2005.06199 (2020).
41. Mou, H. et al. Mutations from bat ACE2 orthologs markedly enhance ACE2-Fc neutralization of SARS-
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42. Liu, Y. et al. Functional and genetic analysis of viral receptor ACE2 orthologs reveals a broad potential
host range of SARS-CoV-2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 118(2021).
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evolution of SARS-CoV-2. Nat Commun 12, 837 (2021).
Part II:
Point-to-Point Responses to
“Reviewers” from Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
On Sep 21st, Kelsey Lane Warmbrod, MS, MPH; Rachel M. West, PhD; Nancy D. Connell, PhD; and
Gigi Kwik Gronvall, PhD; all from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security published a “peer
review” commenting on our scientific report “Unusual Features of the SARS-CoV-2 Genome Suggesting
Sophisticated Laboratory Modification Rather Than Natural Evolution and Delineation of Its Probable
Synthetic Route1. Their writing can be found on their website2. While peer review is a mechanism to
ensure the robustness of a scientific publication, it is to be provided by scientists with matching expertise.
However, unfortunately, the comments offered by Warmbrod et al. showed clearly that these self-claimed
“reviewers” do not have adequate knowledge in any of the relevant areas of biology, including virology,
molecular biology, evolutionary biology, structural biology, and biochemistry. A closer look at the
background of the “reviewers” showed that, indeed, none of the four scientists has worked on coronavirus
or on any aspect of virology. More importantly, Warmbrod et al. repeatedly distorted our descriptions in
their comments and then inserted their otherwise unjustified criticisms. Their intention to mislead the
public and muddle the water on the true origin of SARS-CoV-2 could not be more evident. Dr. Yan and
her co-authors always welcome evidence-based, logical, and honest scientific discussions on the Yan
reports. However, we condemn pretentious and dishonest “peer reviews” of our reports. We believe that
the significant amount of incorrect information provided in Warmbrod et al.’s criticisms pose threat to the
world’s understanding of the origin of SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, here we provide point-to-point responses
to their criticisms, which we hope would provide clarity to issues muddled by Warmbrod et al. and help
the scientific community and the general public better understand our original report and the true origin
of SARS-CoV-2.
Point-to-Point Responses
Page 2
On natural existence of a closely related virus. Line 17: RaTG13 is a previously discovered bat
coronavirus which has about a 96% sequence identity to SARS-CoV-2,4 indicating that it is a close relative
and that bats are likely involved in the evolution of SARS-CoV-2. Yan et al question the existence of
RaTG13, which is found in GenBank.11 The authors cite multiple papers in their reference section that
have weaknesses or flaws to make their case. In their paper, reference 7’s author is not a scientist or
researcher according to his ORCID profile; references 10 and 13 cannot be found online and the links
provided are not active; reference 11 is an opinion piece on an anti-GMO interest group website;
references 5, 6, 8, 9, and 12 appear to be authored by scientists lacking expertise in coronaviruses and/or
viral evolution. Only 2 of these publications (14 and 15) were published in scientific journals with peer
review, and none of the authors of these 2 articles specialize in coronaviruses or viral genetics.
Response: Contrary to the reviewers’ claim, references 5, 6, 8, 9 and 12 were produced by scientists, whom
all have backgrounds related to infectious disease and/or virology. In contrast, Warmbrod et al. have no
background in virology at all.
The original link for our reference 13 is indeed broken. In fact, it only became broken after our report was
published. The author of reference 13 had reposted his article here3, where he also posted a note explaining
how the link to his article had become broken right after our report was published:
Author's Note - This is a reposting of the original article posted on LinkedIn on April 2, 2020. Something
strange happened in September. The link to my original article was severed sometime two days after Dr.
Li-Meng Yan's paper was published on Sep. 14, 2020. Dr. Yan's paper, unbeknownst to me, quoted my
original article as Reference #13. A LinkedIn connection of mine informed me of the severed link on Sep.
19, 2020. Another LinkedIn connection confirmed on the same day the severed access to my original
article and noted that he could access the article two days after publication of Dr. Yan's paper, on Sep.
16. So later on Sep. 19, I sent a message to LinkedIn CEO, Mr. Ryan Roslansky, inquiring about the reason
for the severance. LinkedIn's Customer Support later replied that "a bug is preventing us from releasing
the article to the site" and asked me to repost the article. So here it is.”3
Warmbrod et al. were also mistaken on reference 10. The online link of this reference is valid. Reference
11 is an opinion piece, however, the scientists who offered opinions within this report were clearly experts
in their respective fields.
We do not know whether the author of reference 7 is a scientist or not4. The scientific merits and critical
thinking of this reference are significant, which is the criteria that we followed for selecting our references.
It was nothing but appropriate for us to cite this article in our report.
Importantly, contrary to the reviewer’s claim, RaTG13 is a fabricated virus. We have provided substantial
scientific evidence in the final paragraph of section 1.1 in our report, which showed that the existence of
RaTG13 in nature is questionable. More importantly, we have published our second report5, which
presented overwhelming evidence and analyses proving the fraudulent nature of RaTG13. To
possibly dismiss our conclusion here, the reviewers have to come up with a valid, evidence-based counter-
argument to prove the validity of RaTG13.
On the capacity to predict function from genotype. Line 28: Yan et al overstate the capabilities of
deducing functional changes from genetic manipulation of coronaviruses, referring to an “abundant
literature indicat[ing] that gain-of-function research has long advanced to the stage where viral genomes
can be precisely engineered and manipulated to enable the creation of novel coronaviruses possessing
unique properties.”10 Technologies like CRISPR have enabled precise, directed gene editing, and are
major advances for the biological sciences. However, the report overstates current capabilities in
designing phenotypes and genetic functions of viruses, which are not already elucidated, including
coronaviruses, and vastly overstates the capabilities of genetic manipulation of coronaviruses in 2019,
before these viruses were the focus of worldwide interrogation by the scientific community. There were
6 coronaviruses known to infect humans prior to 2020, but their prevalence and pathology in different age
groups is incompletely understood, which would hamper any potential design of novel coronavirus
functions. Prior to 2020, coronaviruses were not as intensely researched as other viruses that cause
human disease, such as HIV, and influenza.
Response: Warmbrod et al. are mistaken in stating that there is lack of capabilities in gain-of-function
research in coronaviruses. Instead, genetic manipulation of coronaviruses have been done extensively as
evidenced by the literature6-15. Gain-of-function research where certain genes are engineered and
manipulated in a specific manner has led to novel coronaviruses capable of using the human ACE2
receptor for infections6,7,10,16. The corresponding description in our report was a fair statement of the
current capabilities, not an overstatement. Dr. Ralph Baric, who is the top expert in constructing synthetic
coronaviruses, stated in September 2020 that you can engineer a virus without leaving any trace17.
Warmbrod et al. clearly lack the knowledge in the status and development of coronavirus research in the
past two decades.
Furthermore, coronavirus research is especially extensive and proliferic in China. Since the SARS
epidemic in 2003, the coronavirus research in China has enjoyed a two decades-long, sustained support
from the CCP government. As a result, labs under the control of the CCP have the largest collecitons of
coronaviruses (both sequences and physical samples) as well as ample experience in gain-of-function
research in this area.
Finally, the fact that all past coronaviruses were only modestly prevalent and SARS-CoV-2 caused a
world-wide pandemic uniquely speaks for, not against, the suspicious nature of SARS-CoV-2. Natural
occuring coronaviruses have never led to this scale of a pandemic or caused this many deaths worldwide.
Lack of current evidence countering natural origin theory. Line 27: Yan et al refer to an extensive
scientific literature providing “genomic, structural, and literature evidence”10 to counter the prevailing
theory in the scientific community that the origin of SARS-CoV-2 is a natural zoonosis, emerging from
animals, but they do not cite any references to support their claim—a crucial basic practice for any
Response: Apparently, Warmbrod et al. failed to understand that our whole report was dedicated to provide
such genomic, structural, and literature evidence to prove that SARS-CoV-2 is an unnatural virus. If
Warmbrod et al. keep on reading from this line 27, later in the same paragraph they would have found our
statement that (i)n this report, we present such evidence and the associated analyses.Consistent with
this statement, genetic, structural, and literature evidence was described, analyzed and discussed in great
details throughout our report. The inability of Warmbrod et al. to recognize this is astonishing. It shows
that they are either very poor in their quality as scientists or intentionally misleading in writing this
Page 3
On implausibility of the proposed viral genetic backbone. Lines 19-20: Scientific evidence suggests
that many coronaviruses12 similar to SARS-CoV-2 have a recent common ancestor or that convergent
evolution13 has occurred. Many coronaviruses infect bats and other animals, most of which have not
been analyzed, so the evolutionary record has gaps until more samples are collected. Convergent
evolution14 refers to the evolution of similar traits in independent organisms. Yan et al do not attempt to
refute the prevailing scientific evidence on viral evolution, but assert that ZC45, a coronavirus with over
3,000 punctuated, broadly distributed nucleotide differences from SARS-CoV-2 (a significantly large
number of differences), could have been used as a “backbone” or template to produce SARS-CoV-2
synthetically. ZC45 is a beta coronavirus15 isolated from a bat between 2015 and 2017 in Zhoushan city,
Zhejiang province, China. ZC45 and ZXC21 were both discovered and characterized in to better
understand animal reservoirs of SARS-like coronaviruses. No explanation is given for how the over 3,000
nucleotide differences SARS-CoV-2 and ZC45 could be produced; this process would be highly
challenging for deliberate engineering.
Response: Our report did not deny that β coronaviruses exist and evolve in nature. Our assertion on the
use of ZC45/ZXC21 as the template for the creation of SARS-CoV-2 was based on various genetic
evidence, including the 100% identity on the E protein between SARS-CoV-2 and ZC45/ZXC21, as well
as the fact that a fabricated RaTG13 virus was used to specifically make people overlook the connection
between ZC45/ZXC21 and SARS-CoV-2.
However, although SARS-CoV-2 was created based on ZC45/ZXC21, during its creation, changes must
have been introduced to obscure the genetic connection between the two. In addition, some random
mutations must have also accumulated when the assembled, live virus was developed in subsequent
experiments, which should have further contributed to the overall genetic divergence between SARS-
CoV-2 and ZC45/ZXC21. If no changes were introduced, the weaponized virus could be immediately
traced back to its backbone, revealing the true identity of not only this novel viral pathogen but also the
scientists involved in its creation.
In our report, we have delineated how sequence differences could be introduced (section 2.2 and Figure
7) during the creation of SARS-CoV-2 using ZC45/ZXC21 as a template. For the Spike protein, in addition
to the modified RBM, the rest of the sequence would have changes introduced at the initial step, which is
DNA synthesis. The Orf1b gene should have been taken from another SARS-like coronavirus,
RaBtCoV/4991, which would differ naturally from ZC45/ZXC21. Two likely reasons for the use of this
specific Orf1b have been described in section 2.1 of our report1. The rest of the genome also could be
obtained through DNA synthesis, where changes can be easily introduced.
Here, the introduced changes are of two types. First, they could introduce synonymous mutations.
Although ZC45/ZXC21 and SARS-CoV-2 are 89% identical to each other on the nucleotide level, they
are 95% identical on the amino acid level. Clearly, over half of the nucleotide differences are synonymous
mutations, which does not alter protein structure or functions. In fact, as shown in the literature, codon-
optimization had been done successfully for Spike6, which entails that synonymous mutations can be
safely introduced into the spike gene. The same could be easily applied to other sections of the genome.
Second, amino acid changes could be introduced into variable regions/positions of a protein without
affecting its structure or function. This could be safely guided by multi-sequence alignment of the many
SARS and SARS-like virus sequences, which the WIV has in great abundance. The process of introducing
changes, both synonymous mutations and amino acid substitutions, into a template virus has been nicely
illustrated in a 2008 publication (Figure S1 of this article)10.
Finally, we do not rule out the possibility that some changes in the SARS-CoV-2 genome could have been
introduced to enable novel functions. It remains to be revealed whether certain complications associated
with COVID-19, some of which are rare or non-existent in other coronavirus infections, are results of
intentional design. This speaks to the necessity of treating SARS-CoV-2 for what it really is. Without
acknowledging its true nature as a bioweapon and obtaining all the details of its creation, the world may
continue to be misled to overlook key aspects of this pathogen and thereby suffer severely from it for a
long period of time.
Role of Chinese military lab. Lines 4-6: The United States has a number of high-containment laboratories
in which viruses can be studied safely with engineering controls, including negative air pressure. Some of
these labs are located at military laboratories, such as the US Army Medical Research Institute of
Infectious Diseases in Frederick, Maryland. China, France, Germany, India, Russia, the United
Kingdom, and many other countries similarly have laboratories operated by military researchers that
are declared to the Biological Weapons Convention in confidence-building measures. Scientific
investigation in military laboratories is not uncommon; coronavirus research performed in a Chinese
military research institute is not in itself suspicious, as asserted by Yan et al.
Response: Warmbrod et al. once again distorted the meaning of our report. Our exact words here were:
The genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 is suspiciously similar to that of a bat coronavirus discovered by
military laboratories in the Third Military Medical University (Chongqing, China) and the Research
Institute for Medicine of Nanjing Command (Nanjing, China)”.
Clearly, what we have referred to as suspicious was the sequence similarity between SARS-CoV-2 and
ZC45/ZXC21. Not at all should our writing be interpreted as all scientific investigations in military
laboratories are suspicious. Like in other places, Warmbrod et al. intentionally distorted our meaning to
create room, which is otherwise non-existent, to insert their criticisms.
With that said, we do believe that the CCP military played a role both in the creation of SARS-CoV-2 and
in the cover-up after it is unleashed into the human population. As shown in our second report5, the
fabrications of pangolin coronaviruses involved the Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS) in
multiple accounts18-21. These fabrications were used as cover-ups to mislead the world into believing that
SARS-CoV-2 has a natural origin. The extensive cover-up involving Chinese military research groups is
extremely evident. Could Warmbrod et al. offer examples of large-scale, government-organized
fabrications of viruses that were used to cover up the origin of SARS-CoV-2 or any other viral pathogen?
Or could Warmbrod et al. provide evidence to prove that the pangolin coronaviruses published by the
Chinese military research groups are not fraudulent? Without these, they have no basis to deny the
involvement of the CCP military scientists in the creation and cover-up of SARS-CoV-2.
Furin cleavage sites in coronaviruses. Lines 10-16: The authors assert that a furin cleavage site in its
Spike protein is absent in coronaviruses found in nature, which is not the case. SARS-CoV-1 and Middle
East respiratory syndrome (MERS) have furin cleavage sites in their Spike protein. This is fairly common
in other coronaviruses16; MERS has a furin cleavage site17 within Spike.
Response: Warmbrod once again distorted our report here to then launch their otherwise unjustified
criticism. We have clearly stated that, except for SARS-CoV-2, no lineage B β coronaviruses have furin-
cleavage site at the S1/S2 junction. Yet, Warmbrod et al. distorted our description and omitted “lineage B
β” and “at the S1/S2 junction” here in their criticisms. Such intentional distortion of our report has shown
up repeatedly in their comments, which not only proves the biased nature of their review but also put their
motives in question.
Furthermore, SARS-CoV-1 does not have a furin-cleavage site at the S1/S2 region. It has a furin-cleavage
sites at the S2’. For MERS, there is a furin-cleavage site at the S1/S2 junction. However, MERS does not
belong to the lineage B of β coronaviruses. Therefore, our original description “(w)ithin the lineage B
of β coronaviruses and with the exception of SARS-CoV-2, no viruses contain a furin-cleavage site at the
S1/S2 junction1 – was accurate and factual.
Dissimilarities between SARS-CoV-2 and ZC45. Figure 1.1: The report features a figure comparing
sequences of various coronavirus strains. The figure’s data appear accurate and demonstrate a high
degree of dissimilarity between ZC45 and SARS-CoV-2, particularly in ORF1a, but the conclusion made
by the authors in the text is that the strains are similar. Neither the figure nor the text clarify which genome
serves as the reference.
Response: Warmbrod et al. used this same trick here again to fool its readers they distort our true
description. Our exact description here on the similarity between ZC45 and SARS-CoV-2 was:
Searching the NCBI sequence database reveals that, among all known coronaviruses, there were two
related bat coronaviruses, ZC45 and ZXC21, that share the highest sequence identity with SARS-CoV-2
(each bat coronavirus is ~89% identical to SARS-CoV-2 on the nucleotide level)
Our description here is true and accurate. We clearly did not try to characterize this level of sequence
identity as similar or dissimilar. However, Warmbrod et al. incorrectly described our writing.
We did describe ZC45 and ZXC21 as similar when we talked about Figure 1:
ZXC21, which is 97% identical to and shares a very similar profile with ZC45, is not shown
Clearly, Warmbrod et al. stitched two separate, unrelated descriptions of ours into one sentence and
thereby fabricated a statement that we did not actually make.
Finally, in the legend of Figure 1, we clearly stated that similarity plot based on the full-length genome
of 2019-nCoV WIV04”. Anyone with a brain can understand that the genome of 2019-nCoV WIV04 was
used as the reference genome here in Figure 1. However, Warmbrod et al., once again, wrongfully accused
us of not clarifying what the reference genome was. To say that they acted with a strong bias is clearly a
severe understatement of the situation here.
Page 4
Similarity of ORF8 between SARS-CoV-2 and ZC45. Lines 9-14. The authors’ assertion that the
similarity between the ORF8 gene in SARS-CoV-2 and ZC45 is unnatural (relative to sequence
conservation among coronaviruses) is not supported by evidence presented. While the sequence of ORF8
varies among coronaviruses, its function is not well characterized.18 In line 10, the authors report that
ORF8 may be involved in SARS-CoV-2’s ability to evade the host immune response (and thus affect
pathogenicity). They then suggest that ORF8 is usually dissimilar among different coronavirus strains,
based on a paper by Muth et al19 that studied deletions in ORF8 during the 2003 SARS-CoV-1 epidemic.
Muth et al found that a deletion of 29 nucleotides in ORF8 of SARS-CoV-1 attenuated the virus by
decreasing the virus’s ability to replicate. A recent paper20 identified the role of ORF8 in pathogenesis of
SARS-CoV-2 as potentially playing a role in viral maturation and assembly. Importantly, this study on
ORF8 was published after the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, whose mode of action is still not fully
understood; this timeline does not align with Yan and colleagues’ proposed timeline of events.
Furthermore, the authors fail to consider the level of similarity in ORF8 between viral variants of the same
strain, which could provide better context for the sequence identity between different strains. It is,
therefore, inappropriate to suggest that the similarity of SARS-CoV-2 and ZC45 is unusual.
Response: Warmbrod et al. once again distorted our descriptions. We have described the high sequence
identity (94%) on Orf8 between SARS-CoV-2 and ZC45/ZXC21 as “unusual”. However, at the beginning
of the comment above, Warmbrod et al. replaced our word “unusual’ with the word “unnatural”, which
distorted the meaning of our analysis. The rest of Warmbrod et al.’s comments here are irrelevant. We
never said that the function of Orf8 is suggestive of the origin of SARS-CoV-2. Warmbrod et al. literally
did not understand our report and made a comment that was neither relevant nor coherent.
Our point in the report was clear: the 94% sequence identity on Orf8 between SARS-CoV-2 and
ZC45/ZXC21 is unusual when no more than 58% sequence identity is exhibited between SARS-CoV-2
and any other naturally occurring coronavirus on Orf8. We continue to stand by this statement.
Also, lines 11-13: ZC45 and ZXC21 seem to have an 94% identity with ORF8, which is greater than with
other circulating coronaviruses (59%), but this is still quite low. ORF8 has been identified20 as a protein
of interest in aiding in virus assembly/packaging. Yan et al argue that SARS-CoV-2 is suspiciously similar
to SARS-CoV-1, yet these 2 viruses contain less than 20% similarity in their ORF8 sequences.
Response: We have never said that SARS-CoV-2 is suspiciously similar to SARS-CoV-1 on anything
other than the RBM. Here, Warmbrod et al. intentionally carved our words out of our discussion
on the RBM, and falsely claimed that these words were used for our description of the overall
similarity between SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2. Such manipulations by Warmbrod et al.
distorted our report severely. Their behavior here is simply despicable.
Page 5
Mischaracterization of sequence homology data. Lines 9-10, referring to Figure 2: The authors present
a variety of homology data that are superfluous, internally inconsistent, or misinterpreted in the text. For
example, the authors state that the E protein, which plays a minimal role in pathogenesis, is highly variable;
however, the Figure 2 shows a fairly stable amino acid sequence. In lines 4-5, the authors state that SARS-
CoV-2’s E gene is highly permissible to mutations because in a 2-month period there have been 4
nonsynonymous mutations. They use this to suggest it is suspicious that early SARS-CoV-2 samples had
identical identity to the purported “backbone” viruses, when SARS-CoV-2 is able to tolerate
nonsynonymous mutations to the E gene and, therefore, it would be unlikely for SARS-CoV-2 to have
evolved naturally to have 100% sequence identity. However, this analysis does not consider the selection
bias in the samples’ sequences and gaps in the existing phylogenetic trees. It is acknowledged in the field
that there are gaps in the phylogenetic trees of the coronavirus family, making it difficult to determine
accurately the likelihood of similarity between 2 viral variants. Additionally, Figure 2 shows only 1
sequence from an early time point in the pandemic and 4 samples from April. If other samples from
February were to be included, then there might not be 100% amino acid sequence identity between SARS-
CoV-2 samples and ZC45 and ZXC21. Finally, 2 strains of coronaviruses showing identical sequences in
a particular gene could be an example of convergent evolution.21
Response: Warmbrod et al. once again distorted our description to make room for inserting criticisms. We
have not described the E protein as highly variable or highly permissible to mutations. Instead, we stated
that the E protein is tolerant and permissible to mutations even though it is a functionally conserved,
structural protein.
Furthermore, Warmbrod et al. are shocking ignorant in phylogenetic analyses and evolutionary biology.
The similarity is high when the sequence identity is 100%, which is true regardless whether there are gaps
(missing species) in the phylogenetic tree. It is basic knowledge that sequence identities/homologies
determine phylogenetic relationships, not vice versa. The lack of basic understanding of evolutionary
biology here by Warmbrod et al. is astonishing.
Therefore, importantly, having possible gaps in the phylogenetic trees does not alter the fact that the 100%
identity on the E protein between SARS-CoV-2 and ZC45/ZXC21 is highly suspicious.
Warmbrod et al. also argued that, if more samples from February were to be included, then there might
not be 100% amino acid sequence identity between these SARS-CoV-2 samples and ZC45/ZXC21. Such
a scenario, however, would further prove our point that the E protein is tolerant and permissible to
mutations. An important fact here is that the earliest isolates of SARS-CoV-2 share 100% amino acid
identities on the E protein with ZC45/ZXC21. Sequencing data clearly indicated that the selection pressure
on the E protein is not strong or biased enough to purge away any amino acid mutations. The 100% identity
on the E protein between ZC45/ZXC21 and the earliest SARS-CoV-2 isolates is highly suspicious.
Finally, Warmbrod et al. commented that convergent evolution could have led to the 100% identity on E
between SARS-CoV-2 and ZC45/ZXC21. Although it is theoretically possible, in reality it is not. SARS-
CoV-2 and ZC45/ZXC21 infect different hosts. Therefore, the cellular environment is significantly
different for these viruses during their separate routes of evolution, which determines that the selection
pressure is not going to drive the E protein into an identical sequence. The existence of an intermediate
host would make it even more impossible. Rather, the opposite should be expected – no 100% amino acid
identity should be observed here. Again, the 100% identity on the E protein between SARS-CoV-2 and
ZC45/ZXC21 is highly suspicious and a clear sign of ZC45/ZXC21 being used as the template for the
creation of SARS-CoV-2.
Binding with ACE2. Lines 31-34: In a discussion about whether RaTG13 can bind various ACE2
homologs from different types of horseshoe bats, the authors neglect to point out that the ACE2 homolog
of the specific species of horseshoe bat from which RaTG13 was isolated was not included in the cited
binding studies. This makes conclusions about whether RaTG13 can bind ACE2 homologues
Response: Warmbrod et al. once again altered the fact here. Our actual description was the receptor-
binding domain (RBD) of the RaTG13’s Spike protein could not bind ACE2 of two different types of
horseshoe bats (they closely relate to the horseshoe bat R. affinis, RaTG13’s alleged natural host)”.
Clearly, we fully acknowledged that the ACE2 of R. affinis was not tested. Warmbrod et al. completely
ignored this fact and criticized a “mistake” in our report, which we did not actually make.
Binding of Rhinolophus affinis ACE 2. Lines 34-36: Research22 has shown that the receptor- binding
domain of SARS-CoV-2 binds human, pangolin, and Rhinolophus macrotis bat ACE2 receptors optimally,
and that the receptor-binding domain of Rhinolophus affinis, a type of horseshoe bat, did not bind the
ACE2 of orthologous (different) horseshoe bat species’ ACE2. R affinis ACE2 has not been well
characterized, so it could not be tested. This is interesting work in progress but does not provide
substantive conclusions about the provenance of SARS-CoV-2.
Response: This is an unbelievable comment, which shows that Warmbrod et al.’s knowledge of and
understanding in coronavirus biology are extremely superficial.
Warmbrod et al. stated above that the receptor-binding domain of Rhinolophus affinis did not bind the
ACE2 of orthologous (different) horseshoe bat species’ ACE2. However, the RBD is not from
Rhinolophus affinis, which is a species of bats. Rather, the RBD is from the RaTG13 virus, which was
isolated from Rhinolophus affinis. The lack of knowledge by Warmbrod et al. is astonishing, which
highlights the fact that Warmbrod et al. are completely unqualified in reviewing our report. In fact, their
behaviors here offering completely biased and mistaken reviews on a global health-related scientific
report while totally unqualified in serving as reviewers – are unacceptable and reprehensible.
Natural evolution ensures that the ACE2 of Rhinolophus affinis would be much more homologous to
ACE2 of closely related horseshoe bats than to human ACE2. When the ACE2 receptors from two closely
related horseshoe bats do not bind RaTG13’s RBD at all, it is not only safe but also reasonable to deduce
that the ACE2 receptor from R. affinis may not be able to bind RaTG13’s RBD. The inability to recognize,
or knowingly denial of, this simple logic underscores the lack of qualifications of Warmbrod et al. as
unbiased reviewers.
Page 6
Missing methods