Questions for Scientists and the WHO on the origin of SARS-COV-2

(Part 1: Questions 1–85)

This list of questions has been generated by a group of researchers working together on Twitter to investigate the origins of SARS-COV-2 and explore the possibility that it resulted from a laboratory acquired infection among other theories.

The researchers are microbiologists, renegade virologists, investigative reporters, analysts and ordinary citizens, some of whom prefer to remain anonymous in order to protect their positions, privacy and safety.

There are some repeat questions as it is a work in progress!

Any questions should be addressed to the curator of this list:

or via Twitter: @billybostickson

Questions are credited via Twitter handles.


for Scientists and the WHO


1. Why have no specific details of the positive environmental samples been released by CCDC?

2. Why did Zhengli Shi alter keywords in the WIV database on December 30th when returning to Wuhan?

3. Why are the majority of Chinese viral pathogen databases now offline?

4. Given that since at least 2012 we know that Bat to Human direct transmission is possible, why did many bat research teams fail to use proper PPE when trapping and swabbing bats?


5. Does WIV (or anyone else) still have blood or sputum samples of the 4 miners who tested positive for SARS antibodies in 2012? Can we retest those?

6. Why was Bat Cov 4991 renamed and never mentioned by its original name in 2020?

7. Why wasn’t miners’ pneumonia or positive SARS ab status mentioned in WIV papers?

8. Why can we not see the original 61.5Mb WIV virus database that was deleted (from before December 2019).

9. Did WIV receive pangolin samples from Guangdong customs in early 2019 and/or before?

10. How did Shi Zhengli conclusively establish SARS2 didn’t come from her lab?

11. When Shi Zhengli said “not from my lab”, did she mean it could have come from other labs at WIV? Or Wuhan CDC or Wuhan University?

12. Was there any lab shutdown at WIV in October?


13. Can we verify that all WIV pathogens have been shared according to operational protocol?

14. Did WIV sample bat guano at the TG Mine location in Yunnan, is this a common practice?

15. Is there any evidence the abandoned Yunnan mine was actually closed?


16. Why have WIV6 & WIV15 sequences not been published yet by Wuhan Institute of Virology?

17. Why have full details of “patient zero” not been shared?

18. When exactly did the first cases of viral pneumonia that are now known to be COVID-19 occur?

19. Are sequencing data of the virus from those patients available, and why have they not been shared?


20. Was the 2012 Yunnan (TG) mine outbreak declared to the WHO?

(As 3 out of 6 miners died from the unexplained pneumonia giving a 50% fatality rate)

21. Was there an outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan in October 2019?

22. What was the increased activity (revealed by satellite images) at Wuhan hospitals in October 2019 due to?


23. Why is RaTG13 not more available for external examination?

24. Did the Wuhan Institute of Virology team newly extract RNA from the BtCoV4991 physical sample or did they just sequence the stored RNA sample?

25. Was the RNA or the sample of BtCoV4991 not degraded after 7 years?


26. On Zhengli Shi’s Wuhan Institute of Virology page, 80 publications are listed compared to 130 mentioned elsewhere. Why are 50 not listed?


27. RaTG13 sequence was published, so, why is the chromatogram not available?


28. Why was funding from US Predict project to Eco Health Alliance (25/10/2019) recently stopped?


29. Which virus did Qi Jin select for the paper which accompanied the launch of DRodVir?


30. What animals were experimented on at Wuhan Institute of Virology? (As the Hubei Experimental Lab Animal Website fails to list all of them)

31. Were Bats, Ferrets, Tree shrews, Golden hamsters, Macaque Monkeys experimented on?

32. What animals were experimented on at Wuhan University Institute of Model Animals ABSL3 Lab?

33. Have Chinese Bat Researchers has their blood sampled and tested for antibodies to SRAS_COV-2 and other Betacoronaviruses and Alphacoronaviruses?



Daniel R. Lucey

34. What animals in the Wuhan Huanan Seafood Market were tested, what types of specimens were obtained, and what were all the results?

35. What does a “One Health” (human, animal, environmental) blueprint map of the market show in terms of:

The 33 positive and 552 negative “environmental samples”;

The more than 27 persons epidemiologically linked to this Market

All the negative, and any positive, specimens from specific animals.

36. What exactly were each of the 33 virus-positive environmental samples (e.g., what type of sewage, cutting boards, door handles, garbage truck)?

37. Why, and what specifically, were the 70 environmental samples obtained on January 12 from the market, after the 515 environmental samples obtained January 1 when the market was closed?

38. How many of the January 12 specimens were virus-positive?

39. What are the detailed results of testing in other markets in Wuhan, outside Wuhan in Hubei province, and outside Hubei province?

40. What animal species were tested e.g., those species now known to be susceptible to the virus e.g., ferrets, cats, mink, tigers, maybe dogs, others.

41. Were civets, raccoon dogs or red badgers tested given their reported susceptibility to SARS-CoV upon testing in 2003?

42. What species of pangolins were tested, and from what sources?

43.What are the complete data referenced in the March 13, 2020 article in the South China Morning Post (by Josephine Ma) titled: “Coronavirus: China’s first confirmed Covid-19 case traced back to November 17.”?

44. Where in Hubei province were each of the initial cases reported?

45. Were initial cases documented or suspected before November 17? If so, what were the results of those investigations epidemiologically?

46. What kind, if any, “Gain-of-Function” experiments were done with coronaviruses in any laboratories in Wuhan, or elsewhere in China, or in foreign laboratories in collaboration with other countries including the USA, Singapore, Australia, France, Netherlands, or any others?

47. Were any type of laboratory ferret-to-ferret passage of coronaviruses performed whether in Wuhan or elsewhere in China, or in collaboration with foreign laboratories? If so, what viruses were studied and what were the results?

48. Were coronaviruses studied in any ferret-to-ferret studies that came from different animal e.g., bats, pangolins, and/or other animals?

49. Why was the single specific environmental virus isolate from the Wuhan Huanan Seafood Market used chosen, as well as the single specific human isolate of the virus chosen in the experiments to infect ferrets in the “in the biosafety level 4 and animal biosafety level 4 facilities in the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute (HVRI) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)”? (Reference: Jianzhong Shi et al 29 May Science 2020; 368, 1016–1020, titled: “Susceptibility of ferrets, cats, dogs, and other domesticated animals to SARS–coronavirus 2.”).

50. Why has it never been reported exactly what type of “environmental samples” were obtained? (e.g., swabs from floors)

51. Where exactly in this market were the 33 virus-positive samples located?

52. What animals were sold on the 22 stalls in the Western Section of the Wuhan Seafood Market where 14 of the 31 positive samples came from?

53. What happened to the many animals in this market?

54. What information on the market investigation of the purported animal source of the virus in this Market was provided in this WHO mission report?

55. Why have antibody tests, IgM and IgG used to identify both humans and animals who were in Wuhan between September-December 2019 not been made public?

56. What has China reported about the results of testing for the SARS-CoV-2 in any of the many animals in this Wuhan Market?

57. What were the sources and types of wildlife species sold at this Market?

58. Why has China not disclosed this information about the animals?

59. Where was the “destination of the animals after the market was closed” and the results of “environmental sampling” from this Wuhan Seafood Market AND OTHER AREA MARKETS?

60. Why have the results of Antibody testing of family members and other persons in contact with the earliest patients (especially alleged November 17th one) not been made public?

61. Why has China not made publicly available the results of their investigation into the four key data streams mentioned by Dr. Bruce Alyward?

A.Vendor records of animal sales

B. Samples kept from swabbing the whole market, including gutters where urine & faeces collect

C. Freezers still full of animal parts

D. Tracking the earliest patients

62. Why were RaTG13 Sample Sequence Data uploaded by WIV listed as both Faecal Swabs and from BALF?

63. If RaTG13 samples were from BALF, where and when was the BALF collected?

64. via @franciscodeasis Thanks to @LynnFynn3 for the reminder

“Why did Zhengli Shi use a very wide window-size in the Simplot of her Nature paper? She knows how to do it correctly to catch a recombination event”:

Thanks for the snapshots @BillyBostickson

65.via @ch_zimmer

The first SARS epidemic ran from 2002 to 2003

Why, in 2004, could Chimeric SARS / HIV constructs be found in Chinese publications?

Why were they built and where are these sequences stored?

66. via @waittwoweeks

Are wastewater or other historical environmental samples from Wuhan available and have they been tested?

67. via @covidblogger

Why did the analysis in Shi Zhengli’s 2020 Nature paper (a pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin) cut off right at aa 675, not noticing the outstanding novel furin cleavage site at 680?


68. A particularly vicious question via @waittwoweeks

What are the “more than 1,500 different strains of virus” in the “largest virus bank in Asia”?

Take a look at the largest virus bank in Asia — — Wuhan Institute of V…

Archived 10 Apr 2020 22:51:02 UTC

69. Complex question in 2 parts via @ch_zimmer

A. When human ACE2 cDNA was transduced into NIH3T3 cells, the ACE2 expressing NIH3T3 cells could be infected with HIV/SARS pseudovirus, clearly showing that ACE2 was the functional receptor for SARSCoV

Expression Cloning of Functional Receptor Used by SARS Coronavirus — PubMed

We have expressed a series of truncated spike (S) glycoproteins of SARS-CoV and found that the N-terminus 14–502 residuals were sufficient to bind to SARS-CoV susceptible Vero E6 cells. With this…

70. Complex question in 3 parts via @ch_zimmer

B. What did they want to achieve by integrating the 3 inserts (GTNGTKR, NNKSWM & RSYLTPGD) into the spike protein?

C Why were these coded extremely HIV-related & not codon usage optimized which would have been much less noticeable?

71. via @ch_zimmer

D. GTNGTKR is a loop with a glycosylation site.

Why was this site used? Was it used for protection against antibody attacks or for prevention of ADE?

72. via @VafaOmid

Why were the three aforementioned charged insertions only found in RaTG13 and CoV-2 and not in other members of the beta Coronavirus lineage?

Are there other CoV strains with these site-specific insertions at the WIV?

73. via @VafaOmid

Do these 3 charged insertions improve surface sialic acid interactions & thereby increase the spectrum of target cells infected, including T-cells?

74. via @VafaOmid

Were Furin Cleavage (FC) sites and Pangolin Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) inserted into other Coronavirus strains held at the Wuhan Institute of Virology for Gain of Function and zoonotic transfer studies?

75. via @VafaOmid

Emphasis has been placed on experiments involving ferrets, but did the Wuhan Institute of Virology Lab use their available Hu ACE2 transgenic mouse systems to passage novel recombinant CoV constructs in GOF studies & to develop experimental models of infection?

76. via @waittwoweeks

Has the Wuhan Institute of Virology or any other group or institution in China conducted a phylodynamic analysis and if so what date of origin of the outbreak did the analysis yield?

77. via @VafaOmid

What exactly was United States NIH funding of Gain of Function Research on zoonotic transfer & transgenic studies of novel Coronaviruses aiming to achieve, if not developing models of infection with chimeric viruses (e.g. Ralph Baric’s spike protein studies)?

78. via @VafaOmid

Did the Wuhan Institute of Virology manage to study the novel chimeric CoVs in primate models that were proposed for therapeutic assessment by Menachery et al and the Baric lab in 2015?

79. via @VafaOmid

Was there an accidental lab leak of SARS-COV-2 resulting from:

A. a scientist being infected

B. a CoV-infected transgenic mouse or ferret escaping from the lab

C. Inadequate removal of experimental waste, cells, animals or sewage disposal

D. None of the above

80. via @KevinMcH3

A. What is the current condition of miners who survived the pneumonia outbreak at Tongguan mineshaft in 2013?

B. Where are they now?

C. What exactly do they have antibodies for, if any?

D. Have they had recent T Cell studies?

E. Are they available to speak to?

81. via @CZilcho

Related to Q12.

Have there been any documented biological safety and security related deviations, irregularities, malfunctions, inspections or maintenance of safety systems within the past 12 months at the Wuhan Institute of Virology?

82. via @waittwoweeks

Given that Shi Zhengli returned to Wuhan on 30 Dec to “immediately start testing patients’ samples” (taken that day) & sequenced the virus by 2 Jan, why was the sequence not immediately submitted?


How China’s ‘Bat Woman’ Hunted Down Viruses from SARS to the New Coronavirus

Wuhan-based virologist Shi Zhengli has identified dozens of deadly SARS-like viruses in bat caves, and she warns there are more out there

83. via @CZilcho

A. Were there any collaborative experimental projects between Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control (WHCDC) or Wuhan University IMA ABSL3 Lab?

B. If so, what where these projects?

C. Did WIV use either of their animal facilities?

84. via @angoffinet

Outbreak in Harbin/Shulan could originate from a leak from the P4 lab where they infected at least 58 animals.

As SARS2 can pass from human to mink & back, what happened at Harbin P4 where they infected ferrets & cats (who were aggressive & hard to handle)?

85. via @angoffinet

A. Where are key people involved in WIV, especially Peng Zhou?

B. or in WHCDC, especially Tian Jun Hua?

C. Where are the lab books from WIV, WHCDC and Harbin P4?




Billy Bostickson is the Public Relations Secretary for RAGE UNIVERSITY, the first free online University for Activists. Radical Activist Global Education.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Covid Vaccines: Fruit of a Poisoned Tree?

Gov Ball COVID Policy

The Virus Day 109, Dimondale, Michigan

Scheduling a Covid-19 Vaccine Appointment for Minors Using Zocdoc Vaccine Scheduler

Viruses are the Robinhood for all living organisms

Hospitals and staff overwhelmed amid COVID-19 surge

Fitness Buffs React to Wearing Masks in Suburban Maryland Gyms

How the Pandemic Has Changed Sex

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Billy Bostickson

Billy Bostickson

Billy Bostickson is the Public Relations Secretary for RAGE UNIVERSITY, the first free online University for Activists. Radical Activist Global Education.

More from Medium

“Me, Myself and I:” Subjective vs. Objective Worship

The Spinal Cord Stimulator

The Fourth Witcher Game Already Exists and It’s the Best One

Self-Realization in the “Post-Modern World”