A new taxpayer-funded lab is being built in Colorado that will import bats from around the world and experiment on dangerous diseases, DailyMail.com can reveal.
The multi-million-dollar project is a collaboration between Dr Anthony Fauci’s old department at the National Institutes of Health, Colorado State University (CSU) and EcoHealth Alliance (EHA), a controversial research group at the center of the Covid lab leak theory.
Proposals seen by this website show how the 14,000sq-ft facility could store and study some of the most transmissible pathogens on the planet – including Ebola, Nipah virus and Covid-19.
Researchers behind the plans said the lab will boost America’s ‘ability to study the role of bats in disease transmission and help us become even stronger in researching emerging zoonotic pathogens.’
But Republican Senators still reeling from a lack of answers about the origins of Covid told DailyMail.com they fear the facility – which has not started construction but is due to open in 2025 – could start a ‘pandemic on US soil.’
The lab is proposed to import, house, breed and experiment on dozens to hundreds of bats and will be located on Colorado State University’s Foothill Campus, in the city of Fort Collins
The above are draft floor plans of the 14,00sq-ft bat facility. The floorplan was included in documents obtained by the White Coat Waste Project and provided to DailyMail.com
Photos of bats used at a separate NIH lab exposed by DailyMail.com
The facility will be built on the CSU’s Foothill Campus campus in Fort Collins, which is around 60miles north of Denver and has a population of around 168,000.
Fort Collins residents have already voiced their concerns over its construction at planning committee meetings.
They fear the lab could spread diseases like Covid-19 and spark another pandemic.
The site, referred to as the Chiropteran Research Facility in documents, is slated to be built just 380 feet from the border fence of university land to neighboring houses.
The lab is proposed to import, house, breed and experiment on dozens to hundreds of bats. On CSU’s website for the lab, it lists the facility as a biosafety level 2 (BSL-2) research center.
BSL-2 labs work with pathogens associated with human disease that pose a ‘moderate’ health hazard, such as Hepatitis, HIV and salmonella.
However, older documents reviewed by DailyMail.com suggest scientists wanted to infect bats with Covid, Ebola and Nipah virus.
A document submitted by CSU researchers in December 2022 states: ‘We will infect horseshoe bats with SARS-CoV2 and a SARSr-CoV detected in these bats.’
Dr Peter Daszak (pictured left alongside Dr Anthony Fauci) oversees EcoHealth Alliance, which is involved with the development of the Colorado lab. The proposals were approved when Dr Fauci was overseeing the NIAID
The above is a digital rendering of the proposed new bat lab to be constructed on Colorado State University’s campus. The rendering was included in documents obtained by the White Coat Waste Project and provided to DailyMail.com
Plans for the new facility were proposed in 2019 but the project was not selected to receive funding at that time.
The documents provided by the White Coat Waste Project obtained through a Colorado Open Records request, show that in a April 2020 email, Dr Greg Ebel, director of CSU’sCenter for Vector-borne Infectious Diseases, called CSU ‘an ideal environment for locating a bat facility due to our longstanding interest in emerging zoonotic and vector-borne infections and our commitment to developing infrastructure to support research in this area.’
The proposal, he said, ‘represents a unique opportunity to rapidly accelerate US capacity for housing, breeding and using bats in biomedical research.’
Nearly two years later, in October 2021, CSU received a $6.7million grant for the project from the NIH.
An original budget was set for $8million, with $6.7million coming from the grant and the remaining being provided by CSU.
However, the budget has increased to $11.83million, with CSU upping its contribution from $1.25million to $5.08million.
The timeline of the project was also extended.
Construction was slated to kick off Summer 2023 and completed approximately one year later. However, no construction has begun and the new estimated opening date is September 2025.
While reporting of the proposed lab is not new, documents obtained by WCW and provided to DailyMail.com show a multi-year, multi-agency coordinated effort to establish a bat research group and a research facility originally intended for high containment pathogens.
Emails and notes from meetings show communication and proposed collaboration between people from EHA, CSU, the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), — the lab where Covid-19 is believed to have originated — and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), formerly run by Dr Fauci.
Justin Goodman, senior vice president of WCW, told DailyMail.com: ‘The records outline years of coordination between EHA, CSU, Fauci’s NIAID, DOD, foreign collaborators, and even the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) to set up the facility.
‘Together these actors put in a considerable effort to establish the CSU bat facility over many years and exploited the COVID-19 pandemic to receive funding for it. Our document details CSU’s direct ties to WIV, Ben Hu and Batwoman.’
Shi Zhengli, dubbed ‘batwoman’ for her work on bat coronaviruses, worked in the WIV throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Early documents from 2017 show Zhengli attended a symposium hosted by CSU that served as a kickoff for the Global Bat Alliance, a group proposed to ‘build and leverage country and regional capabilities to generate an enhanced understanding of bats and their ecology within the context of pathogens of security concern.’
Additional documents from 2018 show Zhengli agreeing to a collaboration between CSU and WIV. She was scheduled to attend a CSU international bat conference but in February 2020 declined due to safety concerns over the emerging pandemic.
No further communication with Zhengli is evidenced after that in the documents.
EHA, a New York based nonprofit that conducts research on wildlife viruses led by Dr Peter Daszak, has been studying different coronaviruses in bats for more than 10 years with funding from the NIH.
In December 2022, Dr Andrew Huff, the former vice president of EHA, became a whistleblower and said he believed grant funding provided to the organization by the NIH was linked to the ‘creation of SARS-CoV-2.’
Dr Huff claimed the pandemic was the result of the US government funding of dangerous genetic engineering of coronaviruses in China.
Shi Zhengli – dubbed the ‘Bat Lady’ or ‘Bat Woman’ for her work on bat coronaviruses – investigated the possibility Covid could have emerged from her lab back in 2020, according to colleagues
Alan Rudolph, CSU’s vice president for research, told the Coloradoan, the bats will be acquired by the government from around the world, ‘quarantined well outside the United States and deemed safe and not sick before they come to us.’
When contacted for comment, EHA directed DailyMail.com to a web summary of its work and collaboration with CSU, but said it could provide no further details at this time.
CSU directed this website to its 2021 press release announcing the award of their NIH grant.
The NIH and NIAID have not returned a request for comment.
CSU is a premier research facility for studying bats dating back to the 1980s. When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, researchers were able to use what they already knew about bats to help contribute to early responses in 2020.
It currently conducts its bat research in its Center for Vector-Borne Diseases, which houses one of the only bat breeding colonies for use in experimental research in bat-borne viral diseases in the US.
Dr Ebel said in a 2021 press release: ‘The new center will be a one-of-a-kind facility dedicated to maintaining bat colonies for research.
‘This award will dramatically increase our ability to study the role of bats in disease transmission and help us become even stronger in researching emerging zoonotic pathogens.’
Dr Ebel said the facility was proposed to house a breeding colony of fruit bats ‘known to be natural reservoirs for henipaviruses, filoviruses, and coronaviruses.’
Calling it the first of its kind in the world, he said the lab would be an important resource to conduct experimental work involving high containment pathogens, such as Ebola, through a partnership with EHA, NIAID and Rocky Mountain Laboratories, a Montana-based bat lab that DailyMail.com recently revealed was tinkering with coronaviruses a year before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Republican Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale is working to defund similar research at that NIH lab in his home state.
He told DailyMail.com: ‘Taxpayers shouldn’t be funding EcoHealth Alliance or the construction of new US labs that import Asian bats for risky virus research that can cause a pandemic on US soil.
‘My common sense amendments to the NIH’s 2024 spending bill would undo some of the damage done by Anthony Fauci by defunding NIH research programs he supported that put public health and national security at risk.’
The facility will be built just 380 feet from the border fence of university land to neighboring houses and in November 2022, the county that houses CSU announced a public meeting to discuss plans for the bat lab. A notice was sent to people living within 500 feet of the proposed building. GOOD
At the meeting, the Larimer County Planning Commission approved construction unanimously, but residents voiced their concerns.
More than a dozen said they were worried about research in the new facility spreading diseases like Covid, false assurances of compliance to state and federal laws, noise pollution and concerns the NIH bribed CSU to establish the facility.
Residents also said the state should not be wasting time on researching bats and should be investigating vaccine injuries, ventilator deaths and jail-like hospitals.
Additionally, an initiative called the Covid Bat Research Moratorium of Colorado wants to put the project on hold, saying on its website more information should first be compiled regarding a ‘possible Covid bat lab leak and gain-of-function research in Wuhan, China.
However, CSU insists the facility will follow the strictest biosafety standards and have oversight of its biosafety compliance by multiple organizations.
The university says on its website: ‘This research is important. Bats hold unique, critically-important clues to understanding why and how people and animals get sick when exposed to disease-causing organisms known as pathogens.
‘CSU is the best place in the world to do this research. The university is one of few places already studying bats and infectious diseases, and has done these studies for 15 years. CSU is building this facility to help other scientists across the world study bats.
‘This building and the research inside are safe. CSU has studied infectious diseases since the 1960s and has a long track-record of expertise, safety, and compliance.
‘Bats will be contained within the building at all times. The building will be highly secure and specially designed for housing bats and low-risk research. And, it will provide bats with big areas that mimic their natural habitat.’
The latest developments, according to WCW’s documents, took place between Oct. 4 and 6 when the CSU board of governors met. Documents show that as of September, ‘construction is awarded and contracting is underway.’