Imperial College of London has created a new and potentially deadly strain of COVID, according to a report.
Researchers at the Imperial College London have combined the original Wuhan strain with the Omicron or Delta variants, the Daily Mail reported.
The college denies the experiments constitute as gain-of-function and is yet to reveal how lethal the strain they created is.
Dr. Richard Ebright, a molecular biology expert, took to Twitter to warn against the new mutant strain, which was tested on hamsters in London, writing, “is insanity, both in terms of the redundancy and waste,” and that it has zero “foreseeable practical applications.”
“At least four labs on two continents now have constructed non-natural, lab-generated viruses that retain the high immune escape of Omicron and acquire higher severity than Omicron and that, as such, are reasonably expected to increase transmission or pathogenicity in humans,” he wrote.
Because the research was strictly confirmatory, and because the research had no foreseeable practical applications, there were at best minimal benefits to research, and the risk-benefit ratio of the research was at best highly unfavorable.
This is insanity. Both In terms of the redundancy and waste. And, especially, in terms of the risk of triggering a new pandemic wave upon accidental release of the lab-generated viruses--a risk exacerbated by the fact the lab-generated viruses are present in multiple locations.
This should be a wake-up call.
Professor Shmuel Shapira, former director of the Israeli Government's Institute for Biological Research, stated that similar research should be banned because it is effectively “playing with fire” due to the high risk the virus could escape.
Edit: The original article indicated that the University of London produced the experiments. It did not. We apologize for the error.