Dated February 1st, one panicked e-mail to NIAID deputy director Hugh Auchincloss stated:
It is essential that we speak this AM. Keep your cell phone on. I have a conference call at 7:45am with Azar. It likely will be over by 8:45am. Read this paper as well as the e-mail that I will forward you now. You have tasks today that must be done.
The academic paper attached to the e-mail is titled: A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence.
It discussed how researchers in the United States and China were manipulating viruses to understand better how they might attach themselves to humans.
The abstract states:
Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system, we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone. The results indicate that group 2b viruses encoding the SHC014 spike in a wild-type backbone can efficiently use multiple orthologs of the SARS receptor human angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2), replicate efficiently in primary human airway cells and achieve in vitro titers equivalent to epidemic strains of SARS-CoV.
Per the National Institute for Health, “Gain-of-function (GOF) research involves experimentation that aims or is expected to (and/or, perhaps, actually does) increase the transmissibility and/or virulence of pathogens. Such research, when conducted by responsible scientists, usually aims to improve understanding of disease causing agents, their interaction with human hosts, and/or their potential to cause pandemics. The ultimate objective of such research is to better inform public health and preparedness efforts and/or development of medical countermeasures. Despite these important potential benefits, GOF research (GOFR) can pose risks regarding biosecurity and biosafety.”
Just one day later, Fauci receives correspondence claiming that Tedros (of the World Health Organization) and Bernhard [Schwartländer, his cabinet chief] had gone into “conclave.” This was presumably to decided on pandemic declarations or travel restrictions. They opted against such things, at the time, while President Trump was attempting to shut the U.S. borders: