MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. Researchers from EcoHealth Alliance, a US-based non-governmental organization, studied over 2,500 bats in an effort to identify new strains of the coronavirus, said Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, head of Russia’s Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) Protection Troops.
"The intermediary organization EcoHealth Alliance has played a key role in implementing projects to study this pathogen. Since 2015, the organization’s researchers have been involved in studying a diverse population of bats, searching for new coronavirus strains and mechanisms for animal-to-human transmission. Over 2,500 bats have been studied," he pointed out.
According to Kirillov, US-based Johns Hopkins University conducted the Event 201 drills in New York on October 18, 2019, two months before the first coronavirus cases were officially reported in China. The activity was aimed at practicing the steps that would be taken during an epidemic of an unknown coronavirus, which, according to the ostensible rationale for the exercise, was transmitted from bats to humans through swine.
"The fact that the [actual] pandemic unfolded exactly according to this scenario, as well as the implementation of EcoHealth Alliance’s projects, gives rise to questions as to whether COVID-19 was in fact an intentionally man-made disease and whether the US may have had a hand in this incident," the head of the Russian Armed Forces’ NBC Protection Troops concluded.