The on-going cover-up concerning the Winnipeg and Wuhan labs

What was once only suspected and labeled as a racism-fueled conspiracy theory by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has now become “most probable” given the facts and admissions made public this past week. Pictured: The Government of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Photo Credit: Metro/Winnipeg Architecture Foundation.

Canadians are now learning about the gain-of-function virus research that was being conducted at Canada’s Winnipeg National Microbiology Laboratory and passed along to the infamous Wuhan Institute for Virology. 

What was once only suspected and labeled as a racism-fueled conspiracy theory by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has now become “most probable” given the facts and admissions made public this past week. However, the full story will not be confirmed anytime soon because Liberal and NDP MPs have quickly shut down all further inquiry into this sordid affair that, at best, is an embarrassing national security breach and, at worst, is a cover up of Canadian-sponsored research that may have indirectly contributed to the genesis of the COVID-19 virus. 

The research work shared between the Winnipeg and Wuhan labs is a story that the Liberal government has systematically attempted to keep from Canadians since the very first news reports of two scientists being escorted from the Winnipeg lab for undisclosed reasons. Trudeau repeatedly deflected questions about the Winnipeg scientists by accusing Conservative MPs of being “racists” and “breeding intolerance against Canadians of diverse origins.” Trudeau and his ministers stonewalled any inquiry, stating all information had to be kept secret for reasons of national security.

The extent to which the Trudeau Liberals went to keep the facts about the Winnipeg lab research secret has been extraordinary. The government defied four House of Commons orders to release documents, was found in contempt of Parliament, took the Speaker of the House to court, and then Trudeau dissolved Parliament and called a snap election, all to avoid disclosing to MPs the facts of what occurred in the lab.  

On Wednesday last, two-and-a-half years since the 2021 election, the government finally released a 600-plus page report to MPs that identifies two Chinese-Canadian scientists as having breached national security. Details within provide an account of work conducted in the Winnipeg lab and the links that the two scientists had with Chinese institutes and government agencies, and the virus research being conducted at the Wuhan lab.

Just as a parliamentary committee was beginning to delve into the documentation, the Liberals accused the Conservatives of spreading “disinformation” and Liberal MP Iqra Khalid immediately called for an end to the meeting. Liberal and NDP MPs banned together and voted to adjourn. The Liberals and NDPs indicate they have no intention of resuming the committee hearings, effectively blocking any further parliamentary investigation.

Yet, the facts of the matter as found in the government’s report speak to the significance of the research that was conducted in the Canadian lab and shared with China. (It is important to acknowledge the journalistic prowess of Globe and Mail reporters Robert Fife and Steven Chase, as well as independent newsman Sam Cooper, in ferreting out the facts regarding the China government’s activities in Canada). 

Point One: Two Chinese-Canadian scientists employed at the Winnipeg lab — Xiangguo Qiu, who served as head of a special pathogens unit respecting vaccine development and antiviral therapies, and her husband Keding Cheng, a biologist – were escorted from the lab facilities in July 2019 and had their security clearances revoked. After investigations by Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the two scientists were fired from their Canadian research positions in January 2021. 

Point Two: The CSIS report of January 2021 detailed Qiu’s association with multiple science “talent programs” run by Chinese authorities that “aim to boost China’s national technological capabilities and may pose a serious threat to research institutions, including government research facilities, by incentivizing economic espionage and theft of intellectual property.”

Point Three: Qiu was a well-regarded and well-placed scientist in China. In her resume used within the Chinese science community, Qiu lists her work with the Wuhan lab, the Hebei Medical University, China’s National Institute for Food and Drug Control, and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology. 

CSIS documents show that Qiu conducted research connected to China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). She also worked for the Wuhan lab for at least two months every year where she held responsibilities to build China’s “biosecurity platform for new and potent infectious disease research.”

CSIS also noted an employment agreement between Qiu and Hebei Medical University, where she graduated from an immunology program. Qiu was granted research funds of nearly $1.2 million from 2018 through 2022, and her renumeration was $15,000 per month when onsite.

Point Four: Dr. Qiu’s name appears as a co-author on more than 120 scientific research papers published in China between 2000 and 2021, many of which were funded by Chinese government agencies. CSIS noted that she collaborated in some scientific papers with Chinese military researchers, including Major-General Chen Wei of the PLA, who was recently officially recognized by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) President Xi Jinping for developing a Chinese COVID-19 vaccine.

Point Five: CSIS also notes Qiu led a gain-of-function project at the Wuhan lab that studied cross-species infection and pathogenic risks of filoviruses. Qiu’s research was to improve the ability of a pathogen to cause disease “in order to help define the fundamental nature of human-pathogen interactions.”

Point Six: Qiu was known to Canadian authorities to have “inappropriately disseminated, facilitated or authorized the dissemination of scientific data and other information” including to her personal computer, and stored and shared data using unauthorized USB keys. Apparently she was told multiple times not to use personal emails and data sharing.

Qiu’s husband, Cheng, also had a known history of sending lab-related emails through an account despite repeated warnings. Authorities were aware of Cheng giving encrypted USB keys with passwords to “restricted visitors” at the Winnipeg lab. 

Point Seven: CSIS uncovered Qui and Cheng had an undisclosed bank account in China’s Commercial Bank.

Point Eight: A PHAC investigation in 2021 concluded: “Dr. Qiu represents a very serious and credible danger to the Government of Canada as a whole and in particular at facilities considered high-security due to the potential for theft of dangerous materials attractive to terrorist and foreign entities that conduct espionage to infiltrate and damage the economy security of Canada.” 

The 2021 CSIS report said of Qiu that she “developed deep, cooperative relationships with a variety of PRC institutions and has intentionally transferred scientific knowledge and materials to China in order to benefit the PRC, and herself, without regard for the implications to her employer or to Canada’s interests.” That same CSIS report also concluded Cheng too represented a “very serious and credible security danger to the Government of Canada.” (Consider that the findings of the CSIS and PHAC reports were known to the government since 2021.)

Since the MPs’ hearings were shut down, there have been further details drawn to the public’s attention that underline the serious implications of what has transpired at the Winnipeg labs:

First, the Globe and Mail reported Qiu and Cheng collaborated with Chinese military researchers to study and conduct experiments on deadly pathogens such as Ebola, Lassa fever and Rift Valley fever. One of the Chinese researchers was from the PLA Academy of Military Medical Sciences and worked with Qiu and Cheng at the Winnipeg lab.

Second, CSIS reported that in March 2019 the Winnipeg lab shipped Nipah and Ebola viruses to Wuhan as requested by Qiu and, at the time, Qui also sent antibodies and other material to China without approval. In testimony before the U.S. Senate in 2022, Dr. Steven Quay, a Seattle-based physician-scientist, stated the Wuhan lab was engaged in gain-of-function, synthetic biology research on the deadly Nipah virus.

Third, Sam Cooper has uncovered that Qiu’s research work led to the Wuhan lab’s “synthetic bat filovirus” project. In 2019, Qiu was working with the PLA’s notorious “bat woman” Dr. Shi Zhengli — the very same scientist who is at the epicentre of the Covid-19 Wuhan lab-leak theory. 

Fourth, in his recent bombshell article, Cooper reminds the public that western intelligence agencies state “the most likely cause of the deadly pandemic was that Chinese scientists were working with bat viruses that leaked into Wuhan’s population in 2019.”

Sam Cooper punctuates the startling tie between Winnipeg and Wuhan when he writes: “What is irrefutable — according to the CSIS records — is that WIV secretly hired Qiu to advise the Wuhan lab on biosecurity, train its lab workers on safety, and employed Qiu precisely because she was the only “Chinese” scientist in the world with access to a Level 4 lab outside China.”

To think, the COVID-19 bat out of hell may have taken flight from Winnipeg. 


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