BU Researchers Create Dangerous COVID Variant
To the Editor:
Lab-constructed Omi-S was created without consent of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. NIAID’s director stated the agency was not informed this was the path COVID research was taking at BU’s lab.
The lab-created Omi-S COVID variant combines the original Wuhan virus with an Omicron variant’s Spike Proteins. The resulting virus generates 30 times more infectious particles in mouse lungs than the mild Omicron variants now in our population. It is important to know these are “humanized mice;” genetically engineered to have cell receptors like our own to which the virus can bind. Lab-constructed Omi-S demonstrates 80% mortality in these test mice, compared to 0% mortality in mice infected with the present low-malignancy Omicron virus.
Due to inclusion of Omicron spike proteins, lab-created Omi-S carries the extremely contagious aspect of Omicron, which allows repeated reinfection despite boosters or previous infection. The researchers have wed this infectivity to the original Wuhan strain, which retains its great malignancy. Omi-S was shown to be as resistant to vaccines and natural immunity as is Omicron, but it caused acute lung pathology and central nervous system damage in those test mice. These effects didn’t occur in the mice infected with Omicron alone.
We should be alarmed that Boston University labs, and perhaps other labs, have been tinkering with the COVID-19 virus, and in the case of BU have created a variant more dangerous than any of the “natural forms” we have experienced to date! We have learned to our sorrow that safety protocols in research have not prevented accidental deadly escapes of experimental products!