• Julie Collorafi

Decoding the Top-Secret "Human Lung Mice" Discussions in the Fauci Emails

Updated: Feb 1

Bat viruses, bat virus researchers, and “humanized” mice. Why are these subjects off-limits to the public in the Fauci emails? What are they hiding under the black boxes of redacted text?

Thousands of pages of Dr. Anthony Fauci's emails were obtained via FOIA request by BuzzFeed News staff and released to the public. One email chain of interest was about "SARS-CoV2 in humanized mice" with a related chain concerning "Human lung mice."

Dr. Kim Hasenkrug Appeals to the NIH

The "SARS-CoV2 in humanized mice" emails begin with a heavily redacted email on Feb. 2, 2020, from Dr. Kim Hasenkrug to Larry Tabak at the NIH:

More on the notorious Kim Hasenkrug

Kim Hasenkrug, director of the NIH's Rocky Mountain Labs in Montana, is co-author on several key BLT mice (mice engrafted with fetal liver and thymus) studies and has been mentioned in several of my previous articles. He was exposed by Judicial Watch as having purchased thousands of dollars' worth of fetal organs from ABR.

Hasenkrug's Feb. 2 email coordinates perfectly with a March 18 Washington Post article which reported that Haskenkrug "has been appealing for nearly a month to top NIH officials" for permission to use BLT-L mice (mice engrafted with fetal liver, thymus and lung) for COVID-19 research, but the Trump Administration's ban on fetal research was blocking him.

(More information on the construction of BLT-L mice here.)

A Washington Post Article Offers Clues

On March 18, 2020, the Washington Post reported that University of North Carolina researchers had offered to send the Rocky Mountain Lab almost three dozen BLT-L mice left over from their 2019 study so they could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 since Kim Hasenkrug's lab had access to that virus.

The article states that the mice engrafted with human lung tissue were good for three to four more experiments:

*From what we have learned from another study, the lung tissue must be replaced after every experiment with fresh lung tissue from aborted babies.

The Washington Post article notes that the UNC researchers' offer to Kim Hasenkrug came six months after the UNC scientists published their findings in the journal Nature Biotechnology about succeeded in implanting human fetal lung tissue into mice with their own immune systems removed."

The UNC study referred to in the Washington Post article is the Angela Wahl et al. precision mouse study published on Aug. 26, 2019:

At the time Kim Hasenkrug sent this email to Larry Tabak on February 2, Dr. Tabak was principal deputy director of the NIH. He is now acting director of the NIH.

Larry Tabak Helped Kim Hasenkrug with Fetal Research Projects in 2019

A year before, in February, 2019, a Science article reported that Kim Hasenkrug was complaining that the HHS had ended the NIH's fetal tissue contract with Advanced Bioscience Resources, which was preventing him from finishing his experiments with BLT mice and an antibody for HIV.

Dr. Larry Tabak is quoted, stating that stopping Hasenkrug's experiments "had resulted from a miscommunication," and "We're now figuring out ways to address that."

The NIH apparently found another fetal tissue supplier, and Hasenkrug's BLT humanized mice study was resumed:

"Our studies are back on track, thanks to the efforts of the NIH."

Interestingly, one year later, Hasenkrug is contacting Tabak again about making humanized mice for SARS-CoV2 research.

Larry Tabak Brings Hasenkrug's Request to Brett Giroir at the HHS

The next heavily redacted email in the chain, dated Feb. 20, the next day, is from Larry Tabak to Brett Giroir and Danielle Steele, from the Department of Health and Human Services:

Brett Giroir: "The HHS is pro-life and pro-science"

Brett Giroir, a Trump appointee, at the time of this email, was assistant Secretary to the HHS. He had worked for DARPA on biodefense programs.

In 2018, Giroir vowed that the HHS would pursue research alternatives to fetal tissue in the development of vaccines, if it can find "adequate alternatives." He said the HHS was "pro-life and pro-science."

Danielle Steele, also included in the Feb. 20 email from Larry Tabak, was the Counselor to the Secretary at HHS and was Senior Health Policy Advisor, Legislative Counsel at the U.S. House of Representatives.

Anthony Fauci Joins the Discussion

In the next emails to which Anthony Fauci has been added, from the same day, Larry and Brett go back and forth, then Brett asks Larry to call him. A few hours later Larry tells Brett, "I have discussed with both Francis and Tony. In regards to your question:" and a large redacted text box follows.

"Francis" refers to Francis Collins, the NIH director at the time of the emails.

Francis Collins: Fetal Research is God's Work

Francis Collins, a devout evangelical Christian, who wrote a book entitled, "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief," is nonetheless a staunch advocate of fetal tissue research.

In December, 2018, Collins insisted that “there is strong evidence that scientific benefits can come from fetal tissue research, which can be done with an ethical framework.”

In this video, Francis Collins explains his decision to endorse research with aborted baby organs, claiming that he prayed deeply about this issue and came to see it as God's work.

Larry, Tony and Francis Don't Agree with Brett?

There is an eleven-day pause in the email chain before Brett Giroir responds to Larry, Francis and Tony on March 2: "Thank you for your patience. The question has been raised (censored). I appreciate your willingness to work on this and respond to the questions I'm receiving."

Larry responds to Brett: "Tony or Francis may offer additional insight, but the (censored). I hope this helps."

Francis and Tony respond, confirming whatever Larry said in the redacted sentences:

The Human Lung Mice Chain

In the eleven-day interim between Brett and Larry's emails, on Feb. 29, Fauci and Steve Holland receive a long email from a redacted person with the subject line: "Human lung mice." The email begins: Hi Tony and Steve I thought I'd better fill you in on some recent communications. Dr."

Steven Holland is the NIH's Director of Intramural Research.

The Office of Intramural Research is responsible for the development and implementation of NIH-wide projects and policies, as well as the oversight and coordination of intramural research, training, & technology transfer conducted within the laboratories and clinics of the NIH.

(It seems likely that Steve Holland had received word of Dr. Hasenkrug's request to begin COVID-19 research with Ralph Baric's human lung mice. Note also "technology transfer" which would include the transfer of the mice from UNC to Rocky Mountain. Labs in Hamilton, Montana.)

The next email is seven minutes later, from Steve Holland to Anthony Fauci and the unknown person. Steve Holland says: "Thanks for the note," followed by a redacted sentence.

The last email in the "Human lung mice" chain is the next day, on a Sunday from Anthony Fauci to Steve Holland and the unknown person:

"Lease [sic] the decision up to HHS."

Going back to the first email chain, "SARS-CoV2 in humanized mice," we see that Brett Giroir (HHS) on March 2, the day after Fauci's email which said "Lease (sic) the decision up to HHS," answers Larry Tabak: "Thank you for your patience, etc."

(It seems likely from the tone of the email that Brett Giroir was letting Larry Tabak know that he had made his decision about Kim Hasenkrug's request.)

Larry Tabak responds to Brett an hour later at 8:14 pm, asking Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins to add their insights, "but" seems to add an objection, adding "I hope this helps."

Francis Collins jumps in, an hour later, at 9:32 pm agreeing with whatever Larry said: "Larry has it right. Tony may want to add."

The next day, Tony Fauci agrees with Larry Tabak and Francis Collins: "Ditto."

Decision on Hasenkrug's Appeal Left to the HHS?

It would appear that for some reason Anthony Fauci left the decision about Kim Hasenkrug using Baric's human lung mice up to Brett Giroir at the HHS, and Brett Giroir (who is against fetal tissue research) seems to have said "no" against the objections of the others.

Somehow the Washington Post magazine became aware of Kim Hasenkrug's request and reported that the Trump Administration's ban on fetal research was blocking him from using UNC's specialized mice with fetal lung tissue:

The same article points out that the HHS spokeswoman said, "no decision had been made yet about Kim Hasenkrug's request." Article also reports that Kim Hasenkrug was placed under a gag order by federal officials:

The March 19 Washington Post article also reports that "A person familiar with where things stand . . . said the requests had been forwarded about two weeks ago to the White House’s Domestic Policy Council and that and that HHS and NIH were waiting for a decision there," which corresponds with the end of the "SARS-CoV2 in humanized mice" email chain on March 3.

Kerry Lavender Steps In To Save the Day

The same article then focuses on Kerry Lavender, an associate researcher at Kim Hasenkrug's NIH Rocky Mountain Labs who had moved to the University of Saskatchewan to pursue her fetal tissue humanized mice research after the Trump Administration's ban.

Kerry Lavender is an expert on BLT mouse construction, and has published many key BLT mouse studies. She developed a special strain of mice, the es, the Rag2−/−γc−/−CD47−/− (TKO) strain to be used in the construction of BLT mice.

The Washington Post article states that Kerry Lavender said that Kim Hasenkrug, her mentor, asked her to undertake the coronavirus research he was prevented from doing.

The article states that Kerry said she is "scrambling to try to carry out the experiments but is uncertain whether “we can pull it off. . . . I’m a new investigator with only so much funding."

She added that she does not have immediate access to the kind of biohazard containment facility needed to do the work safely. “If we were able to do this within the NIH, we would be able to do this much more quickly,” Lavender said.

Kim Hasenkrug's BLT-L mouse project successfully moved to Saskatoon?

As I have documented in other articles, all of these obstacle, the funding and even the addition of a BSL-4 biosafety lab, the highest level of containment, have been overcome at the University of Saskatchewan where Kerry Lavender is currently making a large supply of Ralph Baric's BLT-L mice.

The Fauci email chains on humanized mice segue perfectly into the University of Saskatchewan BLT-L humanized mouse project. It's not clear what the ultimate decision of the HHS and Trump Administration was, but the project seems to have moved to Saskatoon instead of to Rocky Mountain Labs.

Kerry received funding from the government of Canada and joined with VIDO-InterVac to use the mice to test a pancoronavirus vaccine.

As for the BSL-4 containment facility Kerry wanted, the Director of VIDO-InterVac in Saskatoon announced on Global News on August 31, 2021, that the facility had bumped up their containment level to a BSL-4 (airborne pathogens that cause severe to fatal disease in humans, for which there is no known antidote).

It's apparently "all systems go" at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon where Kerry Lavender has successfully picked up the pieces when Kim Hasenkrug's plans to make Ralph Baric's highly prized and top-secret human lung mice at Rocky Mountain Labs in Montana failed.

Of course, we await the declassification of the Fauci emails to confirm that this is the drama being played out in those email chains, but the corresponding narrative in the Washington Post article appears to be a perfect match and the key to decoding it.

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