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Eminent Physician-Scientist Issues Open Letter Response to March 30 WHO Report; States That Five Undisputed Facts Support Laboratory Origin of COVID Virus; Suggests “Gain-of-Function” Research at Fault and Believes Moratorium Should Be Re-Considered

An Open Letter concerning the just-released WHO Report on the origin of the COVID virus was published today (March 30, 2021) by Steven Quay (photo), MD, PhD, CEO of Atossa Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATOS), and former Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine. The letter is titled "To Stop the Next Pandemic, Evidence That Is Undisputed Favoring Lab Origin of COVID Needs to Be Acknowledged." The Open Letter can be downloaded from Zenodo, a general-purpose open-access repository operated by CERN, here: Open Letter to the WHO ( A short “explainer” video about the letter can be found here: Open Letter - Video Explainer ( The purpose of the Open Letter is to help readers of the WHO report understand the five facts that scientists agree on and which support the conclusion that an accidental laboratory-acquired infection was likely responsible for the COVID pandemic. According to Dr. Quay, the five undisputed facts are: 1. COVID-19 wasn't smoldering in the community before the epidemic broke out, as was observed with previous coronavirus epidemics. 2. Despite an intense search, neither the COVID virus, nor any close relative, has yet been found in nature, unlike prior natural zoonoses. The closest viral relative is from the laboratories of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, near the epicenter of the first cases. 3. The COVID virus had little genetic diversity at the outset, unlike prior natural zoonoses. It was genetically pure, like the man-made vaccines being rolled out. 4. The COVID virus's powerful infectious trigger isn't found anywhere in its related viral group in nature, but has been repeatedly inserted into viruses by laboratory scientists, including at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. 5. The virus was highly adapted for infection of people from the start, unlike prior natural zoonoses. Growing viruses in humanized mice is a common technique to hone their lethal abilities.


"Because I strongly believe this COVID virus was a gain-of-function experiment that went wrong, we owe the families of the 2.7 million who died answers to why this happened," stated Dr. Quay. "Because without this recognition, and the public debate on whether gain-of-function experiments should continue, the next pandemic is right now being created somewhere in the dozens of laboratories around the world doing these dangerous experiments. Maybe it's time for the moratorium on gain-of-function research to be restored before the next pandemic arrives."

To try to assist the WHO in its process, a pre-publication copy of this Open Letter was sent to over thirty scientists worldwide, including the WHO investigators, Wuhan Institute of Virology scientists, US NIH and National Academy of Medicine leaders, as well as other prominent virologists.


Dr. Steven Quay has 360+ published contributions to medicine and has been cited over 10,000 times, placing him in the top 1% of scientists worldwide. He holds 87 US patents and has invented 7 FDA-approved pharmaceuticals which have helped over 80 million people. He is the author of the best-selling book on surviving the pandemic, Stay Safe: A Physician's Guide to Survive Coronavirus. He is the CEO of Atossa Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: ATOS), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for oncology and infectious diseases.

Dr. Quay received his MD and PhD. from The University of Michigan, was a postdoctoral fellow in the Chemistry Department at MIT with Nobel Laureate H. Gobind Khorana, a resident at the Harvard-MGH Hospital, and spent almost a decade on the faculty of Stanford University School of Medicine. A TEDx talk he delivered on breast cancer prevention has been viewed over 220,000 times.

His scientific manuscript entitled, "A Bayesian Analysis Concludes Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That SARS-CoV-2 Is Not a Natural Zoonosis But Instead Is Laboratory Derived," ( has been viewed over 115,000-times. An article on this manuscript is available on BioQuick News at the following link ( For more information on Dr. Quay, visit

[Press release]