Drastic Research, an international network of scientists investigating the origins of the pandemic, exposed a grant proposal presented to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) by U.S.-based research organization EcoHealth Alliance (EHA) and headed by British zoologist Peter Daszak. The documents, which were leaked by an anonymous whistleblower, detail a US$14 million proposal dubbed “Project DEFUSE” that sought to identify the spillover risk of coronaviruses to “US warfighters” but was ultimately rejected due to potential gain of function (GoF) and DURC (dual use research of concern) research elements.

The most ambitious phase of the project was to vaccinate wild bats using aerosolized viruses. This was to include both broadscale immune boosting with “immune modulators” and targeted immune boosting with “novel chimeric polyvalent recombinant spike proteins.”