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The White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has asked scientists to investigate whether the deadly 2019 Coronavirus was bio-engineered in a laboratory.

ABC News reports that the OSTP sent a letter to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, asking that scientific experts "rapidly" look into the origins of the virus.

The news comes amid reports that the virus was developed in the only level 4 biohazard lab in China.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology lab is located near the Wuhan fish and wildlife market where Chinese authorities claim the virus jumped from animal to human.

ABC News' Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton asked the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease about concerns that the coronavirus could have been engineered or deliberately released into the population in Wuhan, China.

"There's always that concern," Dr. Anthony Fauci said. "And one of the things that people are doing right now is very carefully looking at [gene] sequences to see if there's even any possibility much less likelihood that that's going on."

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The White House has good reason to be concerned that the 2019 Coronavirus may have been developed inside a laboratory.

Zerohedge.com was immediately banned from Twitter.com after publishing a detailed article describing the work of one of China's top virologists and immunology experts, Dr. Peng Zhou.

For over a decade, Peng studied the immune system of Chinese horseshoe bats, which carry some of the world's deadliest pathogens such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and Ebola, Marburg virus, and Lassa Virus.

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Peng studied bats to understand why they carried such dangerous pathogens inside them but never get sick.

Normally, SARS-like Coronavirus found in bats can not infect humans. Bat virus would have to be genetically engineered in a lab or evolve naturally in nature to infect humans.

The theory is that Peng and his team of researchers - after discovering they couldn't make the bats sick - began experimenting with bat Coronavirus to modify it to bind to human ACE2 receptor cells in the lungs to infect humans.

Zerohdege.com reports that Peng studied the STING pathway immune defenses in bats and injected the bats with genetically altered virus to overcome their pathways in order to make the bats sick. But the virus did not enter the bat cells.

Peng discovered that the combined SARS-like Coronavirus and HIV superbug could not attach to bat ACE2 receptor cells.

But the superbug was able to enter human cells via human ACE2 receptor cells.

Peng justified his research by claiming he modified the bat virus in order to develop a vaccine before the bat virus could naturally evolve to infect humans in nature.

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The Chinese government forced a TV host to apologize for popularizing the consumption of cooked bats after the wild animals were linked to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Bat soup is a delicacy in some areas of China. Bats were among the wild animals illegally sold at a wholesale fish market in Wuhan, China where the first case of the virus was identified earlier this month.

The new coronavirus has killed 56 people - including a doctor - in China and sickened thousands more. Some figures estimate that up to 90,000 people are infected with the virus in China.

The woman hosted a TV show called Beauty Eats Bats which originally launched in 2016. In video clips from the show, the woman displays a cooked bat to the camera. She tears the bat apart with her fingers and marinates the meat in soy sauce before eating it.

In a new video clip the host apologized profusely to her viewers for encouraging the consumption of bats. She urged her viewers to wash their hands often - the recommended way to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Chinese government has closed 14 cities and canceled air travel and public transportation. The government came under fire for initially lying about the scale of the infection.

Construction workers are rushing to build 2 new hospitals in Wuhan with 2,000 beds to cope with the outbreak. One of the hospitals will open its doors on Feb. 3.

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500 construction workers operating hundreds of heavy machinery are working day and night to build a 1,000-bed coronavirus hospital in just 7 days to cope with the deadly Wuhan coronavirus.

The six-acres of dirt will be the site of a new 1,000-bed hospital just one week from now. The hospital is expected to open on February 3.

Experts warn that 350,000 people will be infected with the deadly coronavirus in the city of Wuhan alone.

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The hospital will comprise of multiple buildings made out of pre-fabricated components and shipping containers that will be assembled in place on the site.

The facility is of the utmost urgency as coronavirus cases quadruple every day.

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Aerial photos show workers driving dozens of excavators while hundreds of dump trucks line up at the construction site of an emergency field hospital in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

The Wuhan coronavirus has killed 26 people and infected nearly 10,000 more around the world so far this month, dailymail.com reported.

Airport officials are screening arriving travelers for fevers in Los Angeles, Washington state, New York, Washington D.C. and Atlanta.

The virus, which leaped from fish or animals to humans, is linked to a wholesale fish market miles from the Wuhan laboratory.

The contagion is easily spread through close contact with infected persons and through the air by coughing or sneezing.

The virus replicates rapidly in the lungs and overwhelms the respiratory system, causing inflammation and swelling in lung tissue, making it difficult for the patient to breathe. The cause of death is usually organ failure.

Symptoms include a fever, shortness of breath, cough, runny nose, headache and sore throat.

China has locked down 14 cities, canceled public transportation and closed roads in and out of cities to stop the spread of the virus.

A woman bragged on social media that she had a fever but she took medication to cheat screeners at an airport in Wuhan so she could leave the city. The woman was tracked down in Paris, France by health officials. She tested negative for the virus.

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Doctors in Chicago confirmed a coronavirus case there. Doctors say a woman who recently returned to the U.S. from Wuhan, China called ahead to a clinic in Chicago to say she had symptoms.

Tests confirmed the woman was infected with the deadly SARS-like virus. The news comes as China shut down 17 cities and canceled public transportation while closing roads to prevent the spread of the virus.

Early reports claimed the mysterious pneumonia-type virus leaped from fish and animals to humans. London's dailymail.com reports the virus "accidentally" escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan that tests biological weapons.

The contagion is easily spread through close contact with infected persons and through the air by coughing or sneezing.

The virus replicates rapidly in the lungs and overwhelms the respiratory system, causing swelling in lung tissue and making it difficult for the patient to breathe. The cause of death is usually organ failure.

The first case in the U.S. was confirmed at a hospital in Seattle, Washington. That patient is being treated by a robot to cut down on exposure to healthcare workers.

The World Health Organization (WHO) met Wednesday night but they failed to declare a global emergency, saying there is no evidence that the virus has spread beyond China.

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YouTube.com

A mouse startled customers when it jumped into a deep fryer at a Central Texas Whataburger restaurant. The incident happened in full view of paying customers at a Whataburger in Bastrop, Texas on Sunday morning.

A Facebook user shared video of the mouse running around on a countertop near the deep fryer station. The Facebook user provided narration as a customer went behind the counter to trap the mouse.

As the customer attempted to catch the mouse, the terrified critter leaped into the deep fryer full of hot grease.

Brushawn Lewis, who uploaded the video, wrote, "This s--- is crazy I'm at whataburger in Bastrop Tx. It's a damn rat just out in the open!".

"Oh, he went in the grease! That h*e is fried!" said Lewis. The video was viewed over 1 million times.

A restaurant worker offered refunds to customers who waited patiently for their orders.

A spokesman for Whataburger restaurants responded to the Facebook post, saying the particular Whataburger location was shut down and "sanitized".

"Thank you for bringing this to our attention. At Whataburger, cleanliness and food safety are top priorities for us. In this instance, we closed the restaurant out of an abundance of caution and notified pest control. The entire restaurant has since been cleaned and sanitized. We addressed this situation as quickly as possible, reinforcing procedures with our Family Members. While we'll continue to be very diligent, it's important to know there was no history of this type incident at this unit and there is no ongoing issue. A member of our team would like to reach out and address any concerns. Can you please share your contact information with us?"