Last year, ICAN made FOIA requests to NIH for documents regarding COVID-19, including two requests for Anthony Fauci’s emails. ICAN has received nearly 3,000 emails sent by Fauci from early February 2020 through May 2020. Read what Fauci was saying privately about masks, therapeutics, vaccines, ventilators, and many other COVID-19 topics. On April 10, 2020 and May 5, 2020, respectively, ICAN submitted the following two FOIA requests: · All emails sent by Anthony Fauci between November 1, 2019 and the present that include the term Moderna or mRNA-1273 in any portion of the email. · All emails sent by Anthony Fauci between November 1, 2019 and the present that include the terms SARS-CoV, COVID, COVID-19, or coronavirus in any portion of the email. When NIH failed to respond to those requests, ICAN brought a lawsuit against the agency on June 29, 2020. In response, NIH agreed to produce Fauci’s emails on a rolling basis. To date, we have received 2,957 pages of Fauci’s sent emails dated between early February 2020 through May 2020 and will continue to receive email productions on a rolling basis. Read Fauci’s emails here and a few highlights from these emails are outlined below:
February 5-6, 2020 (000239) – Fauci asked to recommend names for WHO group with the broad mission to “look at the origins and evolution of 2019n-CoV.” Fauci responds by seeking to reframe the mission in a manner that would only look for natural and not lab made origin.
February 7, 2020 (000189) – Fauci sent an internal NIAID communication reflecting that it was unlikely that the SARS-CoV-2 virus originated in a wet market.
February 16, 2020 (000447) – Fauci tells CBS reporter that if the mortality turns out to be 0.2% to 0.4%, then SARS-CoV-2 should be treated like a severe seasonal flu. But when the case fatality rate was later revised to between 0.2% and 0.4% by the CDC, Fauci continued to act as if the virus was something far more dangerous.
February 17, 2020 (000422) – Fauci receives communication from a Chinese citizen that is part of an international student program in the United States stating that, based on his contacts back in Wuhan, including correspondence from a nurse working in a Wuhan hospital, there is far more spread of the virus and far more deaths than China is admitting.
February 21, 2020 (000300) – Fauci asks a Deputy Director at NIAID to “Please handle” an email received by a group of doctors and scientists, including a virologist, that opined that “we think there is a possibility that the virus was released from a lab in wuhan (sic).”
February 23, 2020 (000257) – Fauci states “Transmission is definitely by respiratory droplet” and that “Children have very low rate of infection.”
February 22, 2020 (000274-277) – Fauci confirms that “The vast majority of people outside of China do not need to wear a mask. A mask is more appropriate for someone who is infected than for people trying to protect against infection.”
February 27, 2020 (000649) – Fauci tells Morgan Fairchild to tell her followers to be ready for “social distancing, teleworking, temporary closure of schools, etc.”
February 28, 2020 (001054) – Fauci, while uncertain what animal may have served as the intermediary jump from bats to humans for SARS-CoV-2, keeps repeating the narrative that it was a jump from bats through some natural non-lab means that was the origin of the virus.
February 28, 2020 (001059) – Fauci giving personal update to Mark Zuckerberg regarding developing a COVID-19 vaccine including telling Zuckerberg that “We may need help with resources” and that if there is a delay in the development timeline he just told Zuckerberg about, “I will contact you.”
March 1, 2020 (000922) – CBS’s Chief Medical Correspondent, seeking to please Fauci, emails Fauci a link to his segment which he appears to repeat what Fauci has told him, including that face masks “may give some partial protection by catching droplets containing virus but the virus is so tiny the virus can go right through it or around it” and describing the origin of the virus as “jumping from animals to people.” Fauci responds with “Outstanding!!” apparently pleased that CBS pushed Fauci’s narrative that the virus was a natural jump from bats to humans.
March 1, 2020 (000937) – Despite media reports, Fauci makes it crystal clear he was not being muzzled by the White House.
March 16, 2020 (001554) – Fauci is asked “Given the relative safety of all but the elderly and those whose immune systems are compromised, and that they are far fewer than the rest of the population, why not quarantine only them?” and responds by stating “Stay tuned.”
March 17, 2020 (001537) – The next day, it does not appear Fauci intends to change his tune of pushing everyone, even healthy people with low risk of the virus, to give up all civil liberties and remain prisoners in their home, as reflecting in an email exchange between Fauci and Mark Zuckerberg, in which they share mobile numbers and plan to coordinate efforts to get people to comply with Fauci’s messaging, including social distancing for everyone, but the details of their plan are not included in the email exchange.
March 31, 2020 (001816) – Fauci receives a summary from his agency of the studies regarding how effective masks are to preventing the virus and the conclusion is as follows: “Bottom line: generally there were not differences in ILI/URI/or flu rates when masks were used.”
April 2, 2020 (001778) – Fauci and Bill Gates have phone call where they agreed to a “collaborative” and “synergistic approach to COVID-19 on the part of NIAID/NIH, BARDS and the BMGF (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation).” It is concerning that one private person, Bill Gates, and his organization, BMGF, can exert that much behind-the-scenes influence on decisions that will impact the civil rights of all Americans during the pandemic.
April 8, 2020 (002351-2352) – Fauci, rejects most requests for calls, but accepts without any questions a request to arrange a call with the CEO of a Lilly, a major pharmaceutical company.
April 11, 2020 (002263-2264) – While Fauci claimed to have little time for anything else, Fauci confirmed the continued filming of “a film that will celebrate the importance of your [Fauci’s] life, science and public health” including filming during his “drive to NIH … once or twice a week,” “capture your working/appropriate conversations,” and “work on the Task Force.”
April 12, 2020 (002229) – Fauci writes “Many tests that have been used thus far are not accurate and ARE MISLEADING.”
April 16, 2020 (002142) – Fauci advises that even in the health care setting the mask policy should remain “voluntary.”
April 20, 2020 (002548-2549) – A Washington Post reporter contacts Katie Miller at NIAID for copies of article that Fauci stated are proof that the virus originated by natural means rather than being developed in a lab. Instead of letting Katie Miller or someone on his staff respond, Fauci, who stated he gets 1,000 or 2,000 emails per day and only has time to respond to a tiny number of these emails, personally responds to the Washington Post reporter (who did not even write to Fauci) with the copies of the studies.
April 22, 2020 (002471-2472) – The National Academy of Science representative confirming to Dr. Francis Collins, head of NIH, that “WHO, Gates Foundation and European Commission have been leading and planning” the “global coordinating effort to accelerate vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics” and that “there will be an announcement on the global structure with will [sic] involve Gates, WHO etc.” and Fauci explains in an email that “we have Gates reps on our ACTIV (Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines) working groups.” Why is an unelected individual with his own private interests getting this incredible level of influence over decisions that will affect the freedoms and liberties of everyday Americans?
April 27, 2020 (002910) – Fauci appears to dismiss potential live saving treatment. Fauci receives a report from the Chief, Section of Viral Pathogenesis at NIAID, Dr. Paolo Lussa, that “they treated a first group of five patients with potent anti-aggregant therapy (Tirofiban/Aggrastat) and apparently in all of them the p02 started to rise within less than 2 hours, they got off the ventilator and went on to full recovery.” In response to this incredible news, Fauci merely writes “Thanks, Paolo.” Apart from pushing Remdesivir, made by Gilead, a company with which Fauci has deep and long-standing connections, Fauci’s response to Dr. Lussa accords with his otherwise singular focus on developing and pushing a vaccine.
May 1, 2020 (002838) – While pushing one narrative regarding ventilators publicly, Fauci writes in a private email that “You are correct in that there is a more recent tendency to use ventilators only as a very last resort since oxygenation rather than ventilation appears to be key to recovery.”
Comment by tonytran2015: This may be part of the script of a B-grade movie in which Eipstein was swapped out of jail with a similar looking dead body.Mossad, FBI and CIA were all involved, no credibility could remain.
Two Bureau of Prisons guards who were on duty the night sex offender Jeffrey Epstein allegedly committed suicide – but slept and shopped online instead of doing their job – will reportedly avoid jail time as part of a plea deal.
A letter filed in court on Friday says the prosecutors offered Noel and Thomas a plea agreement that would see them serve no time behind bars. Instead, they would be subjected to supervised release and complete 100 hours of community service, as well as cooperating with the probe by the Justice Department’s inspector general. A judge is expected to approve the plea deal next week, AP reported.
Noel and Thomas were supposed to check on the prisoners every 30 minutes, but spent the entire shift shopping online for furniture (Noel) and motorcycles (Thomas), walking around the common area, and even sleeping for about two hours, according to the indictment. They falsified the prison records throughout the shift to indicate they had checked on the financier and convicted sex offender before he was found dead.
Though New York City’s medical examiner ruled Epstein’s death a suicide, large portions of the American public remain skeptical of the official story – in no small part thanks to the falsified accounts of the guards and reports of mysteriously malfunctioning cameras inside what was supposed to be one of the most secure jails in Manhattan.
#AceNewsReport – May.15: The Department of Justice today filed a criminal information charging Swiss Life Holding AG (Swiss Life Holding), Swiss Life (Liechtenstein) AG (Swiss Life Liechtenstein), Swiss Life (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. (Swiss Life Singapore), and Swiss Life (Luxembourg) S.A. (Swiss Life Luxembourg), collectively, the “Swiss Life Entities,” with conspiring with U.S. taxpayers and others to conceal from the IRS more than $1.452 billion in offshore insurance policies, including more than 1,600 insurance wrapper policies, and related policy investment accounts in banks around the world and the income generated in these accounts.
MANHATTAN: ‘Swiss Life Holding AG, Swiss Life (Liechtenstein) AG, Swiss Life (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., and Swiss Life (Luxembourg) S.A. Enter into Deferred Prosecution Agreement for Criminal Misconduct; Agree to Collectively Pay More than $77 Million’
By Al Stankard, a political dissident and novelist living in New York City. Since becoming unemployable due to my political activism, I’ve been earning college degrees for the children of my oppressors. Business is booming – but it makes me sick to my stomach.
“I’m an escort in New York so I know firsthand how strange and stressful your life becomes when you’re outside the law,” writes April Adams in an aging VICE article explaining how and why she became a prostitute. She recalls one of the first men she nervously sold herself to, worried she might be breaking the law. Unsurprisingly, his purchasing power was built on a confident working knowledge of the outer limits of contract law. He assured her that, generally speaking, “it’s legal to charge for your time, so it’s legal to advertise [on Craigslist].” It’s an aging logic, but it’s proved so vital to our society’s shrewdly efficient arrangement of power relations that we all know and accept it by heart, without having ever read The Wealth of Nations.
Although my views on ‘sex work’ are mostly negative, I nevertheless find a kindred spirit in April Adams because I, too, have been forced by circumstance to make a living in a way that many presume to be dirty, if not illegal. Where April whores her body, I whore my mind. I write college papers for rich kids as an ‘academic freelance ghostwriter.’ I started out a decade ago on a shady Ukrainian website, though have long since carved out an independent reputation for myself to the extent that I offer multi-year, white-glove ghostwriting services to students at America’s most prestigious institutions. Remember that bleeding-heart movement against test-taking? It’s about making things easier for those who already command enormous social advantages and financial resources, yet who can’t be bothered to ace tests. ‘Social justice’ is just the front. In the age of lockdown-mandated remote learning, rich kids are leaping at my feet like salmon at the spawning. I do all the work, for a fee, and they walk away with a diploma.
You’d be amazed, too, by how fast I can churn out papers on virtually any topic. The only thing I can’t do is engage primary curriculum for graduate-level hard sciences. But I can clarify those ideas. If you’re curious how I have such a comprehensive mastery of all subjects – I don’t. Writing essays is hardly different from solving a Rubik’s cube. You master the basic algorithm and structure, inputting new variables for each new paper you write. Once you’ve written a few Plato papers, you’ve written them all.
In my early, naïve days, I guesstimated that 90% of my clientele were from impoverished backgrounds in the Middle East, Asia and India, lifting themselves up by their own bootstraps in ways I could not imagine. That’s what I grew up being told, anyway. Thus, I was merely helping them make do in spite of unfair standards which privileged native English-speakers.
Then there were the 9% of single mothers working full-time jobs, I told myself. The obnoxiously dumb, lazy, and rich party kids, I imagined, made up only the final 1% of my clientele. I could even empathize with that 1% by remembering the times in college when I was too desperation-drunk to do my coursework. If I had had the money, I too would have cynically outsourced some of those final papers.
As with the legality of advertising prostitution services, with a wink and a lip-bite, the baffles and whorls of Western legal theory allowed me to build a career as a freelance academic ghostwriter without risk of facing any real consequences. Sure, plagiarism in college is considered ‘academically unethical,’ but me writing college papers for others is not plagiarism, and it is most certainly not illegal. I am merely selling my intellectual property, transferring to each paying customer ownership of the paper I write for them. University administrations make virtually no effort to clamp down on such activities because, by the cold logic of liberalism, my customers are not stealing any intellectual property.
This is not some loophole I am wriggling through in the liberal ideology. The concept of intellectual property forms the bedrock of our corrupt, moribund society. The global capitalist power structure – this pyramid scheme whose ideology is codified and updated principally at Ivy League universities – depends on the fungibility of intellectual property rights in order to exploit those of us not born into privilege like them.
Insights supporting this fever dream of an academic ‘pyramid scheme’ are that, I have observed, one’s grades generally correlate not with the quality of one’s writing and arguments but, rather, with how densely you pack parenthetical citations into the text of your essay, as well as the institutional pedigree of your sources. If your paper looks coherent on its face, and is peppered with the right references, you will get an A. The content of your writing is mostly arbitrary; even your deference to political correctness, or its lack thereof, plays second fiddle to the citations themselves.
Crucially, I have learned, the more private, prestigious, and influential a university is, the less rigid are the formatting requirements of a paper’s references. At Ivy League universities, for example, it is generally acceptable to informally cite sources because their students are already insiders. At public universities, however, a strict adherence to referencing formats is mandated from on high – from those very same Ivy League universities.
As the political situation in the US has evolved, I have come to realize that the overwhelming majority of my clientele are obnoxious rich kids after all. This goes even for the 90% hailing from the Global South. As an American millennial, I had been thoroughly brainwashed into believing that foreign students arrive at American universities carrying on their backs the weight of unfathomable disadvantage. In reality, for the most part anyway, they come from privilege back home. Even those with more tenuous footholds in the American higher learning ecosystem are not as wholly dependent on student loans for their education as myself and others are, nor are they quite so hustled into the higher education system for reasons not to their benefit.
In my more recent white-glove services to Ivy League students, meanwhile, I have gotten to know and understand them more intimately. They are not merely somewhat dumb and somewhat rich. Rather, they are more or less on an intellectual par with me, yet are so extravagantly rich that it makes utmost career sense for them to outsource intellectual labor. This allows them to more effectively schmooze their professors and network with their peers. This is how the investor class operates – they sit atop massive wealth, with insider access, and buy and bring to scale all and every good idea, often from the desperate, in order to extract even greater wealth from the world around them.
I sympathize with April’s vindictive yet empowered retrospective on her career as a sex worker. While this may sound inconsistent for somebody as I who was, without remorse, a strident participant in the greater ‘alt-right’ movement, the fact stands that I am similarly forced into a grey market profession due to the crush of life circumstances. In my case, however, whatever disadvantages I may have already been heir to in life were compounded and ratified as a result of my dissident politics. In even starker contrast from April, I feel more vindictive than empowered, for it is the parents of these students I earn diplomas for who are, at least indirectly, responsible for barring me from the possibility of employment in polite society. The entire strata of society they occupy, the investor class, bears sole responsibility for creating and exacerbating the economic conditions that gave rise to the alt-right. Their collective scapegoating of all white people, for their own persistent sins and excesses, logically implied the birth of a new white ethnosolidarity. They needed the alt-right to exist, as a false effigy of their own global right-wing ideology, just as much as they needed to then ritually destroy those who wore its colors. Also on rt.com Chris Hedges: Cancel culture, where liberalism goes to die
I always used my real name while engaging in political activism because I believe there is more to life than throwing stray jabs at injustice in the dark, only to recede into an even deeper darkness. That, and I wanted to be held accountable to my higher self. You can’t live in this world as it is, participating in a rigged game that preys on our human foibles rather than correcting them. When our hollow consent is considered the gold standard for ethical, ‘win-win’ exploitation, things will only continue to deteriorate. I had made myself a persona non grata in our McWorld, as expressed through everything from VICE hit pieces to hysterical antifa fatwas, to the extent that I was forced into my particular brand of anonymous intellectual prostitution to make ends meet.
It’s almost an understatement to cite condemnatory Google search results to explain just how underground I had been forced. At one point, antifa hatched a plot to kidnap my sister after I peacefully confronted and briefly unmasked the man who slugged Richard Spencer at Trump’s inauguration. At another point, I had federal agents trying to blackmail me. Even as recently as last year, I have been violently confronted by antifa brawlers who may or may not have been sic’d on me by those same federal agents. This should give some indication of how unemployable I was made to be. I even resorted to a long stint as a handyman on the TaskRabbit platform. The last time I was publicly called out for being a ‘Nazi’ was by April Adams herself, the socially dislocated prostitute-turned-writer. April is not her real name. I feel bad that she should feel forced by her precarious station in life to try to come at me like that.
Since my earlier political activism, which culminated in my involvement in 2018’s Unite the Right 2 rally, my worldview has evolved dramatically. I no longer hold the mistaken belief that anti-white political rhetoric and policies are the product of some well-intentioned ignorance on the parts of those we generously refer to as the ‘elite.’ Nor do I believe that our steadily unraveling society can be saved by cleaving to the Enlightenment values of free speech and open inquiry.
I know now that all of today’s so-called ‘wokeness’ traces its origins to the earlier desperate need of the Western imperialists to court the Global South in building a firewall against the spread of Soviet Communism. Phony intersectional and cultural Marxism, the Rawlsian fixation on “the vulnerable,” gender wars, and anti-white scapegoating are all motivated by the investor class’s existential imperative of misdirecting criticism that threatens to bring them back down to earth with the rest of us.
Most who are taught by the corporate media into self-identifying as members of the ‘dissident right’ overlook the manner by which the investor class funds this self-defeating pairing of toxic race and gender politics with Marxist and anti-capitalist notions. They know that most of us will gag on the former while thinking they are part and parcel to the latter’s promise of economic justice. That, and by presenting racial equality and equality writ large on the same continuum, those of us with vigorous intuitions of justice are easily bogged down, or else diverted outright, by the vexing mission creep of the racial and gender social justice wars. It was not an accident that the asinine pursuit of sideshow justice went into hyperdrive in the wake of the 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement, and even more so in France since the Yellow Vest protests.
It is for these reasons that I am eager to blow a lid, however I can, on the widespread practice of freelance academic ghostwriting. Get off my neck.
…Blockchain technology can be traced! With the propaganda about Bitcoin and blockchain, it offers NO security in any transaction which is deemed illegal. Tax evasion is also a crime. I can CONFIRM that Bitcoin has been allowed to prosper because the government can trace the transactions and that is far better for them than paper money.
The origin of COVID: Who is Culpable? By Nicholas Wade. At last, a real reporter has investigated in depth and written it up without fear or favor.
Its death toll will soon reach three million people. Yet the origin of pandemic remains uncertain: The political agendas of governments and scientists have generated thick clouds of obfuscation, which the mainstream press seems helpless to dispel. …
As many people know, there are two main theories about its origin. One is that it jumped naturally from wildlife to people. The other is that the virus was under study in a lab, from which it escaped. It matters a great deal which is the case if we hope to prevent a second such occurrence. …
It was initially blamed on natural causes by a self-interested group of likely miscreants:
From early on, public and media perceptions were shaped in favor of the natural emergence scenario by strong statements from two scientific groups. …
It later turned out that the Lancet letter had been organized and drafted by Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance of New York. Daszak’s organization funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. If the SARS2 virus had indeed escaped from research he funded, Daszak would be potentially culpable. This acute conflict of interest was not declared to the Lancet’s readers. To the contrary, the letter concluded, “We declare no competing interests.”
Peter Daszak: “I have no conflict of interest”. Hard to imagine a more brazen lie.
Virologists like Daszak had much at stake in the assigning of blame for the pandemic. For 20 years, mostly beneath the public’s attention, they had been playing a dangerous game. In their laboratories they routinely created viruses more dangerous than those that exist in nature. They argued that they could do so safely, and that by getting ahead of nature they could predict and prevent natural “spillovers,” the cross-over of viruses from an animal host to people. If SARS2 [covid-19] had indeed escaped from such a laboratory experiment, a savage blowback could be expected, and the storm of public indignation would affect virologists everywhere, not just in China. …
A second statement that had enormous influence in shaping public attitudes was a letter (in other words an opinion piece, not a scientific article) published on 17 March 2020 in the journal Nature Medicine. Its authors were a group of virologists led by Kristian G. Andersen of the Scripps Research Institute. … [Their arguments] grounded in nothing but two inconclusive speculations, convinced the world’s press that SARS2 could not have escaped from a lab.
The media are easily fooled by authority figures, if it meets their political bias. Like in climate change. And like in climate change, other scientists dare not speak up:
Science is supposedly a self-correcting community of experts who constantly check each other’s work. So why didn’t other virologists point out that the Andersen group’s argument was full of absurdly large holes? Perhaps because in today’s universities speech can be very costly. Careers can be destroyed for stepping out of line. Any virologist who challenges the community’s declared view risks having his next grant application turned down by the panel of fellow virologists that advises the government grant distribution agency.
The Daszak and Andersen letters were really political, not scientific, statements, yet were amazingly effective. Articles in the mainstream press repeatedly stated that a consensus of experts had ruled lab escape out of the question or extremely unlikely. …
Virology was an accident waiting to happen:
Why would anyone want to create a novel virus capable of causing a pandemic? Ever since virologists gained the tools for manipulating a virus’s genes, they have argued they could get ahead of a potential pandemic by exploring how close a given animal virus might be to making the jump to humans. And that justified lab experiments in enhancing the ability of dangerous animal viruses to infect people, virologists asserted.
With this rationale, they have recreated the 1918 flu virus, shown how the almost extinct polio virus can be synthesized from its published DNA sequence, and introduced a smallpox gene into a related virus.
These enhancements of viral capabilities are known blandly as gain-of-function experiments. …
Virologists started studying bat coronaviruses in earnest after these turned out to be the source of both the SARS1 and MERS epidemics. In particular, researchers wanted to understand what changes needed to occur in a bat virus’s spike proteins before it could infect people.
Researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, led by China’s leading expert on bat viruses, Shi Zheng-li or “Bat Lady,” mounted frequent expeditions to the bat-infested caves of Yunnan in southern China and collected around a hundred different bat coronaviruses. …
Shi returned to her lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and resumed the work she had started on genetically engineering coronaviruses to attack human cells. How can we be so sure?
Because, by a strange twist in the story, her work was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). …
The grants were assigned to the prime contractor, Daszak of the EcoHealth Alliance, who subcontracted them to Shi. …
Shi set out to create novel coronaviruses with the highest possible infectivity for human cells. …
The approach could have generated SARS2-like [covid-19 like] viruses, and indeed may have created the SARS2 virus itself with the right combination of virus backbone and spike protein.
It cannot yet be stated that Shi did or did not generate SARS2 in her lab because her records have been sealed, but it seems she was certainly on the right track to have done so. …
Daszak was possibly unaware of, or perhaps he knew all too well, the long history of viruses escaping from even the best run laboratories. The smallpox virus escaped three times from labs in England in the 1960’s and 1970’s, causing 80 cases and 3 deaths. Dangerous viruses have leaked out of labs almost every year since. Coming to more recent times, the SARS1 virus has proved a true escape artist, leaking from laboratories in Singapore, Taiwan, and no less than four times from the Chinese National Institute of Virology in Beijing. …
Before 2020, the rules followed by virologists in China and elsewhere required that experiments with the SARS1 and MERS viruses be conducted in BSL3 conditions. But all other bat coronaviruses could be studied in BSL2, the next level down. BSL2 requires taking fairly minimal safety precautions, such as wearing lab coats and gloves, not sucking up liquids in a pipette, and putting up biohazard warning signs. Yet a gain-of-function experiment conducted in BSL2 might produce an agent more infectious than either SARS1 or MERS. And if it did, then lab workers would stand a high chance of infection, especially if unvaccinated.
Much of Shi’s work on gain-of-function in coronaviruses was performed at the BSL2 safety level, as is stated in her publications and other documents. …
“It is clear that some or all of this work was being performed using a biosafety standard — biosafety level 2, the biosafety level of a standard US dentist’s office — that would pose an unacceptably high risk of infection of laboratory staff upon contact with a virus having the transmission properties of SARS-CoV-2,” [says Richard H. Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University and leading expert on biosafety]. …
Three people working at a BSL3 lab at the institute fell sick within a week of each other with severe symptoms that required hospitalization. This was “the first known cluster that we’re aware of, of victims of what we believe to be COVID-19.” Influenza could not completely be ruled out but seemed unlikely in the circumstances, he said. …
The natural emergence theory simply has no supporting evidence. While technically possible — by a long series of mutations and coincidences — it is incredibly unlikely.
The two closest known relatives of the SARS2 virus were collected from bats living in caves in Yunnan, a province of southern China. If the SARS2 virus had first infected people living around the Yunnan caves, that would strongly support the idea that the virus had spilled over to people naturally. But this isn’t what happened. The pandemic broke out 1,500 kilometers away, in Wuhan. …
When you look for the fingerprints of a similar transition in SARS2 [from animal, adapting to human], a strange surprise awaits. The virus has changed hardly at all, at least until recently. From its very first appearance, it was well adapted to human cells. …
The uniform structure of SARS2 genomes gives no hint of any passage through an intermediate animal host, and no such host has been identified in nature. … Proponents of a lab leak have a simpler explanation. SARS2 was adapted to human cells from the start because it was grown in humanized mice or in lab cultures of human cells, just as described in Daszak’s grant proposal. Its genome shows little diversity because the hallmark of lab cultures is uniformity. …
Neither the natural emergence nor the lab escape hypothesis can yet be ruled out. There is still no direct evidence for either. So no definitive conclusion can be reached. …
But it seems to me that proponents of lab escape can explain all the available facts about SARS2 considerably more easily than can those who favor natural emergence.
It’s documented that researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were doing gain-of-function experiments designed to make coronaviruses infect human cells and humanized mice. This is exactly the kind of experiment from which a SARS2-like virus could have emerged. The researchers were not vaccinated against the viruses under study, and they were working in the minimal safety conditions of a BSL2 laboratory. So escape of a virus would not be at all surprising. In all of China, the pandemic broke out on the doorstep of the Wuhan institute. The virus was already well adapted to humans, as expected for a virus grown in humanized mice. It possessed an unusual enhancement, a furin cleavage site, which is not possessed by any other known SARS-related beta-coronavirus, and this site included a double arginine codon also unknown among beta-coronaviruses. What more evidence could you want, aside from the presently unobtainable lab records documenting SARS2’s creation?
Proponents of natural emergence have a rather harder story to tell. The plausibility of their case rests on a single surmise, the expected parallel between the emergence of SARS2 [covid-19] and that of SARS1 and MERS. But none of the evidence expected in support of such a parallel history has yet emerged. No one has found the bat population that was the source of SARS2, if indeed it ever infected bats. No intermediate host has presented itself, despite an intensive search by Chinese authorities that included the testing of 80,000 animals. There is no evidence of the virus making multiple independent jumps from its intermediate host to people, as both the SARS1 and MERS viruses did. There is no evidence from hospital surveillance records of the epidemic gathering strength in the population as the virus evolved. There is no explanation of why a natural epidemic should break out in Wuhan and nowhere else. There is no good explanation of how the virus acquired its furin cleavage site, which no other SARS-related beta-coronavirus possesses, nor why the site is composed of human-preferred codons. The natural emergence theory battles a bristling array of implausibilities.
The records of the Wuhan Institute of Virology certainly hold much relevant information. But Chinese authorities seem unlikely to release them given the substantial chance that they incriminate the regime in the creation of the pandemic. Absent the efforts of some courageous Chinese whistle-blower, we may already have at hand just about all of the relevant information we are likely to get for a while. …
Who is responsible?
There are two obvious levels of responsibility: the first, for allowing virologists to perform gain-of-function experiments, offering minimal gain and vast risk; the second, if indeed SARS2 was generated in a lab, for allowing the virus to escape and unleash a world-wide pandemic. Here are the players who seem most likely to deserve blame.
Chinese virologists. First and foremost, Chinese virologists are to blame for performing gain-of-function experiments in mostly BSL2-level safety conditions which were far too lax to contain a virus of unexpected infectiousness like SARS2. If the virus did indeed escape from their lab, they deserve the world’s censure for a foreseeable accident that has already caused the deaths of three million people. …
Chinese authorities. China’s central authorities did not generate SARS2, but they sure did their utmost to conceal the nature of the tragedy and China’s responsibility for it. They suppressed all records at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and closed down its virus databases. They released a trickle of information, much of which may have been outright false or designed to misdirect and mislead. They did their best to manipulate the WHO’s inquiry into the virus’s origins, and led the commission’s members on a fruitless run-around. So far they have proved far more interested in deflecting blame than in taking the steps necessary to prevent a second pandemic.
The worldwide community of virologists. Virologists around the world are a loose-knit professional community. … virologists knew better than anyone the dangers of gain-of-function research. But the power to create new viruses, and the research funding obtainable by doing so, was too tempting. They pushed ahead with gain-of-function experiments. They lobbied against the moratorium imposed on Federal funding for gain-of-function research in 2014, and it was raised in 2017. The benefits of the research in preventing future epidemics have so far been nil, the risks vast. You might think the SARS2 pandemic would spur virologists to re-evaluate the benefits of gain-of-function research, even to engage the public in their deliberations. But no. Many virologists deride lab escape as a conspiracy theory, and others say nothing. They have barricaded themselves behind a Chinese wall of silence which so far is working well to allay, or at least postpone, journalists’ curiosity and the public’s wrath. Professions that cannot regulate themselves deserve to get regulated by others, and this would seem to be the future that virologists are choosing for themselves.
The US role in funding the Wuhan Institute of Virology. From June 2014 to May 2019, Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance had a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, to do gain-of-function research with coronaviruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Whether or not SARS2 is the product of that research, it seems a questionable policy to farm out high-risk research to unsafe foreign labs using minimal safety precautions. And if the SARS2 virus did indeed escape from the Wuhan institute, then the NIH will find itself in the terrible position of having funded a disastrous experiment that led to death of more than 3 million worldwide, including more than half a million of its own citizens.
So now what?
If the case that SARS2 originated in a lab is so substantial, why isn’t this more widely known? As may now be obvious, there are many people who have reason not to talk about it. The list is led, of course, by the Chinese authorities. But virologists in the United States and Europe have no great interest in igniting a public debate about the gain-of-function experiments that their community has been pursuing for years.
Nor have other scientists stepped forward to raise the issue. Government research funds are distributed on the advice of committees of scientific experts drawn from universities. Anyone who rocks the boat by raising awkward political issues runs the risk that their grant will not be renewed and their research career will be ended. Maybe good behavior is rewarded with the many perks that slosh around the distribution system. And if you thought that Andersen and Daszak might have blotted their reputation for scientific objectivity after their partisan attacks on the lab escape scenario, look at the second and third names on this list of recipients of an $82 million grant announced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in August 2020.
The US government shares a strange common interest with the Chinese authorities: Neither is keen on drawing attention to the fact that Shi’s coronavirus work was funded by the US National Institutes of Health. One can imagine the behind-the-scenes conversation in which the Chinese government says, “If this research was so dangerous, why did you fund it, and on our territory too?” To which the US side might reply, “Looks like it was you who let it escape. But do we really need to have this discussion in public?”
To these serried walls of silence must be added that of the mainstream media. To my knowledge, no major newspaper or television network has yet provided readers with an in-depth news story of the lab escape scenario, such as the one you have just read, although some have run brief editorials or opinion pieces. One might think that any plausible origin of a virus that has killed three million people would merit a serious investigation. Or that the wisdom of continuing gain-of-function research, regardless of the virus’s origin, would be worth some probing. Or that the funding of gain-of-function research by the NIH and NIAID during a moratorium on such research would bear investigation. What accounts for the media’s apparent lack of curiosity?
The virologists’ omertà is one reason. Science reporters, unlike political reporters, have little innate skepticism of their sources’ motives; most see their role largely as purveying the wisdom of scientists to the unwashed masses. So when their sources won’t help, these journalists are at a loss.
Another reason, perhaps, is the migration of much of the media toward the left of the political spectrum. Because President Trump said the virus had escaped from a Wuhan lab, editors gave the idea little credence. They joined the virologists in regarding lab escape as a dismissible conspiracy theory.
The same dynamic as in climate change.
Lies, incompetence, ambitions — and now 3 millions are dead. It’s over a year, and only now is the truth emerging, via persistent individuals blocked at every turn by government.
No wonder the Chinese Government lost its nana and is punishing Australia so much now, for suggesting a proper international investigation into the origins of the virus. Very sensitive. Now we know why.
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Comment by tonytran2015: Broken promises by Biden? A whole lot of politicians should be thrown out of offices for not keeping election promises which amounts to Bait-and-Switch fraud on top of alleged Election frauds.